Behind The Scenes: The Making of MCa2 Brand Identity

Focusing on the past and present culture of black identity, Harlem, the “R(e)mergence” movement, the art of storytelling, technology and creativity, MCa2 had to seamlessly mesh all of these components into one raw and bold brand identity. 

Here are a few of my Creative Director notes and thoughts on the process:

Color Scheme: Pay homage to Black identity, Harlem’s past and sample it: in 1940-1941 Jacob Lawrence created “The Migration Series,” he was 23 when he moved to Harlem.

Logo: One of the first Black Film Production companies utilized wood block lettering in their posters; hence, the letterpress woodblock lettering for the logo: MCa2 

*notes: MCa2 looks similar to the infamous e=mc2 equation


m=mass (Mass is strictly defined as a measure of a body’s inertia, i.e. its resistance to acceleration.)

c=the speed of light.

Einstein’s quote:

It followed from the Special Theory of Relativity that mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing - a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind. Furthermore, the equation E is equal to mc², in which energy is put equal to mass, multiplied with the [by the] square of the velocity of light, showed that very small amounts of mass may be converted into a very large amount of energy and vice versa. The mass and energy were in fact equivalent, according to the formula mentioned before [E = mc²]. This was demonstrated by Cockcroft and Walton in 1932, experimentally.

  • i.e. R(e)=MCa2 The R(e)mergence is relative (equal to) to the mass of Black cultural creative production inspired by MCa2.

Background: SMPTE Test Pattern [Color Bars]

  • MCa2 de-constructs the past and analyzes the current TV/Film signals (the message the content sends to the world) and focuses on bringing TV/Film back to its original condition–through the creation of authentic content that inspires while it entertains.

-Tanekeya Word

Creative Director


photo sources:

Color Scheme ©2012 Tanekeya Word, Creative Director

“The Great Migration” ©1940-1941 Jacob Lawrence, Artist

Film Poster ©1916


Logo: Lillian Ling, Graphic Design & Tanekeya Word, Art Direction ©2012

Cal, yes, again :D

What have you learnt from your experiences at MasterChef?

Callum: I think obviously, for all of us, the cooking is something that’s gone to the next level from what we were like at the start of the competition but, I think for me, as much as my cooking has improved a lot I’ve changed as a person too. Just in terms of confidence levels and maturity. I lived with people my own age before Masterchef and being at University. Then all of a sudden, I was put into a situation where the crew and most of the contestants were in their 30s. So I kind of had to grow up quickly just because of the nature of the people I was with.

So would you say the other contestants ‘took you under their wing’ because of your age?

Callum: Um, absolutely. In the finale you might have seen that Adam and I hug a lot more than necessary (laughs), but he feels very much like an older brother to me. Mostly because at the start of the competition, we got put in a room together so for the past 8 months, I’ve been living with this guy and yeah, he’s taken me under his wing. If I could have chosen anyone to win the competition, it would’ve been Adam because he’s been so good to me. He was probably the person who taught me more than anyone else, so it was very fitting for us two to be in the final.

What do you think about when you’re cooking?

Callum: I think for me that’s why cooking is so relaxing because I could just think about what I was doing at the time and forget about everything else. Kind of like someone who plays guitar or an instrument. They just listen to the music and block everything else out. You’d be surprised how much you get into your own zone. It’s not till the very end when you realise what other people are doing.

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Where do you get your inspiration from when you’re creating recipes?

Callum: I think going into the competition, I had little experience (given my age) compared to the other contestants so I spent a lot of time reading. I think I spent about a $1000 worth of books while I was in the house! I would flip through the pages because I find I am inspired more by the pictures of food.

The strategy I took when I went into a mystery box, would be to know my basics and then build on them. You start to learn after a while what combinations are going to work well together. Particularly in the ‘Mystery Box’ challenges, where you only had one minute to think about what you were going to cook.

What would your last meal be?

Callum: oooh…there’s so much I could eat! Umm…I couldn’t go past a steak and chips, it’s just so good! I’d have to have a massive dessert of some variety. I’ve got such a sweet tooth.

Have you had a life changing meal?

Callum: From memory, It was Pier in Sydney and it was fantastic. That was the first Hat restaurant I ever went to, and I’ll never forget it. It made me think that I’d love to have my own restaurant one day.

Your food hangover recipe!

Callum: What I tend to do is a big fry-up! Cook up a lot of bacon, few eggs and a cold coffee. Works a treat! Something about sugar, caffeine and fat really just gets you through.

What’s your food indulgence?

Callum: Something like a big, gooey chocolate brownie, I cant resist! I’ll eat half of it and keep going back to it.

What was your favourite MasterChef challenge and why?

Callum: If you asked me that a week ago, I would’ve said the Afternoon Tea challenge in London. Of course, I wanted to win the challenge, but it was probably the best challenge to win because I got to meet Jamie Oliver and Hester Bloomingdale.

(Now that the show’s finished)…for me, the finale was great! For the Invention test we both probably made the best dish we’d made in the whole competition. We were cooking across from each other and although we were competing, we checked in with each other. So it was a friendly rivalry! And to have the rest of the contestants cheering us on was great.

One ingredient you couldn’t live without:

Callum: Vanilla. I love to make desserts and it’s in so many of them. I just love Vanilla Beans. It works really nicely in some savoury stuff as well, to add something really special.

Whose recipe would you steal if you could?

Callum: I think it might be available in Coles now, which is a bit disappointing but Clare’s chicken with chilly caramel (that she cooked on the show) was pretty unbelievable. If I couldn’t pick it up in Coles already, I would steal it.

Describe your ideal restaurant!

Callum: It would be in South Australia somewhere and I’d want it to be modern and fun. A lot of restaurants are very beautiful but when you go in you feel like you have to whisper because it’s so proper. I’d like it to be more casual with some music so people are having a good time and enjoying themselves with the food just being there to back it up.