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

All of the following competition or book submission 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:

Logo Nest
(Logo Nest - International)
Deadline: 31 December 2010
No entry fees charged

Great Logo Designs
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 31 December 2010
No entry fees charged

American Package Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Extended Deadline: 12 January 2011
Entry fees charged

TDC57 - Communication Design
(Type Directors Club - USA)
Extended Deadline: 13 January 2011
Entry fees charged

TDC2 - Typeface Design
(Type Directors Club - USA)
Extended Deadline: 13 January 2011
Entry fees charged

TDC INTRO - Movie Title Design
(Type Directors Club - USA)
Extended Deadline: 13 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Go, Stop, Slow, Eat: How Typography Influences Behavior
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Illustration Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Late Deadline: 21 January 2011 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Creative Quarterly 23
(Creative Quarterly - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Design Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Photography Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Illustration Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Design Sphere Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Student Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

D&AD Awards 2011
(D&AD - UK)
Deadline: 31 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Wolda Logo Annual
(Eulda Books - Italy)
Deadline: 31 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Print Regional Design Annual
(Print - USA)
Deadline: 1 February 2011
Late Deadline: 1 March 2011 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Design Journal Europe & Africa 002
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 3 February 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Interactive Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline Extended: 4 February 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Advertising Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 6 February 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Hybrid Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 6 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Graphis Logo Design 8
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline Extended: 7 February 2011 (Late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

Graphis Poster Annual 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline Extended: 7 February 2011 (Late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

Top 100 New Creatives 50
(CMYK Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 7 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Summit Creative Awards
(Summit International Awards - USA)
Deadline: 7 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Damn, I'm Good: Top Designers Discuss Their All-Time Favorite Projects
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 14 February 2011
No entry fees charged • Publication fee if accepted for book

Basic Sign
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 15 February 2011
No entry fees charged

Design Elements: Choosing and Using Type
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 25 February 2011
No entry fees charged

One Show Interactive Awards
(The One Club - USA)
Deadline: 28 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Humor Sells: 300 Examples of Truly Witty Designs
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 28 February 2011
No entry fees charged • Publication fee if accepted for book

International Design Awards
(IDA - USA)
Deadline: 28 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Graphic Design Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 28 February 2011
No entry fees charged

HOW Promotion Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 March 2011
Entry fees charged

The Best of Business Card Design 10
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 1 March 2011
No entry fees charged

Advertising Journal Americas 001
(Graphis - USA)
Extended Deadline: 7 March 2011
Entry fees charged

Photography Journal Americas 001
(Graphis - USA)
Extended Deadline: 7 March 2011
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Photography Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 25 March 2011
Late Deadline: 8 April 2011 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Creativity 41 Media & Interactive Competition
(Creativity International - USA)
Deadline: 18 March 2011
Late Deadline: 1 April 2011 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Letter, Word, Sentence, Paragraph
(HOW Books - USA)
Deadline: 30 March 2011
No entry fees charged

HOW In-HOWse Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 April 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Healthcare Advertising
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 29 April 2011
No entry fees charged

American Web Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Deadline: 30 April 2011
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Design Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 13 May 2011
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Advertising Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 13 May 2011
Entry fees charged

UCDA Design Competition
(University & College Designer Association - USA)
Early Deadline: 17 June 2011
Final Deadline: 8 July 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Layout Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 30 June 2011
No entry fees charged

HOW Interactive Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 July 2011
Entry fees charged

iheartlogos
(iheartlogos.com - USA)
Season Two Deadline: 11 August 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW International Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Creativity 41 Print & Packaging Competition
(Creativity International - USA)
Deadline: 26 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Brochure Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 31 August 2011
No entry fees charged

Book of the Year, Volume 4
(Design & Design - France)
Deadline: 30 September 2011
No entry fees charged

Great Use of Color in Graphic Design
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 31 October 2011
No entry fees charged

PAPERWORKS Letterhead Contest
(Neenah Paper - USA)
Deadline: Ongoing - judged quarterly
No entry fees charged

PAPERWORKS Text And Cover Contest
(Neenah Paper - USA)
Deadline: Ongoing - judged quarterly
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 and calls for book submissions: A collection of design competition - and book submission request - tips, tricks and observations.

A design competition calendar is also available at Icograda. Lürzer's ARCHIVE 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 over 140 graphic design books. Many of those inclusions are the result of design competitions, or requests for submissions, like those listed above.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

'Identity Crisis!' among 'Top Products of 2010'

The online design book, DesignCast and product resource MyDesignShop.com has listed Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands as one of its "Top Products of 2010." MyDesignShop.com is the retail branch of the magazines HOW and Print, both published by F+W Media, also the publisher of Identity Crisis!.

For a limited time, those purchasing Identity Crisis! and the other "Top Products of 2010" may save an additional 10% on their purchase. Enter the code FAV10A at checkout, until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 31, 2010, for the added savings.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

A visual stroll through the year in my garden

Winter is here and another year in my garden has come to an end. Throughout 2010, gardening was my best and favorite therapy. When I needed a break from designing or writing, it was always great to simply step outside of my home studio and spend some time playing in the dirt.

This past week, it was a wonderful treat to have Joy Creek Nursery send a crew over to do a seasonal clean-up of our garden (above). After the visit by the gardeners, I was able to get the last 150 bulbs planted for spring. For the most part, the garden is prepared for a Portland winter - there's even a forecast of a possible dusting of snow this week. I'm a bit concerned that some older bulbs in my beds think winter has already passed, as they are already poking through the soil, compost and gravel.

Over the past 12 months, as plants have grown, come into bloom or been added to the beds, I have documented the activity with my camera. I invite you to take a visual stroll through a year in my garden by way of a Flickr gallery of my images.

Best wishes for a new year of happy gardening!

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Virtual holiday cookies for you...

A bit too busy this year to make the real things. From my "au natural" designer gingerbread cookies to yours...best wishes for the happiest of holidays and a wonderful new year!

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Cowboy Jeffie's Cowpoke Scalloped Potatoes

Over the years - when it comes to any Thanksgiving, Christmas or autumn/winter dinner party - there have been more requests for me to contribute my scalloped potatoes to meals than any other recipe I have ever prepared. I'll be making Cowboy Jeffie's Cowpoke Three-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes for Christmas Day dinner this week.

I first started making scalloped potatoes as an elementary school kid. My mom felt is was important for my sister, two brothers and I to learn how took. She taught me to make her scalloped potato dish from memory - there was no recipe written down.

Cowboy Jeffie's Cowpoke Three-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
(Yep, that's me - Cowboy Jeffie - in the photo)

My own recipe takes Mom's dish up a couple notches by adding other cheese options to her cheddar-only concoction. Still, each time I prepare the potatoes, I am taken back to the holiday feasts of my childhood.

1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese - sharpness to personal taste (about 8 ounces)
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 2.5 ounces)
1 cup of a third cheese (crumbled blue cheese, swiss, Monterey Jack or crumbled gorgonzola - about 6 ounces)
5-6 medium-sized russet potatoes - peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 medium yellow onion - sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
6 tablespoons all purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter - crumbled or cut into about 1/4 inch cubes
3 1/2 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Lightly butter or cooking spray a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.

2. Mix cheddar cheese, Parmesan and third selected cheese in small bowl.

3. Arrange third of potato slices in a prepared baking dish, overlapping slightly.

4. Arrange half of onion slices over potatoes.

5. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

6. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour over ingredients.

7. Dot with a third of the butter.

8. Sprinkle a third of cheese mixture over ingredients.

9. Repeat steps 3-8

10. Top with remaining potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, remaining butter and remaining cheese. (You may wish to add some additional grated Parmesan for a bit more of a crunch crust on top)

11. Pour milk over potatoes. Milk should fill dish half to two-thirds of depth and will not cover potatoes completely (above). (Cooking time can be shortened by heating milk in microwave or a sauce pan prior to pouring over ingredients in dish.)

Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and cheese is deep golden brown, usually just over 1 hour. (Can be prepared several hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Cover and rewarm in 375°F oven about 20 minutes.) Remove from oven; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Cowboy Jeffie's Cowpoke Three-Cheese Scalloped Potatoes are always great warmed up another day - if there are any leftovers.

Enjoy!

Check out other Cowboy Jeffie recipes.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Anatomy of a logo design

Several years ago my friend, and long-time client, Anne Kilkenny contracted me to design a logo for a grass roots community effort to oppose the inclusion of a "big box" hardware store in a new development proposed for construction on the east side of Portland's Willamette River. The site, at the end of the Burnside Bridge, was within a few blocks of numerous owner-operated smaller home improvement stores. Residential neighborhoods were nearby. The construction of a large retail store could have a tremendous negative impact on local business, the quality of life for neighbors and traffic.

I had worked with this client for years - including designing the award-winning identity for the nearly 100-year-old W.C. Winks Hardware store and the logo for her Heart of the Pearl retail development in the city's Pearl District. Kilkenny didn't need to provide much initial input on the project. It's just the way we've worked together over the years. I'd read the newspaper reports of the community issue and was familiar with the area in question. She gave me the rather clever acronym for the organization and set me to work. My one directive was to create something "that might look cool on a T-shirt."

I did a couple doodles on a piece a paper and then went directly to my PowerBook to fine-tune my one and only concept for the logo (above). Recently a friend was looking at the design and said "that's a design that would look really cool on a T-shirt, but what is it?" I gave a brief explanation of the concept behind the design and then my friend commented that it was "a really cool design."

In dissecting the design (above), I explained that the squiggly blue line (A.) represented the east bank of the Willamette River and one boundary of the area being impacted. The color blue was another representation of the water. Within the logo there are four abstract human forms (B.) representing the local community activists, the small business owners, other concerned citizens, and the public officials siding with the group. Together these four human forms created a circle (C.) signifying the unity of the various groups on this emotional community issue. Together the elements also created squares (D.) representative of Portland's grid system of small commercial and residential blocks in the area. I used upper and lower case letterforms on the AFriend element (E.), an acronym for Association for Responsible Inner Eastside Neighborhood Development, to make it seem friendlier and a little more neighborly for the group going up against the big corporations (and their lawyers) and city planners in dealing with the issue. A little last minute treatment was coloring the dot over the "i" blue to symbolically remind those involved that a single drop of water in a bucket can make a difference in the end result.

I don't know if my "cool" design had much of an impact on the outcome, but the developers of the project did end up going back to the drawing board to remove the "big box" retailers from their architectural plans.

The AFriend logo appears in The Big Book of Logos 5 and 100s Visual Logos & Letterheads (UK).

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives identities deconstructed in 'Design DNA - Logos' volume

Two logo designs by Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based Jeff Fisher LogoMotives are featured in the newly released book Design DNA - Logos: 300+ International Logos Deconstructed. Written by brand consultant and designer Matthew Healey, the volume was published by HOW Books.

Design DNA - Logos analyzes over 300 exemplary designs from around the world; giving designers a clear understanding of how to target specific markets and convey brand values. Showcasing inspirational design, it is also a practical and problem-solving handbook covering general process and specific detailing. Every logo is deconstructed to show how each element works to make the design an effective one, and case studies walk the reader through the reasoning behind successful design decisions.

The Jeff Fisher LogoMotives designs presented in the book include the logo for the short-lived Balaboosta Delicatessen and the identity for VanderVeer Center.

Featured in the "Food & Drink" section of the volume, the Balaboosta logo (above center) was designed to compliment the neighboring local eating establishments of Portland chef and author Lisa Schroeder. The tile design and colors of the historic restaurant setting were incorporated into the logo design, referred to as "old-fashioned and tasteful" by Design DNA - Logos. Unfortunately, after a short time in operation, Balaboosta was closed and the restaurant space was reconcepted.

The VanderVeer Center identity (above right), an element of a total rebranding of the facility providing non-surgical cosmetic procedures, is cited in the volume for the "soothing" colors used in the design. The use of "naturalistic" typography is also recognized by the author, in the "Health & Beauty" industry logo example..

Fisher, a 30+ year design industry veteran, is the author of 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. Other book projects are currently in the works.

The designer has received over 600 design awards and his work has been published in more than 140 books on identity design, self-promotion and the marketing of small businesses. He often travels – nationally and internationally – to present courses, seminars and workshops on design, branding, marketing and social networking. In addition, Fisher is a nationally-recognized speaker, making numerous presentations each year to design organizations, design schools, universities and business groups.

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.)

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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

All of the following competition or book submission 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:

Color in Design Competition
(Print Magazine and HOW Print - USA)
Deadline Extended: 1 December 2010
Entry fees charged

One Show Entertainment Awards
(The One Club - USA)
Deadline Extended: 3 December 2010
Entry fees charged

Selected B: Graphic Design From Europe
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 10 December 2010
Entry fees charged

American Graphic Design and Advertising 27
(AGDA - USA)
Extended Deadline: 23 December 2010
Entry fees charged

Logo Nest
(Logo Nest - International)
Deadline: 31 December 2010
No entry fees charged

Great Logo Designs
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 31 December 2010
Entry fees charged

Advertising Journal Americas 001
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 6 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Photography Journal Americas 001
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 6 January 2011
Entry fees charged

TDC57 - Communication Design
(Type Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: 7 January 2011
Entry fees charged

TDC2 - Typeface Design
(Type Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: 7 January 2011
Entry fees charged

TDC INTRO - Movie Title Design
(Type Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: 7 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Illustration Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 7 January 2011
Late Deadline: 21 January 2011 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Top 100 New Creatives 50
(CMYK Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 10 January 2011
Entry fees charged

American Package Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Extended Deadline: 12 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Graphis Logo Design 8
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 13 January 2011
Entry fees charged

International Design Awards
(IDA - USA)
Deadline: 15 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Go, Stop, Slow, Eat: How Typography Influences Behavior
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
No entry fees charged

ADC Design Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Photography Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Illustration Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Design Sphere Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Creative Quarterly 23
(Creative Quarterly - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Interactive Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Student Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

D&AD Awards 2011
(D&AD - UK)
Deadline: 31 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Wolda Logo Annual
(Eulda Books - Italy)
Deadline: 31 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Graphic Design Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 31 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Print Regional Design Annual
(Print - USA)
Deadline: 1 Febuary 2011
Late Deadline: 1 March 2011 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Graphis Poster Design 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 3 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Design Journal Europe & Africa 002
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 3 February 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Advertising Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 6 February 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Hybrid Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 6 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Summit Creative Awards
(Summit International Awards - USA)
Deadline: 7 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Basic Sign
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 15 February 2011
No entry fees charged

One Show Interactive Awards
(The One Club - USA)
Deadline: 28 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Healthcare Advertising
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 28 February 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW Promotion Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 March 2011
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Photography Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 25 March 2011
Late Deadline: 8 April 2011 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Creativity 41 Media & Interactive Competition
(Creativity International - USA)
Deadline: 18 March 2011
Late Deadline: 1 April 2011 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Great Layout Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 31 March 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW In-HOWse Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 April 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Brochure Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 29 April 2011
Entry fees charged

American Web Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Deadline: 30 April 2011
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Design Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 13 May 2011
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Advertising Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 13 May 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Use of Color in Graphic Design
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 31 May 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW Interactive Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 July 2011
Entry fees charged

iheartlogos
(iheartlogos.com - USA)
Season Two Deadline: 11 August 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW International Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Creativity 41 Print & Packaging Competition
(Creativity International - USA)
Deadline: 26 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Book of the Year, Volume 4
(Design & Design - France)
Deadline: 30 September 2011
No entry fees charged

PAPERWORKS Letterhead Contest
(Neenah Paper - USA)
Deadline: Ongoing - judged quarterly
No entry fees charged

PAPERWORKS Text And Cover Contest
(Neenah Paper - USA)
Deadline: Ongoing - judged quarterly
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 and calls for book submissions: A collection of design competition - and book submission request - tips, tricks and observations.

A design competition calendar is also available at Icograda. Lürzer's ARCHIVE 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 over 140 graphic design books. Many of those inclusions are the result of design competitions, or requests for submissions, like those listed above.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher offers advice in newly released "2011 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market"

Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, shares career advice for industry professionals in an article published in the recently released book 2011 Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market. In his piece, "Getting the Gig: Find Work and Develop Business Relationships Through Planning, Perseverance and Patience," the former art director and creative director offers numerous suggestions of how designers, illustrators, artists and others can best market and promote their efforts.

The new volume, published by North Light Books and edited by Mary Burzlaff Bostic, is the 36th annual edition of the Artist's & Graphic Designer's Market. A resource for artists, illustrators, designers and cartoonists who want to establish careers, and make more money, the book provides readers with contact and submission information for 1000+ markets, publishers, galleries, art fairs, ad agencies and more. In addition, purchase of the current edition includes a free annual subscription to the companion site Artist's Market Online.

The featured article by Jeff Fisher is illustrated with examples of his internationally recognized identity design work. Logos displayed include images for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, Chameleon, Cat Adoption Team, the Holocaust Remembrance Project and DataDork (shown above).

Fisher, a 30+ year design industry veteran, is the author of 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. Other book projects are currently in the works.

The designer has received over 600 design awards and his work has been published in more than 140 books on identity design, self-promotion and the marketing of small businesses. He often travels – nationally and internationally – to present courses, seminars and workshops on design, branding, marketing and social networking. In addition, Fisher is a nationally-recognized speaker, making numerous presentations each year to design organizations, design schools, universities and business groups.

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.)

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Logodotes: Cat Adoption Team concept

[Over the 30+ years I've worked professionally as a designer, interesting side stories have come up about my identity designs. This is one of an ongoing series of "Logodotes" - anecdotes about my logo designs.]

It's always interesting to be contacted by a nonprofit organization with a request to design a logo pro bono. I get numerous such requests each month. These days, to give myself permission to politely decline some inquiries, I only consider donating my services if the project is related to education, nonprofit performing arts groups, children's causes, HIV/AIDS or issues in which I have a strong personal interest.

I had certainly heard of the Cat Adoption Team (C.A.T.), the Pacific Northwest’s largest nonprofit, limited admission cat shelter with its own on-site full-service veterinary hospital. My initial contact with the organization came via an email from a graphic designer doing volunteer work for C.A.T. She explained that she was a fan of my own identity design work and asked if I would possibly consider designing a new logo for C.A.T. as it approached its tenth anniversary celebration.

After expressing my interest in taking on the project, an appointment was made with the woman who was the group's Executive Director at the time. I appreciated the advertising and marketing background of this individual. She had a great understanding of branding - and the fact that the logo in use at the time (above left) may have served the agency well in its first decade, but it was time to convey a stronger, more professional and memorable public persona. With the emotional and historical investment in the existing logo, the was certainly a "never tell a potential client their logo sucks" situation. Personally, I felt the hand-drawn logo, with one black cat looking outside a window while another looked in, projected a melancholy and somewhat sinister image.

My hope was to create a simple, memorable logo, that would be appeal to both adults and children, as an identifier for the group. With the gift of an organization name acronym creating the primary word associated with the cause, I set about the design a logo turning C.A.T. into the graphic image of the animal. I got increasingly excited as I doodled (above right) and saw a recognizable cat form taking shape within the name.

My excitement was shared by the Executive Director when I explained the direction in which I was taking the project. As I fine-tuned the concept, I opted to make use of letterforms from the font Frankfurter to form the cat and then be used to spell out the organization name. The roundness of the letters created a soft, friendly, inviting design (above) for review by the client Board of Directors. The Executive Director seemed very pleased by my effort and felt it could successfully take C.A.T. into its second decade with a clever and professional graphic identity.

The Board of Directors did not agree. The Executive Director shared that the board members did not feel the design was "warm and fuzzy enough" to successfully represent the cause. She then graciously offered me an opportunity that no previous client had suggested. Given the fact I had donated my time and invested so much energy, into a design that I was convinced would best serve C.A.T and the Board of Directors disagreed; she was allowing me to remove myself from the situation if I chose to do so.

I accepted her offer to separate myself from the project. Afterwards I learned that other designers had less than successful past business relationships with the agency, too. The combination of a mostly volunteer organization, the historical and emotional attachments to the group's past designs, a voting Board of Directors sometimes becoming a "design by committee' presence, and other elements can make such projects challenging - for the designer and the client.

Soon after ending my participation in the C.A.T. project, I received a call-for-entries for a book to display 50 of the best international rejected, or "killed," design concepts. The C.A.T. logo concept design got a second life when it was accepted for publication in the book Killed Ideas: Vol 1.

The C.A.T. design went on to have more than nine lives beginning with winning a Silver Award in the Summit Creative Awards. It is also featured in the books Letterhead & Logo Design 11, American Graphic Design & Advertising 25, Designing for the Greater Good, LogoLounge Master Library Vol. 2, Logolicious, For a Good Cause (Spain), iheartlogos season one and Logo Nest 01 (Australia). The logo also appears in the textbook Perfect Match Art Primary 5, by Prisca Ko Hak Moi - a collaborative project of publisher Pearson Education South Asia and Ministry of Education Singapore. Most recently it is an illustrative element in an article I wrote for the 2011 Artist's and Graphic Designer's Market.

© Cat Adoption Team

What became of the need for a Cat Adoption Team logo design? Well, another designer (if I knew the name I would post it here) did take on the project and successfully created an identity for C.A.T. (above). It seems that the organization got their more literal and "warm and fuzzy" feline representation within the logo design. It has been used as the agency's identity for some time now.

I had an immediate critical, rather than personal or bitchy, reaction to the new logo when first seeing it - and other logo designers have emailed me with similar thoughts. With the illustrative cat's head resting on the "C" letterform, that letter seems to visually close creating a noose-like appearance - or the cat's head seems to resting in wait for the falling of a guillotine blade or the ax of a a public executioner. Perhaps not the best graphic message for a "no-kill" cat shelter.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Design studio housecleaning - excavated artifact #23

I've worked as a professional graphic designer for just over 32 years. In that period of time, I have collected a great many project concepts, doodles and roughs. As I continue to go through three decades of design files, these excavated artifacts are coming to the surface.

In the mid-to-late 1980s, while living in Seattle, I did quite a bit of design work for gay and lesbian businesses, organizations and events. One such group was the Washington Privacy Lobby, founded out of concerns related to personal medical records privacy during the AIDS crisis.

My original doodle for the organization identity was executed in dark blue felt-tipped pen, on the back of a sheet from a pink "While You Were Out" message pad. With a certain alignment the "O" letterform in "WASHINGTON" and the "A" in "PRIVACY" formed a graphic keyhole, symbolizing the keeping of medical information under lock and key (above left). To add what I thought would be strength the logo, a key element would fill the open space created by the placement of the words.

As I began to fine-tune the design, I made use of Letraset pressure-sensitive type (remember, this is pre-personal computer) to produce the primary text in Italia Bold (above right). An outline of the State of Washington became part of the key. The remaining available space in the design allowed for the placement of an address for envelopes, letterhead, business cards, labels and other printed material.

With the Italia type treatment seeming visually too heavy, I opted to change to the oh-so-1980s type of Serif Gothic Outline (above). Again, at the time, this was a Letraset or Chartpak pressure sensitive typeface. The graphic element of the key was eliminated to reinforce the issue of "privacy" within the design. If you want something to remain private you would not provide anyone with the key. The center of the keyhole image was darkened to symbolize blocking someone from peeking at what may be inside - in this case, medical records needing to remain confidential.

Take a look at the complete Jeff Fisher LogoMotives excavated artifacts collection.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Cowboy Jeffie's Confetti Chicken Chili

The season of rain, cold and fog has arrived. It's time to take my annual designerly turn in the kitchen and make a big pot of my colorful confetti chicken chili.

Cowboy Jeffie's Confetti Chicken Chili
(Yep, that's me - Cowboy Jeffie - in the photo)

This is a recipe I adapted (and re-adapted) from one published in Parade Magazine many years ago. It was kind of boring and colorless. The graphic designer in me changed many of the ingredients to make it a colorful and interesting dish. A few years ago I originally posted a version of this recipe on bLog-oMotives. This is my latest incarnation of Cowboy Jeffie's Confetti Chicken Chili. It can be served as a meal, with fresh bread or corn muffins, heated in the winter or cold in the summer. It is somewhat time consuming to prepare, but the results are more than worth the effort. Guests who have been served this dish at our home are always requesting a repeat performance when dining with us again.

The "confetti" of my chili: Diced red peppers, orange peppers, yellow peppers, green zucchini and yellow squash.

3 - 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium yellow onions - chopped
2 tablespoons garlic - coarsely chopped
3 - 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts - cubed
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
1 cup chicken stock or chicken bouillon
1 can (28 oz.) stewed tomatoes (whole or chopped) - drained
(save liquid)
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (5 3/4 oz.) black olives - sliced
1 medium-sized green zucchini - thinly sliced and quartered
1 medium-sized yellow zucchini - thinly sliced and quartered
3 bell peppers (select three different colors - I have found green, white,
red, yellow, orange and purple), cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch squares
1 can (27 oz.) red kidney beans - drained
1 can (15 oz.) black beans - drained
Fresh lemon or lime juice (from one lemon of lime)
Nonfat yogurt or sour cream (optional garnish)
Grated cheddar cheese (optional garnish)
Fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

Chili nearing completion on the stove.

1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Saute onion and garlic in hot oil for about 5 minutes.

2. Add cubed chicken breasts and cook for 5 - 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth or bouillon and continue cooking.

3. Add all your spices - chili powder, cumin, curry powder, oregano, cocoa powder, cayenne pepper, Tabasco red pepper flakes and black pepper - and stir well into the chicken/onion mixture. Allow to simmer for 10 - 15 minutes - stirring occasionally. This makes for fairly hot chili. For a milder chili cut back on the curry powder, cayenne, red pepper flakes or Tabasco sauce to your own taste. Don’t cut back on the chili powder - it adds flavor, not hotness.

4. Add stewed tomatoes to the mixture, allowing tomatoes to cook down for about 10 minutes (this is a good time to get all the peppers and zucchini prepared). Use the reserve liquid later to thin down the chili before serving if necessary.

5. Add the olives, zucchini, peppers and tomato sauce to the pan and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes.

6. 15 - 20 minutes prior to serving add the kidney beans and allow to heat thoroughly.

7. Just prior to serving add the fresh lemon/lime juice and stir through the sauce. This adds a freshness to the chili and takes the “edge” off the hotness. Add the reserve tomato liquid to thin down the chili if necessary.

8. Garnish with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, fresh cilantro and/or grated cheddar cheese prior to serving.

The chili is even better reheated the next day - or served cold on a hot summer day.

Enjoy!

Check out other Cowboy Jeffie recipes.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

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

All of the following competition or book submission 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:

Hiiiband International Logo Award 2010
(New Graphic - China)
Deadline: 31 October 2010
No entry fees charged

HOW Poster Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Late Deadline: 1 November 2010 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

HOW Logo Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Late Deadline: 1 November 2010 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Print Creativity + Commerce Competition
(Print Magazine - USA)
Extended Deadline: 1 November 2010
Entry fees charged

Web Font Awards
(Web Font Awards - USA)
Deadline: 7 November 2010
No entry fees charged

Inside the World of Board Graphics: Skate, Surf, Snow
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 November 2010
No entry fees charged

One Show Interactive Awards
(The One Club - USA)
Third Quarter Deadline: 30 November 2010
Entry fees charged

D&AD Awards 2011
(D&AD - UK)
Early Deadline: 29 November 2010 (10% discount on fees)
Deadline: 31 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Color in Design Competition
(Print Magazine and HOW Print - USA)
Deadline Extended: 1 December 2010
Entry fees charged

One Show Entertainment Awards
(The One Club - USA)
Deadline Extended: 3 December 2010
Entry fees charged

Look What Good Design Can Do: The Best Before-and-After Redesigns From Around the World
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 6 December 2010
No entry fees charged

American Package Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Deadline: 10 December 2010
Entry fees charged

Selected B: Graphic Design From Europe
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 10 December 2010
Entry fees charged

Great Logo Designs
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 December 2010
Entry fees charged

TDC57
(Type Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: 17 December 2010
Entry fees charged

Logo Nest
(Logo Nest - International)
Deadline: 31 December 2010
No entry fees charged

Advertising Journal Americas 001
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 6 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Photography Journal Americas 001
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 6 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Graphis Logo Design 8
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 13 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Design Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Photography Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Illustration Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Design Sphere Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Summit Creative Awards
(Summit International Awards - USA)
Deadline: 24 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Creative Quarterly 23
(Creative Quarterly - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Interactive Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 28 January 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Student Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Wolda Logo Annual
(Eulda Books - Italy)
Deadline: 31 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Graphic Design Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 31 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Graphis Poster Design 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 3 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Design Journal Europe & Africa 002
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 3 February 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Advertising Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 6 February 2011
Entry fees charged

ADC Hybrid Awards
(ADC - USA)
Deadline: 21 January 2011
Entry fees charged

Basic Sign
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 15 February 2011
No entry fees charged

One Show Interactive Awards
(The One Club - USA)
Deadline: 28 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Healthcare Advertising
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 28 February 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW Promotion Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 March 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Layout Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 31 March 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW In-HOWse Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 April 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Brochure Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 29 April 2011
Entry fees charged

American Web Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Deadline: 30 April 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Use of Color in Graphic Design
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 31 May 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW Interactive Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 July 2011
Entry fees charged

iheartlogos
(iheartlogos.com - USA)
Season Two Deadline: 11 August 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW International Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Book of the Year, Volume 4
(Design & Design - France)
Deadline: 30 September 2011
No entry fees charged

PAPERWORKS Letterhead Contest
(Neenah Paper - USA)
Deadline: Ongoing - judged quarterly
No entry fees charged

PAPERWORKS Text And Cover Contest
(Neenah Paper - USA)
Deadline: Ongoing - judged quarterly
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 and calls for book submissions: A collection of design competition - and book submission request - tips, tricks and observations.

A design competition calendar is also available at Icograda. Lürzer's ARCHIVE 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 over 130 graphic design books. Many of those inclusions are the result of design competitions, or requests for submissions, like those listed above.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

It gets better: A personal perspective

It has been extremely upsetting to learn of the many teen suicides across the country in recent months - especially those driven to taking their own lives by bullies taunting the young people for being gay, or just presuming them to be gay. The words or actions of bullies can be extremely nasty weapons.

Photo by Daniel Macías, Lanterna Photography © 2010

In recent weeks many men and women have joined in the YouTube It Gets Better Project campaign initiated by writer and activist Dan Savage - someone I met when I lived in Seattle years ago. I initially considered making my own video. However, surprised by the emotions brought up by memories of childhood bullying, I've opted to make my feelings known in writing.

I was bullied a great deal as a kid in grade school. A skinny, gangly, bookish, uncoordinated and sensitive boy, I was about as non-athletic as anyone could be. I was that kid always picked last to be on any team. It seemed to be even worse that I was artistic. The combination of traits led to me often being called a sissy, fag, queer, homo and other demeaning or derogatory terms. Initially, I didn't even know what most of the words meant, but the manner in which they were delivered made the names incredibly hurtful. Occasionally the actions of bullies turned physical in the form of playground fights and once in a while I'd even get in a good return punch or two. Most often I just walked, or ran, away from the confrontation, feeling kind of worthless.

My parents knew little of what was going on in school. I never told them. I had great allies in a few good friends and my sister, who is one year younger. Some amazing teachers either knew or sensed what I was going through and offered valuable support throughout my school years. I found solace and personal pride in writing and artwork. I even won my first art award for a grade school painting.

It gets better.

In junior high school, instead of focusing on the ongoing actions of bullies, I directed my energies to the things I did best: art, writing, biking and even running. I was good at running - away from bullies and perhaps issues in my own life. When I went running or biking I had no cares in the world. No one could hurt me. No one could get to me. I detested P.E. in school, but my track running times caught the attention of the high school cross-county coach. He asked me to tryout for the high school team, but my heart just wasn't in it. Besides, some of my potential teammates were the same guys who continued to refer to me as a sissy, fag, queer and homo.

I was very good when it came to art. People began to take notice of my abilities. My art was shown in exhibitions, won awards and I had the first one-man shows of my work while I was in junior high. I was able to sell my drawings in galleries and at art fairs. My writing skills led to the enjoyable task of writing for the junior high newspaper. Putting my energy into personal passions boosted my confidence and resulted in some degree of respect from a few previous tormentors.

There were still a few bullies making aspects of my life a bit of a hell. I could never understand why these guys found it necessary to go out of their way to be so mean to me, when I had little or no interest in their lives. The continued teasing and taunting had an incredibly negative impact. As a teen I was already going through so much and didn't know how to deal with the name-calling, especially the gay slurs. I wasn't really sure what being gay was, but I knew I didn't want to be whatever it was. In the darkness of night, I would cry myself to sleep and pray that I wasn't gay. I was probably 13 or 14, and beaten up emotionally, when I first contemplated taking my own life; trying to figure out a way that would not leave a mess for someone to clean up after - still trying to be the perfect, tidy, best little boy in the world. Luckily, I never figured out such a method. I also never told anyone of the thoughts I was having.

It gets better.

The transition to a large high school was not easy. There were new bullies to be battled. However, the opportunities to thrive increased as well. I was never going to be a high school athletic star, so I again focused on my strengths and personal interests. There were also attentive friends, teachers and counselors with whom I could confide when problems, or particularly nasty situations, arose.

I became one of the "go to" students whenever art was needed for a school project. My writing again resulted in working on the school newspaper. Activities such as student government provided additional confidence building. In fact, my confidence had increased so much that I was able to personally take on a bully of a different type - a teacher.

An instructor in the art department had created an unpleasant situation. It seemed like a constant battle in attempting to please this individual. When she told me I "wasn't doing my painting right," I decided to stand up for myself. I explained to school administrators that there could not be a "right" and "wrong" in art - and they agreed. I became the first student put on independent study in art; allowing me to explore many art disciplines and begin my path to a life-long career.

The newfound confidence led to many other accomplishments. There were additional art shows and honors. I was named one of two editors of the nationally recognized school paper. At the end of my senior year I was selected "Boy of the Year" and received several college scholarships. Although I was battling some personal inner demons, I was no longer dealing with bullies. In fact, I surprisingly found myself calling some bullies on their shit when they choose to pick on younger students.

It gets better.

College offered incredible opportunities for personal growth and expanding my horizons. Every young adult should have the chance to experience such freedom. The negative aspects of grade school, junior high and parts of high school seemed to have taken place in a previous lifetime. Had I carried out any earlier thoughts of ending my life, I would have never been able to experience the joy I found in studying art, design and journalism in college.

However, I did occasionally struggle with the personal issue of my sexuality - and the taunts of past bullies would resurface. A favorite uncle being banished from the family, for surprisingly asking to bring his same-sex partner to a holiday event, made me realize that I could never travel down the path I seemed to question. Family was much too important to me to risk being an outcast myself.

For many years I lived the life I felt I was expected to live. I would be 29 years old before I could acknowledge, to myself and others, that I was a gay man.

It gets better.

There will always be bullies in life. However, as I learned late in high school, with confidence in yourself and your abilities, you don't have to put up with their crap. You do have the ability to stand up to such individuals, express faith in yourself, make the most of allies, and move your life in the best direction for you as an individual. For me, being different is a positive attribute - not a negative.

My first real job after college was as the art director for a group of medical publications. After an incredible bossed moved on to a better job, a woman was hired to oversee my department. I suspect her own insecurities about her abilities in the position led to her being a bully in dealing with staff. I was having none of it. One day I overheard her yelling at my assistant and actually calling him a "liar." I'd had enough. I walked into her office, literally stuck my finger in her face and said, "We don't talk to people like that around here." I was as stunned as she, but no one should have to put up with what she had been doing for weeks. I then went to my office and wrote my letter of resignation. The company administrators couldn't understand that I had not been offered another job - I simply was not going to work in a situation with such a bully. As I was walking out the door the receptionist said there was a call for me. It was a former client asking if I had time to take on a contract design job for several months.

In 1985, I finally acknowledged I was gay and came out to family, friends and co-workers at the ad agency where I was an art director. For the most part all were very supportive. In my time at the agency I'd heard the owner make a few homophobic remarks to others - bringing back memories of the bullies of my youth. Although not surprised by his personal attitude, I was not prepared for him to call me into his office to tell me my services were no longer needed, as he was "taking his business in a different direction." At my farewell party, co-workers told me the agency principal was taking his company in a "straighter direction" and was "uncomfortable having a gay man in the office." I'd lost my job because I was gay. I was stunned, but vowed to never again allow myself to be put in such a situation.

A Flickr gallery of images from the 20 year relationship of Jeff and Ed

I opted to simply be honest and open about the fact I was gay. Never again would I allow someone else, especially bullies, to use my sexuality or their hateful homophobic words against me. Pro bono work for AIDS organizations, and causes supportive of gays and lesbians, lead to a great deal of design work for businesses and groups in the LGBT community.

My gay-themed work was displayed proudly in my portfolio of work. If someone choose to not work with me because I was gay, that was just fine with me. I most likely would not want to work with them either. The positive impact of my personal stand was amazing. Potential clients often contacted me specifically because I was gay, or had done work for gay organizations. Often those contacting me would mention that they had a gay son, daughter, sibling, grandchild or friend. Over the years, I received many emails from gay teens around the country; pleased to learn they were not alone in their hopes for a successful business life while being openly gay.

Such design efforts lead to being asked to serve on the founding board of a local organization for businesses owned by gays, lesbians and supportive individuals. With the anti-gay Oregon Ballot Measure 9 campaign in full swing, I agreed to be the public face for gay and lesbian business owners in a Portland television station interview. And then came the death threat voice mails on my answering machine. Bullies again.

These bullies were taken a bit more seriously than those of the past. Pleased that I already lived in a security loft building, police officers suggested that I not walk anywhere by myself. Friends, neighbors and clients expressed their concern and support. Luckily, in the volatile political climate of the time, I was not the victim of greater anger, hatred and violence as experienced by some others in the state. Still, I did not live my life in a fear defined by bullies. The bullies did not win.

It DOES get better.

Today, I have an incredible life. After 32 years, my design career continues to be a successful and wonderful ride. I've received a ridiculous number of awards - many for gay-themed work - and my designs appear in over 140 books. I've written many articles for design publications. In the last six years a book I wrote about having a career in graphic design and another about identity and branding have been published. A third is in progress, with more in the planning stages. Each year I speak about design, marketing and social networking to design school, high school, university and business organization audiences around the country. I even taught a week-long class at a design and innovation college in Mexico this past summer.

Most importantly, I have an incredible personal life. My partner, Ed Cunningham, and I have been together for 20 years. In 2004 we were married during a time when it was possible to do so in Portland. After the marriage was annulled by the courts, we pressed forward and became official domestic partners. We are whole-heartedly supported by a number of family members, amazing friends, co-workers, my clients and industry peers, and a great "family of choice." Being gay is not our entire life; but rather one aspect of well-rounded lives.

Make it better.

Do not let bullies define or control your life. If you are being bullied, find the courage to inform a trusted parent, classmate, family friend, school counselor or teacher - especially if you are having thoughts of harming yourself in any manner. Bullying cannot be tolerated. The problem is the bully - not you.

Be proud of your talents, skills and passions. Focus your energies on the things you do the best and enjoy the most. By doing so you will surround yourself with similar, and supportive, individuals.

Make use of the limitless resources available. Participate in the gay/straight alliance at your school - or start your own organization. Get involved in the community center in your own town, such as Portland's Q Center. Many LGBT newspapers, like Just Out in Oregon, have great directories of local resources and events. Valuable resources on a national level include The Trevor Project and GLAAD, and many others.

Create your own support system. If you are turned away by friends or families, form your own "family of choice" made up of friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family who do offer love and support with no conditions.

You are not alone. Help is available at every turn - just for the asking. Be proud of yourself and all that is combined to make you a unique individual. You do deserve to have a wonderful life.

By taking control of your life and destiny, you are making sure that those who bully do not win.

I've rambled enough...all I really wanted to say was: It gets MUCH better.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Designer/author Jeff Fisher takes readers of

The Squall Line for a ride on the 'Paper Train'

In his 'Paper Cuts' article series, designer Tad Dobbs - of the Texas design firm Creative Squall - interviews printers, paper reps, and designers for their insights into how paper can strengthen the brand of a business or organization. The third piece in the series, 'All Aboard the Paper Train', features the experiences and thoughts of 32-year print design veteran Jeff Fisher, of the Portland-based firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

Check out other interviews with Jeff Fisher.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

A resource list from Jeff Fisher's lecture at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design

Recently AIGA Colorado invited me to Denver for a few days. When traveling to speak at any conference, business event, AIGA gathering or ad federation activity, I always try to include a presentation to students of at least one university or design school in the area. While in Colorado I spoke to a gathering of design students at the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design (RMCAD).

The following is a list of resources mentioned in that lecture:

• Book: Savvy Designer's Guide to Success: Ideas and tactics for a killer career, by Jeff Fisher (HOW Books, 2004)

• Book: Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands, by Jeff Fisher (HOW Books, 2007)

• Online Portfolios: Designer ID

• Online Portfolios: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives Designer ID profile

• Interview: Designer ID interview with Jeff Fisher, Engineer of Creative Identity

• Online Resource: Veer

• Online Portfolios: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives Veer profile

• Online Portfolios: Coroflot

• Online Portfolios: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives Coroflot profile

• Online Resource: design:related

• Online Portfolios: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives design:related profile

• Online Portfolios: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives Facebook gallery

• Online Portfolios: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives Flickr gallery

• Online Portfolios: Behance Network

• Online Portfolios: LogoPond

• Online Portfolios: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives LogoPond profile

• Online Portfolios: The I Spot

• Article: Using Press releases as a marketing tool

• Article: Pro bono design efforts to promote one's work

• Article: Presenting yourself as the public speaking expert

• Article: A collection of design competition - and book submission request - tips, tricks and observations

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives