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.


© 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