Richard and June are back from two weeks in New York City and have hit the ground running. Richard will check in here on Monday, but in the meantime he asked me to tell you a little bit about myself and about my husband Macario.
I am a freelance writer, and met Richard when the editor of Hawaiian Airlines’ in-flight magazine Hana Hou! asked me to do an article about Hamakua Springs. Macario, a professional photographer, was assigned to photograph the article. We both hit it off with Richard right away.
When the farm needed a website, Richard remembered mine and knew that I’d done it myself. He asked if I’d work on a website for the farm. So that was the second time we worked together.
Macario did all the photography for the website and helped some with the graphic stuff. I planned and wrote and put it all together. And along the way we confirmed that Richard is really a terrific person to work with. Smart, positive, enthusiastic. It’s a dream partnership.
As Hamakua Springs keeps growing and evolving, we have both continued to work with the Has. Macario does the farm’s photography. I maintain the website, write articles and press releases, keep a press kit current, and do other writing and projects as needed.
And then we came up with the idea of this blog, which I started and maintain. I got to make up my own title—“Chief Blogger”—and am really enjoying it.
In our other lives, Macario shoots for most of Hawai‘i’s magazines and some mainland publications. He does some commercial work for corporate clients (specializing in architecture and interiors) and often shoots art work for artists. He also specializes in, and really enjoys, photographing people. He has a design and graphics background and is himself an artist.
As for me, I write a lot of different things: For corporate clients (newsletters, slogans, press releases, manuals, more); articles for magazines, both here in Hawai‘i and on the mainland; copy for websites (I also do website design), and books. My first (co-written) book, Mauna Kea, published by Watermark Publishing, came out last fall. If it has to do with words, I'm there.
Right now I’m just finishing up another book, which is about historic Hilo and has been a really neat project. I see Hilo completely differently now. When I drive into town from Hamakua over the singing bridge, I “see” the pre-1946 railroad station sitting there, roughly where the “Welcome to Hilo” sign stands. And when I drive down Kamehameha Avenue past Wailoa State Park, I picture it lined on both sides with businesses and homes as it used to be, even though that was before my time and I never saw it that way.
When the book, “Exploring Historic Hilo,” comes out this fall I’ll remind you here and try to badger you into buying a copy.
Okay, enough about us! Richard will be back here on Monday to tell you how his weight-loss program held up in New York, and more. Stay tuned.
When I talked to Nelson Makua recently, he told me that his job is to be the “other side of the brain.”
Nelson has a full-service design company, and he’s the one who designed that great Hamakua Springs logo. He’s known Richard for years, having designed the Kea‘au Bananas logo way back when.
“What I offer clients is an objective view from the outside,” he said, “to give a fresh perspective of how they’re being perceived by the clients. The other half is to take that information and make it into something visually, to address whatever we’re trying to achieve.” The art work, he explained, is pretty much the last leg of the job.
He said that when Richard told him he was starting up Hamakua Springs, he went out to Pepe‘ekeo to see the farm for himself.
“When I got there he showed me some springs,” he told me. “His farm had access to fresh water springs just coming out of the grounds. That was basically the take-off point for the image. I was looking for something that visually dictated the water element, as well as the mountains and valley of the Hamakua coast.”
He found it.
Later, when Richard told Nelson he was going to start growing products hydroponically, and produce a “living product,” Nelson said he knew it wouldn’t be enough to just tell people that.
“I’m a visualist and my problem was the words weren’t strong enough, clear enough,” he said. “So I designed a little logo that would appear on all the products that are living. Something that would distinguish him from other companies.”
As for the hydroponics, he called it “Hawaiian Hydroponics,” to give it a geographic sense. Nelson explained that as a visual pun, there’s a drop of water replacing the first “o” in “hydroponic.”
Nelson’s worked in the business for almost 30 years, specializing in image development and logo design.
He explained that image development is looking at the products, figuring out who the market is and working out visuals based on that.
Logo design—well, you know what that is:
Nelson’s good, obviously, at what he does, and his resume proves it. He’s worked with Big Island Candies for 20 years and Mauna Loa Macadamia Nuts for 10, as well as for Chinese New Year, the Hawaiian Slack Key Festival, Tahiti Fete of both Hilo and San Jose and others.
His work has been nominated three times for Hoku Hanohano awards (for three of the 27 album designs he’s done for Hawaiian Slack Key Masters) and won for graphic design twice. For four years now he’s designed the beautiful Merrie Monarch hula posters.
He displays his clothing line at the retail store “Na Makua” (http://www.namakua.com), on Waianuenue Avenue in downtown Hilo, which he operates with his son Kainoa. His new designs come out there in August, if you want to go see.