Clowning Around: Toots in Portland Pride Parade

Stumptown Clown pals Lou, Pippa, Trip and Toots Caboose preparing for the 2009 Pride Parade though downtown Portland

Following attendance at Clown School, and a great experience as part of the Amtrak Cascades Character Clown Corps for the Portland Rose Festival, my clown pal Pippa suggested that those interested in clowning around a bit more participate in the 2009 Portland Pride Parade. As the event was not an official Rose Festival event we would need to march under a new clown troupe moniker. Pippa came up with the name "Stumptown Clowns."

In my odd logo designer mind, as soon as I was made aware of the name, I literally saw the words visually as a potential clown face. The "U" letterform in the word "Stumptown" could become a winking eye, with the "O" in the term creating another eye that was wide open. It only made sense that the "O" in "Clown" would become a big red clown nose. With the suggestion that the Stumptown Clowns needed an identifying sign for the parade, the logo design became a reality. (Thanks to Kathy at Signs Northwest for creating our signage!)

Toots Caboose, Lou, Trip and Pippa had a great time marching through downtown Portland - cheered on by the large and enthusiastic crowds. I saw many friends along the way, including Just Out editor/publisher Marty Davis. Just Out had recently published a great article about Toots Caboose. I also ran into design buddy Christian Messer, of Whiplash Design. Messer is preparing to venture into the world of publishing himself, with an August official launch of his magazine id Magzine. I really appreciated all the cheers, yells of "Toots!" and hugs during the parade.

Many parade-watchers got photos of the the Stumptown Clowns in action during the Portland Pride Parade. Take a look at the images in the Stumptown Clowns Flickr gallery.

I saw many past identity design clients, in the Portland GLBT community, showcasing logos I had designed for them on parade banners, floats, T-shirts, trucks and elsewhere. I saw my designs for Love Makes A Family, Our House of Portland, Metropolitan Community Church of Portland and Esther's Pantry. I'm sure there were others along the parade route that I didn't see.

It was yet another great day of clowning around for Toots Caboose.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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