Best of Letterhead and Logo Design

hits the bookselves in paperback

The other day I was browsing the shelves of the design section at Powell's City of Books and came across the Rockport Publishers offering The Best of Letterhead and Logo Design in its new paperback version. (The Amazon site says the book has not yet been released - but I also saw it at Borders that same day.) The new small-format edition is a collection of many designs previously presented the long-running Letterhead and Logo Design book series from the publisher. It's a great inspiration resource for any designer interested in creating identities for businesses, products, organizations or events.

Jeff Fisher LogoMotives is represented in the book with eight designs. The logos featured include those for Portland firms Carmen Schleiger Architecture, City Laundry Northwest, law firm Samuels Yoelin Kantor Seymour & Spinrad, Denny Shleifer Marketing Communications and hairstylist Jeff Maul. The image for the nonprofit group Love Makes A Family was also selected for the book. The logo for the San Francisco nonprofit Laugh Line Productions is also displayed. In association with his sister’s Bend, Oregon firm TriAd, the designer created the included identity for the company Gina’s Italy. The designs are from volumes in the book series from the 1990's.

With both the original hardback and the new paperback volumes, I've noticed that "No. 1" is incorporated into the book cover design. I hope this is a sign of future volumes to come.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

The Rise of the Copywriter/Designer

Soon after starting college I found myself in the awkward position of really detesting my chosen path of study within the graphic arts program, which was part of the Fine Arts School. A friend then suggested I look into the Journalism School and its program of publication and advertising design courses. To participate in the design class offerings I also was required to take a selection of typography, advertising, marketing, public relations, journalistic writing and copywriting classes. With the copywriting courses, I became a much more marketable commodity as a designer who could also be called upon to write a clever tagline, concise headline or complete sentence. The journalism portion of my education has served me very well over the past 30 years as a professional designer - and writer.

The valuable input of four talented copywriter/designers (or perhaps "designer/copywriters") is included in the recent article The Rise of the Copywriter/Designer. Written by copywriter, marketing consultant and communications manager Shaun Crowley, the piece features Dean Rieck, Ayd Instone, Mike Matera and (my Creative Latitude and online design forum buddy) Neil Tortorella.

Crowley introduces his article with:

"It's tough being a freelance designer these days. You need to be a shrewd businessperson. You need to spend as much energy on your marketing as you do on your design projects. There are lots of neat ways freelance designers in the marketing communications arena stay ahead of the game. Some offer a unique layer of service such as free proof-reading or liaison with printers. Some market themselves as specialists in a specific area, such as video-based Web sites or 3D design."

"And then there are a few other freelance pioneers who are integrating something entirely new into their creative services—copywriting—and finding a whole host of new clients banging at their door."

Check out the entire article at The Rise of the Copywriter/Designer. Even more advice on the topic is included in Crowley's downloadable book 100 Copywriting Tips for Designers and Other Freelance Artists.

In addition, take the time to stop by the blog Inside the Marketing Mind to see what else Tortorella has to share with his fellow "creative types."

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Smithsonian sponsors Museum Day -

Saturday, September 30, 2006

This Saturday, September 30, 2006, - for one day only - over 400 museums across the United States will join the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian Magazine in their long-standing tradition of offering free admission to visitors. Venues that agree to participate will extend free admission for two people when presented with a downloaded Museum Day Admission Card. The admission cards are good for general admission for two on September 30 only, and are not valid for special exhibits, IMAX screenings or for use with any other offer. Some participating museums may already have a free admission policy year round and are participating in the "spirit" of the day.The nationwide event is presented in association with TIAA-CREF Financial Services

Participating Oregon museums include the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon (Eugene), the Oregon Historical Society (Portland), the Pittock Mansion (Portland), the Science Factory Children's Museum & Planetarium (Eugene), the ScienceWorks Hands on Museum (Ashland), the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History (Eugene), and the World Forestry Center's Discovery Museum (Portland).

For information about participating facilities in other states check out the Museum Day web site.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

bLog-oMotives "rattles the hell out of the keyboard"

Thanks to fellow Portland designer Samuel John Klein, of The ZehnKatzen Times blog and Designorati, for giving me a "heads up" about the local Daily Journal of Commerce giving bLog-oMotives a mention in the October issue of Commerce Magazine. The cover story for the publication is 26 Reasons why design rules in Portland: An A to Z guide to all things wild, weird and wonderful. In the "B" entry of the special feature, about the blogs of area "creative types," the publication states "Copy creatives in Portland may take home a paycheck for writing, but local designers can rattle the hell out of the keyboard, too, often turning to blogs to strut their verbal stuff."

In regards to my own efforts with bLog-oMotives, the writer continues with "Logo guru Jeff Fisher of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives pounds the keys at, where he rolls out design news, commentary and resources, plus a tasty-sounding potato salad recipe and an occasional "Jeffism." (No 5: 'To err is human; to make something positive from the situation is design.')"

In addition to the The ZehnKatzen Times, the blogs singled out include Kamp Grizzly, Tim Coulter's Sport Bucket, PORT, and the Portland Institute for Contemporary Arts blog at Urban Honking.

Thank you Daily Journal of Commerce and Commerce Magazine.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

HOW Magazine launches official blog

Early this morning I got an email from HOW Magazine Senior Editor Megan Patrick telling me that the official HOW Blog had been launched. The editors and staff of HOW are constantly adding new features to the magazine, the publication's website, the HOW online forum and other enterprises associated with HOW. It looks like they are have too much fun with the new blog. I look forward to checking it out on a regular basis.

In the interest of full public disclosure, I should mention that my involvement with HOW goes a bit beyond just reading the magazine. I'm a member of the publication's Editorial Advisory Board, I've written for the magazine, they've written about me, I've spoken at a few HOW Design Conferences, and I'm a member of the HOW Conference Advisory Council. HOW Design Books also published my first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success. They will release my next book, Identity Crisis! in 2007.

It may all sound a bit incestuous - but, as a member of the "family," it doesn't mean I'm going to enjoy the HOW Blog any less. I hope you'll take a look, too.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

Design studio housecleaning - excavated artifact #5

Recently, while cleaning out a box of old unfiled business papers, I came across a doodle that was to become one of my most successful logo designs. As it is the identity for a law firm, it is somewhat appropriate that the sketch is on a piece of a yellow legal pad. Creating a logo for a law firm can bring about many challenges. In addition to the partners in the business name, there are usually at least a few other lawyers who desire to claim some ownership in regards to selecting a final design. In such situations a designer needs to tactfully perform the "design by committee" dance. It can also be tough to convince the members of a legal firm to stray from the traditional conservative designs often used to promote such a company. It is necessary to convey that creating an original image positions the firm as unique in the market.

The identity process for the Portland law firm Samuels Yoelin Kantor Seymour & Spinrad went through numerous somewhat complicated iterations before one of the main partners in the firm suggested returning to an early, very simple concept. That design was a graphic interpretation of two thick law books creating the “S” letterform – representing the name Samuels, designated as the one constant in any future name changes. In a moment totally unrelated to meeting with the attorneys, while on the phone with another client, I drew out my initial thoughts with a felt tip pen. In fine-tuning the design I made the "books" come across as much more like the heavy legal volumes I'd seen in the firm's office bookcases. With some prodding by the one partner advocating the image, the icon was adopted by the firm and it has served them well over the past decade.

The design brought a great deal of attention to my identity creation efforts. The logo appeared in a PRINT Regional Design Annual, won a LOGO 2000 award, and received a Bronze in the Summit Creative Awards. The design was also published in the books International Logos & Trademarks 4, Letterhead and Logo Design 5, The Big Book of Logos, Global Corporate Identity, The Best of Letterhead and Logo Design, and the Japanese volume New Logo & Trademark Design (which has been re-released in paperback as Logo and Trademark Collection).

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher named to UCDA

Designer Magazine Advisory Board

Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, has been named to the University & College Designers Association (UCDA) Designer Magazine Advisory Board.

The UCDA was founded in 1970 as the nation's first and only association for professionals involved in the creation of visual communications for educational institutions. It has grown to an organization comprised of more than 1000 members throughout the United States and Canada. Designer is the official quarterly publication for the members of the organization.

The Designer Magazine Advisory Board was formed to assist UCDA in developing a high quality magazine. Board members also act as contributing editors by writing articles or assisting the editor with collecting articles for publication from other sources as well as suggesting topics for articles.

Fisher has contributed articles to the publication in the past, including an excerpt from his first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success. He was also a speaker at a past UCDA conference.

Over the years, the designer has worked on graphic design projects for Willamette University, University of Oregon, George Fox University, Reed College and other education institutions across the country. Fisher has received over 500 regional, national and international graphic design awards for his logo and corporate identity efforts. His work is featured in more than 80 publications on the design of logos, the business of graphic design, and small business marketing. He shares his observations about the design industry in writing for various magazines and web sites, and on his blog, bLog-oMotives.

Fisher is also a member of the HOW Magazine Editorial Advisory Board, the HOW Design Conference Advisory Council, and the Board of Directors of Proscodi: Professional Society of Communication Design. His latest book, Identity Crisis!, will be released in 2007. More information about Jeff Fisher LogoMotives is available

* If I don't "toot!" my own horn, no one else will

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Designer interaction, professional resources,

time-wasters and imaginary friends

In a current thread on the Graphic Design Forum, member Juggnoxalo asked others to post links to other forums they visit. I shared my forum list and thought it might be a good resource to post as a blog entry as well.

In a past bLog-oMotives entry I mentioned my Creative Latitude article Funny Things Happen on the Way to the Forums, in which I interviewed three moderators of online design forums. The Internet opened up a whole new world of interaction for designers - especially for the somewhat isolated one-person design shop like my own home-based studio in Portland. The forums are often an incredible information resource for designers, a great "time-waster" for the daydreaming design professional, and an excellent way to make what my partner refers to as my "online imaginary friends."

With many recent emails from designers wondering how they can interact with others in the graphic design field, I am posting links to some of the forums I visit as a reference. (Those in bold are the ones I frequent most often): Graphic DesignAnticubicleCommunication ArtsCore77Designate Onlinedesigners4mDesigners LoungeDesignersTalkDesignwireDexingerGraphics.comGraphic Design ForumHOWLounge72Rookie DesignerModMinds (fairly new) • The Creative ForumThe Designers ForumTypophile

In addition, an excellent business-related forum is Startup Nation.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Identita/Identity: International fax/email design

exhibit on display in Czech Republic

The 22nd International Biennale of Graphic Design exhibit is currently on display in the Czech Republic city of Brno. The Brno Biennale Association invited colleagues, designers, illustrators, and graphic design students from around the world to participate by designing and submitting their own vision of Identita/Identity for the special exhibition.

The representations of personal, club, national, global, local, professional, philosophical, religious, sports and cultural identity, created in black and white only, were faxed or e-mailed to the event organizers. The selected designs are currently on exhibit at the Gallery HaDivadlo Brno and Gallery of the Brno Cultural Centre in Brno through October 4, 2006. The event was sponsored by the Czech Fund of Arts Foundation (NCFU), City of Brno and Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic.

As many around the world will not be able to personally attend the exhibit, the event catalogue is available for download in PDF form from the organization's web site.

Note: Catalogue cover image courtesy of Brno Biennale Association.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

The Identity Archives Project unveiled

The Identity Archives Project (IdAP) site went live this past week and the effort looks like a logo design inspiration resource to keep an eye on as it develops. The online reference hopes to be the premier online keyword-searchable database of logos and brand identity designs from around the world. It is a free and open resource, built upon the contributions of graphic designers and brand identity specialists. Submission guidelines, technical specifications and suggested keyword information are clearly defined on the site. There is no need to sign-up or register with IdAP in any way, and the database is always available for review.

IdAP was created by Gabe Ruane of Futuristo Design in Boston.

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives