Brand Interview – John Fathom, RockSoup Studios

Brand Interview – John Fathom, RockSoup Studios

John Fathom Miami Art

John Fathom

John Fathom - illuminated paintings

John Fathom's Illuminated Painting

How long has your company been in business? Please tell us a bit about your company, its mission, goals…
JF-Since about 2004, but not officially till 2006. We began as a large art collective that meant to create mixed media events with anyone that had passion and drive, but we streamlined into a collective of just a few organizers producing events and exhibitions with the intention of fostering collaboration and generating interest in the arts.

Do you donate to charities? Tell us about that also and why.
JF-No, not yet.

How did you know what typeface (font) would be right for your company wordmark or logo? If your logo has an illustration, describe why that art was the right thing, animal, place, object, etc…
JF-We hired the great Holly Tienken of Design Grace for our logo design. We went with something with a historic appeal, but also incorporated some scribble on the outside of what looks literally like a type of brand that could be burnt onto the side of a cattle to loosen it up and expand it. We are quite happy with what she came up with for us.

How did you decide on the right color palette to fit your company look and feel?
JF- We always knew we wanted black and white. We considered black and silver as well, but with so many artists involved with different tastes and palettes we trusted in Holly’s ability to produce a classy timeless logo. Bringing color into the branding would have been a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, because we started out with so many artists providing input.

Rock Soup Studios Logo

How did you decide which type of designer to work with, or did you design your own identity and web presence?
JF-We saw Holly’s design for Bag the Habit, which is a company she is now partner in and which I always thought was a genius logo… nuff said.

In what order did you present your company to the world? Did you start with marketing and products, or website, blog and social media?
JF-Our website never quite launched. Maintaining the site was too cumbersome for a bunch of artists more interested in making art then the business of promoting it.  Beyond that we built a presence through word of mouth driven by community events, parties, exhibitions in NY, Miami and NJ. We also recently launched our blog; which combines the personality of those that work out of our arts building and those that are Rock Soup Studios. Beyond that Twitter and Facebook help keep things moving along fine.

How long after the launch of your company did you start pitching in social media?
JF-Social media has become part of everyone’s life, it’s no longer just a company’s concern. Facebook/Twitter are now corporations pretending to be individuals, while individuals pretend to be companies. Trying to recall when we started pitching is impossible because the transition/merging of our company profile and our personal profile was almost seamless.

Did you do research or study any software, take webinars, teleclasses, before approaching any area of your marketing or web presence?
JF- Nyugen Smith is one the directors here at RSS and he is better versed on the subject then I, so I refer to him when I have questions of this nature and he usually steers us in the right direction.

Do you advertise locally in newspapers and/or nationally in magazines? Are they effective?
JF-We only advertise our events and exhibitions, so have no use for this fairly dated form of advertising.

Do you advertise online using Google, Facebook or on other company sites? Are they effective?
JF- Facebook is effective, but because so few actually check their invites we also use text messaging, flyers and email blasts if/when necessary. The blog will come in handy post production.

When you printed your products, packaging, business cards and other print marketing did you choose an online printer or visit a local vendor?
JF- A local vendor whom I cannot recall. We change vendors with every print job depending on the style, count, location and price.

Did you know anything about different types of papers, when you wanted to print your marketing materials?
JF- Just what your average art student would know.

Have you ever used “green” technology in printing, using FSC certified papers or recycled paper and if not, how likely are you at trying this on a next project?
JF- Do you count using paper I had in the studio and printing at home? lol

If you sell products, are they produced in the U.S.A. or abroad?
JF- U.S.A., we are local artists.

Is there anything you haven’t yet tackled, but will want to do soon?
JF- Of course. As individual artists we hope to continue to grow and expand our careers and the careers of artists we collaborate with through RockSoup via large scale exhibitions in other cities or out of our building at 660 Grand. Personally I’m interested in taking over more buildings like 660 and creating these artist enclaves in different cities.
Time will tell.

Nyugen Smith - The artist with Transistor with Rebel Boots

Nyugen Smith - The artist with Transistor with Rebel Boots, Photographed by Virginia Kamenitzer

Nyugen Smith - The General Feels at Home

Nyugen Smith - The General Feels at Home


John Ruddy painter

John Ruddy


John Ruddy painting Sutee

Sutee - painting by John Ruddy

To learn more about John Fathom, John Ruddy, Nyugen Smith and Rock Soup Studios visit the links below:

Rock Soup Studios Blog:
As individuals you can find, John Fathom, John Ruddy and Nyugen Smith on Facebook.

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