Excavated Design Artifact #11

Sorting through 30 years of files and boxes of old design projects is a major undertaking. I've been doing it for several months now and I've only made a small dent in the archives of my work. I'm also archiving old project floppy and zip disks as I dig through the stuff in my home-studio. Still, I guess that it's a good thing I seldom throw anything away.

The other day I was going through a box of old papers and came across a page of media contacts. Many of the names had been crossed out. Phone numbers were scribbled all over the page. I couldn't imagine why I might have saved the piece of paper. I turned it over and discovered numerous phone messages, obviously transcribed from my old answering machine. There were some other messy mindless sketches at the top of the page. Doodled at the bottom was the image of a television set, a micro- phone and a newspaper - the beginnings of one of my favorite initial logo efforts.

In the early 90's I started doing contract design work for an independent public relations and marketing specialist by the name of Denny Shleifer. Shortly after starting our business relationship, he asked if I could design a new logo for his business - something that was more dynamic and fun than the image he was using at the time. Shleifer brought an energy to his work that I hadn't experienced in many people in his industry and he was a great deal of fun to be around.

The doodle above, surrounded by other notes, was obviously done while I was on the phone with someone else. The black ink of the drawing matches some other notations. It immediately captured the persona of Denny Shleifer.

Once in a while there are those logo concepts that I just know will be the identity to represent the client. This was one of those situations. I remember showing Shleifer the final concept and he responded with "Wow, this is me!"

The design provided me additional confidence in my logo design abilities when it was selected to be included in the Rockport Publishers book Letterhead & Logo Design 4. Years later it was featured in The Best of Letterhead & Logo Design.

In 1995 Shleifer incorporated his business and changed the official name to Shleifer Marketing Communications, Inc. The altered name required a few adjustments in the logo. I unsuccessfully tried to convince my client that "Inc." did not need to be in the new image. Still, it didn't seem to be too distracting in the revised identity.

The new Shleifer logo got additional exposure in the books International Logos & Trademarks 4, Letterhead & Logo Design 5, More Logos & Letterheads, and the Japanese offerings New Logo & Trademark Design and Logo & Trademark Collection.

(The post originally appeared on bLog-oMotives on July 10, 2007.)

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives