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This is a patch design that I created in the style of secret military operations designs. It started as a sketch that I posted on my Nightbook. Eventually, I made a vector art version and even animated it. Then, I decided to make a patch. I've had them in a drawer for months with various plans to distribute them that never got off the ground. The Latin roughly translates at "Cast The Net Wide", a reference to Nicholson Blair's comment on expanding the breadth of invitations from sometime in December '14. While researching the Latin, I found that "latitudine" is synonymous with "wide". And if it's awkward, then it fits right in with the butched-Latin of the black ops badges.


Original Nightbook Entry

"Cast The Net Wide" Patch

Sunday January 18th, 2015 - ELLINGSON 3 minute read.

First, here's a book that you might like. It's Trevor Paglen's "I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me", a catalog of special ops patches. The patches are great and full of hidden meaning (and butchered Latin).

Now, a bit of backstory.

About a year ago, I was binge-watching a British Channel 4 TV show called "UTOPIA". It's about a group of anonymous friends that are trying to decode secret meaning from a graphic novel called UTOPIA. They end up meeting in person and quickly realizing that there is much more to the mysterious messages than they ever realized. Brutal comedy, adventure, and danger ensues for two glorious seasons. I highly recommend the show to anyone in this space. It's more than analogous.

Fast forward to this past November, I found myself emailing with compeers from this secret space about a graphic novel with hidden messages. While "The Last Broadcast" comic book didn't send me on the run from secret assassins, it did cause me to reflect on how I had suddenly embodied the sort of fiction that I had only been a bystander to before.

Now I've been seeing hexagons in everything. I suppose it's like anything else, though. Once you cue in a particular number, a song, a phrase, or in this case a polygon, they are suddenly everywhere you look. So the other day, I was looking at the structure of the chickenpox virus and it struck me how similar its silhouette and protein payload were to the shapes in the Latitude symbol. I started thinking again of the similarities to UTOPIA and that show's interest in the dark side of microbiology. I let my brain buzz on those connections for a while and then I got on with my evening.

The following morning, I got an email from an old friend. It ended up being a job offer with the UK Arts Council to help to help illustrate a graphic novel adaptation of Thomas More's "Utopia" for its 500 year anniversary. (Incidentally, the story are divided into Book One and Book Two and takes place in a fictitious port town). So, I decided that I had to make something. The universe can only poke you in the forehead so many times before you give in and sling something back at it.