Friday, January 7, 2011

Origins of the FABA logo

Marketing man Larry Kellogg's handiwork created in the early 1990s.
In the early ‘90s, Tampa Bay marketing pro Larry Kellogg took over management of the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair, which he continued for the next couple of decades. One of his early executive decisions was to create a new logo for the book fair, and there hangs a tale.

Kellogg, who was promotions manager for WFLA TV and Radio for several years and later was marketing manager for Bayfront Center, was also a circus nut. He went often to the circus as a kid growing up in Kansas. He loved the big top and everything about the circus, but especially the marketing and advertising -- the colorful hucksterism of it all.

This passion led to a job as regional publicist for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus in Sarasota. Collecting circus memorabilia – books, magazines, fliers, banners and those big gaudy posters -- provided another outlet for Kellogg's circus obsession.

Kellogg scoured local bookstores in search of circus books and became, naturally, a regular at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair. More dealers, more circus stuff, right?

Larry Kellogg
Kellogg struck up a friendship with Mike Slicker, first president of the Florida Antiquarian Booksellers Association, and a founder of the book fair. Eventually, Kellogg was asked to manage the annual fair.

Kellogg was an early adapter when it came to desktop publishing. He owned a TRS-80, Tandy Corporation’s early entry into personal computers, which was known affectionately by users and dirisively by detractors as the Trash 80. Kellogg toiled with an early version of CorelDRAW, a graphics program.

When Kellogg took over management of the book fair, one of his earliest moves was to create a new logo. He found illuminated letters in an art font program and constructed the logo in CorelDRAW, carefully cutting and pasting each letter and adjusting them until he got the look he wanted.

The logo was evidently an exercise in restraint, alien to his natural circus inclintions. Graphics experts and instructions for CorelDRAW advise using perhaps two, but never more than three fonts in a flier, Kellogg notes (he used only two fonts in the FABA logo).

“The only place you use more typefaces than that is on a ransom note or a circus poster,” Kellogg says with some amusement, ‘and you can use as many as you want on a circus poster.”

Larry Kellogg still collects circus memorabilita. He wrote a blog item last year for about searching for circus memorabilia at the Florida Antiquarian Book Fair.

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1 comment:

  1. Larry,
    Good Afternoon! I have a Ringling Brothers Picture mirror. I've heard that they did not make many of these and you would know something about it. On the rear it says Hoyne Industries 1974. I will try and upload the photo's.