Logodotes: North Bank Cafe

[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.]

In the summer of 2009, I was very sad to learn of the passing of one of my favorite, and most fun, clients. Cecilia Murphy was one-of-a-kind and a Portland institution. It made me smile when, in doing one of the newspaper's "Life Story" features, The Oregonian began the article with "Cecilia Murphy lived by the unofficial motto "'more is more.' Less was not for her."

In that same newspaper article was the minor mention "She had a short-lived coffee shop." That's how I met the vibrant force known as Cecilia Murphy.

In late 2003, Murphy contacted me to assist in helping brand her latest venture - a coffee house and cafe in the St. Johns neighborhood of North Portland. She conveyed a desire to have the business project an image of the television show Northern Exposure meeting North Portland. Some Victorian elements were to be mixed with comfortable over-stuffed furniture and a few rustic Northwest touches - including vintage mounted heads of hunted wildlife.

Her eyes twinkled as she suggested that the cafe identity might included the image of a winking moose, with long eye-lashes and a "big rack." I knew that Murphy meant antlers in this case, but her smile told me she knew exactly what she had said. Throughout our conversation the moose was referred to as "she."

After thinking about the input for a moment, I told my client that I didn't think a female moose would have antlers. Murphy quickly replied, "Well, I guess we'll have a cross-dressing moose."

I appreciated the opportunity to be totally playful with the North Bank Cafe logo project. The moose image quickly developed as a fairly cartoon-ish creature. I researched moose hoof prints, to be used as bullets in the design, and had fun playing with type possibilities, prior to settling on Horndon as my favorite primary font for my initial design concept. Still, second-guessing myself, I was a bit unsure about having possibly taken the beast too far. I included one more conservative concept in the rough designs I presented (above left).

As is the case in 85-90% of my identity design projects, the client was immediately drawn to my very first concept. With a little fine-tuning it became the final logo for the North Bank Cafe (above right).

The North Bank Cafe was short-lived. Unfortunately, Cecilia Murphy is also no longer with us. I am happy that the cross-dressing moose of the logo does live on. It appears in the books Logo Design for Small Business 2, 1000 Restaurant Bar & Cafe Graphics (and its recently-released paperback mini edition) and 100's Visual Logos and Letterheads.

© 2010 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

DesignCasts and podcasts featuring Jeff Fisher

Designer Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, is often called upon to share his career experiences - and what others think he knows - through designcasts, webinars, podcasts, teleseminars and other online presentations:

Using Social Media to Boost Your Career - The Dos and The Don'ts, Jeff Fisher and Jean Branan of The Art Institute of California-San Diego's Career Services department, The Career Blueprint Podcast Series, a joint production of The Creative Group and The Art Institutes. (August 2010)

Talk Story Special Edition graphics by RDQLUS Creative

Talk Story with Jeni - HOW Design Conference Special Edition with Steve Gordon Jr., Jeff Fisher and Bryn Mooth, with Jeni Herberger - JeniHerberger.com Sponsored by Neenah Paper. (June 2010)

Using Social Media as a (Free!) Marketing Tool, HOW Magazine; HOW DesignCast (February 2010)

Talk Story with Jeni - and Jeff Fisher, with Jeni Herberger - JeniHerberger.com (February 2010)

How to Survive as a Freelance Designer, HOW Magazine; HOW DesignCast (November 2009) • Survival Resource List from DesignCast

Social Networking with Jeff Fisher, with Thomas James; Escape from Illustration Island (September 2009)

Social Networking with Jeff Fisher, with Thomas James; Illustration Mundo (September 2009)

Planning, Packaging & Promoting Yourself, HOW Magazine; HOW DesignCasts (August 2009)

Tooting Your Own Horn!, RGD Ontario; Design Business Teleseminar (July 2009)

Jeff Fisher Does the LOGO-MOTION, with Donovan Beery and Nate Voss; The Reflex Blue Show (May 2009)

Packaging Yourself, RGD Ontario; Design Business Teleseminar (March 2009)

Brands, Logos & Identity Crisis, with Scott Sheppard and Gene Gable; Inside Digital Design Radio (September 2008)

Creative Experts Audio Interviews: Jeff Fisher, with Doug Farrick; originally for The Designer's Inner Circle - now posted on creativepublic.com (December 2007)

Marketing Through Blogs and Forums, with Joel Welsh; StartupNation (November 2006)

© 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:

Letterpool - London
(Letterpool - UK)
Deadline: 20 August 2010
No entry fees charged

Creativity Print Awards
(Creativity Awards - USA)
Deadline Extended: 27 August 2010
Entry fees charged

Letterhead & Logo Design 12
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline Extended: 31 August 2010
No entry fees charged

HOW Interactive Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline Extended: 31 August 2010 (late fees waived)
Entry fees charged

1000: A Steampunk Collection
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 1 September 2010
No entry fees charged

Top 100 New Creatives 49
(CMYK - USA)
Deadline Extended: 6 September 2010
Entry fees charged

Website Design 3
(zeixs - Germany)
Deadline Extended: 10 September 2010
No entry fees charged

Graphic Design 3
(zeixs - Germany)
Deadline Extended: 10 September 2010
No entry fees charged

Letterhead and Business Card 2
(zeixs - Germany)
Deadline Extended: 10 September 2010
No entry fees charged

Sound and Design
(zeixs - Germany)
Deadline Extended: 10 September 2010
No entry fees charged

Tattoo Design
(zeixs - Germany)
Deadline Extended: 10 September 2010
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Typography Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 10 September 2010
Late Deadline: 24 September 2010 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

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

iheartlogos
(iheartlogos.com - USA)
Season One Deadline Extended: 15 September 2010
Entry fees charged

HOW International Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline Extended: 15 September 2010
Entry fees charged

Summit Emerging Media Awards
(Summit International Awards - USA)
Deadline: 22 September 2010
Entry fees charged

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

Print Hand Drawn Competition
(Print Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 October 2010
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Interactive Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 8 October 2010
Late Deadline: 22 October 2010 (with late fees)
Entry fees charged

Print Creativity + Commerce Competition
(Print Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 October 2010
Entry fees charged

HOW Poster Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 October 2010
Entry fees charged

HOW Logo Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 15 October 2010
Entry fees charged

TDC Annual Awards 2011
(Tokyo Type Directors Club - Japan)
Deadline: 16 October 2010
No entry fees charged for overseas submittors

Basic Promo
(Index Book - Spain)
Deadline: 30 October 2010
No entry fees charged

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

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

Great Healthcare Advertising
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 15 November 2010
Entry fees charged

Great Graphic Design Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 15 November 2010
Entry fees charged

Graphis Poster Annual 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 29 November 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

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

Graphis Design Annual 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 10 January 2011
Entry fees charged

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

100 Best in Advertising 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 14 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Layout Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 15 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Brochure Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 15 February 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Use of Color in Graphic Design
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 15 February 2011
Entry fees charged

100 Best in Photography 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 9 May 2011
Entry fees charged

100 Best in Annual Reports
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 13 June 2011
Entry fees charged

Graphis New Talent Annual 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 13 June 2011
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. L├╝rzer'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