John McNeil Studio

From Scapegoat to Saving Grace

JMS Editorial

While perhaps we can all agree that a community is a group of supportive people assembled in a specific space, the logistics, geography, and manifestations of said groups have drastically changed in the technology age.

It’s no longer about mere physical proximity— who we live near, who we see in the office, who our kids carpool with to school. Our communities have multiplied, and exponentially so.

Communities by the thousands live in our phones, are tethered to apps, and center around particular interests, ideas, and obsessions. So what does that mean for a society of consumers? How does it change the way we relate to the things we buy, and perhaps even why we buy them?

It’s a trend that’s been growing since pre-pandemic days, and exploded once the world went into lockdown: people are looking for meaning. The absence of intentionality in our lives, our decisions, and our purchases is simply no longer sufficient. This is where community comes in, that thing which reminds us why we keep trying, why we endeavor to improve. Be it through activism, art, sustainability, or business.

In short, a brand can be a kind of community.

And a synergistic one at that—something that can come to express much more than the mere products it sells, a kind of critical value larger yet more intangible than a bottom line.

For Issue 2 of JMS Editorial, our team spent some time with this concept of community. In these articles, we delve into the changing landscape of communication, question our daily routines, and celebrate the ways in which community can be the lifeblood of creativity—even in times of unprecedented loss.

Read the issue here.