Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.
My college days began in the heyday of print journalism. Woodward and Bernstein were digging through the muck with Deep Throat, and anyone with a love of language craved the smell of printer’s ink and newsprint. Gonzo journalism shook the foundations, and no one cared where the stones might fall. We were in love with the words. We were in love with truth.
Fermata is a child of that era, the offspring of that time when we were convinced of the transforming power of truth. I still believe in such truth, such transformation, despite the cynicism that grips the world today. We live in a world rich in the medium, but impoverished in messages.
Our work is about content, that slippery word that points to message before media. Of course we grab any tool available to hammer the message home, but without content, without flesh, all that we can offer is bare bones. We plan, design, sign, fabricate, navigate, train, research, and display. But at the core of our work, the spinal cord that connects mind to muscle and bone, is content. In this we are all pilgrims seeking truth.
Our interests span nature, recreation, history, culture, food, art, and music. Our focus is the authentic experience, one that is singularly hitched to place. The borders between these interests bleed. But in this amalgamation of interests and senses, there surfaces a story to tell. Our intention is to tell that story effectively, honestly, and directly.
No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous.
Henry Brooks Adams in The Education of Henry Adams
The following pages represent a Cliff Notes resume, a brief reflection of our work. Among these details, though, snakes a common thread. Every place has a story. Every agency, state, or country has its own collective narrative. Every town has its people, its heart, and its history waiting to be told. Our strategic plans are replete with stories. Our photographs illuminate our stories. Our web sites, interpretive signs, and trail guides deliver the stories. We teach others how to tell their stories, and which stories to tell.
If the media are the mind, then message is the heart, the soul.
We do soul.
Ted Lee Eubanks, President and CEO
26 May 2010