Excavated Design Artifact #22

Another box of stored old project elements has been opened and I've found many more excavated artifacts from my 30 plus years as a graphic designer. I think it's going to take me years to go through all the folders of papers.

This particular project had its start back in the mid-80's, when I was the art director of a small advertising agency in Portland. One of the agency clients was considering opening an Italian restaurant with the very non-Italian name of Linda's - in honor of his wife. In preparation for the project the agency owner asked me to spend a bit of time roughing out a possible logo for the eating establishment (below left). In the end, the restaurant project never panned out and the design concept was filed away.

Fast forward over a decade and I was doing a great deal of design work for one of my favorite causes, Our House of Portland. The residential care facility for individuals with HIV/AIDS was preparing to host its fifth annual fund-raising dinner series. I was asked to create a logo for the 1997 activity - to be used on all promotion for the event, the program for the series and even an apron to be presented to those hosting the dinner parties in their homes.

In my archives I found two original doodles for the image to identity "Five Festive Years of Fabulous Feasts." The first (above center), on a scrap or printer paper, showed a somewhat ornate numeral 5 placed on a plate with a banner announcing the dinner series. An additional concept on ruled notebook paper (above right) hinted at the Linda's restaurant image of 12 years earlier. I went digging into my files to find the unused image from the past.

What evolved in the process was a somewhat retro diner look, in red and black, for the finished logo (above). My plate of squiggley spaghetti with meatballs, from the Linda's concept, found it's way into a customized numeral 5. Boca Raton Solid was implemented as the type within the graphic. The font being used at the time in all Our House branding was Letraset University Roman. It was incorporated into the dinner logo to compliment the organization identity and contrast the hard edges within the image.

The 1997 Our House dinner series logo appears in The New Big Book of Logos.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives