The first time I heard it was mid-October 2010. Then it was Yellow Line Studios.
A gentle soul shared with me that the name represented the yellow line in the road and trying to find the middle ground between the opposing cultural views of the time. Back then, it was really about pro-life vs. pro-choice.
The sentiment attracted me. There I was, days into a new career and a new life on many levels, and I was attracted to this idea: the yellow line in the road representing a business that tried to find the middle way. Back then, it was a movie studio wanting to make content that brokers a middle way between opposing forces: again, pro-life vs. pro-choice.
That was ten years and ten months ago.
Yellow Line throughout the years
The business has pivoted several times since then and done everything from making a small format web series to a feature length film. It has helped to create diamond brands and summited Denali as a branded content project for Johnson & Johnson. It has had a religious freedom campaign rolled out at a White House Press Conference during the Obama administration. It helped to fund a unity project in Pennsylvania during the Trump administration to help generate dialogue about how to overcome what divides us.
It counts as clients a Vatican organization, archdioceses, dioceses, and several universities. It has served organizations and individuals who advocate for the Sikh community, organizations and individuals who advocate for the Muslim community, organizations and individuals who advocate for the Jewish community, and several other key organizations that fight tirelessly for religious freedom for all.
It has evolved from feature film production to small format web publishing, to social media management. It has taken a shot at being a “first seat” communications strategy firm and a marketing funnel specialist at the same time. A bad idea to try to do both at the same time, by the way, in case you’re wondering. I became its leader in 2014 and have taken it to the brink of failure more than once and only by the grace of God, or perhaps by His sense of humor, has the company survived to be what it is today.
Funny though, through all of it, the name has stuck. It’s been Yellow Line Studios, Yellow Line Productions, Yellow Line Media, and what it is now: Yellow Line Digital.
Why? Because through it all, I’ve remained attracted to the idea that there is some middle ground where we can find unity. And, after ten years and four months, I finally discerned the essence of my attraction to the analogy and therefore the name.
Unity doesn’t come from everyone getting on the same side of the road and heading in the same direction. We are always going to have people traveling the same road together going in opposite directions. Unity comes from the yellow line. We are able to travel the road together, distracted, going at high speeds in opposite directions because we have a very simple but powerful set of small yellow stripes that guide us on how to operate in this high-stakes environment.
The yellow line on the road is the instruction set.
The rules of the road
The Yellow Line to me is CST: Human Dignity, Subsidiarity, Solidarity.
Everyone matters. Everyone gets to use the road. No one can tell another person that they don’t belong on the road.
Everyone gets to go in whichever direction the road can take them. You own and operate your vehicle, your caravan. No one can tell another person that they can only use the road to go in one direction.
We are all responsible for the upkeep of the road. We are all responsible to stay in our lane and to respect the yellow line. No one can use the road without consideration for the other travelers on it.
This is the essence of Yellow Line Digital. We will continue to seek out and to serve purpose driven organizations with whom this analogy resonates. Together we will amplify these “rules of the road” so that we each get to our final destinations safely.