BoDo launched as design professional resource

BoDo - the Business of Design Online - has launched its internet presence as an information resource for design professionals. BoDo’s aim is to provide a focused wealth of information, tools and techniques for successfully managing and marketing a design practice. Designers will find continuously updated resources for running a design shop, including select e-books, business forms, excellent articles and more on BoDo.

Created as an extension of the highly successful Creative Latitude design industry website, BoDo was conceived and developed by the team of Catherine Morley, Neil Tortorella and Jeanette Wickham. The trio will contribute regular blog posts and the occasional article series. A major strength of BoDo will be the growing list of visiting authors and content contributors.© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives designs

chosen for The Big Book of Logos 5

Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, has been notified that 31 of his identity designs will be included in the book The Big Book of Logos 5 as a result of the LOGO 2007 design competition. The book, from prolific graphic design author David E. Carter, is to feature hundreds of logos from design professionals around the world and is scheduled to be released in late 2007.

Designs from Jeff Fisher LogoMotives to be featured in the book include those for the Benicia Historical Museum (Benicia, CA), Four Rivers Community School (Ontario, OR), the annual golf tournament and auction events for Residence XII (Kirkland, WA), Twisted Elegance Interactive (Seattle, WA), The Parenting Alliance, and the Young Native Writer's Essay Contest sponsored by the Holland+Knight Charitable Foundation (Tampa, FL). An icon produced as part of the international Fluerons of Hope - Font Aid III effort, benefiting those impacted by the tsunami of 2004, was also selected.

Portland clients to be highlighted in the volume include interiors firm NoBox Design, the VanderVeer Center anti-aging clinic, the City of Portland's Neighborhood Service Center program, Bella Terra Landscape Designs, the AIDS residential care facility Our House of Portland, and architect Thomas Fallon.

Logos for the community activist organization Association for Responsible Inner Eastside Neighborhood Development (AFriend), the Reed College Fall Thesis programs for 2004 and 2005, The Spring Showcase presented by the Philoptochos of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, and the now closed Balaboosta Delicatessen were also recognized.

Identities honored for North Portland individuals, organizations or events included those for community organizer Mike Verbout, St. Johns Window Project, Portsmouth Neighborhood Association, North Portland Business Association and University Park United Methodist Church's annual North Portland Pride BBQ and Festival.

Selected designs include images created for George Fox University's Tilikum Center for Retreats & Outdoor Ministries (Newberg, OR) and the Emerge Medical Spa at Bridgeport (Tigard, OR).

Gay/Lesbian community logo images to be in the book include designs for Just Out newsmagazine (Portland, OR) and the Diversity Training program of (Brentwood, TN). In addition, Fisher's "I DO!" image, in support of same-sex marriage, and the logo for his own marriage to his partner Ed Cunningham are celebrated.

The designer's logo for his presentation at the 2004 HOW Design Conference was also honored.

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, The Big Book of Business Cards, The Big Book of Layouts, and The Big Book of Letterheads.

Jeff Fisher has received nearly 550 regional, national and international graphic design awards for his logo and corporate identity efforts. His work is featured in more than 85 books on the design of logos, the business of graphic design, and small business marketing.

Fisher is a member of the HOW Magazine Editorial Advisory Board, the HOW Design Conference Advisory Council and the UCDA Designer Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. His first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success, was released by HOW Design Books in late 2004. His new volume, Identity Crisis!, will be on bookshelves in late 2007.

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

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Il bel far niente - the island way

We're halfway into our two week vacation on the island of St. Croix. It's been six days since I've even found the need to leave "the compound" on the beachfront. You know immediately that you are staying at a nice house when it is referred to by others as "the compound." It's private and gated. It has a beautiful pool and the ocean view is incredible. In addition to my partner Ed, and our travel companions, the only other humans I've seen have been the pool boy, the Terminex man, and Carl (an abbreviation of a much longer local name that is impossible to pronounce) the gardener.

The gardener first came by yesterday to remove large palm fronds and numerous coconuts from the grounds; debris from the wild weather of the day before. He explained to us that it had just been a "big wind" rather than a "storm." Carl also mentioned that he would line up all the fallen coconuts for us and he then explained how we needed to place one sharp end of a pickaxe in the ground and bring the coconuts down on the other point of the tool to break the husk off the coconut. Our friend Lisa told him she would check the tool supply to see if we had a pickaxe.

This morning Carl was back, while we were all still in bed, cutting the large area of lawn with a weed-eater. The noise woke Ed and I. Soon we were up and around. Carl came through the gate yelling "good morning" with his thick Caribbean accent. Ed went out to greet him and was handed a number of religious tracts. Carl explained that we could read them later if we wished and he was asking for no money. (The exchange seemed oddly appropriate as we had just watched the movie Jesus Camp the night before. Oh, that Rev. Ted Haggard is a wild and crazy guy!)

What excited me was seeing that Carl was dragging a pickaxe. He quickly went to work husking our collection of coconuts. You know you are truly in vacation mode when someone husking your coconuts is the most exciting event of the day.

With a hammer and a screwdriver, Lisa then cracked the coconuts and salvaged all the milk for tropical cocktails. We had fresh coconut meat with our coffee as a pre-breakfast snack. Lisa and Bev then went for their morning walk. Ed was is the gourmet kitchen preparing a crustless Florentine quiche. I was on the beach doing my daily harvest of multi-colored beach glass for the jewelry I hope to design. (Hey, it's only been over 30 years since I've designed any jewelry pieces.)

This is how we've learned to vacation over the years - and we usually take two or three incredible trips annually. I've never experienced more pleasure than when we are really doing a great deal of nothing.

In the book I am currently reading, Eat, Pray, Love (Carol, our long-time cleaning lady, recommended it due to all the travel and food content - even though it is kind of a "chick" book), the author Elizabeth Gilbert writes that Americans don't know how to vacation and do nothing. In discussing this with an Italian, by the name of Luca Spaghetti, he explains that in Italy people do not have this problem as they "are the masters of il bel far niente" - the beauty of doing nothing.

Gilbert writes, "The beauty of doing nothing is the goal of all your work (for the Italians), the final accomplishment for which you are most highly congratulated. The more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life's achievement."

Ed, our friends, and I seem to have mastered this art form. I remember that years ago Ed was telling his mother about the fact we had rented a 300-year-old Italian villa with eight friends and we were going to be gone for a month. Her immediate response was, "But what about work?"

Ed's answer was, "That's why I work, Mom."

And so we really do enjoy our vacations. We don't need to visit every tourist site. With numerous great cooks among our friends we seldom need to go out for a meal. None of us must be doing something all the time.

Several years ago we traveled to Italy with a woman who needed to be doing something from sunrise to late in the evening. No tourist site went unvisited. No hilltown left unexplored. She had two days of her trip scheduled for a visit to Rome. I asked what she intended to do while in the city and she took a sheet of notebook paper out of her backpack. On both sides of the paper was a list of all the sites she planned to visit - in two days! My first thought was: I'm sure glad I'm not going to Rome with her. A second realization made me kind of sad - I finally understood that her crazed schedule of events was due to the fact she had no intention of ever coming back to Italy. See it once, say you've been and then there's no need to ever return. We haven't traveled with this individual since.

Today Ed and I went skinnydipping in the pool, waving to the occupants of the seaplane flying a little too low over the neighborhood to check out the houses. Cranky phone lines and a dial-up connection make the desire to go online less than when at home. Each morning Ed performs his duty as "Crab Rescue 911" - saving the crustaceans that have fallen into the pool during the night. Our breakfast discussion was menu planning for future meals. Ed went online to see that it will be raining through the weekend at home in Portland. Naps were had by all. We played dominoes at the table on the patio. Ed spent some time as a chemist, making up a tropical cocktail concoction. We all read from the library of books brought with us - most on the topics of food, travel, or both. (I think I've read seven books so far this trip) An amazing dinner of pan-fried fresh sole (with my homemade tartar sauce), fries made from locally grown white sweet potatoes, Cowboy Jeffie's cole slaw (I'll post the recipe in the future) and assorted beverages is currently being prepared. After dinner we may watch a movie. Tomorrow it will start all over again. What we don't accomplish on this adventure may get done on our next visit to the island.

For some, it might be somewhat exhausting finding the beauty in doing nothing. For others it could easily become a way of life.

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Why do I say "I like to travel?"

I'm writing this entry from a beautiful house located on the beach of the Caribbean island of St. Croix. Each February my partner and I, along with our travel companions Lisa and Bev, make the journey from Portland to St. Croix - to stay for two weeks or more at the house owned by Bev's sister and brother-in-law. We arrived mid-day on Valentine's Day and I feel as if I am just now recovering from the trip to get here. It's been three days of great meals, tropical cocktails, early-to-bed evenings and daily multiple naps poolside or in our bedroom overlooking the ocean.

When asked about my passions, I usually include "travel" on my list of pleasures. The journey earlier this week made me realize, it's not the travel I enjoy - it's the being at the final destination. I don't enjoy getting to the airport a couple hours early for any flight. I detest the lines to check bags, to get through security, to have boarding passes checked to gain admittance to the jetway, and then waiting to get on the plane for the pleasure of sitting in a seat too crowded for my 6" 1" height.

The inconsistencies of airline security from airport to airport bug the hell out of me. Some want you to remove your shoes before going through the screening equipment. Others want shoes removed afterwards to then be put on the conveyer belt to be x-rayed. This past trip included a debate about the tahini and almond butter being transported in the carry-on of one of the women in our group. Were they solids or liquids? In the end the TSA powers-that-be determined that almond butter was a solid and permissable as carry-on item. However, tahini appeared to be a liquid and, as the jar contained more than three ounces, required confiscation. In reality the contriband tahini was more of a solid than the almond butter.

Portlander's are lucky to have a beautiful, efficient, well-organized airport. The facilities in other cities are not quite as nice.

Unfortunately, many of our flights seem to require going through Miami International Airport. There's a reason it's called "MIA." A traveler could get lost in the rat maze of corridors and never be seen or heard from again. It's got to be one of the most poorly organized airports I've even had to visit. In all my years of journeys through Miami, I don't think a flight has ever left the gate initially posted on the departures monitors, and the luggage for arriving flights has never been delivered to the announced baggage claim carousel. Departing passengers are never told that the security checkpoint for one gate is closed and lugging your bags halfway across the terminal to another gate will be necessary if you wish to make your flight. All require additional trekking through the rat maze. Someone must be watching from above in a scientific study of the impact of messing with the minds and patience of exhausted travelers.

While wandering through yet another part of the maze I came upon the sign above: "It's all about design." The remainder of the text reads: "These stimulating works of art celebrate the elements and principles of design through line, color, shape, value, space, texture, form, balance, rhythm, movement, harmony, contrast and unity. The result is a sophistication of masterpieces that are pleasing to the eye."

I realize I was tired after over nine hours of airplane travel the day before, another hour of tracking down our bags from the furthest carousel in the airport to the first we passed by, yet another hour waiting for the shuttle to our Miami hotel, and only three hours of sleep before heading back to the airport for two additional legs of plane trips - but all evidence of art of art or design was MIA. The only things in sight were the three waiting area seats in front of the poorly designed sign. It was a cruel trick to play on a travel-weary and cranky designer.

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

featured in Creatively Self-Employed

Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the design firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, is featured in the recently released book Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs, by writer Kristen Fischer. In the book, more than 65 creative types - writers, designers, painters, illustrators and others - speak out about dealing with rejection, coping with loneliness and building strong businesses. Any creative professional, either starting an new business venture or looking to give their existing efforts an infusion of inspiration, will find the volume a valuable resource.

The author says she included Fisher as "a Creative Profile in a chapter about support, and also to discuss how to stay physically healthy - and what can happen when we don't."

Jeff Fisher has worked independently as a graphic designer, specializing in logo design, for all but three years since moving to Portland, Oregon in 1980. Since then he has received over 500 regional, national and international design awards for his logo design efforts, and his work is featured in over 80 books about logos, the business of design, and small business marketing. He shared many of his own business experiences in his initial book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success, which was released in 2004. A second book, Identity Crisis!, is currently in production and will be on bookstore shelves in the fall of 2007.

Other "creative types" featured in the book include "real world" industry friends Ilise Benun, Von Glitschka, Cat Morley - founder of Designers Who Blog, and Neil Tortorella. The experiences of cyber acquaintances Art Javid, Kristen King (also a recent client), Calvin Lee, Chris Tomlinson, and Tamar Wallace are also highlighted.

Kristen Fischer is a New Jersey copywriter with a wide range of print and Web copywriting experience. More information about the author, and her first book, is available at her Creatively Self-Employed website

Creatively Self-Employed is available through online booksellers such as Barnes & Noble and

Note: Photo courtesy of Kristen Fischer

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

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Design on the fly - literally

I get a lot of magazines sent to me on a regular basis at no cost - publications on fashion, architecture, interior design, graphic design, business, travel, food, wine, music and other topics. There's usually a stack of them in my living room, and on my night- stand, waiting to be read. This morning, while having my second latte, I was flipping through the latest issue of SPIN. Visually, it's really an appealing magazine - lots of great photos, intriguing illustrations, excellent writing, attention-getting ads and interesting typography (and the ink smells good, too). Then I started laughing...

The article "Stitch at the Devil," in the publication's "NOISE" section, is the story of the latest venture into the fashion industry by Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx. His Royal Underground line, created in collaboration with fashion veteran Kelly Gray of the clothing concern St. John, has made its way in Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales. Among the photos of T-shirts, sweatshirts and jackets was a shot of a pair of jeans - the subject of my giggles.

The image of a seven-inch tape measure is sewn into the flap of the zipper fly. I suppose it gives new meaning to the measure of a man being determined by the clothes he wears.

Still, there seems to be no reason for any man to be concerned, or uncomfortable, when wearing the pants. In the article Sixx confesses, "It's weighted in the guys favor."

Give a guy an inch...

Image courtesy of SPIN

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

In memoriam: Walt Nixon

This weekend my partner Ed and I learned of the death of our good friend Walt Nixon. We first met Walt, his wife Sharon and their teenage son Walter, when we all were living in the same Pearl District loft building in the early 90's. The loft building, commonly referred to as "the dorm for adults," provided the residents an incredible living experience, and valuable friendships that continued after the building went condo and all moved on to other homes - in Portland and throughout the U.S.

While living in the building, the community of friends supported the Nixon family through the cancer illness, and eventual death, of Walter. In 2005, everyone again came together to offer support to Sharon and Walt as Sharon battled breast cancer. The day after their 30th wedding anniversary Sharon lost her battle with the disease. The close knit group of friends rallied around Walt in his time of renewed grief. Today we are offering each other solace in dealing with Walt's own death.

Walt was a brilliant and talented man. He was an accomplished web designer/developer and an amazing amateur photographer. His photos can be viewed on his personal site: The Photography of Walt Nixon (Update 06.22.09: Unfortunately Walt's personal photography site was not maintained and I have not come across an archive of all of his incredible photos. However, I have found some images posted on his Flickr page). In addition, Walt was a wonderful friend and will be missed greatly by all who knew him.

In accordance to the wishes of Sharon and Walt, their ashes were combined with those of their son and scattered in a beautiful and beloved location overlooking their adopted home of Portland.

Photo: Sharon & Walt Nixon at our wedding ceremony in 2004

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

A small garden "jump start" for spring

I'm living in a construction zone. Nearly two weeks ago a landscape crew, from Joy Creek Nursery, arrived on Monday to begin the renovation of the seven-year-old garden in the front of our home. Word was that our place was to be on a garden tour this summer for a regional landscape designer association conference and some changes needed to implemented. Some major pruning took place and the lawn was totally removed. The next day it snowed five inches and the ground was frozen solid. Thankfully most of the 700+ bulbs planted in the garden haven't noticed the weather much.

Last week a contractor was here all week sheetrocking, plastering and finishing the wall in our bedroom where Ed and I had installed French doors out to our new garden in the back (which was unveiled last summer). The deck is still to built for the hot tub and cafe table. I need to get in gear and order the wood mini-blinds, paint the bedroom and reconfigure the layout of all the furniture in the room.

This week the Joy Creek crew is again here and all the neighbors are wondering what the hell is going on. The garden cleanup has been fairly drastic. The old, woody lavenders (which were taking over the sidewalk) have been removed and will be replaced with new plantings. A new tumbled paver patio is now being installed where the lawn once was. Large flagstone steps will connect the patio with the driveway and the steps to the sidewalk. With the mature plantings blocking the view from the street, the patio will be another great place to sit and privately visit with guests. I plan to accesorize it with large pots of plants, a couple great Adirondack chairs and a table. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, we also learned that our garden will not be toured until the summer 2008 conference.

The garden in the back is getting a major cleanup as well. A sick, damaged lilac was removed. A huge, old rhododendron was taken to its new home among others in the 4.5 acres of show gardens at Joy Creek. The squirrels are ticked off because the pink dogwood has been pruned - making their jump from the garage roof to the tree to the roof of the house a bit of a challenge. In the past the route has been a squirrel highway.

The planning of Ed's outdoor kitchen area is on the fast track as the crew will be here most of next week. All the plantings have been pulled out of the area, exposing part of the house we've never seen before, and we need to formulate a plan in the next couple of days. A "parking area" needs to be designed for Ed's manly stainless steel barbeque - commonly known as "The Penis Extender." We also must consider the installation of an outdoor sink and electrical. With the new kitchen area comes the planning for additional planting beds and a garden water feature.

Over the next ten days, lots of changes will be taking place. Then, upon return from a vacation, it will be time for my gardening passion to kick it - after all, it is my job to "make things pretty." I look forward to working with the existing plants, as I add new annuals and perennials to the mix. (The previous plantings are mentioned in bLog-oMotives entries here and here.) The new additions should include some interesting plants as we continue to serve as a Joy Creek test garden. I'll post some "after" images later.

Of course, all of this work creates additional projects for me. I now need to rid the yard of all cyclone fencing, and design new gates for the side of the house and the driveway. It's always something...

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives