Jeff Fisher: The Graphic Design USA
"People to Watch in 2009" interview

In the January issue of Graphic Design USA (GDUSA) I was named one the "People to Watch in 2009." The news monthly has been a leading source of industry information and resources for creative professionals since 1963. The following is the interview published in the magazine and on the GDUSA website:

Jeff Fisher, author of Identity Crisis!: 50 redesigns that transformed stale identities into successful brands (HOW Books, 2007), is the Engineer of Creative Identity for Jeff Fisher LogoMotives. He has received more than 600 regional, national and international design awards for his identity design efforts for small businesses, major corporations, restaurants, government agencies, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and the performing arts. Jeff Fisher LogoMotives was recently named one of the 2008 StartupNation Home-Based 100 by the business website recognizing the top home-based companies in the nation. His work is featured in over 100 books about logos, the design business, and small business marketing. Fisher serves on the HOW Design Conference Advisory Council, and is past member of the HOW Magazine Editorial Advisory Board and UCDA Designer Magazine Editorial Advisory Board. He often writes for industry publications and online resources - including his own bLog-oMotives; judges design industry competitions; and speaks about the design profession to high school classes, design program participants, university students, design industry conferences and business events. His first book, The Savvy Designer's Guide to Success, was released in 2004 (Note: Savvy Designer has been re-released as a PDF on CD). He is currently writing a book, with the working title of Logo•Type, on the topic of typography in identity design. Fisher lives in Portland with his spouse of 19 years, Ed Cunningham.

In this economic downturn, name one thing you have done to weather the tough times. Historically, over the last 30 years, when the economy is at its worst my business is at its best. This is due to promoting myself ALL the time - not waiting until no work is coming in the door to initiate marketing efforts. With no client contact on Fridays, much of that one day each week is spent on self-promotion.

If you weren't a designer, what would you be? A gardener. Gardening has become a passion and my favorite form of therapy.

What's the one thing ALWAYS in your bag that you never leave home without? One of the three to four books I am usually reading at any given time.

If you could spend 15 minutes talking to any person, living or dead, who would it be and why? My great-grandmother, Osie Saltmarsh Cantrall Norris, was from a pioneer family that settled in Southern Oregon in the 1800's — and she was one of the most fascinating people in my life. As a child I spent a great deal of time with her, until she passed away in 1969. As an adult, I would be interested in hearing her perspective on the world of today and how she thinks her great-grandson has done for himself.

If you could work for anyone, a client or on a project, what would it be? It's been 16 years since I created the identity and branding for the Governor Hotel in Portland. It has always been one of my favorite and most enjoyable projects. Creating the graphic identity for a boutique hotel (or chain) would be an exciting challenge again at this point in my career.

The loving support of my husband and best friend, Ed

I was born on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini - May 21. As my spouse always reminds me, both of my personalities are stubborn.

The entire Jonathan Argyll Art Mystery series by English art historian, novelist and journalist Iain Pears.

The old Perry Mason series starring Raymond Burr - which has run at noon on Portland's KPTV since 1966 and I've been watching it since then.

Les Triplettes de Belleville

I've known pianist Thomas Lauderdale, of the group Pink Martini, for many years and their music is always in rotation on my iPod, home stereo system and in our vehicles. Jazz and pop vocalist Jacqui Naylor, the close friend of a designer pal of mine, is also someone I listen to all the time.

Strength: Continued passion for design after three decades as a professional.
Weakness: Procrastination

I resolve to not make any resolutions. Oops, guess I blew that already.

Interview: Graphic Design USA • Photograph: Ed Cunningham

'Identity Crisis!' author named one of
Graphic Design USA's "People to Watch in 2009

Jeff Fisher, the Engineer of Creative Identity for the Portland-based design firm Jeff Fisher LogoMotives, has been named one the "People to Watch in 2009" by the publication Graphic Design USA (GD USA). The news monthly has been a leading source of industry information and resources for creative professionals since 1963.

According to publisher Gordon Kaye, each year GD USA chooses a group of People To Watch who embody the spirit of the creative community. Kaye adds that those chosen are "individuals who we have come to know and respect for a combination of talent, leadership, success, insight, business savvy, community service and newsworthiness."

"It is a subjective process," says Kaye, "This is a field deep with special people doing special things."

Fisher, author of the book Identity Crisis!: 50 Redesigns That Transformed Stale Identities into Successful Brands (HOW Books, 2007), has worked as a professional designer for 30 years. He has received over 600 regional, national and international graphic design awards for his logo and corporate identity efforts - including a total of 20 American Graphic Design Awards from GD USA.

The designer's career efforts, and related advice, are featured in over 100 books on the design of logos, the business of graphic design, and small business marketing. His first HOW Books offering, The Savvy Designer’s Guide to Success, appeared on bookstore shelves in late 2004, and was recently re-released in PDF format on CD. The author's upcoming volume, "Logo•Type" - on the topic of typography in identity design - will be released in 2010.

Fisher often writes articles about design topics for industry publications, webzines, blogs and other resources. He is also a nationally-recognized speaker; making numerous presentations each year to conference audiences, design organizations, design schools, universities and business groups.

In 2008, Jeff Fisher LogoMotives was recognized as one of the top 100 U.S. home-based businesses by the web presence StartupNation.

For four decades, GD USA has devoted the January issue of the magazine to the "People to Know" list. Many of the legends of design across generations have been featured, including Primo Angeli, Walter Landor, Milton Glaser, Massimo Vignelli, Saul Bass, Steff Geissbuhler, Margo Chase, Bill Cahan, Sean Adams, Moira Cullen, Bill Grant, Debbie Millman, and Stefan Sagmeister.

In addition to Fisher, the 2009 "People to Watch" selections include the following: Marc Alt, Brian Brindisi, Norman Cherubino , James Clunie, Hillman Curtis, Becky Eason, Charlyne Fabi, Gretchen Finch, Stanley Hainsworth, Mark Hamilton, Sagi Haviv, Linda Henneman, Julia Hoffmann, Timothy Holmes, Vicky Jones, Seth Labenz, David Langton, Jake Lefebure, Kevin Lyons, Ed O'Brien, Michael Ozan, Mark Randall, Roy Rub, Brian Singer, Ted Stanaszek, Dana Steffe, Shalmir Tippit Johnston and David Turner.

More information about Jeff Fisher, and his design and writing efforts, may be found on the Jeff Fisher LogoMotives blogfolio.

© 2009 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives