Iocnm LogoPer request, the International Organization of Cynics, Ne’er-Do-Wells, and Misanthropes has re-opened their Cafe Press store. Don’t forget to join!

I designed this logo many years ago for a friend. At the time, I was working as a designer for the region’s largest provider of labor-union identity goods, and this design is a sort of in-joke based on the many, many serious designs I produced for local labor unions over that several year period. I still see many of these designs in circulation today and I am really pretty proud of this work. To date, it appears to be my longest-lasting contribution to Northwest society. When I was a kid, I was deeply fascinated by logos in general and the logos of labor unions and military units in particular. To me, these appeared to be survivals of a heraldic tradition that was otherwise lost.

While the actual ties of these insignia to genuine medieval heraldry is at best debatable, I don’t think it’s inaccurate to characterize the insignia as used as such. Believing this allowed me to be pretty effective, I think, in designing, redesigning and rehabilitating the logos that these labor organizations use to express a shorthand visual identity.

The personal highlight of this came in 1999, on the first day of the WTO protests, when a huge labor march coincided with the less-disciplined activists to produce a crowd of over a hundred thousand in downtown Seattle’s streets. Many, probably most, of the labor union locals that were present that day were from the Pacific Northwest, and almost every one of them was wearing jackets or hats or carrying banners or signs with art that I had created. Thousands of people, using the art I had made for them in the way I had hoped to see it used. I’m grateful for the rare privilege of actually observing this in person.

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