Identity Re-Design: Sunriver Preparatory School

Back in 1997, while doing work for the TriAd advertising agency my sister owned at the time, I was asked to re-design the identity of the Sunriver Preparatory School outside of Bend, OR. The previous identity (below left), made up of fairly abstract calligraphic letterforms, really didn't say much about the prep school itself.

The "grocery list" of possible items to be included in the new logo included the nearby geographic landmarks of the Three Sisters Mountains, the ski slopes of Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top mountain and the Deschutes River. I was also asked to work in a reference to the school's wolf mascot if possible.

Once the graphic representation of the five mountains was created, it seemed natural to incorporate the river imagery as an "S" letter shape flowing through the design and to add the wolf silhouette viewing the scenery from atop a hill.

Although not a huge fan of the now over-used font Papyrus, the type seemed to work very well, over a decade ago, with the illustration style I had made use of in the logo design. However, I did smooth out the rough letterforms a bit to make them text seem a little less "bumpy."

The Sunriver Preparatory School logo received an American Corporate Identity 16 Award and, as a result, was published in the book American Corporate Identity 2001 (HBI, USA, 2000). It is also included in The New Big Book of Logos (HBI, USA, 2000) and Logo World (P.I.E. Books, Japan, 2001).

(Note: My book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, contains case studies from 35 designers and firms located around the world. Learn more about the book on the Identity Crisis! blog.)

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Excavated Design Artifact #19

As I continue to sort through boxes of past project files, I've found some excavated artifacts other than my own doodles. I recently came across a file of faded thermal paper faxes of client concepts for their own logos.

One such effort was a 1995 project for a Bend, Oregon client, Deschutes Plumbing. I was provided with three rough sketches and color suggestions for the plumbing contractor's business (above). The client wanted snow- capped mountains, trees, and a river flowing down the mountainside with a drop of water coming out of a faucet - or possibly two faucets. I was also given the directive "Colors: blue (water), forest green (trees, lettering)."

I don't know about the rest of you, but my first impression was a very clear image of a woman's breasts in the doodles - and knew that would not represent the business well. Still, within the rough ideas there were bits and pieces that could make up a much more concise, clean and usable identity design.

I immediately eliminated the idea of small tree elements, as they would most likely add too much detail to the design. I was able to incorporate graphic elements to represent the nearby Three Sisters Mountains and the Deschutes River. The letterforms "D" and "P" where drawn to resemble pipes, complete with a drip of water coming from the tap imagery. The color requests of the client were implemented as well. All of the elements were incorporated in a circular shape for ease of use in ads, collateral materials and vehicle signage.

The resulting image is still in use by the business 13 years later. It was also featured in the Japanese book New Logo & Trademark Design; later released in paperback by PIE Books as Logo and Trademark Collection.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Toot! Toot!*: Dynamic Graphics features
marketing efforts of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

The marketing and promotion methods of Jeff Fisher LogoMotives are featured in the June/July issue of Dynamic Graphics magazine. In the article, "Ingredients of a Successful Capabilities Presentation", designer Jeff Fisher's customizable media kit is displayed and his advice on capabilities presentations is shared. One of his company's familiar "Toot! Toot!" press releases illustrates the article and the blog promoting his recent book, Identity Crisis!, is noted.

Author and management guru Guy Kawasaki, Kevin Potts of Graphic Push and Ashworth Creative's Eve Ashworth provide additional presentation recommendations for the Dynamic Graphics piece. Daniel Schutzsmith, a professor at the School of Visual Arts and principal of DSGN + DVLP, wrote the article for the publication.

Dynamic Graphics presents design ideas for the real world for creative professionals, taking readers behind the designs in showing how to apply the techniques of industry leaders to projects.

Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity, is a member of the HOW Magazine Editorial Advisory Board, the HOW Design Conference Advisory Council and the UCDA Designer Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. His book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands, was recently released by HOW Books. His first volume, The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success, appeared on bookstore shelves in late 2004.

(* If I don’t "toot!" my own horn, no one else will.)

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

Prepare for any marketing or promotion
opportunity with a customizable 'media kit'

In my recent HOW Design Conference presentation, Planning, packaging and promoting yourself as the product, I discussed one of my most useful and flexible marketing and promotion tools - what I refer to as my customizable media kit. When a potential identity design client contacts me I can quickly assemble a complete marketing packet to send off in the mail. If an editor, writer or reporter needs additional information about my business I can adapt the included materials to their specific needs, too.

I've made use of the marketing packet for over a decade now. The presentation folders used (in the photo above) are purchased in bulk through an office supply store. The vast majority of the marketing materials are then produced in-house as needed, making use of a color laser printer. Creating the promotion tools in my home studio also allows me to customize each included document if necessary.

A Jeff Fisher LogoMotives brand compatible label is printed on adhesive backed stock and adhered to the front of the folder. Prior to mailing, the packet is filled with the printed elements specific to the targeted recipient. The packet is then placed in a white catalog envelope, prepared with a custom mailing label, for sending off to the addressee.

Depending on who is to receive the promotion information, the presentation folder may include:

1. A personal biography sheet (below left): The information basically mirrors the current Engineer of Creative Identity description posted on the Jeff Fisher LogoMotives blogfolio.

2.) A listing of awards won with my design work: In a little over a decade my design efforts have been recognized with nearly 600 awards and honors.

3.) A list of books in which my work, or references to Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, appears: Over 130 books feature my work to date.

4.) A page of articles written about Jeff Fisher LogoMotives: Published pieces from newspapers, magazines, corporate blogs and webzines.

5.) A list of articles I've written: Magazine and Internet articles I've written about design, identity, marketing and the business of design - including excerpts from my books Identity Crisis! and The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success.

6.) Speaking engagement list: Upcoming and previous speaking engagements, presentations and workshops.

7.) My estimate sheet: Showing my hourly rates does "qualify" many possible clients.

8.) A copy of my project agreement: (above center) This seems to be another excellent project "qualifer" for potential clients who may just be "tire kickers."

9.) My two-page Identity Client Survey: - Two pages of identity design related questions customized to the specific client to whom it is sent. I also send the questionnaire to the individual in email from for ease in answering the questions.

10.) Examples of my logo design work: (above right) I have a variety of pages of logo design examples ready to be printed as needed. I collate them and add a cover sheet that is basically a representation of my website homepage

11.) Several "Toot! Toot!" press releases: (above center) Sharing a few press releases informs potential clients, editors, writers and others about the latest Jeff Fisher LogoMotives news.

12.) Specialized logo sample sheets: If there is a request for examples from a specific industry I will include a pre-prepared sheet of examples for that type of business. Just this past week I supplied several sheets showing logo re-designs (above right) to a potential client looking to have an update of their current identity.

13.) My business card: I always include 2-3 business cards. One for the person receiving the packet and one or two that they can give to others who may desire the services of an identity designer.

14.) A copy of an article I have written: (above left) I like to include an example of an article I have written about some aspect of logo design. It may be a piece explaining my logo design process for a potential client, an example of my writing for an editor considering contracting me to write for a publication, or an article with some historical perspective on my business as a logo designer for a writer/reporter preparing to write about my business.

15.) Book promotion materials: With the late 2007 release of my book, Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities Into Successful Brands, I have been including some book marketing pieces in the packet. I may include an information sheet about the book displaying some examples of the published case studies, a couple "Jeff Fisher is having an Identity Crisis!" postcards, or some other piece directly recipients to the Identity Crisis! blog.

I usually have four or five completed media kits ready to send out at any given time. That allows me to respond to any potential client of media request almost immediately. With content flexibility, all I may need to do is delete or add pages that are specific to the request for additional information about Jeff Fisher LogoMotives.

Creating a "media kit" for your own work allows you to respond thoroughly and quickly to any request for more information about your business, in a customized manner. Producing it in-house keeps your cost be information packet to a minimum, allows for easy updating and gives you complete control over the contents you may want to distribute to a specific individual.

Note: My customizable media kit was featured in the June/July 2008 issue of Dynamic Graphics magazine.

© 2008 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives