Letter & Ligatures: High Concept House Show

I've always been a fan of the typography, products and design sensibility of House Industries. I wish I was going to be in Los Angeles, between November 8 and December 5, to have the opportunity to visit Letters & Ligatures, "a new exhibition of prints, patterns, installations and sculptures based on House Industries’ 15-year excursion into the alphabetical world."

The exhibit will be displayed at the Subliminal Projects Gallery, 1331 W Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. An opening reception will be held Saturday, November 8, 2008 from 8 – 11 p.m.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Clickety-clacks along the LogoMotives tracks

In the past month there have been quite a few mentions and sightings of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives out there in the cyber and real worlds:

Inside Digital Design: Brands, Logos and Identity Crisis
Scott Sheppard, CEO, Executive Producer and Founder of Inside Media Networks and co-host Gene Gable interviewed me about my book Identity Crisis: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands, The podcast program is also available for download from iTunes.

Online Marketing Tips (Use These Today!)
In offering authors book marketing advice, The Writer's Handbook Blog suggested that readers take a look at the list of social networking/media sites I have used to promote my book, Identity Crisis: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands.

26 Business Cards of Graphic & Web Designers on Twitter
On The Design Cubicle, Brian Hoff presented a collection of 26 business cards from industry peers who are on Twitter - including my own card for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives (above).

My Freelance Life: Why I Started On The Road To Self- Employment
On the CMD+Shift Design Blog, Liz Andrade includes my input about getting starting as an independent graphic designer - over 30 years ago.

25 Must Read Interviews From 2008
The resource site You The Designer has compiled a reference list of 25 design-related interviews from the year - including the interview with me by Just Creative's Jacob Cass.

Making Time to Market
Linda Whitehead, Vice President of Marketing at ADBASE, gave my marketing methods a mention in her Insight article.

Links of the day
Marketing through social networks & social media was also a "link of the day" at Matt Lambert's Cardeo.

Nerdy Daily Links
In the category of "Design Portfolio Exposure" the website AndySowards.com posted the link to my blogfolio entry Marketing logo design efforts with online resources

Tips To A Greater Logo
The blog AainaA referenced the interview designer Jacob Cass did with me for Just Creative: Logo Design Tips & A Not-So-Ordinary Interview with Famous Celebrity Logo Designer, Jeff Fisher.

Designers Favorite Fonts In Use
Designer Niki Brown included my favorite font in this Design O'Blog entry. (Thanks to Mayhem Studios for the mention about the piece, too!)

Graphic Design 101
The October issue of NAILS Magazine includes references to my design efforts for the Portland nail salon Diva, in this article by Ami Neiberger-Miller. The article was the result of my response to a HelpAreporterOut.com (HARO) posting by the writer.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Dusting off the ol' Symbol Sourcebook

I always seem to be a bit behind in my television viewing. The availability of DVD packages of current highly-rate shows, and the number of recordings on my best friend TiVo, contribute to my tardiness in keeping up with the rest of the world.

A few weeks ago, I joined millions of others in becoming addicted to the AMC offering Mad Men. The program conveys an incredible, and visually stimulating, image of the advertising profession - one that I may have had in my mind when beginning my advertising studies in college back in the 1970's.

In watching multiple first season shows to catch up with the story line, one small graphic image stood out for me in the episode "The Hobo Code." In the program, a young Don Draper is befriended by a hobo who is working on the family home in exchange for a meal. In a conversation, the hobo teaches the boy about the chalk codes that hobos write on the houses they pass. When the hobo leaves the next morning, the young boy notices that on the gate to his own home is a picture of a knife: a dishonest man lives here.

This past week I was viewing some of the programs on my TiVo "Now Playing" list. CBS Sunday Morning is one of the programs I hate to miss - and I'm usually a few weeks behind in my viewing. The particular program I was watching had a feature, by reporter Bill Geist, on modern day hobos. These hobos were attending the 2008 Hobo Convention in Britt, Iowa. Coincidently, the primary focus of the feature was a man whose hobo nickname is "Adman."

Geist visited the National Hobo Museum in the piece. One of the visuals shown was a collection of the graphic hobo code symbols, referred to in the "Mad Men" episode.

I knew I'd seen this imagery before, but couldn't immediately remember where. I suddenly remembered a book - with a red, black and white cover - in my collection of nearly 400 design volumes. The graphic "hobo code" was featured (above) in the Symbol Sourcebook: An Authoritative Guide to International Graphic Symbols, by iconic industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss.

Originally published in 1972, Symbol Sourcebook was a required resource as part of my design studies - when I was taught that, as designers, we had an obligation to design with a purpose and that was not to simply "make things pretty." The book was important in understanding the historical perspective of signs and symbols, what the graphic imagery could convey, and the messages transmitted by specific color selctions. My copy of the book is the 1984 paperback version. However, the iconography and design element information in the volume is still incredibly relevant today.

It's been some time since I flipped through the pages of the book, one of many sign, symbol and shape references in my personal design library. I'm pleased that two sightings of the "hobo code" caused me to revisit Symbol Sourcebook. I highly recommend that every designer have a copy in their own collection.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Re-Design: Peggy Sundays

It's not often that I do an identity redesign before a new business even opens. However, that was the case with the retail operation originally named Peggy Sunday's. Peggy Seaman, owner of the store that Portland Picks has referred to as "an ultra-girly housewares haven filled to the brim with fabulous finds," found me just over a decade ago by way of an article about my business that appeared in The Oregonian.

For the purpose of getting the store together, dealing with possible vendors and coordinating work with contractors, a temporary business card had been created (below left). The name Peggy Sunday's had evolved from a childhood nickname of the owner.

A more sophisticated and customer-friendly identity was desired for business cards, stickers, hang-tags, rubber stamp imagery, signage, ads and more. When Seaman herself mentioned the rubber-stamp need, the concept that would become the final logo started percolating in my brain. I immediately thought of a hand-cut circle with a sun element.

During the design process it was decided to drop the apostrophe in the name - to eliminate any confusion about the proprietor's last name possibly being "Sunday." I chose the font Caslon Antique for the name to tie-in with the rough-hewn appearance of the other design elements. The sun element was adapted from an old dingbat I had come across - with a bit of a facelift suggested by the store owner's sister.

With the simplicity and strength of the final logo design (above right) it was determined that the logo would remain in one color. In most applications it is black on sage paper stock. In some cases it has been produced in metallic gold. A decade after being created the identity still represents the store very well.

The logo for the high-end gift and home furnishings store is featured in the books The Big Book of Logos 3, New Logo & Trademark Design 2 (Japan), Letterhead and Logo Design 7 and The Big Book of Design for Letterheads and Websites.

(Note: My book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, contains case studies from 35 designers and firms located around the world. Learn more about the book on the Identity Crisis! blog.)

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

HOW magazine initiates Poster Design Awards

HOW magazine has announced the new HOW Poster Design Awards. Whether your poster design was created for yourself, for work, or just for fun it may be entered in the competition, which has a submission deadline of December 1, 2008.

All posters must be submitted online at through the awards website, where competition details are posted. 10 winners will be featured on the HOW website, get $150 worth of HOW books and receive a 1 year subscription to HOW magazine. Work must have been created between July 1, 2007 and Dec.1, 2008. The fee for each entry is $25.

Check out my regularly updated list of design competitions and book submission requests for additional opportunities.

Good luck!

Logobama '08 - Create your own Obama identity

With the presidential election just over two weeks away, if you are a Barack Obama backer you can graphically show your support by creating your own Obama logo at Logobama '08. The image may then be used on a variety of social networking sites, or elsewhere, and will appear on the Logobama Flickr Photostream.

On the site, the creator - local Portland digital branding strategy company Substance - posts: "As Obama says, 'we are the change we have been waiting for.' That’s what Obama is representing... someone who wants all of us to participate in changing the world. And together, we can make this change, one logo at a time."

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Doing some "tooting" at Create Chaos 2008

I just returned from a quick trip to the Create Chaos 2008 conference in Orlando - where I was a speaker. I was only in town for about 36 hours, but managed to get a few of the event activities in during that time.

I thoroughly enjoyed the two keynotes I was able to attend. Bob Kodzis, of Flight of Ideas, was an inspiring speaker to initiate the week of conference activities. Lee Cockerell, retired Vice President of Walt Disney World Resort was able to keep an entire audience of "creative types" entertained with his PowerPoint-free presentation "You Can Create Magic, Too!" I've got his new book, Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney, on my wish list.

It was great to network with attendees and other speakers (especially coffee with designer Kitty Florido from Guatemala and my quick visit with Justin Ahrens of Rule29), pop in and out of a variety of sessions, and finally meet my incredible hosts Jerry Brown and Dani DeLapi of the conference organizing firm Brahn Communications. I also enjoyed the performance art presentation of the group DRIP at the welcoming reception - which was quickly moved indoors from poolside due to the wind and rain of a thunderstorm.

My well-attended Monday afternoon session, "Tooting Your Own Horn!," covered a wide variety of marketing and promotion methods for creatives. The handout I prepared for attendees presented just a few online resources - most I use myself in the promotion of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives and I am sharing them here.

PR Resources:PRweb.comPRLeap.comFastPitchNetworking.comHelpAReporterOut.com • I also mentioned Dexinger.com in my presentation as a great site to send design-related press releases for possible publication.

A Google search for "press release distribution" will result in a list of numerous free and fee-based distribution sources for press releases.

Networking links:Facebook.comMySpace.combiznik.comStartupNation.comTwitter.comOddpodz.comLinkedIn.com

Portfolio links:designrelated.comDesignerID.comLogopond.comCoroflot.comGraphics.comDesignHide.comFlickr.comCarbonmade.comIdeas.Veer.comLogoLounge.com

Design links:Designers Who BlogCreative LatitudeHOW DesignBusiness of Design online (BoDo) • Creative Business

Book suggestions:

BRAG! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It, by Peggy Klaus

The Designer's Guide To Marketing And Pricing: How To Win Clients And What To Charge Them, by Ilise Benun and Peleg Top

The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Creative Marketing: Finding and Keeping Your Best Clients, by Linda Cooper Bowen

I wish I'd been able to stay in Orlando longer. However, previous engagements required that I jet back to the Pacific Northwest. I do look forward to future Create Chaos conferences.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Before and after logo designs: Part VI

Many of my identity design projects have been redesigns of existing logos. Over the years I have been contracted many times to update or makeover the logos of businesses and organizations. My "before & after" images of such projects get a great deal of attention in my marketing packets and through previous blog entries focusing on redesign efforts. I thought I would create a series of bLog-oMotives visual entries showcasing some of the examples - with links to previous posts offering project explanations and anecdotes - allowing bLog-oMotives readers to easily review some of the past featured designs.

Peggy Sundays • Portland,OR (Read more)

Monroe Orthodontics • Aloha, OR (More info to come)

Four Star Roofing • Beaverton, OR (More info to come)

Rutherford Investment Management • Portland, OR (More info to come)

Dan Anderson Homes • Aloha,OR (More info to come)

Check out previous "before and after" posts on bLog-oMotives.

(Note: My book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, contains case studies from 35 designers and firms located around the world. Learn more about the book on the Identity Crisis! blog.)

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

ADBASE mentions LogoMotives in marketing article

Back in August, when I spoke at the Creative Freelancer Conference in Chicago, Jenny Millar - the Communications Manager for conference sponsor ADBASE - caught my presentation. She must have liked what she heard in my talk, "Reaping the Rewards of Creative Independence," as a suggestion of mine ended up in the ADBASE Insight article "Making Time to Market," written by Linda Whitehead.

I've always been a major proponent of creatives marketing and promoting themselves ALL the time to keep a steady flow of new work coming in the door. That means marketing oneself even when at the busiest. The article mentioned my tactic of having my office "closed" each Friday, allowing myself time for my assigned half-day task of marketing my design and writing efforts. I have no client contact that one day a week and get so much done without answering the phone, meeting with clients, or responding to vendor and client emails.

Additional advice in the article is provided by my friend Ilise Benun of Marketing Mentor, FluidVision's Jennifer Kilberg from , Katherine Hennessy of kate & company,and Carolyn Potts and Associates principal Carolyn Potts.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

LogoMotives in "Designer's Favorite Fonts in Use"

Thanks to designer and illustrator Niki Brown for including my input in the Design O'Blog entry "Designer's Favorite Fonts in Use." Others submitting their favorite fonts, along with a variety of design examples, include Calvin Lee of Mayhem Studios, Logo Design Love's David Airey, Adelle Charles from Fuel Your Creativity, Liz Andrade of CMD+Shift Design, and Steph Adamo.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Choo! Choo! Taking a promo idea to the test tracks

For some time I've been "toying" around with the self-promotion idea of sending out little wooden locomotives kits to clients, potential clients, vendors, industry peers and others to market my design business Jeff Fisher LogoMotives. With the ongoing use of train imagery, and related phrases, in all my promotion efforts the train kit seemed like a great way to get my message across. For the purpose of the promotion that message is:

"Jeff Fisher Logomotives assists businesses and organizations in putting all the pieces together to build strong identities and get their brands on the right track."

Not too long ago I had a great opportunity to "test drive" the self-promo (above) in Chicago at the Creative Freelancer Conference. I gave out a few of the prototypes to attendees asking questions after my presentation, to another speaker, to a couple vendors and others. I've dropped a few more in the mail the past couple weeks.

This past week I received a photo of a completed locomotive (below) from HOWie (what HOW Design Forum members are labeled) and Creative Freelance Conference attendee Nicholas Nawroth. It seems that Nick was bored silly, during an extended power outage resulting from the leftovers of Hurricane Ike blowing through Ohio, and decided to construct his train and give it a paint job.

I appreciate Nick sharing the photo and sharing the process on his Flickr page - among the storm damage documentation. As other images of completed locomotives make their way to me I will create a special set for the photos on my own Flickr profile.

My plan is to fine-tune and tweak my new promotion a bit, before sending it out to a variety of individuals and businesses in early 2009.

Photos by Nicholas J. Nawroth

© 2008 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:

Really Good Packaging, Explained
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 10 October 2008
No entry fees charged

First International Biennial Competition LOGO 2008
(Logo 2008 - Slovakia)
Deadline: 15 October 2008
Entry fees charged

1000 More Graphic Elements
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 October 2008
No entry fees charged

STEP Inside Design 100
(STEP Inside Design - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 October 2008
Entry fees charged

For a Good Cause: Solidarity Design
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline Extended: 15 October 2008
No entry fees charged

Tokyo TDC Annual Awards 2009
(Tokyo Type Directors Club - Japan)
Deadline: 22 October 2008
No entry fees charged to overseas entrants

Diagrams
(RotoVision - UK)
Deadline: 30 October 2008
No entry fees charged

Celebration Graphics
(RotoVision - UK)
Deadline: 30 October 2008
No entry fees charged

A Homage to Typography
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline Extended: 30 October 2008
No entry fees charged

Call for Aspiring Creatives #43
(CMYK Magazine - USA)
Deadline Extended: 31 October 2008
Entry fees charged

Creativity + Commerce: PRINT’s International Business Graphics Prize
(PRINT - USA)
Deadline: 1 November 2008
Entry fees charged

100’s Visual Packaging & Labels
(Angela Patchell Books - UK)
Deadline: 1 November 2008
No entry fees charged

FONT: Classic typefaces for contemporary graphic design
(Rotovision - UK)
Deadline: 7 November 2008
No entry fees charged

Designing for the Greater Good
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 14 November 2008
No entry fees charged

Toilets - PictoSigns
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline Extended: 15 November 2008
No entry fees charged

Sign Graphics: Walk This Way
(maomao publications - Spain)
Deadline: 15 November 2008
No entry fees charged

Poster Annual 2010
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 17 November 2008
Entry fees charged

American Advertising & Design 25
(formerly American Corporate Identity)
(Graphics Books - USA)
Earlybird Deadline: 17 November 2008 (Discounted fees)
Deadline: 8 December 2008
Late Entry Deadline: 22 December 2008 (Late fees)
Entry fees charged

The Big Book of Green Design
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 28 November 2008
No entry fees charged

Box. Bottle. Bag.
(The Dieline and HOW Books - USA)
Deadline: 30 November 2008
No entry fees charged

HOW Poster Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 December 2008
Entry fees charged

I.D. Annual Design Review
(I.D. Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 December 2008
Entry fees charged

Best of the Web #1
(CMYK Magazine - USA)
Deadline Extended: 3 December 2008
Entry fees charged

H2O
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline Extended: 15 December 2008
No entry fees charged

Creative Offices
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 30 December 2008
No entry fees charged

My Own Business Card
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 31 December 2008
No entry fees charged

Charts & Diagrams
(maomao publications - Spain)
Deadline: 2 January 2009
No entry fees charged

Free Fonts
(maomao publications - Spain)
Deadline: 2 January 2009
No entry fees charged

1 & 2 Colors
(maomao publications - Spain)
Deadline: 5 January 2009
No entry fees charged

Chaos & Order: Innovative Grid Systems
(maomao publications - Spain)
Deadline: 5 January 2009
No entry fees charged

1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 9 January 2009
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Interactive Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 16 January 2009
Entry fees charged

88th ADC Awards
(The Art Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: 16 January 2009
Entry fees charged

Summit Creative Award
(Summit International Awards - USA)
Deadline: 26 January 2009
Entry fees charged

The Mini Book of Great Logos
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 1 February 2009
No entry fees charged

New Styles in Graphic Design
(maomao publications - Spain)
Deadline: 2 February 2009
No entry fees charged

Press Kits: Design & Packaging
(maomao publications - Spain)
Deadline: 2 February 2009
No entry fees charged

Point of Purchase Design
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 9 February 2009
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Illustration Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 6 March 2009
Entry fees charged

PRINT's Regional Design Annual
(PRINT Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 2 March 2009
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Photography Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 6 March 2009
Entry fees charged

HOW Promotion Design Awards 2009
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 20 March 2009
Entry fees charged

(To make sure you are reading the latest bLog-oMotives design competition update click here.)

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.

Design competition calendars are also available at Icograda and Workbook. L├╝rzer's ARCHIVE also has an impressive online list of competitions sponsored by international magazines and organizations. 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.

My own work appears in nearly 100 graphic design books. Many of those inclusions are the result of design competitions, or requests for submissions, like those listed above.

For the perspective from the other side of design competitions, I wrote a bLog-oMotives entry about judging the 2007 Summit Creative Awards.

Good luck!

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives