Turning Purposeful Companies into Meaningful Brands
A Life Worth Living

When Henry David Thoreau went to live at Walden Pond, it wasn’t to concoct a plan for wealth or prestige. What drove him to the woods was a desire for meaning and a place to create, and he found both in spades. The result? A life led by unswerving principles and a body of work that people still talk about.

Detail of “Economy,” an illustration from our forthcoming edition of Walden.

Meaning is endlessly varied and deeply personal. When you find it, purpose appears. When you have purpose, people want to pull up a chair and warm themselves by your fire.

At Steel Brothers, a meaningful and wakeful life is what we want for ourselves, for you and for all who interact with your brand. And we want to take part in forging things that are both beautiful and unbreakable. Or, like the Japanese art of kintsugi, to weld broken things back together and thereby transform flaws into features.

If branding and Thoreau seem like snake oil and water, that’s because people often use branding for selfish and dishonest ends. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We want to rebrand branding. Branding that puts lipstick on pigs or distorts truth is dishonorable and vulgar. It shouldn’t exist.

When we brand and design with conscience and a desire to help, the work becomes a public service. It becomes a bullhorn for meaning. And meaning makes the difference between brands that waste space and brands that create benefit.

The following stanza is from the dedication page in our self-initiated edition of Walden. If you know Thoreau, you may recognize some of these words. This is what we want for ourselves and for you, whoever and wherever you are.

To be
fully awake
live deliberately
live deeply and simply
suck out all the marrow of life
rebel against the quiet desperation
that seeks to pull each of us
down into oblivion
and discover
when death comes for us
that we had indeed lived
a life worth living.