What is Boxen?
When influenza threatened Irish families at the turn of the Twentieth Century, a young CS Lewis and his brother “Warnie” were isolated indoors. The two boys had little in common, but they had only each other, so they found a way to play together by creating an imaginary world named Boxen — merging Lewis’ fascination with talking animals and his older brother’s interest in economics, politics, and history.
About a century later, my new wife and I stumbled into our first real responsibility as a couple: we needed to name our internet router. You can’t rush into these things, mind you, and we deliberated for some time. I had a habit of naming hard drives and peripherals after obscure science fiction. Jen tended toward some variation of “Monkey.” We were off to a rocky start … but we had recently finished CS Lewis’ autobiography together, and Jen struck upon the idea of naming our router “Boxen” — a world where two different people could still play together.
As a designer, developer, pastor, writer, husband, father — I find myself at the intersection of many worlds. My purpose on this real world of ours is to stand in the middle of those different — sometimes opposing — worlds: ideas, relationships, processes, beliefs, symbols, stories. I believe in creating a space where different people can come together and create something interesting and beautiful.
I call it Boxen.
What is Boxen?
The inspiration for our brandmark came from combining two lowercase letter b’s (turned opposite and set back-to-back). In other words, two opposites can come together to form something more interesting than the sum of its parts.
Sometimes 1+1=11 … sometimes two b’s become a brand.
Who is Boxen?
I am a designer, developer, digital marketer … oh, and a pastor. That’s a story worth telling…
In 2008 — after ten years of professional experience as a graphic designer — I enrolled in seminary to receive a Masters in Divinity. And while that may initially look like a non sequitur, my seminary education and pastoral vocation may actually be the best way to summarize who I am and what I can contribute to you.
I am an irrepressible storyteller. If you ask me, anything worth saying, is worth a story. In fact, everything we do or say or write has a story lurking somewhere behind it — even recipes or statements of fact. We cannot escape telling stories; we can only escape telling them well.
Graphic design is all about visual storytelling. There is a school of psychology called Gestalt Theory, which informs the basic principles of design. It details the mind’s ability to recognize visual patterns and whole forms through collections of simple lines, shapes, and colors. We create meaning out of seemingly disparate visual cues — which is precisely what we do every day of our lives by telling (and listening to) stories. We create meaning out of the details of life.
I went to seminary in order to understand the really big stories — the ones that shape and give meaning to life. You may disagree with me regarding the relative importance of the Christian story of Jesus (and disagreement is encouraged!), but I hope you’ll appreciate the continuity of purpose. I am a storyteller because stories are the stuff of life. I speak them, teach them, and draw them. I set them in print and on the web. I am committed to understanding them and communicating them with clarity and beauty. I am an irrepressible storyteller. It’s who I am and what I do.