Our Name

A lot of people have asked me over the years “what the heck’s a “Bottree’”?

I first heard the word ‘botree’ spoken by Joseph Campbell, the great figure and intellectual who spoke about the universality of myth.  It was during an interview with Bill Moyers and I honestly wasn’t paying that much attention until they discussed the impact that Campbell had on the stories of a young and impressionable George Lucas.

Being a major Star Wars geek, you couldn’t pull me away from the rest of the interview.

As it turns out, ‘botree’ is itself a slightly different pronunciation of ‘bodhi tree’, which is the tree in India where Siddhartha Gautama sat and gained enlightenment.  This person was eventually known as Buddha.

Now, I’m not so arrogant as to pretend that I’m remotely close to being enlightened, but the name stuck because it was consistent with my desire to explore the notion that there are many ways of seeing things.

As fate would have it, ‘botree.com’ was not available, but ‘bottree.com’ was.  The rest is history.

The Logo

When I started Bottree, I also wanted to have a logo.  It had to have relatively universal appeal, be simple and be round.

As a fan of mythology and cultural studies, I was also under the influence of Norse legends and stumbled on an image of Yggdrasil, the Norse tree of life that represented the nine realms of existence.  If you count closely, you’ll see that the logo not only looks like a tree being reflected in a pool of water or mirror, but it also has nine different panels.  That wasn’t a mistake!

The colour scheme of the logo is based on the major secondary colours:  purple, green and orange.  It’s not that I don’t like the primary colours.  The secondary colours are a personal choice, as I find them to be a little less stark and shocking.  I feel that the blend of the primary colours to make secondary colours exposes the true beauty of integration and diversification.  I think using purple, green and orange in the logo gave it a natural feel.

Nearly ten years ago, I rolled out the logo and my first site and let other friends see what I was up to.  As people discussed the logo and shared their own ideas, some interesting points came up:

  • It looks like a big turtle.  That’s correct.  In North American mythology, the world exists on a turtle’s back.
  • It looks like a brain.  Not quite, but close.
  • It’s like the tree of knowledge in Occidental traditions.  Yes, it is.

As you can see, I feel like I accomplished my mission when I tried to create something that had universal appeal.

What do you think?

Bill Wittur
Bottree Digital Services
January, 2010