Design studio housecleaning - excavated artifact #7

I'm continuing the ongoing process of going through 30+ years of files as I organize and catalog all my old graphic design files. Numerous times I have opened a folder or envelope to find an original doodle of what would eventually become a completed logo for a client.

In 1995 I sketched out a rough concept for a pro bono logo for the Portland nonprofit organization Esther's Pantry. Esther’s Pantry was founded in 1985 to provide individuals living with AIDS access to food and personal care items they themselves might not be able to afford. The organization was named in memory of Chester "Esther" Brinker, one of the first people in Portland to die of complications from AIDS.

Still, my take on "Esther" was meant to cause people to smile through the suffering and pain of the continuing AIDS crisis. I saw Esther as a bit of a "flasher," opening her jacket to reveal what was on the shelves of the "pantry." The female character in the design is actually a fairly good graphic representation of my late great-grandmother Osie Saltmarsh Cantrall Norris - a Southern Oregon pioneer and one of the most incredible people in my life.

In March 2000, the pantry transferred its operation to MCC Portland (I designed their logo in 1995 as well) and I was asked to redesign the logo as a grocery bag image that I never liked much. In fact, I've never even included that design in my portfolio. It was determined that my "Esther" - used in a limited fashion for a while - was a bit glib and possibly controversial.

I was very pleased when my Esther's Pantry logo was honored in the 1995 PRINT Regional Design Annual. I still smile each time I come across the image - and I'm sure that great-grandma gets a kick out of it, too.

It's great that Esther's Pantry continues on - with, it appears, an even newer logo. Each month 150 to 200 clients are allowed to select their groceries and personal care items from well-stocked shelves, rather than being handed a pre-packed box of food.

Note: In previous bLog-oMotives entries I took a look back at excavated artifacts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Having the same name can lead to

major differences in the blog-o-sphere...

With holiday gatherings, a nasty cold my partner and I seem to be sharing back and forth, previously scheduled home remodeling projects, and other commitments, I've been a bit lax about bLog-oMotives posts the past week. I've also been working behind the scenes dealing a bit with another "Jeff Fisher" from the cyber world.

Initially he started with multiple phone messages on my business voice mail stating how upset he was about my search engine rankings being higher than his - because we happen to share the same given name. The individual then began leaving messages that I must post specific Internet links on my blog to bring attention to the political and government issues he deemed important.

Several people in the design industry emailed me about some unusual online references to "Jeff Fisher," Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, bLog-oMotives, blogomotives, Creative Latitude, my "tips, trips, observations, clickety-clacks, & an occasional "toot!" along the tracks" tagline, and other references to my work or my blog. Sure, enough - the individual in question was creating new Blogger pages making use of such terms in the blog URLs and content, in an attempt to bring greater search engine attention to his personal political diatribes. Don't be surprised if you come across some odd findings in association to the terms on the Internet. No, I have not gone completely off my rocker - yet! Just thought I'd warn you what's out there.

Earlier this week the guy began posting multiple comments to various bLog-oMotives entries - totally unrelated to the topics I cover in my writings. After removing more than two dozen of his unnecessary messages and rants, I had to make the decision to monitor all future comments. I hope bLog-oMotives readers will continue to give me feedback on various topics when they wish. I apologize that it will be necessary for me to authorize the postings of comments now. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Note: One quick reminder to those in search of new fonts - the P22 Type Foundry sale on boxed fonts ends December 31, 2006.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher Logomotives

Yazi - a great (and beautiful) holiday gift

Last weekend my partner Ed and I went to a great holiday party at the home of some friends in the small mountain community of Brightwood. A fresh, light coating of snow made the location perfect for a festive evening. One guest brought the party-givers a "hostess gift" of a bottle of Yazi - a ginger flavored vodka.

The beautiful packaging immediately caught my attention as many of the party guests "oohed" and "aahed" when the bottle was removed from the gift bag. It was passed around the room to numerous comments about the "gorgeous" and "exotic" design. The vodka is contained in an imported French bottle with rich red side panels, a shiny red neck wrap and a gorgeous dragon etching. To be honest, when what resembles an oversized perfume bottle got to me, I was surprised to see that Yazi is a product of Hood River Distillers, in Hood River, OR - located about an hour from my home studio. (I've always gotten a chuckle out of the fact the distiller is located across the street from the city's sewage treatment plant.)

Everyone at the party then wanted to taste the product. Small liqueur glasses were brought out and the "oohs" and "aahs" started up again as we all began sipping the beverage. The stuff was really good. Along with orange, lemon, cayenne and red pepper extracts, the natural ginger flavoring gives Yazi a sensual and slightly spicy taste. I wasn't surprised at all to later learn that Yazi had received a "Very Good" (85-89 points) from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.

It was interesting to read, at a variety of online resources, that Yazi was created with the female market in mind. From initial visual impressions it would appear that it was also produced for a target market of designers, and those who appreciate good design. Portland, Oregon-based Leopold Ketel & Partners created the elegant package. The design received a Gold Medal in the packaging category at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2006.

I'm looking forward to trying Yazi in some mixed cocktails. Hood River Distillers has several recipes for Yazi drinks on their website.

I do think Yazi would be a great last-minute holiday gift - or the perfect "hostess gift" as you celebrate the season in the next week or so.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Milton Glaser creates Darfur poster

"What Happens in Darfur Happens to Us” is the theme of a poster recently created by legendary designer Milton Glaser. This awareness campaign will benefit the International Rescue Committee, driving people to the IRC website to learn more about Darfur, the work of the IRC around the world, and how to support the organization in efforts to deliver lifesaving aid, protect women and girls, and speak out for global action on behalf of the Sudanese people.

Glaser created the campaign to call attention to what he describes as “one of the great humanitarian crises of our time.” The poster concept takes the seemingly distant crisis and personalizes it, relating Sudanese family members being killed every day to members of our own families. The design incorporates the hand imagery from Glaser's previous "We Are All African" poster which brought conditions in Africa, and world poverty issues, into the public spotlight.

Milton Glaser is among the most celebrated graphic designers in the world. He co-founded the revolutionary Pushpin Studios in 1954, founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker in 1968, established Milton Glaser, Inc. in 1974, and teamed with Walter Bernard in 1983 to form the publication design firm WBMG. Throughout his career, Glaser has been a prolific creator of posters and prints and produced iconic designs, such as the famed “I Love NY.” The industry icon is also the author of Graphic Design and Art is Work, and co-author of The Design of Dissent.

Funded by School of Visual Arts (SVA), where Glaser has been an instructor and board member since 1961, the poster campaign currently appears on a 28 x 38 foot banner outside the SVA headquarters in New York City. It will also be present on subway platforms and the insides of 250 subway cars throughout January.

The Darfur poster can be purchased at www.miltonglaser.com. All proceeds from the sales go directly to the International Rescue Committee.

Selected sounds of the holiday season

'Tis the season. Preparations are underway for the holiday party for law firm where my partner, Ed, is employed. The event is going to be held at the beautiful Terwilliger Vista Bed & Breakfast. Live music will be provided by the local group The Rhythm Dogs. I'll be playing "corporate wife" at the event - and trying to be on my best behavior.

One of my assigned spousal duties was to select Christmas music to be played when the band is not performing. I was asked to select five to six CDs from our personal collection of over 50 holiday options.

There was no doubt of my first pick. Etta James' 12 Songs of Christmas (1996) is a must - especially for a party. That incredible voice, taking on traditional songs, is sure to be a hit.

The Sinatra Christmas Album, a compilation originally released in 1987, is a great musical gift package from "Old Blue Eyes." White Christmas (1996), from the late Rosemary Clooney, was another immediate selection. For me personally, it just wouldn't be the holidays without A Charlie Brown Christmas from the Vince Guaraldi Trio. I've been a longtime fan of The Manhattan Transfer and their release The Christmas Album (1992) has become a season classic in my home.

My final selection is also the most personal. In 1989 my friend Leslie McMichael released her CD Snowfall: Harp Solos for Christmas. Listening to it always brings back great holiday memories - especially of being in Seattle years ago and going to the Space Needle to hear Leslie perform live. In addition, Leslie (who co-founded the Vashon Island Harp School), and her significant other Marty Schafer, always celebrate the season by sending out an eagerly anticipated musical holiday card.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher Logomotives

Yikes! Suggestions for stressed out shoppers

The holidays are here! Last year many bLog-oMotives readers were thrilled when I posted my list of favorite places to shop - online and in person - for holiday gifts (and shopping year round!). I'll admit that I sometimes just slobber on my computer monitor while ogling some great products from some of the retailers. I've added some new suggestions this year:

Archie McPhee - Seattle WA • auto - New York NY • BabyStyle.comBad Byron's Butt Rub - Santa Rosa Beach FL • Bay View Farm Coffees - Kona HI • Blue Raccoon - New Hope PA • Cafe Du Monde - New Orleans LA • CD Baby - Portland, OR • Chef's CatalogChocolate Flower Farm - Langley WA • Chronicle Books - San Francisco CA • Clos du Val Wine Company - Napa CA • Coffee, Tea & Spice - Talihina OK • Cork - A bottle shop - Portland OR • Cornucopia - Napa CA • Cry Baby RanchDespair, Inc.Desperado - Portland, OR • Dippy Chick Company - Kingston NH eCookbooks.com - Newton Highlands MA • Eleni's Cookies - Long Island NY • Erath Vineyards - Dundee OR • Elephant Dung PaperFireworks - Seattle WA • Fitzsu.comFlax Art & Design - San Francisco, CA • Garnet HillGeribi Ceramics - Deruta, Italy • Hip CHICKS do Wine - Portland OR • In Good Taste - Portland OR • Inky Lips PressJ Peterman Company - Lexington KY • J.K. Carriere Wines - Newberg OR • Jacqui Naylor - San Francisco, CA • Joy Creek Nursery - Scappoose OR • Kenspeckle Letterpress - Duluth MN • Keyboard-Characters - Salem OR • Laughing Elephant - Seattle WA • Lime GreenPatina - Minneapolis MN • Peter Miller Books - Seattle WA • Mitchell Larsen Studio - Christiansted, St. Croix • Mobile State of Grace, Inc.MoMAstore - New York NY • Moonstruck Fine Chocolate - Portland, OR • MossMXYPLYZYK - New York NY • New Dimension Seed - Scappoose OR • New Seasons Markets (great gift sections!) - Portland, OR • Oakville Grocery - Oakville CA • Oblation Papers & Press - Portland OR • Office - Portland OR • Powell's Books - Portland OR • Raindogs - Yachats OR • Rogue Creamery - Central Point OR • Ravenna Gardens - Seattle WA • Red EnvelopeRejuvenation - Portland, OR • SFMOMA MuseumStore - San Francisco CA • The Spoon Sisters - New York NY • Square Deal Wine Company - Portland, OR • Stonewall Kitchens - York ME • Sundance - Sundance UT • Sur La Table - Seattle WA • Ten Thousand VillagesTerritory AheadThe Conran ShopThe Hard-To-Find GrocerThe Monkey & The Rat - Portland OR • The Museum Shop of The Art Institute - Chicago IL • Twig and Fig - Berkeley CA • Uncommon GoodsWipe Your Tush With Bush - Portland OR

Happy shopping!

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Bibendum: "Puffed up and provocative"

I've always loved advertising characters. In fact, I have a collection of over 200 advertising figures in my home studio. Bob's Big Boy hangs out on my desk with Toucan Sam, Sprout, Mr. Bubble, Cap'n Crunch and Chinese versions of Tony the Tiger. Colonel Sanders, Marky Maypo, the Trix Rabbit, Frankenberry, Sleepy, Snap, Crackle, Pop, Tillie the Tillamook cow, and many others look on from around the room. With the increasing value of the growing collection, I somewhat jokingly refer to it as "my retirement fund."

One of my favorites has always been Bibendum, better known to most as "the Michelin Man." As a kid, I remember seeing him on billboards, in the form of large roadside statues, and even sitting on an ashtray at my grandparents' house. He stands tall (and in other forms) among all the characters in my studio gathering.

Recently, with the popularity of the traveling exhibition “Nunc est Bibendum, An Iconographic Legend Since 1898,” Bibendum has been getting a lot of international news coverage. The exhibit is currently at the Conde Duque Museo Municipal de Arte Contemporaneo in Madrid until January 14, 2007. Additional locations in Europe, and eventually the United States and Japan, will be announced in the future. Michelin has a fun, abbreviated version of the exhibition on their corporate website.

The Michelin Man was first created in 1898 by French entrepreneurs AndrĂ© and Edouard Michelin in cooperation with the artist O’Galop (pseudonym of Marius Rossillon). Edouard noticed how a display of tires, stacked one on top of the other at an exhibition in Lyon, resembled the shape of a portly restaurant reviewer he knew. He told his brother Andre, who commissioned O'Galop to recreate Edouard's vision. The new character appeared in a 1898 poster showing him offering a toast, "Nunc est bibendum" (“It’s time to drink,”- or "Cheers" - in Latin), to his competitors with a glass full of highway dangers such as jagged glass. Nearly 100 years later, in 2000, Bibendum was selected as the "most recognized corporate symbol" by an international panel at the Financial Times.

Hopefully I will be able to see the exhibition in person at some location in Europe or when it comes to the U.S. I'll post any exhibit location updates in future bLog-oMotives entries.

One of my own Bibendums (in the photo above) is a 1980-81 French representation of a slim and trim Michelin Man. There's even an entire book about such Michelin items: The Michelin Man: An Unauthorized Advertising Showcase. I'll introduce you to some of my other advertising "friends" later. For more information about iconic advertising characters you might want to take a look at the books Meet Mr. Product: The Art of the Advertising Character or What a Character: 20th Century American Advertising Icons

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

P22 type and the logo designer

In a recent bLog-oMotives entry I mentioned that the P22 Type Foundry was altering their pricing structure - and having a sale on their current boxed sets. The sale ends on December 31st. The font selections of P22 are based in letterform designs used throughout history. Over the years, often when needing type representative of a specific historic era, the company has been a great resource of appropriate type for my logo design projects.

When architect Thomas Fallon was seeking an identity for his firm, he explained that much of his residential home design was reflective of the Arts & Craft era. I immediately felt that P22 would be a possible resource for type to be used in any designs. I was drawn to the unique letterforms of the font Dard Hunter for use on his logo text. In fact, to create the icon in the center of his logo, I combined elements from a lowercase Dard Hunter "t" to create an image representing the initials "t" and "f." Additional research lead to the subtle blue color being selected as representative of the time and Arts & Craft stylings.

The Fallon identity received an American Corporate Identity 21 honor and appears in the book American Corporate Identity 2006 as a result. It is also in the volume Logo Design for Small Business 2.

Another P22 font, Terracotta, was used in designing the event identity for The Spring Showcase Art & Gift Sale for Portland's Greek Orthodox Church. Organizers of the annual event, the Holy Trinity Philoptochos, desired a somewhat classic-looking logo that would work well for flyers, ads, notecards and other promotion items. The frame of the logo was inspired by an old floral graphic I had seen in a book of wallpaper patterns. Again, P22 seemed like the perfect place to find a typeface complimentary to the art elements. The typeface, and graphic elements, also worked well with the architecture and interior of the beautiful church.

A long-time client, George Fox University, contacted me a couple years ago to redesign the identity for their Tilikum Center for Retreats & Outdoor Ministries. The center includes 92 acres of green meadows, quiet lake waters, and wooded hiking trails. The previous logo was a somewhat free-from shape and did not work well in some applications. A more concise identity, still conveying the serenity and beauty of the retreat location, was desired. The P22 font Pan-Am worked very well with the stylized organic frame created for the new logo image.

Although not using one of the P22 fonts that are historically inspired, the identity for Jason Holland's Twisted Elegance Interactive does make use of a font selection from the company's International House of Fonts. The typeface Bramble was selected to convey a sense of elegance - with a bit of twist.

The Twisted Elegance logo was recognized by P22's Fonts-In-Use competition in March 2005. It was also recognized with an American Corporate Identity 22 award and is included in the new book American Corporate Identity 2007.

P22 also has a variety of other font selections in addition to the International House of Fonts. Be sure to check out the offerings of the Langston Type Company, the Rimmer Type Foundry and the Sherwood Type Collection All offer excellent type suggestions for logo designer.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Calls for entries:

Upcoming design competition deadlines

All of the following competitions deadlines present great opportunities to showcase your design efforts, market your work on an international scale through the published books, and "toot!" your own horn to clients, peers and the media:

I.D. Annual Design Review
(I.D. Magazine - USA)
Deadline: Entries accepted until December 15, 2006
Entry fees charged - late fees now apply

American Corporate Identity
(David E. Carter - USA)
Deadline: Entries accepted until December 18, 2006
Entry fees charged - late fees now apply

Photoshop User Awards
(National Association of Photoshop Professionals - USA)
Deadline: December 31, 2006
Entry fees charged

Brochures from North to South America
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: No specific date published
No entry fees charged

Hungry Design
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: No specific date published
No entry fees charged

Packaging Identity
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: No specific date published
No entry fees charged

Instant Graphics
(Rotovision - UK)
Deadline Extended: January 5, 2007
No entry fees charged

CA Interactive Media Design
(Communications Arts - USA)
Deadline: January 12, 2007
Entry fees charged

TDC53 - Typography
(Type Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: January 12, 2007
Entry fees charged

Letterhead and Logo Design 10
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline Extended: January 15, 2007
No entry fees charged

Summit Creative Awards
(Summit Awards - USA)
Deadline: January 29, 2007
Entry fees charged

The Art Directors Club Annual Awards
(The Art Directors Club - USA)
Professional Deadline: January 19, 2007
Student Deadline: January 31, 2007

Entry fees charged

Identity: Best of the Best 2007
(Identity Magazine - Russia)
Deadline: January 31, 2007
No entry fees charged

European Design Awards
(Europe)
Submission period: January 1 - February 28, 2007
Entry fees charged

PRINT Regional Design Annual
(PRINT Magazine - USA)
Deadline: March 1, 2007
Entry fees charged

HOW Promotion Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: March 19, 2007
Entry fees charged

HOW InHOWse Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: April 13, 2007
Entry fees charged

LogoLounge 4
(LogoLounge - USA)
Deadline: March 31, 2007
LogoLounge membership required

You may want to read my article about participating in design industry competitions: A Winning Strategy. It has appeared on the Creative Latitude and NO!SPEC web sites. A list of design competition links appears at the end of the article.

Design competition calendars are also available at Icograda and Workbook. DesignTaxi and Dexinger post competitions of great value to industry professionals - however designers need to be aware that some of the listings are for "spec" work as a requirement for submission. Requests for new, or speculative, work as a condition of entering a "contest" are much different than legitimate design competition "calls for entries," in which previously created works are judged for possible awards, exhibition, or publication in an annual or other book.

Good luck!

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

PRINT offers 10-year design retrospective on DVD

Now you can have immediate access to ten years' worth of PRINT Regional Design Annual winners, online and on DVD. All of the 16,000+ winners—hand-picked by PRINT editors—are organized into easily searchable categories, including Identity/Stationery, Self-Promotion, Posters, Packaging, Ads, Editorial Design, Environmental Graphics, Photography, Illustration, Invitations/Announcements, Annual Reports and Outdoor Ads.

This design resource is currently available online for $49.95 (plus $3.99 shipping & handling) — a savings of 33% off the suggested retail price. The purchase includes a DVD as well as a full year (12 months) of access to the Regional Design Annual website, both of which allow you to search and view the past ten year's Regional Design Annual winners.

Quite a few of my own designs were recognized by PRINT over the years, including logos for food bank Esther's Pantry, the "Fat Men in Skirts," hairstylist Jeff Maul, theatre venue Main Street Playhouse and the Samuels Yoelin law firm. The identities for writer Kimberly Webster, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, and Black Dog Furniture Design have also been featured in the annual. A few of the designs also appeared in the resulting late, great PRINT's Best Logo & Symbols series of books.

Hmmm...I just realized, for the first time, that all but one of the images selected for inclusion over the years has been a one-color design.

A few years ago, when I noticed the annual was exhibiting less and less of a focus on logo design, I quit submitting entries for consideration. I do think it is unfortunate that identity design has been given less exposure in recent editions.

Those wishing to submit designs for the upcoming PRINT Regional Design Annual need to do so by March 1, 2007. Entry forms and details are available on the PRINT website.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Client gift-giving: The good and the gaffes

"As the song goes, it's 'the most wonderful time of the year,' but for many the holiday season is also the most stressful. If you're a freelancer, you might spend more time racking your brain for client gift ideas than roasting chestnuts over an open fire. While shopping for family and friends can happily be postponed, coming up with the perfect way to say "thank-you" to your customers - especially on a budget - is a challenge that requires planning."

So begins the article, Client gift-giving: The good and the gaffes on The Creative Group eZine. TCG eZine interviewed author and marketing mentor Ilise Benun, and yours truly, about client (and vendor) gift ideas for the piece that was originally posted a few years ago. The advice holds true today as the holiday season quickly sneaks up on us all.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

UCDA designer poster auction under way on eBay

The University & College Designers Association (UCDA) is currently conducting an eBay auction of designer posters. Most of the posters are signed by the designer. All proceeds from the auction will benefit the UCDA Foundation which supports scholarships and programming and helps elevate the image of designers and design educators in education.

The current auction items include:

Spring Poster (signed), by Michael Manwaring

Summer Poster (signed), by Michael Manwaring

Winter Poster (signed), by Michael Manwaring

Wolfgang Weingart: Misc. Thoughts on Typography Poster (signed), by Chris Pullman

Wine Graphics Letterpress Poster (signed), by Mo Lebowitz

Earth Day 1990 Poster (signed), by Seymour Chwast

Mountain Laurels Poster (signed), by Lanny Sommese

Seasons Greetings Double-sided Vintage Postcard Poster (signed), by Deborah Sussman

Ohio Arts Council Grants in Design Arts Poster (signed), by Gordon Salchow

Fish Gulfstream Poster, Savage Design Group; Illustration by: Jack Unruh

Cooperstown Chamber Music Festival 2006 Poster, by Milton Glaser

Holocaust Museum Poster (Ten Years: Remembrance.), by Milton Glaser

Illustration: Mountain Laurels Poster, by Lanny Sommese

(Hey, they may have spelled my last name wrong - but I'm thrilled that UnBeige picked this entry up and mentioned it in their graphic design category on Monday. Hopefully more creative types will participate in the bidding.)

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

World AIDS Day 2006:

A day of reflection and a call to action


Just over 25 years ago a small article in The New York Times reported the outbreak of a rare "cancer" among 41 gay men in New York and California. No one could have predicted the impact that news item would eventually have on the world.

Today, an estimated 22-25 million men, women and children have died of AIDS or AIDS-related illnesses, and an estimated 40 million individuals are living with HIV. AIDS impacts people of all ethnicities, ages, genders and sexual orientations. AIDS is devasting generations in Africa. The United Nations AIDS agency estimates that India has the largest caseload for a single country with 5.7 million individuals infected with HIV. AIDS continues to impact Americans in huge numbers.

World AIDS Day, December 1st, is a time for all people worldwide to unite in the ongoing fight against AIDS. It is up to all of us to stop the spread of HIV - and prejudice - through education, prevention programs, assisting in the care of those with HIV/AIDS, and doing what we can to help find a cure. World AIDS Day also offers a time to reflect on the personal impact of AIDS in our lives.

In December 1985 I got the news that one of my best friends had AIDS - one of the earliest cases in Oregon. Still, I was not prepared for what was to come. Over the next decade so many people I knew died of AIDS, including my college roommate, a fraternity brother, teachers, friends, clients, vendors, neighbors, other roommates, a distant cousin and others. I literally lost count as the number of people I personally knew who died from AIDS neared 100. My cousin, promising playwright and director Bradford O'Neil, was HIV-positive and committed suicide after caring for his partner until his death. This past year my best friend, Brad Hall, - who was diagnosed HIV-positive many years ago - died from what had extended his life. The "cocktail" of medications he'd taken for quite some time destroyed his liver and he did not live to get a proposed transplant. I've thought about many of these individuals with recent AIDS, and World AIDS Day, news.

As "creative types" - designers, photographers, writers and others - we are in a unique position to take action in the ongoing battle against AIDS. It's hard to believe that it has been 20 years since I first started doing design work related to HIV and AIDS. The projects have included logos for AIDS Walks, fundraising events, AIDS organizations, theatrical presentations about AIDS, a food bank for people with HIV, hospices and related clients. I've also created posters, newsletters, banners, ads, education booklets and other collateral items used in informing the public about the prevention of AIDS and the care of those with HIV.

I encourage - or challenge - others in the creative professions to do the same. Contact your local AIDS organizations, health departments, hospices and related groups to offer your services as a designer, photographer, writer, or even as person with some time to donate in providing any service needed.

The following resources may be helpful in locating organizations needing your assistance:

amFARKnowHIVAIDS.orgMTV/Staying AliveUNAIDSBill & Melinda Gates FoundationClinton Foundation HIV/AIDS InitiativeThe Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS FoundationDesigners Without BordersONEWe All Have AIDSWorldAIDSDay.orgBroadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDSDoctors Without BordersGuideStarDesign for Social ImpactAIDS Healthcare Foundation

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

P22 Foundry announces font pricing changes

I recently received the following email from the P22 Type Foundry, one of my favorite font resources for logo text, announcing some pricing changes:

"As of Jan 1, 2007, we will be adjusting some font prices. The P22 font sets that are now $29.95 will be priced according to the number of fonts in each set. For example, Cezanne (a set of two fonts) will remain at $29.95, while Eaglefeather (a set of 5 fonts) will be adjusted to $59.95. Single fonts will remain at $19.95 each.

In addition, we will no longer offer boxed P22 fonts on CDs as an online ordering option. We will still offer the CD back-up option for all fonts issued by any division of P22 type foundry for the nominal charge of $5, plus shipping.

Now is definitely the time to order those P22 boxed fonts you've been wanting...for yourself or for holiday gifts. Existing prices and ordering options will remain in effect until Dec 31, 2006.

In addition, as of January 1, 2007, all fonts in the P22 division (i.e., not fonts issued through IHOF, Lanston, Sherwood or Rimmer) will be delivered in TrueType, PostScript and OpenType format."

Prior to the new pricing changes, P22 is having a sale on their boxed CD font sets. Even after the price increase the foundry's fonts will still be a great value in comparison to the offerings of some other companies.

In other P22 news, the company is "cleaning house" in preparation for an upcoming move and offering a "P22 Ephemera Pack" for only $10 plus shipping. Each pack features over 40 different items - including P22 catalogs, postcards, expired P22 dollars, stickers, packaging and other P22 stuff. Double and Triple packs with scarcer items are also available.

Designers might also want to consider joining the P22 Club 2007. For $99.95 club members get five fonts, 20% off all purchases during the calendar year and more.

For many years I've used P22 fonts in designing identities. In a future bLog-oMotives entry I'll post a some of the designs using type from the P22 collection.

It may be time to visit the P22 website and check out what they have to offer.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Startup Nation podcast features LogoMotives

Yesterday, after returning from an extended Thanksgiving weekend, my several hundred emails included Startup Nation's weekly newsletter with the subject "8 Steps to Blogging Success." I clinked on the link to the resource site for entrepreneurs and small business owners, read the informative article by writer Lynne Meredith Schreiber and posted a comment about making use of blog directories as an additional resource. In a very short period of time I received a private message from Joel Welsh, the Chief Community Officer of Startup Nation, asking if he could interview me for the Community Podcast series.

The result of the very enjoyable, somewhat "real world," interaction is the podcast "Marketing Through Blogs and Forums." Joel and I covered my use of bLog-oMotives as a promotional tool to inform potential clients about my work and draw visitors to my website. We also discussed how completed online forum/community profiles, actual forum posts and well-managed forum signatures can be part of a successful business marketing plan.

Of course, along the way I got in plugs about my first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success and my upcoming volume, Identity Crisis! I also got another opportunity to "blame" Kevin Carroll and Karen Larson for my 2004 HOW Conference appearance in my underwear, and got in a mention of one of my favorite blogs - Designers Who Blog.

I do hope you'll take the opportunity to give the podcast a listen. You may also want to take a good look at the other valuable resources available at Startup Nation.

Note: Chief Community Officer Joel Welsh comments further on the conversation we had yesterday, and the benefits of cross-marketing, in a follow-up podcast today.

Update: In doing an online search, I just discovered that my podcast with Joel has been mentioned as a "WILDhair" at Designers Who Blog

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

It's Holiday Sale time at Chronicle Books

One of my favorite book publishing (and retail) companies is Chronicle Books. Right now, through December 10th, the company is having their 40% Off Holiday Sale. It's a great time to do some holiday gift shopping - or purchase some additions to your own library.

Chronicle has a wide selection of books, on a variety of topics, on their website. I always enjoy checking out the graphic design and art/design reference selections. In addition, whenever I'm in San Francisco I visit the Metreon store and slobber all over the books available.

Hmmm...one day I'd love to do a book for Chronicle Books myself...

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Fisher's VanderVeer Center ad design

featured in The Big Book of Layouts

A full-page magazine ad for the VanderVeer Center, a Portland- area provider of anti-aging medicine and cosmetic procedures, is featured in the upcoming book The Big Book of Layouts. The ad design, by Jeff Fisher of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, is one element of the total rebranding of Dr. Elizabeth VanderVeer's medical facility. In this volume, prolific graphic design author David E. Carter highlights layout design efforts from graphic designers around the world.

Following Fisher's design of the VanderVeer Center identity, the immediate need in the branding of company was the creation of four-color print ads. The ad, featuring one of Dr. VanderVeer's own paintings, introduced the new logo, the tagline "The Art & Science of Image Enhancement," a new color palette and the photos of Loma Smith. The advertisement initially appeared in Affluent Living, Portland Monthly and regional editions of Better Homes & Gardens. Versions of the ad, including black and white adaptations, also appeared in area newspapers. The design concept was then used in the creation of all collateral for the VanderVeer Center and on the firm's website. The stationery package designed for the firm will appear in the upcoming volume The Big Book of Letterheads. The rebranding effort will also be featured in Fisher's book, Identity Crisis!, when it is released by HOW Design Books in 2007.

Since 1998, hundreds of examples of the design work of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives have appeared in over 20 books from David E. Carter, including the American Corporate Identity series, the Big Book of Logos collection and Global Corporate Identity. Fisher design efforts are also featured in the volumes Bullet-Proof Logos, Blue is Hot, Red is Cool, The Big Book of Designs for Letterheads and Websites, The Big Book of New Design Ideas, Logos Redesigned, and The Big Book of Business Cards.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

A Sunday Morning look at the art of the cookbook

The CBS Sunday Morning show is my favorite way to start my own Sunday morning. Give me a double latte, the Sunday New York Times, the TiVo-ed television show (so I can fast-forward through the annoying commercials) and a comfy position on our down-stuffed couch, and I am one very happy camper.

This morning's program was all about one of my favorite topics: food. One of the segments was The Art of the Cookbook, providing a historical perspective of what will be a 500 million dollar industry this year.

Our household certainly contributes to that economic boost to the publishing industry. Over 200 cookbooks are on the shelves in our kitchen - still far behind the 350+ cookbooks my mother has collected. My partner, Ed, has an ongoing love affair with cookbooks. For him such books are pleasure reading. There's usually a cookbook, or at least several "foodie" magazines, on his nightstand and he'll drift off to dreamland with thoughts of incredible meals bouncing around in his head. Over the years, with Ed's cooking better than most restaurant offerings, we've even discussed the possibility of creating a cookbook ourselves.

Seeing the show reminded me that over 30 years ago I played a part in creating a cookbook. I was a sophomore in college when I was asked to create illustrations of the buildings on the University of Oregon campus for the University of Oregon Centennial Cookbook 1876 - 1976, produced by the University of Oregon Mothers' Club as a fundraiser. We do have a copy in our own cookbook collection. Out of curiosity I thought I would "Google" the book and see what popped up. There it was on Amazon and eBay for anyone to purchase - over 30 years after the fact. Never one to throw anything away, I still have the original, now seemingly crude, illustrations in a file somewhere in my incredibly messy office...

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Portfolios by the book?

While enjoying my first espresso drink this morning, my local television news got my attention with a story about the changing face of book publishing. Recently I've heard good things about the self-publishing company Lulu.com. My friend/client Don Horn will be releasing his autobiography later this month, and writer Kristen Fischer will publish her book Creatively Self-Employed (with yours truly as a contributor), through the resources of iUniverse. I've also seen photo gift books produced by friends through the sites of Apple, Kodak and other sources. However, I'd never heard of the publishing venture Blurb.com until this morning.

The news blurb about Blurb.com piqued my interest and I went to the site. My immediate thought was: What a great portfolio resource for graphic designers. A designer (or design firm) could cost-effectively create a book of their work, with text explanations, and present a concise, professional- looking volume to prospective employers or potential clients. With the quick turn-around in custom publishing, the books could also be used as high-quality, finished project presentations. Softcover prices start at $18.95 for a 40-page, 8x10 4-color book with the same 80# coated, semi-matte paper and professional print quality Blurb delivers in its hardcover books. What I liked most about Blurb was the amount of creative control it gives the individual producing a book.

In flipping through the catalog of recently published books, I didn't see any current examples of graphic design book efforts. I did see many volumes of photography, a published MFA exhibition volume, a book of drawing and ceramics, and an architect's portfolio. Why not graphic design portfolios?

A customer first downloads Blurb.com's BookSmart™ software beta - in PC or Mac format - and the book creation process may begin. Blurb makes it easy to create a professionally designed book, using simple dragging and dropping of photos and auto-flowing text. Features have also been added to help people better market their books in Blurb’s Bookstore. Along with showing larger cover images in the Bookstore, Blurb customers can now elect to show prospective book buyers the first 15 pages of their books via a view-only PDF file with the Book Preview feature. Blurb’s new tagging tools allow users to categorize and tag their books for more exposure. Blurb even offers their own book How to make a book for $14.95 (which includes a $10 off Blurb coupon for future use). The instruction book is also available for PDF download.

Currently Blurb books printed using BookSmart do not have an ISBN number and therefore can’t be sold in bookstores or through other online book selling sites. However, there are plans in the works to offer a service that will help authors obtain their own ISBN numbers in the future.

The easily-navigated Blurb website provides a great deal of information. In fact, I have probably spent a good hour checking out things on the site so far this morning. There is also the Blurberati Blog, which appears to be a valuable additional resource for those considering using the publishing service.

Of course, your own book of photos, art, poetry or writing would make a great holiday gift for others. You had better get your ass in gear - the publishing deadline for delivery by December 22nd is December 11th.

(Note: For a review of Blurb and other self-publishing resources check out Macworld's "Beyond Apple's photo books.")

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

50 essential bookmarks

Communication Arts asked leading designers, representing a cross-section of the profession, to share the top ten sites they consider vital to their work. Culled from more than 500 suggestions, the 50 essential bookmarks was originally published in the Communication Arts November Design Annual 2006. The list is divided into categories to help navigate the Web.

Many of the listings are already among my favorites. I was especially pleased to see Designers Who Blog on the roster.

Doodlers-in-Chief doodle-doo

Some of our U.S. Presidents, like Dwight Eisenhower, were fairly good artists. Others simply preferred to doodle. The creators of Cabinet magazine have spent years scouring archives and libraries across America in creating the new book Presidential Doodles: Two Centuries of Scribbles, Scratches, Squiggles & Scrawls from the Oval Office. They have unearthed hundreds of presidential doodles and present the finest examples of the genre in the volume. Historian David Greenberg sets these images in context and explains what they reveal about the inner lives of our commanders in chief.

Additional information about the book can be found on the site of the CBS Sunday Morning television program, in the article Drawings By Commanders In Chief May Hint At Their Thoughts. It's interesting to learn that Presidents Carter and Ford were not doodlers, and Nixon was a "disappointing doodler."

The book's accompanying website PresidentialDoodles.com offers doodles from the book, a "who did the doodle" quiz, and additional resources - including links to many of the presidential libaries or other libraries with presidential collections. You can even send a doodle e-card to a friend.

Cabinet is a quarterly magazine of art and culture that confounds expectations of what is typically meant by the words "art," "culture," and "magazine." Like the seventeenth century cabinet of curiosities to which its name alludes, Cabinet focuses on the margins of culture. Playful and serious, exuberant and committed, Cabinet features the work of artists, writers, historians, scientists, and much more.

©2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Southwest designers have it all wrapped up

The other day I got an email from cyber-friend Kim Buchheit, of Buchheit Creative Services and Creative Refuge. She wanted to make me aware that she and three other Arizona designers were recently honored in a wrapping paper design contest sponsored by Southwest Graphics. Kim's winning design is the featured illustration in this bLog-oMotives entry. Her design, and those of Julie Jones (Studio Street Graphics), Jen Saunders (Jen Saunders Design) and John West (AAA Arizona), are all available for sale on the Southwest Graphics website. The four selected designs will also be featured in the November/December 2006 issue of Southwest Graphics magazine.

All proceeds will benefit the Phoenix-based UMOM New Day Centers, a nonprofit organization that provides homeless and low-income families with food, shelter and tools to build a bridge to self-sufficiency.

Ironwood Lithographers generously donated printing of the winning wrapping paper designs.

Designing wrapping paper, notecards or other marketable items for your favorite nonprofit cause would be a great way for any designer to do some good in their local community, help an organization raise some needed funds, and get some excellent design exposure as well. Those "warm and fuzzy" feelings from doing something for someone else are also a great bonus.

Congratulations Kim, Julie, Jen and John - and thanks to Kim for bringing this particular worthy cause to my attention.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

It's a yummy soup kind of day...

I've lost track of how days it's been raining here in Portland. I know that a total of ten or so days of falling moisture was in the weather forecast a few days ago. It's time for some comfort food to ward off the fall blues. This morning a friend called for my butternut squash soup recipe as she remembered enjoying it so much at our home during one of our soup group meals. It sure is a tummy-warmng soup kind of day - especially as I continue to recover from the nasty cold and bronchitis I've been dealing with for a couple weeks now. I thought I'd share the recipe here with you all (or "all, y'all" if that is appropriate)

Cowboy Jeffie's Butternut Squash Soup with a Kick

2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion
- coarsely chopped
1 large butternut squash (about 3 lbs.) - peeled, seeded and
cut into 1-inch chunks
1.5 quarts chicken stock - preferably homemade or low-sodium
1/4 cup good bourbon (and you might as well pour a drink
for yourself, too!)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger - minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(or to personal taste)
Salt and pepper (to taste)
1/4 cup heavy cream (or to taste)
Garnish with additional grated nutmeg, Italian parsley or
cilantro leaves, or a dollop of sour cream or yogurt

1.) Melt butter in heavy soup pot. Add onion and stir to coat. Cover pan and sweat until soft - about 10 minutes. Add squash, stock, bourbon, ginger, nutmeg and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered until squash is very soft, 30 to 40 minutes.

2.) Remove and discard bay leaf. Transfer cooked soup mixture to blender (or use hand/immersion blender) and process until smooth. Return to pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soup thickens to consistency of light cream, 10 to 15 minutes.

3.) Stir in lemon juice. Add cayenne. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4.) Add heavy cream just before serving and re-adjust seasoning if necessary.

5.) Once the soup is ladled into bowls you may wish to garnish with grated fresh nutmeg, Italian parsley or cilantro leaves, or a dollop of sour cream or lowfat yogurt.

Serves 8 as a first course.

Don't forget Cowboy Jeffie's Confetti Chicken Chili is also a great hot meal on those cold fall and winter days.

Enjoy!

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

To market, to market, to get design gigs?

On several online forums, in recent face-to-face discussions with designers, and in numerous emails the past few weeks, the question has been the same: "How should an independent graphic designer go about marketing themselves?"

I don't pretend to have all the answers for every business. However, the most successful methods for promoting my business are listed below. Hopefully others will find some valuable advice and tools for bringing clients their way.

Industry design competitions: The majority of my marketing budget goes to cover entry fees in industry design competitions. Having pieces honored results in work being printed in design annuals and other design books. I have at least one potential client a week contact me because they have seen my work in a design book at their local bookstore. It also gives you "bragging rights" for press releases announcing your career accomplishments. Do be cautious of "design contests" that are nothing more than "spec" work in disguise.

Press releases: One of my major methods of marketing/promotion is sending out press releases about my work. Make a list of newspaper and magazine editors in your area, and the editors of design and business publications you wish to contact, and send out releases about your business - announcing a new business, new clients, completed projects, design awards and other accomplishments. Seek out press release distribution opportunities online as well such as PRweb.com or PRleap.com. Developing relationships with editors, and design or business editors, creates a number of possibilities for future media exposure of one's work and business. I also send out my press releases in email format to past clients, current clients, potential clients who have contacted me, vendors, friends and family. You never know when someone needs to be "reminded" that your services are available.

Networking: Make EVERYONE you know aware of what you are doing - family, friends, neighbors, former clients, local businesses, and others. Join a local business organization, Chamber of Commerce, industry related organization (International Association of Business Communicators, local ad federations, marketing associations, Women in Communications, public relations organizations, AD2, etc.) and network with people who may need your services. ALWAYS carry your biz card with you. Part of networking is participating in online forums specific to design or business.

Blog: These days my most effective marketing tool is my blog - which is done a no cost. Still, it gets me a great deal of exposure and brings a large number of clients my way. It also directs writers and editors my way who want to use me as a resource or write about my blog. (I just did a Google search for my blog's name and 65,400 references were found.)

Website: I am surprised at the number of independent designers I come across who do not have a web presence. If you don't have a website you had better get one established. Your potential clients will EXPECT it. Most of my clients come to me by way of my website - after reading about me or seeing my work elsewhere - and 80-85% are from outside my home state.

Online directories: Make use of free and paid online directories to get your name and contact info out to possible clients. (Watch for a blog entry about online directories in the near future.)

Work with nonprofits: A good way to promote your business is to do pro bono, or discounted, work for nonprofit causes you support. You should get a credit on all the pieces being produced for the organization. You also have the opportunity to meet a lot of business leaders in the community who serve of the board of directors or are involved with the group. I discourage designers from ever doing free work for "for profit" ventures. In doing so you convey that your work has little or no value - and that's what they will remember if you go back to them for future projects.

Being the expert: Writing articles for publications, making yourself available to the media as an industry expert and being a speaker are all excellent methods of promotion. I was once contacted by a potential client who was given my name by someone who had heard me speak to a group of Small Business Development Center educators FOUR YEARS earlier! Establishing relationships with editors has been a great marketing tool for me. I was recently contacted by a writer for a major business magazine. He remembered me being quoted in an article on a website five years ago and sought me out. Such exposure always results in new client possibilities. When editors or writers contact me for quotes or illustrative content I usually drop everything to make what they need happen. Most such offers have a limited "shelf life."

Direct Mail: Target the businesses with which you would like to work and send them a postcard, brochure or flyer about your services. It's been over 15 years since I've done so, but when I did I had ten new clients over a period of several weeks and I was still getting work from the one 750-piece mailing five years later.

For me it's all about spending as little as possible to market/promote my efforts for maximum exposure and results. My work is constantly promoting itself - with minimum effort by me. I do dedicate at least half of each Friday - the day each week that I have no client contact - to marketing and promotion.

As I mentioned earlier, this is not the "be all, end all" list of marketing and promotion possibilities for the independent designer. Still, the suggestions should be helpful in getting you started with some marketing efforts.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Design industry experts offer career advice

in navigating sticky situations at work

In every in-house designer's career, unique, uncomfortable and difficult workplace dilemmas will at some time rear their ugly heads. How one handles such situations may play a major role in the future at a given job. The Creative Group eZine called on four design industry professionals to offer possible suggestions in taking on common career predicaments in the latest issue article Business Etiquette Survival Guide: Navigating sticky situations at work

National speaker, author and marketing mentor Ilise Benun; Wyeth Corporate Graphic's assistant director Glenn John Arnowitz; design principal and Langton Cherubino Group partner David Langton; and myself were all asked for input on a variety of possible career-impacting situations. Hopefully our feedback will help others in the design profession be better prepared for the sticky situation surprises that may pop up in the workplace.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

Design studio housecleaning - excavated artifact #6

In his recent Right Brain Reader piece, Away from the sketch pad; away from the struggle, Philip Bailey mentioned the logo I had designed for the theatrical production Fat Men in Skirts. Having done the logo about a decade ago, I had not thought about the image in some time - and then the other day I came across my original sketch for the identity on a scrap of laser paper that I had filed away.

I've been designing logos for triangle productions! theatre presentations for over 16 years. Producer/director Don Horn has been a dream client. He'll throw some odd play or musical name my way and leave me alone to create the identity for the show. He seldom even requests any changes in the designs. In this case, the production was to be playwright Nicky Silver's show Fat Men in Skirts.

I almost immediately had an image for the logo in my mind - kind of a cross between a middle-aged thick manly man and someone's pleasantly plump grandmother - with curly black chest hair. I quickly sketched out a rough design and then proceeded to take the image to the computer. In my digital design I wanted to maintain some of the qualities of the rough drawing - without giving the "fat man" too much detail.

The show was yet another successful local theatre production. My logo design had some success as well. It was recognized by the PRINT's Regional Design Annual at the time and was published in the Japanese design book New Logo & Trademark Design - which was recently republished in paperback as Logo and Trademark Collection.

My latest assignment: Create the logo for Tonya & Nancy: The Opera (Yes, that Tonya and Nancy!).

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Jeff Fisher LogoMotives represented in

two new graphic design books

Yesterday my mail delivery brought me copies of two new graphic design books in which comments by me, or examples of my work, are featured. Today I am getting high off the fumes of printing ink as I flip through the fresh-off-the-press volumes

The first is Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 exercises to wake up your brain by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield. The book, from HOW Design Books, is a collection of over 250 brain- stretching creative exercises; feedback on exercises tried by designers, illustrators, photographers, professors and others; and interviews with industry professionals. Wendy Lee Oldfield interviewed me for the book about 17 months ago when I was speaking at the HOW Design Conference in San Diego. The result of that meeting is highlighted in the book, along with interviews of Terry Marks, Kevin Carroll, Denise Weyhrich, Brian Sack, Steve Morris, Mike Dietz, Peleg Top, John Sayles and Sheree Clark of Sayles Graphic Design, John Foster, and Von Glitschka.

The book is sure to be an instant hit with "creative types" around the world - and will most likely soon be found on the book lists of many design schools. Now, I just need to find the time to sit down and read it from cover to cover.

The second book in my mailbox yesterday was American Corporate Identity from David E. Carter. The design annual features the winning graphic design entries from the American Corporate Identity 22 competition. Four of my logo designs - for the Benicia Historical Museum, NoBox Design, Twisted Elegance Interactive and Just Out newsmagazine - are included in the volume. The designs were presented in a previous bLog-oMotives entry when the winning entries were announced by competition organizers.

Since 1998, when I first started entering the American Corporate Identity competitions, 24 logo designs and one marketing collateral package designed by Jeff Fisher LogoMotives have won the Awards of Excellence and been featured in the annual publications. The deadline for the next competiton will be in December of this year.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

"Call for entries" confusion?

(Note: Over the weekend a thread developed on the Graphic Design Forum, initiated by the posting of a Rotovision "call for entries" for book submissions, making it clear that some design professionals are a bit confused about the difference between "spec" work and a legitimate book submission "call for entries" - and were not familiar with the graphic design book publisher. The following is my posted response to the thread issues.)

I do think it's great that design professionals are so quick to question "calls for entries" when so many posted online these days are for speculative work - or, in other words, requests for designers to create NEW work - without compensation - in competition with others for possible payment on a job or the use of the final art without any compensation at all. It shows that the NO!SPEC movement is making great strides. However, "calls for entries" for EXISTING work - for which a designer has already been paid - to be included in a design book or annual have been part of the industry as long as there has been a graphic design profession - and are a totally different beast.

Rotovision books are incredible design resources, and much better known on the other side of the "pond." Rotovision is a "sister company" of the much more familiar Rockport Publishers in the U.S. Still, the Rotovision logo on the spine of a book should be getting more and more recognizable to any designer spending time at any bookstore in the U.S. with a great graphic design section. I see more of them all the time.

My own work has now represented in over 80 design books and annuals in the last ten years. My work has been published in design books from Japan, Korea, Sinagapore, China, Brazil, Spain and the U.S., literally giving my work worldwide exposure. (The last time I was in Italy I came out of the Accademia, after seeing the statue of David, to see a design book in the store window across the street open to a page full of my logo designs) It is one of the best marketing tools I have ever used in the marketing and promotion of my work. The vast majority of people contacting me in regards to design work now say "I saw your work in a design book at my local bookstore..." It all about making your design efforts work for you, rather than working your ass off all the time to market and promote yourself - creating a high visible extension of your portfolio of great work.

As a result of being published in design books a lot of other things have happened in addition to new clients. I'm often asked for work to illustrate other books on design or small business marketing - and to be included in magazine articles. I've been asked to speak at conferences, write books and magazine articles, and even to submit works for inclusion in the archives of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.

Such "call for entries" requests offer great opportunities to present what you consider your best work to an audience much wider than that originally seeing the work. The "damn I'm good" aspect of being included in such a book is great for yourself, your career AND the client for which you did the original work. (i.e. If you don't "toot! your own horn, no one else will) My client firms, and the direct contact with whom I've worked, love having their work showcased in design volumes as an unbiased verification that they did something right in producing the highlighted project.

In most cases the books required no entry fee, or publication fee, for the acceptance or publication of my work - and "free" is a very good price for world-wide advertising. Those requiring entry fees - to offset administration, production and publication costs - simply became part of my business advertising costs (and a much better use of those dollars). The inclusion of my work in such volumes doubles the promotion opportunities when it comes to sending out press releases about the work being published.Many designers do understand the business value of being included in such books, and the personal pride in having work presented in such a graphic arena. Those whose work was included in my first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success, keep me posted about the results of their work being featured. Over 50 design firms are represented in my upcoming book, Identity Crisis!, and most jumped at the invitation to showcase their work in a book that is being sold on Amazon nearly 10 months before it is published. With my office being "closed" on Fridays, I find myself spending most of those days on such marketing efforts and opportunities to have my favorite project receive greater exposure.

One of the oddest things about this world of graphic design books is the number of times I have picked up a new book at a local bookstore - for which I have not submitted designs - only to find my work used in the book without my permission or any attribution of credits at all. It usually turns out that the designs have been "borrowed" from an existing book. Most often these books are published in countries where there is already little regard for copyright of any kind.

I noticed that (a regular forum poster) already posted one of my articles on this topic. I'll post it again - along with a couple other resources.

Article: A Winning Strategy

Article: When a "contest" is not a contest

I also do a bLog-oMotives entry every 60 to 90 days updating "calls for entries" from book publishers and writers from around the world. Here's the latest entry:

Calls for entries: Upcoming design competition deadlines

Good luck!

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

An introduction to Amazon Shorts

Recently, design educator and writer Robin Landa introduced me to Amazon Shorts. No, Amazon is not marketing their own brand of boxer underwear. Amazon Shorts are never-before- seen short works from a wide variety of well-known authors, available only on Amazon.com - for 49 cents each!

Landa, a brand and creative strategist - and Distinguished Professor in the Department of Design at Kean University of New Jersey - was gracious enough to provide some input for my upcoming book, Identity Crisis!. In one of her emails, she suggested I take a look at her just published "short," 10 Truths Behind Successful Brands. It's a great little resource and you can't beat the price.

If Landa's name seems a bit familiar; it should. She is the author of the design volumes Designing Brand Experiences, Graphic Design Solutions, Advertising By Design and Thinking Creatively. Landa is also co-author of 2D: Visual Basics for Designers and Visual Workout: Creativity Workbook.

So, in addition to checking out the writing of Robin Landa, take a look at the other offerings of Amazon Shorts. You will find a great selection of valuable (and inexpensive) writing on an incredibly wide variety of topics.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Right Brain Reader features Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

The Right Brain Reader, the online newsletter for the web presence Right Brain Resource, features Jeff Fisher Logomotives in their latest offering Portland - Independently Creative. In the October issue, writer Philip Bailey focuses on identity designer Fisher in the article Away from the sketch pad; away from the struggle, Jeff Pollard Design in the piece Boiling Down the Talent of Logo Design, and custom silk screen and design shop Modified Design

Fisher, the author of the book The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success and the upcoming 2007 release Identity Crisis!, has previously written for The Right Brain Reader. His article How Much Should I Charge? appeared on the site in January 2005.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Right Brain Resource is a creative staffing agency dedicated to supporting the creative community. The firm helps companies find creative individuals with all levels of talent within the six disciplines of graphic design, website development, copywriting, illustration, apparel design and photography.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Could you draw major logos from memory?

I came across an interesting web site the other day called Brandmarker. The art group monochrom attempted to evaluate the actual power of commercial brands by making people draw famous logos from memory. Austrian individuals were asked to draw a total of twelve logos (nine international, three typically European) from the memory of past interactions and sightings of the images - 25 people per brand. The identities selected included adidas, BP, Coca-Cola, Lacoste, Apple and others.

Brands, and logos, do seem to stick in people's minds. I thought it was interesting how many people drew the old BP shield rather than the newer flower-like image. Still, the shield is my one of my first memories of a major international logo. It was on a tanker truck in my Matchbox car collection when I was a kid. (In fact, I probably still have that particular toy vehicle as I have most of my collection stored away - many in their original boxes.) In several cases older versions of the featured logos were drawn.

Hmmm...I wonder why about half of the people got the Lacoste "critter" facing the wrong way?

monochrom is an international art-technology-philosophy group founded in 1993. Its offices are located at Museumsquartier/Vienna (at 'QDK'). The group works with different media and art formats and publishes the German book and magazine series monochrom. monochrom is known for its left-wing political work/civil society work. The group's website functions as a collaborative digital art community.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives