In 1995 I sketched out a rough concept for a pro bono logo for the Portland nonprofit organization Esther's Pantry. Esther’s Pantry was founded in 1985 to provide individuals living with AIDS access to food and personal care items they themselves might not be able to afford. The organization was named in memory of Chester "Esther" Brinker, one of the first people in Portland to die of complications from AIDS.
Still, my take on "Esther" was meant to cause people to smile through the suffering and pain of the continuing AIDS crisis. I saw Esther as a bit of a "flasher," opening her jacket to reveal what was on the shelves of the "pantry." The female character in the design is actually a fairly good graphic representation of my late great-grandmother Osie Saltmarsh Cantrall Norris - a Southern Oregon pioneer and one of the most incredible people in my life.
In March 2000, the pantry transferred its operation to MCC Portland (I designed their logo in 1995 as well) and I was asked to redesign the logo as a grocery bag image that I never liked much. In fact, I've never even included that design in my portfolio. It was determined that my "Esther" - used in a limited fashion for a while - was a bit glib and possibly controversial.
I was very pleased when my Esther's Pantry logo was honored in the 1995 PRINT Regional Design Annual. I still smile each time I come across the image - and I'm sure that great-grandma gets a kick out of it, too.
It's great that Esther's Pantry continues on - with, it appears, an even newer logo. Each month 150 to 200 clients are allowed to select their groceries and personal care items from well-stocked shelves, rather than being handed a pre-packed box of food.
(This entry originally appeared on bLog-oMotives on December 30, 2006.)
© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives