A designer/author's travels through the State of Washington making multiple presentations

Over the past few days I had two speaking engagements and one day-long workshop in three different cities. I covered many different design-related topics in my presentations - and even more highway miles in my travels.


On Friday evening I was the speaker at a Yakima Ad Federation dinner. My presentation for the event was based on my book, Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands (HOW Books, 2007). An audience of advertising professionals, print house representatives, designers, design students and others made for a fun and interesting evening.

Paul Jones, of The Field Group, initiated discussions about a possible visit to the Yakima, WA group almost a year ago. I appreciate his persistence in working to schedule an event. In recent months, Brett Lamb, Programs Coordinator for the Ad Club and owner of BLAMB, has done a great job of putting together the special event in Yakima. I do want to thank the The Field Group for sponsoring my visit.

The next morning I was hosted by the Graphic Design Department at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. The well-attended presentation, with students from both CWU and Perry Technical Institute, focused on information about design graduates going out into the big, bad world. Much of the presentation content was from my first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success: Ideas and tactics for a killer career. (Savvy Designer was recently released by HOW Books as a PDF on CD) Lola Gallagher, of the university's Campus Life Publicity Center, was incredibly helpful in coordinating and promoting my visit to the school.

My third event in four days was a day-long logo design workshop at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. It had been 22 years since I had last visited the school - as a reviewer of student portfolios when I lived and worked in Seattle.

A year ago I had contacted Director Larry Asher to introduce an author friend as a possible speaker for SVC. He informed me that "SVC was founded in 1971 with the philosophy that students should learn from top working professionals versus professional educators." The friend I was recommending really didn't fall into the category of "working designer."

Asher added, "[There is a] working designer whose work we admire and he'd definitely be an excellent choice to lead a one-day workshop on identity design. I think you know who I'm talking about!."

That interaction began the process of putting together a logo design workshop for presentation at SVC.

Over the years I've had many speaking engagements at high schools, design eduction facilities, universities, conferences and business meetings. However, in the past I have not presented anything in a workshop format - especially for a 6-7 hour time period. It was challenging for me to create a program for actually teaching a day-long class, with handouts, class activities and hours of related information.

In the end, I opted to base my workshop on my book Identity Crisis!. The discussion, and examples and case studies shown throughout the day, focused on the considerations and process involved in redesigning identities - design aspect I often deal with in my own client work. I now have a well-packaged workshop on identity re-design for possible use as a series of classes, or presentation elsewhere as a similar workshop. (I am currently working on setting up a similar workshop in Portland during the fall of 2009)

Thanks to Asher, and co-director Linda Hunt, for being so welcoming and accommodating in coordinating and hosting my School of Visual Concepts workshop. It was a pleasure to revisit the school after over two decades. I appreciate Hunt's offer to return next year after the release of my upcoming book, Logo•Type.

I have a great deal of appreciation for all of the attendees who participated in my three presentations in the past few days. It was a pleasure to meet so many business professionals, design educators, working graphic designers and design students. I wish you all continued success in your efforts.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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