The FullCircles Blog

Multi-contributor blog on the topic of reusing, freecycling… garbology in general.

FullCircles – Story of a Logo

Freecycle -> FullCircles

On July 21, 2007, we morphed … truly transformed…

From an ugly Freecycle caterpillar…
… into a beautiful, freely soaring, FullCircles Butterfly !


I love our FullCircles logo because it pulls in so many elements of the struggle and the change process that we (I..) went through when we finally decided on July 21, 2007 to cut the umbilical cord and leave our cruel stepfather, Deron Beal and TFN (The Freecycle Network).

In 2006, a year before we pulled the plug, I was already totally disgusted with Beal’s disgraceful behaviors toward the good people who toiled endlessly to help him build the freecycle brand.  Lots and lots of people… ME, Nancy Castleman, Tim Oey and countless others that he cast off without a moment of thought in his selfish pursuit of whatever it is he is pursuing.  He just mowed down the grass in the grassroots movement we all helped him create.  And he just keeps climbing on the corpses (…figuratively speaking of course…) of those who gave so much to the freecycling movement.

At that time in 2006 I already wanted to pull the plug, but was so worried and fussed up about losing the power of the brand that we all toiled to create!  Way back then in mid-2006, Ottawa co-owner, Manuel Costa and I, invented the name “FullCircles” and registered the domain name.  We had thought of freecircles, but could just imagine needlessly sapping our energies in endless, stupid legal battles with Beal over the word “free”… can you imagine!  How dumb would that be!  We’re both too old for that.  And, anyway, Fullcircles seemed like a better fit for our broader environmental view of how the freecycling process integrates with our notions of our communities striving toward a simpler, sustainable places in a sustainable world.  ie. pulling the idea out of the dump and into broader every day use!  That’s where the name came from.

And the logo… In the wee hours of the morning, a day or two before we pulled the plug, Marie Claude (one of my very favorite people to process ideas with…) and I were thinking about images for our “FullCircles” logo.  I can’t remember exactly how the idea hatched, but the drop in the pond seemed just like Freecycle.  Freecycle is the drop that started the “circles”… the ripples which have spread out in increasing circles around the world.  For me, it was an absolutely perfect metaphor…. the drop and the spreading ripples, natural circles.

And, adding the butterfly… well that was an after-thought… The butterfly thought process is described below.

So there it is…  I wanted to record the thoughts behind the logo for myself and for posterity.  It’s not just cute or nice.  It means a lot  … at least to me!  It was a very personal thing!  So, when you “brand” your organization with the FullCircles logo, you too can reflect on all that history… take a little pride in where you’ve come from and what you stand for.  And if you decide to continue to sail your group under the “Freecycle” banner, you will have this story to reflect on too!  Maybe you’ll think twice.  I think it’s just a little bit like sailing under the jolly roger / skull & crossbones.

Eric Snyder

PS:  I would like to have shared this with the members of the Canadian Freecycle Modsquad (which I created in May/04…), but I’ve been banned from my own creation by Deron’s Freecycle enterprise.  Banned by a foreigner from membership in my own Canadian group.  I feel a little like I’ve been exiled in my own country.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Eric Snyder <egsnyder@…>
Date: Fri, Jul 20, 2007 at 5:54 AM
Subject: The Butterfly Story: A useful metaphor for any change process
Cc: Scott Simmerman <Scott@…>, Nancy Castleman <nancycastleman@…>,
Andy Swarbrick <andyswarbs@…>, Marie <marie.f.claude@…>

I’ve practiced transcendental meditation on a daily basis since 1969.  During my morning meditation session this morning, a story that one of my most memorable trainers, Scott Simmerman, uses in his training practice bubbled up in my consciousness.  It’s The Butterfly story – “Teaching the Caterpillar to Fly“.  And it goes like this (I’ve modified it a bit to fit our situation):

Two rather drab, immature Freecycle caterpillars are sitting next to each other on the fence on a clear sunny July 27th day in the summer of 2007 .

Suddenly a beautiful, colourful, FullCircles Monarch butterfly floats effortlessly by. First one, then two, then many FullCircles butterflies, flying freely, gracefully in the clear blue sky above.

One Freecycle caterpillar mumbles to the other Freecycle caterpillar… “You’ll never get me up in one of those butterfly things!!”.

I thought we might find this story timely and relevant to help our Freecycle moderators and members segue through the somewhat scary paradigm shift before them into a positive, worthwhile growth opportunity.  As Scott says, “Remember… one cannot become a butterfly by remaining a caterpillar.

Many thanks to Scott for planting this seed in my mind many moons ago.

Last updated: 03/4/2012 @ 04:59 AM

posted by Gub in Freecycling and have No Comments

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