Jeff Fisher to present live HOW/Print DesignCast - 'Using Social Media as a (Free!) Marketing Tool'

Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, will present the live DesignCast "Using Social Media as a (Free!) Marketing Tool" on February 18, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. ET/1:00 p.m. PT. The one-hour session is sponsored by HOW and Print magazines. The registration fee is $69. Online registration, and more information, is available on the MyDesignShop.com website.

Learn how to use Facebook, Twitter, blogging and more to grow your business, build networks, and reach out an international community of design peers and potential clients. Designer and author Jeff Fisher will sort through a variety social networking/media options and teach you how to use these FREE promotional activities.

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 130 books about logos, the design business, and small business marketing. His first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success was released in 2004 and has been reissued as a PDF on CD from MyDesignShop.com. Fisher is currently writing a new volume, Logo Type: 200 Best Typographic Logos from Around the World Explained, on the topic of typography in identity design.

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

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Putting a new face on a common design element

Throughout history two masks have come to symbolize theatre and its two major dramatic categories of comedy and tragedy. Such masks have played an important part in the history of drama since the time of the ancient Greeks, originally allowing actors to clearly convey emotions such as anger, joy, or sorrow to the entire large audience. Masks also made it easier for the performers, limited to the male of species, to portray female characters.

During that same theatrical history the mask images were used in architecture, art, design and printing as graphic representations of stage venues, performance groups and plays. The result has been the overuse of mask imagery, in recognizeable forms, again and again.

As a designer who has created theatre graphic images for over 30 years, it is a challenge when being asked to use common elements in related graphics - especially in the design of logos for theater spaces, production companies or theatrical events. When creating such identities, it is necessary to move beyond the literal to produce fresh imagery making use of ancient themes.

In 1995, I was asked to design the logo for a San Francisco nonprofit using comedy performances to raise funds for AIDS organizations. The identity for Laugh Line Productions (below left) incorporated a interpretation of the comedy mask as the "U" letterform in the word "LAUGH." Today the logo looks a bit too basic and literal to me - but it is where I began to think about alternative treatments of the masks for future designs. The Laugh Line image is featured in the books Letterhead and Logo Design 4 and The Best of Letterhead and Logo Design.

One of my favorite theatre logos is my design for the former Main Street Playhouse (above right) in Portland. The space was located in the old Masonic Building, designed by renowned architect Pietro Belluschi. (The building has since been completely renovated and is now part of the Portland Art Museum complex.) Outside of the building, lining the streets along the city's South Park Blocks, are beautiful cast iron street lights. While standing near the theatre one night, I realized that the globes of the light fixtures could easily become the masks of comedy and tragedy. The graphic treatment, with the human imagery almost coming across as reflections in the glass, is so subtle than many people have missed the meaning completely. Still, the design was recognized with an American Graphic Design Award and publication in the PRINT Regional Design Annual.

Following the death of Portland actor (and acquaintance) Rob Buckmaster, I was asked to create a logo for the foundation established in his honor. It was a very sad time for the local theatre community, but still, thinking of Rob could immediately bring a smile to anyone's face. Once again I felt the masks of comedy and tragedy could provide a graphic solution to the design challenge. In the design the masks became a bit more graphic than in previous designs, and I purposely placed the sad image upside down to focus on the happier element within the logo. It was a widely accepted identity for the foundation. The Rob Buckmaster Fund logo appears in the books American Corporate Identity 14 and The New Big Book of Logos.

Much of my logo design for the theatre has been during my relationship with the triangle productions! production company, which began back in 1990. Each new season of plays and musicals has required the creation of an anniversary logo image to be used on ticket brochures, the website, posters, ads and playbills. When it came time to design the 14th anniversary identity, I immediately saw the numeral "4" as an abstract human form that could take on the characteristics of one of the historic mask forms. With my creation of the tagline "14 years of tears & cheers," placement of the the tragedy and comedy masks was determined within the design. I have mixed feelings about the fact that most people see either the "14" or the two masks in the logo - but not both design elements. The few that do "get it" have an "aha!" moment that is very gratifying to me. The identity appears in the book 100s Visual Logos & Letterheads (UK).

I wanted to present these examples to show that with a little creativity, and effort, a designer can avoid the "easy out" of just slapping very common imagery up next to some text. The result can be a unique design solution that attracts the attention of the viewer and, in some cases, draws them in for a closer second look.

©2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Jeff Fisher judges 'American Graphic Design & Advertising 25' - and is featured in AGDA25 book

One year ago this week Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, was asked to be a judge for American Graphic Design and Advertising 25. Formerly known as the American Corporate Identity Awards, the competition was expanded in its 25th year to include a much greater selection of graphic design work. Fisher, with over 30 years of identity design experience, was chosen to judge the logo design portion of the competition.

David E. Carter and Suzanna MW Stephens compiled the resulting annual publication, American Graphic Design and Advertising 25. The book was recently released by Collins Design, an imprint of HarperCollins.

A biography of Fisher and several examples of his own favorite work are included in the volume. The representative logo designs include:

• Jeff Fisher LogoMotives - The designer's own identity was a ten-year process. The image is featured in Letterhead and Logo Design 5, American Corporate Identity/14, New Logo & Trademark Design (Japan), PRINT's Regional Design Annual, The New Big Book of Logos, PRINT’s Best Logos & Symbols 6, Logo Design for Small Business 2, The Big Book of Business Cards, Logos from North to South America (Spain), New Logo & Trademark Collection (Japan), and The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success.

• Holocaust Remembrance Project - One of a series of logos created for the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation, this logo gives a graphic identity to the annual Holocaust remembrance essay contest for high school students. The triangle elements are used in a positive manner to take ownership of the negative image of the concentration camp uniform identification patches from the past. The design received a 2008 American Graphic Design Award and is showcased in the book 100s Visual Logos & Letterheads (UK).

• Vista House - This logo was created for the Friends of Vista House, Oregon State Parks Trust, and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The designer's sister, Sue Fisher, was Creative Director for the effort. Vista House was built in 1916-1918 as a memorial to Oregon pioneers and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The identity appears in the books Typography, Graphis Logo 6, Logos from North to South America (Spain) and 100s Visual Logos & Letterheads (UK).

• The Sentinel - A logo redesign for a monthly North Portland neighborhood newspaper involved combining letterforms from two typefaces, Boca Raton and Rockwell, to create a unique type treatment of the word "Sentinel." A third typeface, Helvetica Neue, was introduced for the line of location text.

• Cat Adoption Team - In an "aha" moment this rough concept came together. With the acronym C.A.T., there was a desire to create a graphic image that would clearly identify the organization without the need to spell out the name in all uses. The design won a Silver Award in the Summit Creative Awards. It is featured in the books Killed Ideas, Vol. 1, Letterhead & Logo Design 11, Designing for the Greater Good, LogoLounge Master Library Vol. 2, and the upcoming Logo Nest 01 (Australia)

Jeff Fisher LogoMotives has been the recipient of 27 American Corporate Identity Awards in the past.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives designs included in 'Basic Logos' from publisher Index Book

The design work of Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, is included in the newly released book Basic Logos. The volume, from Spanish publisher Index Book, is currently available in Europe and will be in U.S. bookstores this spring.

Fisher's logo for Just Out, the monthly newsmagazine for Oregon's GLBT community, was one of two designs selected for inclusion in the book. The Just Out identity redesign gave the publication a fresh, contemporary look. It won an American Corporate Identity 22 award and also appears in The Big Book of Logos 5 and 100's Visual Logos and Letterheads.

A personal logo designed for hairstylist Micki King, while she was working at a salon named Chameleon, is also included in the new volume. In addition, the image is showcased in the books LogoLounge 4 and 100's Visual Logos and Letterheads.

Fisher, a 32-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. He is currently writing the book LogoType, about typography in identity design, with a scheduled release of late 2010.

The designer has received over 600 design awards and his work has been published in more than 130 books on identity design, self-promotion and the marketing of small businesses.

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

Illustration Pages features Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

The illustrative identity design work of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives is featured on the new blog Illustration Pages. The site highlights the Facebook pages of visual artists from all around the globe.

Other creative Facebook pages recently featured on the blog include those for Sugar Frosted Goodness, Kenny Scharf, Michael Doret and Bella Pilar. The Facebook pages of illustration-related organizations, events and causes are also posted on occasion.

Designer Jeff Fisher was invited to participate on Illustration Pages as a result of the Jeff Fisher LogoMotives Facebook fan page. Illustrators, graphic designers, painters, muralists, sculptors, film makers, animators and all visual artists are invited to submit their Facebook page links to submission@illustrationpages.com for consideration. More information may be found on the Illustration Pages Facebook fan page

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

A look back at '09: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives in articles

In 2009 many print and online articles, Internet logo design collections and other resources included Jeff Fisher LogoMotives. Here are a few favorites from throughout the year:

Gardens and Their Designers, Design Observer, by Timothy Jack Ward (October 2009) Read more here.

Self-Promotion the Social Way, HOW Magazine, by Jeff Fisher (October 2009) Read more here.

Sidebar: 8 tips and tricks for professional and effective 'Self-Promotion the Social Way,' HOW Magazine, by Jeff Fisher (October 2009)

• Career: Office Anthropologist, HOW Magazine, by Julie Sims (August 2009) Read more here.

Crazy Train, Toots Style: Local Design Savant Turned Clown Has the Last Laugh, Just Out, by Ryan J. Prado (May 2009) Read more here.

Using Twitter to Promote Your Book, FreelanceSwitch.com, by Kristen Fischer (March 2009) Read more here.

Five Great - and necessary - Marketing Makeovers, Entrepreneur Magazine, by Gwen Moran (February 2009) Read more here.

There were many more online and print mentions and sightings of Jeff Fisher in 2009. A complete listing may be found on the Jeff Fisher LogoMotives blogfolio.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Two new logo sites provide competition, inspiration and opportunities for designers to be published

Logo designers from around the world currently have the ability to post their design efforts on a wide variety of portfolio and gallery sites. Some simply provide opportunities to share identity designs as inspiration. Others offer a format allowing site visitors to vote on and critique uploaded logos. A site such as the successful membership-based LogoLounge provides interviews, news, articles and results in "winning" designs being published in books.

With new year comes the introduction of two new logos sites offering competition, inspiration and opportunities to possibly be published:

Logo Nest

According to the site:

Logo Nest is a place dedicated to creative designers, both professionals and amateurs, where you can share and compare your creative work. Publishing on this web site is free, and it includes no payment of any kind. Every day, every month and every year, we declare the best logo design, and all logos published on this site will be published in a book Logo Nest 01 at the end of the 2010!

Obviously, one of the advantages for any designer is the fact no submission fees are charged for this Australia-based site. There is no indication of the identity of the competition's "professional and competent judges," who are making initial selections and naming monthly winners. However, in early 2011, designers and site visitors do get the final say in voting for the annual design winner. The site also offers a blog of logo-related entries - and the latest news can be learned by following Logo Nest on Twitter.

iheartlogos

The iheartlogos home page states:

This is a design competition – the only one of its kind. You are the judge here. So is everyone else. When you submit a logo, you let the entire design community decide its fate. In return, you get the right to judge everyone else’s work.

That means when the ever-so-coveted book of winners is published, the winning logos will have been selected by the entire design world. Not some "famous" judge. The award for winning this logo design competition is paid in the highest form of currency – respect.

Site registration is required to view and vote on logo designs at iheartlogos.com. There is a $10 fee for each logo submission. A blog of logo design articles, and other features to come, rounds out the site. Twitter is also being used to share information from @iheartlologs. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I did participate in the beta testing for iheartlogos.com)

Design competitions can be great ego and career boosters. The international presence of online galleries, being published in design books, and the publicity opportunities from winning results are great additions to a designer's marketing and promotion efforts. My own use of competitions, and the author/publisher relationships established in the process, has resulted in my work being featured in over 130 books. Logo Nest and iheartlogos are both included in the list of design competitions and book submission requests posted regularly on bLog-oMotives.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

A look back at '09: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives in books

2009 was a great year of international book exposure for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives:

LogoLounge Master Library, Volume 1: 3,000 Initials & Crest Logos, by Bill Gardner and Catharine Fishel (Rockport Publishers, USA, 2009) Read more here.

LogoLounge, Volume 4, by Bill Gardner and Catharine Fishel (Paper, Rockport Publishers, USA, 2009)

Retro Style Graphics, by Grant Friedman (Angela Patchell Books, UK, 2009) Read more here.

Letterhead and Logo Design 11, by Design Army (Rockport Publishers, USA, 2009) Read more here.

Celebration Graphics Sourcebook: Festive Designs from All Cultures, by John Stones (Rockport Publishers, USA, 2009) Read more here.

1000 Retail Graphics, by JGA (Paper, Rockport Publishers, USA, 2009) Read more here.

1000 Restaurant Bar & Cafe Graphics, by Luke Herriott (Paper, Rockport Publishers, USA, 2009) Read more here.

Design for Special Events, by Peleg Top (Paper, Rockport Publishers, USA, 2009) Read more here.

Breaking Into Freelance Illustration: A Guide for Artists, Designers and Illustrators, by Holly DeWolf (HOW Books, USA, 2009) Read more here.

Typeface: Classic Typography for Contemporary Design, by Tamye Riggs (Princeton Architectural Press, USA, 2009) Read more here.

Relaxing Graphics (PIE Books, Japan, 2009) Read more here.

Killed Ideas, Volume 1, Limited Edition Hardcover Book from Blurb.com (Blurb, USA 2009) Read more here.

Meishi - Little Graphic Art Gallery Of The World (International Creators Organisation, Japan 2009) Read more here.

The Designer's Guide to Business and Careers: How to Succeed on the Job or on Your Own, by Peg Faimon (HOW Books, USA 2009) Read more here.

Caffeine for the Creative Team: 200 Exercises to Inspire Group Innovation, by Stefan Mumaw and Wendy Lee Oldfield (HOW Books, USA 2009) Read more here.

Works in Progress: Graphics for Visual Presentations (PIE Books, Japan, 2009) Read more here.

Big Book of Layouts, by David E. Carter (Paper, Collins Design, USA, 2009) Read more here.

Letterhead and Business Cards (Zeixs, Germany 2009) Read more here.

Blogs: Mad About Design (maomao publications, Spain, 2009)

Stories That Sell: Turn Satisfied Customers into Your Most Powerful Sales & Marketing Asset, by Casey Hibbard (AIM Publishers, USA, 2009) Read more here.

The design efforts, or career advice, of Jeff Fisher - the Engineer of Creative Identity for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives - now appears in over 130 design, marketing and business books. Check out the complete list.

© 2009 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:

Identity Essentials
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline Extended: Better late than never - it appears entries are still being accepted
No entry fees charged

The Dieline Awards - Best in Package Design
(The Dieline - USA)
Late deadline: 11 January 2010
Entry fees charged - No discounts

The Big Book of Packaging
(Crescent Hill Books - USA)
Deadline: 15 January 2010
No entry fees charged

PUB 45: Rare Specimens
(Society of Publication Designers - USA)
Extended Deadline: 15 January 2010 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Creative Review Annual 2010
(Creative Review - UK)
Extended Deadline: 15 January 2010
Entry fees charged

ABC Dimensional
(Laurence King - UK)
Extended Deadline: 18 January 2010
No entry fees charged

Graphis Design Annual 2011
(Graphis - USA)
Extended Deadline: 18 January 2010
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Illustration Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Late Deadline: 22 January 2010 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

ADC Design (includes Photography & Illustration)
(Art Directors Club - USA)
Deadline Extended: 29 January 2010
Entry fees charged

Font Aid IV
(SOTA - USA)
Deadline: 29 January 2010
No entry fees charged

Top 100 New Creatives 47
(CMYK Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 31 January 2010
Entry fees charged

American Photography 26
(American Photography - USA)
Deadline Extended: 2 February 2010
Entry fees charged

ADC Advertising
(Art Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: 5 February 2010
Entry fees charged

ADC Interactive
(Art Directors Club - USA)
Deadline Extended: 5 February 2010
Entry fees charged

ADC Student Awards
(Art Directors Club - USA)
Deadline Extended: 5 Februry 2010
Entry fees charged

D&AD Awards 2010
(D&AD - UK)
Deadline Extended: 5 February 2010 (with late fee)
Entry fees charged

Wolda '09
(Eulda Books - Italy)
Deadline Extended: 10 February 2010 (logos designed in 2009)
Entry fees charged

LogoLounge 6
(LogoLounge - USA)
Deadline: 15 February 2010
LogoLounge membership required

Green Graphics
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 15 February 2010
No entry fees charged

Common Interest
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 15 February 2010
No entry fees charged

Graphis Advertising Annual 2011
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 15 February 2010
Entry fees charged

American Illustration 29
(American Illustration - USA)
Deadline: 19 February 2010
Entry fees charged

European Design Awards
(ED Awards - Europe)
Deadline: 15 February 2010
Entry fees charged

Project Never
(Project Never - US)
Deadline: 19 February 2010
No entry fees charged

Summit Creative Award
(Summit International Awards - USA)
Deadline Extended: 22 February 2010
Entry fees charged

ADC Hybrid
(Art Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: 26 February 2010
Entry fees charged

ADC Design Sphere
(Art Directors Club - USA)
Deadline: 26 February 2010
Entry fees charged

My Own Business Card, Volume Two
(Design and Design - France)
Deadline Extended: 28 February 2010
No entry fees charged

Just Sit! Chairs and Stools Design
(Design and Design - France)
Deadline Extended: 28 February 2010
No entry fees charged

Best Organic Packaging, Volume One
(Design and Design - France)
Deadline Extended: 28 February 2010
No entry fees charged

Identity: Best of the Best 2010
(Identity - Russia)
Deadline Extended: 28 February 2010
No entry fees charged

FAB (Food and Beverage) Awards
(FAB Awards - UK)
Deadline: 28 February 2010
Entry fees charged

PRINT Regional Design Annual
(PRINT Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 March 2010
Entry fees charged

AIGA 365 Annual Competition
(AIGA - USA)
Deadline: 5 March 2010
Entry fees charged

AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers
(AIGA - USA)
Deadline: 5 March 2010
Entry fees charged

HOW Promotion Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 5 March 2010
Late Deadline: 22 March 2010 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

SPD Student Design Competition
(Society of Publication Designers - USA)
Deadline: 8 March 2010
Entry fees charged (3 free entries for SPD Student members)

Creativity 40 Media Competition
(Creativity International Awards - USA)
Deadline: 12 March 2010
Entry fees charged

Basic Identity
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 15 March 2010
No entry fees charged

Typoshirt One
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 15 March 2010
No entry fees charged

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

Mail Me Art 2
(Mail Me Art - UK)
Deadline: 31 March 2010
No entry fees charged

Mediabistro Logo Awards
(Mediabistro - USA)
Deadline: 31 March 2010
Entry fees charged

HOW In-HOWse Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 April 2010
Late Deadline: 10 May 2010 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Golden Bee 9: Moscow International Biennale of Graphic Design
(Golden Bee - Russia)
Deadline: 15 April 2010
No 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

iheartlogos
(iheartlogos.com - USA)
Season One Deadline: 31 August 2010
Entry fees charged

Book of the Year, Volume 3
(Design & Design - France)
Deadline: 30 September 2010
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Interactive Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 8 October 2010
Entry fees charged

Logo Nest
(Logo Nest - International)
Deadline: 31 December 2010
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: 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 over 130 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!

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives