Toot! Toot!*: Designer|clown Jeff Fisher included in book 'RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50'

Designer Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives and Portland Rose Festival Character Clown Corps member Toots Caboose, is mentioned as a "ripe pioneer" in the recently released book RIPE: Rich, Rewarding Work After 50. The volume, by author, speaker and columnist Julia Moulden, is currently available at most online bookstores.

RIPE delivers the news that something wonderful – and unprecedented – is just beginning for those who have reached 50 years of age. Baby boomers like you are approaching the next phase of their careers with the confidence of mature professionals and the zest of beginners. They are becoming what Julia Moulden calls, “ripe”. Meet the ripe pioneers who told her, “This is the most deeply satisfying work I’ve ever done.”

RIPE introduces a twelve-week course that will help readers discover new passion, purpose, and possibility at midlife - and make a successful transition to the next, best phase of your career.

Jeff Fisher first became aware of Moulden, a columnist for The Huffington Post website, through social media posts regarding her blog entry, Ripe, Rich, Rewarding Work After 50. An email exchange led to Fisher being interviewed by Moulden about his design and writing career, playing outside of work, his experience of dealing with chronic vertigo, and - following improved health - becoming Portland Rose Festival clown Toots Caboose (above).

In the book, Moulden writes: 'Jeff Fisher, a graphic designer who became a character clown in his 50s, repeated to me what his grandfather said to him "Please tell me you'll never say, 'I should have.'" words to live by.'

Fisher, a 33-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. Several 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.

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.)

© 2011 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

A fun birthday package from my mother...

May 21 will be my 55th birthday - provided it is not actually the rapture, doomsday, or judgment day predicted by some. Although, we supposedly no longer exchange gifts in our family, simply because none of us need any more stuff, my mother does somehow find it necessary to send presents. I must admit the package that arrived this week was a very pleasant surprise.

Initially, when I opened the box, I found wooden coasters bearing the logo I created for the Oregon Department of Forestry when the agency's identity needed a makeover. The coasters were produced to celebrate the department's recent 100th anniversary. Celebratory banners have been temporarily added to my logo design. The box also contained two coffee cups noting the occasion.

The case study of the Oregon Department of Forestry logo appears in my book, Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands. I probably see the design more than any other I've created in my 33-year career. It is on display along highways throughout Oregon, often beautifully carved in wood, on signage designating state forest lands.

In addition, the box contained two mugs commemorating the Sisters Rodeo. According to my mother, although I designed the logo over a decade ago, the Sisters Rodeo Association recently produced the item and is offering it for sale in their gift shop. My partner Ed and I have decided the cups will be finding a home in our camping vehicle - the Get-Get-Get-Away van.

The identity was included when the Sisters Rodeo was inducted into the Library of Congress “Local Legacies" archive. The rodeo logo received an Award of Merit in the Central Oregon Drake Awards and a Silver in the Summit Creative Awards. It also is featured in The Big Book of Logos 3, LogoLounge - Volume 1 and Design for Special Events.

© 2011 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

How does the garden grow?: The challenge of replacing my winter-damaged ceramic planters

Several years ago, in a search to find planters for the front porch of my home, my friend Mike Smith - co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery - took me to a garden pottery wholesaler. I was thrilled to find three large ceramic pots that perfectly matched the purple of the front door (below). Over the next few summers the planters were filled with purple fountain grass, purple and green sweet potato vines, pansies and more. During the winter months the vessels were often planted with a variety of kale.

Following the cold and icy winter of 2009, I noticed fine cracks beginning to appear in the surface of the pots. A few small pieces of the purple finish even began to fall off. Fortunately, the seasonal vegetation in the planters covered the increasing flaws.

This past winter the planters began to fail even more. Large portions of the finish began to fall away from the pots after another unusually cold winter (above). The search for replacements began.

With friends and neighbors complaining about winter damage to their own planters, I started looking for substitutes that might better handle the elements. I must have looked at every fiberglass, resin and concrete planter made on websites, at home improvement stores and at nurseries. Most were fake in appearance, too shiny, poorly designed or just plain ugly.

The arrival of my Crate & Barrel catalog resulted in a couple of possible solutions. One, a bronze option, came with the disclaimer "bring indoors during freezing temperatures." Right - I don't think so. The other was a bit more intriguing to me - a tall, square zinc planter with a shallow insert for plantings.

After a visit to the local Crate & Barrel, three of the planters appeared on the porch (above). Ed, my partner of over two decades, suggested feeding drip line sprinkler lines up through the drainage holes in the pots and inserts. I then smashed the old, purple ceramic pots with a hammer; using the pieces to weight down the bottom portions of my new porch decor. After doing so, I had to go plant shopping.

Most of what I planted in the pots came from another favorite local nursery - Marbott's. Spiky Cordyline australis is the centerpiece of each planter. They are surrounded by Blackie sweet potato vine, Blue Picotte Lobelia, the almost chartreuse Marguerite sweet potato vine and Antique Red Diascia. I look forward to the pots filling in as spring progresses - and seeing how the planters survive the changing seasons.

Note: You might want to check out my flower pot umbrella stand, hose guide and copper pipe garden trellis projects. I also have a regularly updated Flickr photo gallery of images from my garden

© 2011 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives designs included in 'Basic Identity' volume from 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 recently released book Basic Identity. The volume, from Spanish publisher Index Book, is currently available online and at bookstores worldwide.

Fisher's identity for Emerge Medical Spa at Bridgeport is featured in the book, along with branding projects from 151 designers and firms, representing 30 nations. The Emerge logo, stationery package and signage are highlighted in Basic Identity (below).

The Emerge Medical Spa logo also appears in The Big Book of Logos 5, 100s Visual Logos & Letterheads (UK) and American Corporate Identity 2008.

Fisher, a 33-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. Several 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.

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.)

© 2011 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:

ADC Young Guns 9
(Art Directors Club - USA)
Late Deadline: 30 May 2011 (late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

Graphis Photography Annual 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 31 May 2011
Entry fees charged

Graphis Advertising Annual 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline Extended: 31 May 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW In-HOWse Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Final Deadline: 1 June 2011 (late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

HOW Logo Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 June 2011
Late Deadline: 15 June 2011 (late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

HOW Poster Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 June 2011
Late Deadline: 15 June 2011 (late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

FPO Awards
(UnderConsideration - USA)
Deadline: 3 June 2011
Entry fees charged

American Graphic Design Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Deadline: 10 June 2011
Entry fees charged

American Printing Awards
(Graphic Design USA - USA)
Deadline: 10 June 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

cause/effect
(AIGA San Francisco - USA)
Deadline: 24 June 2011
Entry fees charged

The Designer's Web Handbook
(HOW Books - USA)
Deadline: 30 June 2011
No entry fees charged

International Wine Label Design
(To benefit Volunteer Center of Napa Valley - USA)
Preliminary Deadline: 30 June 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW Interactive Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 July 2011
Late Deadline: 15 July 2011 (late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

LogoLounge Book 7
(LogoLounge - USA)
Deadline: 1 July 2011
Paid site membership required

New Talent Annual 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 5 July 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Layout Ideas
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 29 July 2011
No entry fees charged

2011 Labels of the World
(Neenah Paper - USA)
Deadline: 30 July 2011
No 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
Late Deadline: 1 September 2011 (late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

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

Communication Arts Typography Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 9 September 2011
Entry fees charged

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

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

Communication Arts Interactive Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 7 October 2011
Entry fees charged

Great Use of Color in Graphic Design
(Ampixx Books - USA)
Deadline: 30 November 2011
No entry fees charged

LogoNest 02
(LogoNest - Australia)
Deadline: 31 December 2011
Paid site membership required

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 140 graphic design books. Many of those inclusions are the result of design competitions, or requests for submissions, like those listed above.

© 2011 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives