Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives design process
appears in Japanese "Works in Progress" book

A visual example of the logo design process of Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, is featured in the new Japanese book Works in Progress: Graphics for Visual Presentations. The volume, from publisher PIE Books, showcases projects from around the world in explaining the creative process of presenting design concepts to clients. Revisions made after feedback, and the final product versions accepted by the client, are also highlighted.

The book features the process the designer used in creating the identity for the Balaboosta Delicatessen, with text in English and Japanese. Unfortunately, the final identity design got little use, as the eating establishment was reconcepted shortly after opening. The design also appears in The Big Book of Logos 5.

Designer Jeff Fisher is the author of Identity Crisis: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands (HOW Books, 2007). He has received over 600 regional, national and international graphic design awards for his logo and corporate identity efforts and his work is featured in more than over 100 books on the design of logos, the business of graphic design, and small business marketing. His first HOW Books offering, The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success, appeared on bookstore shelves in late 2004, and has been re-released in PDF format on CD. Fisher is currently writing a book about typography in identity design.

Fisher was recently named one of design industry publication Graphic Design USA’sPeople to Watch in 2009.” In 2008, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives was recognized as one of the top 100 U.S. home-based businesses by the web presence StartupNation

More information about Jeff Fisher, and his design and writing efforts, may be found on the Jeff Fisher LogoMotives blogfolio.

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

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

"Identity Crisis!" listed among Logo Critiques' "10 Great Logo Design, Branding and Identity Books"

Thanks to the design blog Logo Critiques for including my book Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands on their list of "10 Great Logo Design, Branding and Identity Books.". Most of the featured books are already in my personal library and some of my work is included in the volume, Really Good Logos, Explained.

Logo Critiques, written by designer Erik Peterson, is a blog assisting logo designers in creating better logos by offering to give free critiques.

"I believe that through constructive feedback & critique, design can often be improved. Sometimes the truth hurts a little, but if it's honest, it'll likely make you a better designer," writes Peterson. "Not to mention a better logo and identity for your client or company."

© 2009 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:

American Web Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Deadline: 31 March 2009
Entry fees charged

PRINT's Regional Design Annual
(PRINT Magazine - USA)
Deadline Extended: 1 April 2009
Entry fees charged

The Big Book of Green Design
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 4 April 2009
No entry fees charged

Killed Ideas
(Killed Ideas - USA)
Deadline Extended: 7 April 2009
No entry fees charged

The Mini Book of Great Logos
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 10 April 2009
No entry fees charged

American Inhouse Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Deadline Extended: 10 April 2009
Entry fees charged

Retro Style Graphics
(Angela Patchell Books - UK)
Deadline Extended: 15 April 2009
No entry fees charged

Design Matters: Portfolios
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline Extended: 17 April 2009
No entry fees charged

Aspiring Creatives #45
(CMYK Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 20 April 2009
Entry fees charged

Best Bio Packaging, Volume 1
(Design & Design - France)
Deadline Extended: 30 April 2009
No entry fees charged

HOW In-HOWse Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline Extended: 1 May 2009 - with late fees
Entry fees charged

New Talent Annual 2010
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 11 May 2009
Entry fees charged

Annual Reports Annual 2010
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 11 May 2009
Entry fees charged

Graphic Recycling: Logos
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 15 May 2009
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Design Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 1 June 2009
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Advertising Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 9 June 2009
Entry fees charged

PRINT's Student Cover Competition
(PRINT Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 30 June 2009
Entry fees charged

Wolda '09
(Eulda Books - Italy)
Deadline: 30 June 2009 (logos designed in 2008)
Deadline: 31 January 2010 (logos designed in 2009)
Entry fees charged

UCDA Design Competition
(UCDA - USA)
Deadline: 10 July 2009
Entry fees charged

HOW Interactive Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 July 2009
Entry fees charged

HOW International Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 September 2009
Entry fees charged

The Best of Sports Marketing & Design
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 1 October 2009
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Interactive Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 5 October 2009
Entry fees charged

The Best of Sin Design (Naughty Products. Great Advertising.)
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 1 November 2009
No 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. Dexinger posts 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!

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Jeff Fisher - as design author - featured in FreelanceSwitch article about book promotion

Author and cyber pal Kristen Fischer has written the article "Using Twitter to Promote Your Book" for the independent worker site FreelanceSwitch. Twitter is one of the online resources I use to promote my books Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands and The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success: Ideas and tactics for a killer career (recently re-released as a PDF on CD). Fischer was kind enough to mention my book promotion efforts in the piece.

I use Twitter regularly to mention book-related speaking engagements, book signings, online sales of the books, blog entries, and mentions of my books online and in print. I will certainly be implementing the networking tool in the marketing and promotion of my upcoming book Logo•Type (HOW Books, 2010).

Fischer makes use of Twitter to market her own books, Ramen Noodles, Rent and Resumes and Creatively Self-Employed. I had the pleasure of being interviewed for inclusion in Creatively Self-Employed. In late 2007, Fischer also interviewed me for the FreelanceSwitch.com article "Veteran Designer Embraces Identity Crisis and Casual Fridays."

You can find me on Twitter at @LogoMotives. Tweet! Tweet!

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Images from a Caribbean island get-a-away

Another annual trip to the island of St. Croix has come and gone. The past two plus weeks provided an incredible opportunity to relax, read a lot, walk on the beach, enjoy great food and have a tropical cocktail or two. For a fifth year my partner Ed and I joined our travel pals Lisa and Bev for a vacation in paradise. I thought I'd share my Flickr set of 2009 St. Croix photos.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Design studio housecleaning - excavated artifact #22

Another box of stored old project elements has been opened and I've found many more excavated artifacts from my 30 plus years as a graphic designer. I think it's going to take me years to go through all the folders of papers.

This particular project had its start back in the mid-80's, when I was the art director of a small advertising agency in Portland. One of the agency clients was considering opening an Italian restaurant with the very non-Italian name of Linda's - in honor of his wife. In preparation for the project the agency owner asked me to spend a bit of time roughing out a possible logo for the eating establishment (below left). In the end, the restaurant project never panned out and the design concept was filed away.

Fast forward over a decade and I was doing a great deal of design work for one of my favorite causes, Our House of Portland. The residential care facility for individuals with HIV/AIDS was preparing to host its fifth annual fund-raising dinner series. I was asked to create a logo for the 1997 activity - to be used on all promotion for the event, the program for the series and even an apron to be presented to those hosting the dinner parties in their homes.

In my archives I found two original doodles for the image to identity "Five Festive Years of Fabulous Feasts." The first (above center), on a scrap or printer paper, showed a somewhat ornate numeral 5 placed on a plate with a banner announcing the dinner series. An additional concept on ruled notebook paper (above right) hinted at the Linda's restaurant image of 12 years earlier. I went digging into my files to find the unused image from the past.

What evolved in the process was a somewhat retro diner look, in red and black, for the finished logo (above). My plate of squiggley spaghetti with meatballs, from the Linda's concept, found it's way into a customized numeral 5. Boca Raton Solid was implemented as the type within the graphic. The font being used at the time in all Our House branding was Letraset University Roman. It was incorporated into the dinner logo to compliment the organization identity and contrast the hard edges within the image.

The 1997 Our House dinner series logo appears in The New Big Book of Logos.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives business card featured in new German design book

The business card of Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, is featured in the new design volume Letterhead and Business Cards. The book, available in the United States later this year, is produced by the German design entity zeixs, which was founded by the publishing house Feierabend Unique Books and the design agency 12ender.

This past year Fisher updated his business card, from a similar design, to reflect the growing aspects of his business. The previous card, a letter press effort, is featured in the book The Big Book of Business Cards.

Designer Jeff Fisher is the author of Identity Crisis: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands (HOW Books, 2007). He has received over 600 regional, national and international graphic design awards for his logo and corporate identity efforts and his work is featured in more than over 100 books on the design of logos, the business of graphic design, and small business marketing. His first HOW Books offering, The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success, appeared on bookstore shelves in late 2004, and has been re-released in PDF format on CD. Fisher is currently writing a book about typography in identity design.

Fisher was recently named one of design industry publication Graphic Design USA’sPeople to Watch in 2009.” In 2008, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives was recognized as one of the top 100 U.S. home-based businesses by the web presence StartupNation

More information about Jeff Fisher, and his design and writing efforts, may be found on the Jeff Fisher LogoMotives blogfolio.

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

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Help A Reporter Out™ (HARO) assists in
Jeff Fisher LogoMotives media exposure

Three times each weekday an email from Help A Reporter Out™ (HARO) arrives in my Jeff Fisher LogoMotives inbox. Each cyber missive lists requests from reporters, writers and editors for sources on a wide variety of news or feature story topics. Making use of HARO has become an important aspect of the marketing and promotion of my design, writing and speaking efforts.

Peter Shankman created HARO due to reporter friends calling him for sources. On the HARO site he mentions, "Rather than go through my contact lists each time, I figured I could push the requests out to people who actually have something to say." (Shankman also occasionally posts an urgent media request on Twitter using the handle @skydiver.)

Over the years developing relationships with the media has resulted in a great deal of exposure for my business in newspapers, magazines, websites and books. In the past, much of that exposure was a direct result of my Toot! Toot!" press releases. I've always told "creative types" that when a writer or reporter touches base with possible media exposure, everything should be dropped to respond to the request. I'm always ready with my own customizable media kit.

With a latte in hand, I will scroll through the daily HARO email listings searching for source requests that may be appropriate in promoting some aspect of my business efforts. The results have been surprising - and incredibly valuable as marketing efforts.

Writer Tim "Gonzo' Gordon, of the blog Communication Steriods, posted a HARO request asking public speakers to share how they made past presentations fun and entertaining for their audiences. I've been know to do just that. I sent Gordon a few examples for inclusion in his blog, and possible future book, and was included in the recent entry Making Public Speaking Fun (Part 5).

Gwen Moran posted a HARO request, in preparing an article in a national business magazine, for marketing re-designs to be featured and critiqued in the publication. I submitted the case study for one of my most successful redesign and branding efforts. Moran then contacted me, suggesting that instead of having a worked critiqued in the article I be a member of the three-person panel reviewing the re-design projects of others. As the author of the book Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands, the writer felt I was more than qualified to be an expert for the piece. The result was the article Five Great - and Necessary - Marketing Makeovers in the February 2009 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. (Note: The article has since also been posted on the site of U.S. News and World Report.)

I certainly didn't expect to find a HARO item requesting "graphic designers who have worked with nail salons." That seemed a bit specific - but I had created identity designs and more for the three nail salon ventures of one client. I sent the information to writer Ami Neiberger-Miller and was soon being interviewed for an article in the leading trade publication NAILS Magazine. My very happy client and I were featured in the article Graphic Design 101, both in print and online.

I would recommend that any business seeking increased media exposure, or wishing to establish valuable relationships with media individuals, visit the HARO website and register to receive the email updates of source requests. The potential exposure, and possible customer introduction to your business, are more than worth the investment in time - and a latte or two.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives