Nine recently released books from friends, acquaintances and "imaginary" online pals

Referring to myself as an author still feels a bit odd at times. From an early age, it is something that I wanted to be "when I grew up." Well, I don't know if I've grown up but, with the publication of The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success: Ideas and tactics for a killer career (HOW Books, 2004); the 2007 release of Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands (HOW Books); currently writing Logo Type for a 2010 HOW Books release; and discussions about future books, I guess I have become an author.

Anyone surviving the process understands the accomplishment of writing a book - and actually getting the thing published. In the last few months at least nine "creative type" friends, acquaintances and "imaginary" online pals have released design-related books. I wanted to take this opportunity to acknowledge their efforts and the end results.

The other day I came across Graphic Design for Nondesigners: Essential Knowledge, Tips, and Tricks, Plus 20 Step-by-Step Projects for the Design Novice, by Tony Seddon and Jane Waterhouse. The book is an incredible resource for anyone needing a basic understanding of graphic design. It would be a great gift for a student considering a design career. I first met Seddon at a HOW Design Conference, where he was attending in his capacity as art director for UK publisher Rotovision. Hopefully our discussions about possibly doing a book together will result in a future volume.

I can't remember when I first met Seattle-based designer Terry Marks. I've been a long-time fan of the work of his firm, TMARKS. His book Good Design: Deconstructing Form and Function and What Makes Good Design Work, written with Matthew Porter, features interviews with numerous designers presenting their definitions of "good design." There's plenty of "eye candy" in this offering from Rockport Publishers.

Illustrator Holly DeWolf is among what some refer to as my "imaginary friends." We're online pals from design forums, Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere. DeWolf's book, Breaking Into Freelance Illustration: A Guide for Artists, Designers and Illustrators, has just been released by HOW Books. It's a step-by-step guide to assist illustrators in creating and promoting an independent business.

I recently just missed a "real world" Austin introduction to another "imaginary friend" - designer, artist, craftsperson and writer Patricia Zapata. Zapata's book, Home, Paper, Scissors: Decorative Paper Accessories for the Home, provides beautiful inspiration to anyone enjoying the creation of art from paper. Check out A Little Hut for a peak at the incredible artwork. I'm thrilled to have a piece of her original art awaiting display in my soon-to-be redecorated bedroom.

Steve Gordon, Jr. is absolutely RDQLUS! One of the nearly infamous HOW Conference "Speakers Gone Wild" gang, Gordon - owner of RDQLUS Creative - was initially another of my online "imaginary friends." Today he is one of my favorite design industry pals. Rockport Publisher released his book, 100 Habits of Successful Freelance Designers: Insider Secrets for Working Smart & Staying Creative, earlier this year. The book focuses on the daily habits that inspire designers to stay creative and business strategies to be successful when working on your own.

Caffeine for the Creative Team: 200 Exercises to Inspire Group Innovation is the follow-up volume to the HOW Books release Caffeine for the Creative Mind: 250 Exercises to Wake Up Your Brain. The new volume offers exercises, tools and related experiences to help creative teams get the most out of their efforts. Authors Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield have become friends over the years through time spent together at HOW Design Conferences.

I first met designer and educator Peg Faimon years ago when we were on the "Designers in Handcuffs" panel at the New Orleans HOW Design Conference. We've kept in touch over the years - and that resulted in her using me as a resource (more about that it a future bLog-oMotives entry) for her book, The Designer's Guide to Business and Careers: How to Succeed on the Job or on Your Own. The book is a "must have" resource for assisting designers in mapping out a successful career.

Tamye Riggs is another online "friend" that I've never met. We have an Oregon connection, a common passion for typography, and often bump into each other on Typophile, Twitter and Facebook. Riggs' new book, Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, is a type lover's wet dream. Read more about this book in a recent bLog-oMotives "Toot! Toot!"

Illustrator, designer and speaker extraordinaire Von Glitschka lives less than an hour from my Portland home studio. However, we were online forum acquaintances long before we met in person at a HOW Design Conference in Chicago. Glitschka spent over a year creating the patterns in his book, Drip Dot Swirl: 94 Incredible Patterns for Design and illustration. The book is an excellent follow-up to his first texture volume, Crumble Crackle Burn

Any titles from this incredible assortment of books - written a collection of my friends, acquaintances and "imaginary" online pals - would be great additions to your own design library.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

"Playing in the dirt" as a favorite therapy

With my somewhat crazed schedule of client project work, speaking engagements, writing my third book and other activities, some form of "therapy" is a necessity. Luckily, my garden is just outside the door of my home-based studio. Gardening has increasingly become my passion and greatest form of relaxation. "Playing in the dirt" has often led to surprising creative "brain farts," almost subconsciously solving the design challenges of some client needs.

With the gardening has come an increased interest in the photographing of the beautiful results. Some have even suggested I consider doing a book of garden photographs at some point in the future. A Flickr gallery of images exhibits the success of my gardening efforts this year.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Jeffism #11

"I'm just a few characters short of a full alphabet."

- Jeff Fisher literally describing a typography project he started back in 1994 - but a statement given a different meaning by so many friends and design peers.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Summit Awards celebrate 15 creative years

For the past 15 years entering my identity design work in competitions has resulted in some great promotion opportunities. On a regular basis I encourage others in the profession to enter competitions, and submit work for possible inclusion in books, through posted listings on bLog-oMotives.

The Summit Creative Awards, now known as one of the Summit International Awards competitions, began about the same time that I recognized the value of industry awards in my marketing efforts. Since then, I have been honored with 17 Summit Creative Awards. I have also judged the competition three times - and, unfortunately, have been unable to participate as a judge several additional occasions due to scheduling conflicts with my annual Caribbean vacation.

It's always been a pleasure to be associated with Jocelyn Luciano, Executive Director for the Summit International Awards, her incredible staff, and the advertising and design industry judges from around the world.

The Summit International Awards are celebrating their anniversary with a series of videos, currently posted on YouTube. The one above, "Experience Matters," was a nice surprise to me. I don't really remember the cameras at any of the judging events. You may also want to check out the videos "Creative", "Competition" and "Beauty."

You will find more information about the Creative Awards, Marketing Effectiveness Awards and Emerging Media Awards on the Summit International Awards website - and posted regularly in the bLog-oMotives competition listings.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher Logomotives

Toot! Toot!*: Newly released 'Typeface' volume showcases logo design by Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

A capital campaign identity design for the Oregon landmark Vista House, created by Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, is included in the recently released book Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design. The volume, by The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) Executive Director Tamye Riggs, was published by the Princeton Architectural Press. Featuring contributions from nearly 100 international type foundries, type designers and graphic designers, the book presents a historical perspective on a wide variety typefaces, exhibits examples of type in use and suggests options designers may consider for comparable results.

Fisher created the Vista House identity for the Oregon State Parks Trust and the Friends of Vista House to support restoration fund-raising efforts. His sister, Sue Fisher, served as creative director for the project as owner of TriAd Advertising at the time.The logo design also appears in the books Graphis Logo 6, 100's Visual Logos and Letterheads and Letterheads and Logos from North to South America. Vista House, built in 1916-1918 on a bluff overlooking the Columbia River as a memorial to Oregon pioneers, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In the book Typeface, the Vista House image appears and an example of the font Bembo in use. Copperplate compliments the primary type selection within the design.

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.

In January, Fisher was 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

Fuel Your Branding includes "Identity Crisis!" on its list of "10 Readable Branding Books"

Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands (HOW Books, 2007), by Jeff Fisher - the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based design firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, has been listed as one of "10 Readable Branding Books" by the industry site Fuel Your Branding. Editor and creative strategist Beth LaPierre included Fisher's book along with volumes by branding experts Alina Wheeler, Marty Neumeier, Scott Bedbury, Allen Adamson, Seth Godin and others.

Fuel Your Branding offers resources, articles, interaction and advice to businesses seeking a successful brand to differentiate them in the marketplace and make them memorable to consumers. It is also a valuable tool for any professional in the business of branding.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

LogoMotives Design Tracks: Black & White - Part 1

A variety of themes may be found in the identity work of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives. One is black and white imagery.

In my earliest design courses, over 30 years ago, instructors always stressed that a logo must work in black and white, or one color. (That "rule" may have been a close second to "The K.I.S.S. Principle" of "Keep It Simple, Stupid.") With the limited technology of three decades ago it was incredibly important that a logo successfully communicate its message in a single color for photocopying, printing in newspapers, possible screen-printing needs, and new-fangled fax communication requirements. Multi-colored printing was a luxury for many small businesses - so one-color, possibly multiple spot color, was all many design budgets allowed.

While black and white may not be the identity design must it once was, I will not proceed with adding color to a logo design until a client has approved the one-color final concept. For me, it defines the design in its simplest form - and the client who is convinced they will never need their logo in black and white will most certainly have that requirement in the future.

From my archive of past logo designs there are many creations that were created in only black and white. The following identities continued to be used in only black and white after their client approval.

Peggy Sundays
Client: Peggy Sundays
Location: Portland, OR USA

The identity for this 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. The one-color application was used on signage, hangtags, metallic stickers, and as a rubber-stamped image on shopping bags.

DataDork
Client: DataDork
Location: Fontana, CA USA

A stylized computer geek is the centerpiece of this design. DataDork was honored with a Gold in the Summit Creative Awards. It has also been featured in The Big Book of Logos 3, Letterhead and Logo Design 7, Graphically Speaking, Global Corporate Identity, LogoLounge, Volume 1 (icon), Logo Design for Small Business 2, and New Logo: One (Singapore).

Crossings
Client: Crossings at the Riverhouse
Location: Bend, OR USA

The resort hotel restaurant Crossings is located on the Deschutes River at the site of a historical cattle drive crossing. Lettering in the name is "off" a bit on purpose - to give the word Crossings the look of a hand set 1800's western poster. The logo won a Drake Award from the Central Oregon Ad Club. It also appears in the books Restaurant Graphics 2, New Logo & Trademark Design (Japan), LogoLounge, Volume 1 and Logo Design for Small Business 2.

Main Street Playhouse
Client: triangle productions!
Location: Portland, OR USA

The primary element in the design of the Main Street Playhouse identity is one of the historic street lights outside of the theatre space - with the masks of comedy and tragedy reflected in the globes of the light fixture. The design was recognized with an American Graphic Design Award and publication in the PRINT Regional Design Annual.

What's For Dinner?
Client: What's For Dinner?
Location: Portland, OR USA

What's For Dinner? is the business of a personal chef and caterer. The logo is featured in the books Logo Design for Small Business 2, New Logo and Trademark Design (Japan), and Logo and Trademark Collection (Japan).

Black Dog Furniture Design
Client: Black Dog Furniture Design
Location: Portland, OR USA

Brett Bigham, the designer of new furniture from recycled parts, had his own drawing of his dog incorporated into the logo for the business. The logo was honored with a 2002 American Graphic Design Award. It also is represented in the The New Big Book of Logos, Letterhead and Logo Design 7, Graphically Speaking, American Corporate Identity 18, Global Corporate Identity, the 2002 PRINT Regional Design Annual, Logo Design for Small Business 2, 100's Visual Logos and Letterheads and Graphis Logo 6

(CreativePro.com recently mentioned this bLog-oMotives entry with their post "A Study in Black and White Logos.")

"Critters" is another LogoMotives Design Track for your review.

Note: Many of the books mentioned in this post may be found at the LogoMotives Design Depot Bookstore.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Jeff Fisher to present HOW webinar on
planning, packaging and promoting yourself

Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, will present the webinar "Planning, Packaging and Promoting Yourself" on August 13, 2009 at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT. The one-hour session is sponsored by HOW Magazine and the fee is $69. Those interested in participating may register on the HOW website.

Designers are always creating complete brand identities to help clients sell their products and services. But how well are these creatives selling themselves? According to author and designer Jeff Fisher, the key to attracting new clients and more work is planning, packaging and promoting oneself as a product.

Fisher will help participants determine what “product” should be in their package, then offer tips and advice for creating the appearance of the product, getting it on the right shelf in the market, explaining the product to potential customers, and getting those customers to buy that product again and again.

Jeff Fisher, author of Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands (HOW Books, 2007), is a 30-year design veteran. He has been honored with over 600 regional, national and international design awards and is featured in over 100 books about logos, the design business, and small business marketing. The industry publication Graphic Design USA named Fisher one of its "People to Watch in 2009." His first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success was released in 2004 and has been reissued as a PDF on CD from HOWBookstore.com. Fisher is currently writing a new volume, with the working title of Logo•Type, on the topic of typography in identity design.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Clickety-clacks along the LogoMotives tracks

The month of July brought about quite a few mentions and sightings of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, online and in the print world. Here's what I've come across recently:

Five Logo Design Heroes It's a huge compliment to be included on this list compiled by designer Brandon Cox of eGrace Creative. [7.20.09]

Designers'Couch: Interview with Jeff Fisher James Costa, of the recently debuted design industry site Designers'Couch, interviewed me about my 30+ years in design, working independently, the challenges facing young designers today, and more. [7.16.09]

Savvy Issues a Toot Toot to Jeff Fisher, Owner of Logomotives I've noticed that Google Alerts are not always incredibly timely. Marketing specialist Marcia Ming recently received such a message notifying her of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives being named one of Startup Nation’s Top 100 Small Businesses for 2008. She notes that the news may have been a bit late - still, Ming took the opportunity to post a very gracious message on her Savvy Marketing Secrets blog and references her past Home Business by Design interview with me. She also wrote the article What Can Celebrated Graphic Designer Jeff Fisher Teach us About Small Business Marketing?. [7.14.09]

Watching trends in graphic design Examiner.com writer Cynthia Reeser references one of my past Jeffisms in her piece about graphic design trends. [7.11.09]

38 Business Cards of Top Graphic Designers – The inspiring creative gurus On the Graphic Design Blog, Charlie B. Johnson has curated an interesting collection of business card designs - including my own. [7.03.09]

Case Studies - The Real Source for Logo & Brand Identity Inspiration UK designer Graham Smith, of ImJustCreative, suggests that identity designers look beyond the numerous online logo design galleries for project inspiration. In recommending books that feature real-life logo design case studies he writes: "And no self respecting designer should be without Identity Crisis! by Jeff Fisher." Thanks, Graham! [7.01.09]

Check out listings of previous clickety-clacks along the tracks.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Calls for entries: Upcoming graphic design competition and book submission 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:

AIGA (Re)designAwards 09
(AIGA - USA)
Deadline Extended: 4 August 2009
Entry fees charged

The Vector Brush Sourcebook
(Rotovision - UK)
Deadline: 14 August 2009
No entry fees charged

The Good Design Book
(HOW Design Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 14 August 2009
No entry fees charged

The New Big Book of Layouts
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 August 2009
No entry fees charged

PRINT's Student Cover Competition
(PRINT Magazine - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 August 2009
Entry fees charged

London International Creative Competition
(LICC - UK/USA)
Deadline Extended: 17 August 2009
Entry fees charged

Creativity 39
(Creativity Annual Awards - USA)
Deadline Extended: 25 August 2009 (online entries)
Entry fees charged

Book of the Year, Volume 2
(Design & Design - France)
Deadline: September 2009
No entry fees charged

1000 Product Designs
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 1 September 2009
No entry fees charged

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

The Mini Book of Great Logos
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 September 2009
No entry fees charged

Best of Brochure Design 11
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 September 2009
No entry fees charged

REBRAND 100 Global Awards
(REBRAND - USA)
Deadline: 23 September 2009
Entry fees charged

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

Design DNA: Logos
(Rotovision - UK)
Deadline: 1 October 2009
No entry fees charged

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

1000 Product Designs
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline Extended: 9 October 2009
No entry fees charged

Graphic Design for Less: Cost-Cutting Solutions for Tight Budgets
(Rotovision - UK)
Deadline: 15 October 2009
No entry fees charged

The Best of Sin Design (Naughty Products. Great Advertising.)
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 1 November 2009
No entry fees charged

PRINT in Motion
(PRINT Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 November 2009
Entry fees charged

My Own Business Card, Volume Two
(Design and Design - France)
Deadline: 31 December 2009
No entry fees charged

Just Sit! Chairs and Stools Design
(Design and Design - France)
Deadline: 31 December 2009
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Illustration Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 11 January 2010
Entry fees chargedWolda '09
(Eulda Books - Italy)
Deadline: 31 January 2010 (logos designed in 2009)
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Photography Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 29 March 2010
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Design Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 14 May 2010
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Advertising Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 14 May 2010
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.

A design competition calendar is also available at Icograda. 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