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The History of The Blade is Filled with Meaning

Lara Holleran

Portland . Oregon



tep two: turn an already crafted hype video (as described in last article) into a long-form, emotional brand video. The

process for this second half varies slightly, in the same way a fried egg differs from a poached egg. Identical original form, texturally different outcome. Little time was spent wandering the woods or contemplating the "why" of knife ownership. Instead, I took a more story-based approach to solving the case.

For this voice over, I wanted to call attention to a few distinct points about the brand, while keeping the tagline — Next Level — intact throughout. 

1. the history of the blade

2. how long the brand has been in business

3. what making knives really means to them

4. how they differ from their competition

5. the future of the brand

Writing an article with an in-depth look into the brand and it's historical and emotional fortitude is fairly simple compared to a voice-over. Long form voice-overs are tricky. People can get bored or lost, or director-forbid the words don't match the visuals. There are many problems with clients that requests a voice-over before they have a visual story worked out. The most terrifying one: sometimes an edited video can feel completely different than what has been written and recorded, but at that point there is no going back. 

I won't lie, I did hesitate on this project, knowing that is where we stood. If my words didn't fully encompass what the filming, editing, and branding wanted to get across, we hadn't done our jobs correctly. No pressure, or anything.  

I'll spare you the monotonous detail of the actual writing process, but let's just say it involved copious scratch and repeats, a few extra erasers, and test of personal will.  In the end, after the client made their final revisions, I'm happy to say its a fairly well-formed VO that still touches on all the points I had hoped to accomplish without losing depth and feeling. 

zt knives

Final Version

For over 47 years, we’ve known a knife isn’t just a knife...

It’s fearlessness.

It’s steel that’s shaped from experience.

And we craft with this understanding...

Because we’ve been where you are.

We live for that moment.

Caught between the wild unknown and turning back.

Between pushing forward or accepting defeat.

It’s an integrity we share …. to never back down.

And we build this into our designs.

Because we know that when we hand you a knife,

we’re handing you something more.

You can feel it in the weight….In the tangible balance between blade and handle.

The smallest tapering, the razor-sharp edge...

Each intention in design changes the way it’s handled.

To last longer by your side,

To be worn, scratched, used.

To brave the toughest environments.

We push to craft the best, most accessible knives in the world.

Because we know, the next level is harder than the last.

From adventures in the backwoods,

To everyday tasks in the city,

To long climbs and steep rides...

With our knives success is not just luck —

it’s preparedness and dedication for the willing.

And we will brave forward, together,

because that is what the fearless do.

Rise to the next level.

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