Logodotes: 2 Boys in a Bed...

[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.]

To be honest, a designer doesn't often find themselves in the position to create a logo with the subject matter of "2 Boys in a Bed on a Cold Winters' Night." I've always been lucky enough to have the opportunity to balance my corporate work with design efforts that are a bit more off-the-wall. "2 Boys in Bed..." was a play being presented by local avant garde theatre company triangle productions!

During almost two decades of designing work for the theatre client, producer Don Horn has always provided the scripts to the shows for which I was creating graphics. In this case the title of the play described the show fairly well. In a 1987 New York winter setting, at the height of the AIDS crisis, two gay men met in a bar, go back to the threadbare apartment of one and, after having sex, end up having a lengthy discussion.

With the design, I immediately wanted to create an eye-catching and simple graphic that would subtly convey the activities of the characters and the passage of time during the night. Within the windows of three graphic panels (above) the moon and star elements seemed to move, hinting at the time passing. My warped sense of humor had a great deal of fun positioning the feet in the bed to reflect a variety of possible sex acts taking place as the night progressed.

The graphic image, without accompanying type spelling out the name of the play, was printed on the front of a white T-shirt promoting, and sold at, the show. The logo, with type (below) was reproduced on the back of the shirt. Ticket and T-shirt shirt sales were very successful.

I have shelves of T-shirts. I'll often grab one and put it on without even paying attention to the printed graphics. Such was the case on the day I wore my "2 Boys in a Bed" tee to a local grocery store. I was still oblivious when I became aware of a woman walking directly my way.

As she got closer she said, "I love your T-shirt design - where can I get..."

It was then I saw a look of horror come over her face as she zeroed in on the positions of the feet in the beds of the graphic. With her face now bright red, she added, "Never mind," and walked away as fast as possible.

If the hope of a graphic designer is for their work to produce action, or a reaction, the "2 Boys in a Bed..." logo was certainly a success.

The identity has been featured in the books New Logo & Trademark Design (Japan), The New Big Book of Logos, Letterhead and Logo Design 7, Graphically Speaking, LogoLounge - Volume 1, and New Logo: One (Singapore). On my Logopond showcase the comments and critiques of the design even drifted to the question of whether two men could have sex in one of the positions shown. It also has the distinction of being included in the recent Graphic Design Blog post "40 Weird and Playful logos – A Double treat!"

© 2011 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Kindle editions of design-related books feature logos and other work of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

The design work and career experiences of Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, are now shared in over 150 books on logo design, branding, small business marketing and other topics. A number of those books have now been released as Kindle Editions. The following are currently available for purchased downloads:

Breaking Into Freelance Illustration: A Guide for Artists, Designers and Illustrators, by Holly DeWolf (Kindle Edition, HOW Books, USA, 2011)

I Heart Logos, Season One (Kindle Edition, iheartlogos.com, USA, 2011)

Designing for the Greater Good: The Best in Cause-Related Marketing and Nonprofit Design, by Peleg Top and Jonathan Cleveland (Kindle Edition, HarperCollins, USA, 2011)

Best of Business Card Design 6, by Blackcoffee Design (Kindle Edition, Rockport Publishers, USA, 2011)

Letterhead and Logo Design 11, by Design Army (Kindle Edition, Rockport Publishers, USA, 2011)

The Designer's Guide to Business and Careers: How to Succeed on the Job or on Your Own, by Peg Faimon (Kindle Edition, HOW Books, USA 2011)

Type Rules: The Designer's Guide to Professional Typography, Third Edition, by Ilene Strizver (Kindle edition, Wiley, USA, 2010)

The Graphic Designer’s Guide to Better Business Writing, by Barbara Janoff and Ruth Cash-Smith (Kindle Edition, Allworth Press, USA, 2010)

1000 Retail Graphics, by JGA (Kindle Edition, Rockport Publishers, USA, 2010)

© 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:

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

2011 Labels of the World
(Neenah Paper - USA)
Deadline: 30 July 2011
No entry fees charged

Bright Ideas in Business Cards
(Bright Books - USA)
Deadline: August 1, 2001
No entry fees charged

Bright Ideas in Posters
(Bright Books - USA)
Deadline: August 1, 2001
No entry fees charged

Bright Ideas in Logo Re-Design
(Bright Books - USA)
Deadline: August 1, 2001
No entry fees charged

New Talent Annual 2012
(Graphis - USA)
Deadline: 9 August 2011
Entry fees charged

100 Best Annual Reports
(Graphis - USA)
Extended Deadline: 9 August 2011 (late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

W3 Awards
(IAVA - USA)
Deadline Extended: 12 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

1,000 More Type Treatments
(Rockport Publishers - USA)
Deadline: 15 August 2011
No entry fees charged

London International Awards
(LIA - UK)
Deadline Extended: 15 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Creativity 41 Print & Packaging Competition
(Creativity International - USA)
Deadline: 19 August 2011
Entry fees charged

CMYK Pro-Only Showcase
(CMYK - USA)
Deadline: 22 August 2011
Entry fees charged

HOW Interactive Design Awards
(HOW Magazine - USA)
Deadline Extended: 22 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Top 100 New Creatives #52
(CMYK - USA)
Deadline: 25 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Bright Ideas in Layouts
(Bright Books - USA)
Deadline: 26 August 2011
No entry fees charged

iheartlogos
(iheartlogos.com - USA)
Season Two Deadline: 31 August 2011
Entry fees charged

Hand Drawn
(Print - USA)
Deadline: 1 September 2011
Entry fees charged

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

Creativity + Commerce
(Print - USA)
Deadline: 15 September 2011
Entry fees charged

Summit Emerging Media Awards
(Summit International Awards - USA)
Deadline: 21 September 2011
Entry fees charged

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

Print in Motion
(Print - USA)
Deadline: 1 October 2011
Entry fees charged

I.D. Annual Design Review
(I.D. Magazine - USA)
Deadline: 1 October 2011
Late Deadline: 15 October 2011 (late fees apply)
Entry fees charged

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

HKDA Global Design Awards
(Hong Kong Designers Association - Hong Kong)
Deadline: 17 October 2011
Entry fees charged

Bright Ideas in Brochures
(Bright Books - USA)
Deadline: 28 October 2011
No entry fees charged

Color in Design Awards
(Print and HOW - USA)
Deadline: 1 November 2011
Entry fees charged

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

Brands of the World Logo Awards
(Brands of the World - USA)
Deadline: 31 December 2011
Entry fees charged

Communication Arts Illustration Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 6 January 2012
Entry fees charged

Bright Ideas in Use of Color
(Bright Books - USA)
Deadline: 6 January 2012
No entry fees charged

Summit Creative Awards
(Summit International Awards - USA)
Deadline: 13 February 2012
Entry fees charged

Bright Ideas in Logo Design 2
(Bright Books - USA)
Deadline: 2 March 2012
No entry fees charged

Communication Arts Photography Competition
(Communication Arts - USA)
Deadline: 16 March 2012
Entry fees charged

Bright Ideas in Business Cards
(Bright Books - USA)
Deadline: 4 May 2012
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. 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

Drawn By Success inteviews designer Jeff Fisher

What is being billed as the "lost interview" with Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the design firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, has been posted on the website Drawn By Success. In the interview, Secrets of Success with Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, the designer and author discusses charging higher fees, branding, using social media as a marketing tool and much more. The posted discussion was nearly considered "lost" due to audio production issues, but was recently successfully recovered.

According the site founder, illustrator and cartoonist Carlos Castellanos, Drawn By Success was created to serve as a valuable resource of proven marketing and positioning strategies to help freelance artists prosper at the creative work they love, while also serving as a source of encouragement and accountability to those artists bold enough to do the work necessary to attract better clients and charge higher fees and prosper as creative professionals.

© 2011 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives