Introducing a new insignia and website
Just after college in 2003, I adopted the pen name ‘Number 27’ because of my fascination with its many interesting properties, mathematical and otherwise. For instance, every 27 days the sun rotates on its own axis, the moon orbits the earth, and the skin cells in our human bodies completely regenerate. The diameter of the moon is ~27% that of the earth, the human hand has 27 bones, and a typical human body has around 7 x 1027 atoms (that’s 7 followed by 27 zeros). I’ve illustrated some of its other mysterious qualities as well.
The ‘Number 27’ pen name carried me through a decade of early data visualization work, and the better part of another decade working with interactive documentary. Since moving home to Vermont in 2016 and completing In Fragments last year, I’ve been sensing that a new container for life and work would be helpful — something anchored less in the psychology of numbers and data, and more in the timeless ways of the natural world. Because In Fragments was so much about integrating and transforming the past, I wondered if a return to my original birth name would be a good place to start.
I’ve long admired the beautiful Ukiyo-e woodblock prints of traditional Japan, whose simple shapes and colors combine to create scenes that are at once ordinary and sublime. Some of my favorites of these feature the iconic red wooden gateways known as Torii gates, which are used in Shintoism to mark a transition from the mundane into the sacred — for instance, by entering a forest path, framing a view of a distant mountain, or otherwise calling attention to the quiet majesty of that which surrounds us.
Reflecting on these various considerations, I designed a simple ‘JJH’ monogram for my original birth name of Jonathan Jennings Harris:
It’s accompanied by a newly redesigned website, jjh.org — with comprehensive archives of past works, writings, videos, and news.
Wishing you happy exploring, and a joyful harvest of your own!
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