The United States Coast Guard
Simple concept. A bottle, a container to protect it, and it all is made cohesive through design.
Graphic designer and photographer Michael J. Lindsley presents the idea behind the project. "It all began with lunch. The sunlight was filtered through the Portland overcast, as I sat with good friends from the local Coast Guard base, in a small Italian deli. One of them began to recall what he had enjoyed about the city so far, and how he would miss it, as he was due to transfer soon. During this casual chat a comment was made about farewell gifts, and how they were always the same and likely always would be."
"I have never been one with much knowledge about military ceremony, although they have certainly intrigued me over the years. I began to admire the foil cover I had peeled from my Limonata soda, and ran the course textured metal through my fingers. Bending it, creasing it... Half mumbling I mused to myself "It's a shame that everyone gets the same thing, especially with so many talented artists in Portland. It would be nice if the station gave each person something unique that represented the city and the military simultaneously...". The table got quiet, and they all looked at me, until someone said "True, but we wouldn't know where to look for someone who could do that"."
"I continued to run the soda cover through my fingers, and began to run ideas through my head. Looking over at the station's Executive Officer I decided to throw a pitch, "Well it's not hard. I am someone who can do that, and we see eachother practically every week. Just think about what Portland is known for; good food, especially it's liqours and beers. It is also a port city, being Portland after all. So you have shipping crates coming and going, vessels, and tradesman. You see them everyday when you patrol the river. I would draw inspiration from that"."
"Pausing for a moment I realize the whole table has gone from glancing at me to listening, so I let my mind wander as I kept spoking. "I would want something that would recall all of this. Wooden shipping crates, waxed sail cord, textured traditional papers, all securing glass containers like those used in every local distillery and brewery. I would tie it all together with history; pay homage to the individual groups that formed the Coast Guard when the nation was first born". In an hour what had began as lunch with friends, and their coworkers, became a new task for myself, and anticipation for all who had taken part."