Sunday, January 29, 2012

Adventures in Logo Land

While recently upgrading my websites I was struck by how many business identities I've had over the years. Hansel and Gretel left crumbs on the trail marking their journey; I've scattered logos along mine.

Peacock Sign Co. Logo 1 (1974)

While walking around Woodland Park Zoo one day in 1974, wondering what to name my newly launched sign painting business, I heard peacocks calling in the distance. Voila! A new business name was born, Peacock Sign Company. Painting paper banners for grocery stores helped pay for school and supported my book buying habit.

Peacock Sign Co. Logo 2 (1977)

In 1977 I married Vicki and supplemented our youth pastor's income by painting . Here's logo #2 for Peacock Sign Co.

Magazine Cartoons and Illustration (1979)

In 1979 I sold my first cartoon to a national magazine (Sat. Eve. Post). Vicki and I danced around the living room like we'd won the lottery. 

Vicki turned her immense art skills into a commercial venture, too (1980)

One of the funnest activities Vicki and I have done over the years was taking art classes. We took a calligraphy class together in 1980. She combined her excellent penmanship with her crow quill pen skill and soon she was up to her elbows in India ink. This was before our five kids came along.  

Family Challenge Ministries (1998)
From 1976 to 1998 I worked with teenagers in a number of churches. In 1998 we "retired" from parish ministry, took the plunge, and started a counseling practice called Family Challenge Ministries. I got the idea for this logo while on a family trip to the Science Museum in BC.

Cartoon Faces Caricatures (2000)

When not counseling couples and families I indulged my interest in drawing by teaching drawing at WWU and WCC and doing live caricatures at fairs, fests, and business events starting in 2000. This self portrait appeared on my Cartoon Faces business cards during that eight year frolic.

Youth Pastor Coach (2002)

A short lived business venture included a stint as Youth Pastor Coach, mentoring young adults working with teens. This logo was drawn by artist Fred Harper.

Positive Turn Life Tools (2004)

The entrepreneurial bug bit me again in 2004 and I launched a business called Positive Turn Life Tools, creating and manufacturing volvelles (aka adjustable round charts or data wheels) on which appeared tons of info on a circular chart. Luke Markowski designed this.

Erik Johnson, LLC (2008) 

Our counseling practice grew and we changed the name to Erik Johnson, LLC. Luke Markowski designed this logo, too. 

Mediation Services (2009)

In 2009 our practice expanded to include peace making in areas beyond couples and families.Erin Sullivan designed the Conflict Mediation Coach logo.

St. Whimsy Publications (2012)

For many years I've been free lance writing under the business name St. Whimsy Publications (I was one of the religious humor writers for Christianity Today). I finally got around to giving that business an icon.  

Here's my take on this trail of logos.

1.  I'm probably ADD.
2.  Running businesses feeds my love of adrenaline. 
3.  I've got 89 businesses to go before reaching the Fortune 100.
4.  I used to ride my bike in Bill Gate's Medina neighborhood. While he was programming computers I was doodling. If our roles had been reversed he'd be posting his legacy of logos on computer software that made me the mega-billionaire. But I wouldn't trade him places.

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