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Meet the Designer Behind NYC Tech's SXSW Logo


NYC Tech

South by Southwest (SXSW) is in full swing!

And NYC is holding down the fort. As one of the nation's largest music, film, and interactive conferences, SXSW Interactive is the place to rub elbows with technologists and the best minds of the startup world while getting a sneak peek into the future of technology and digital creativity.  

Representing NYC Tech

tweet for a tee

The interactive portion of the conference ends today, but NYC tech has been well represented by folks from Digital NYC, NY Tech Meetup, and our Media and Tech desk since Saturday. Thanks to an eye-catching logo, NYC's tech presence has attracted positive attention at panels and our decked out Interactive Trade Show booth.

Our official SXSW logo, titled "Ever Upward," was designed by John Fisk, an award-winning graphic designer who resides in Brooklyn. Fisk won last month's open call for logo designs, securing over 500 votes in the public voting process (more than any other submission) and garnering the accolade from our panel of judges. 

Fisk's design is now featured on the NYC Tech in Austin Twitter and Instagram pages, the NYC Tech in Austin website, and, of course, all over SXSW.

Meet Fisk

We got to know the Brooklyn-based designer (who prefers to go by his last name), asked him about the inspiration behind his design and why, despite being from Oregon, he's proud to be based in NYC.

fuzzWho are you, Fisk?

I’m an award-winning graphic designer, originally from Oregon, happily residing in Brooklyn. I received training at The Art Institute of Seattle and am currently the creative wizard at Fuzz Productions.

I gather inspiration from an amazing array of sources, from Trestle Gallery art viewings and art installations with fellow members of the Gowanus Swim Society Art collective, to binge-watching anime, listening to Chiptune, and board gaming. I'm an avid Skee-ball roller, comic book lover, and wearer of a fanciful handlebar mustache. I’ve helped clients such as Sirius, Vimeo, CollegeHumor, CBS, and Citi.

What is the inspiration behind the design for your logo? 

The NYC Tech logo holds tons of inspiration and symbolism. I wanted to meld immediately recognizable images, yet try to keep it simple and reproducible.

Beginning with the Empire State Building, a universally known visual landmark, I needed to introduce the technology aspect. From the evolution of simple tools to complex molecular 3D printers, we are built as a society on the progress of tech. The circuit board helped me tell this story and at the same time, hint at NYC’s subway system. With the high-defining skyscraper and the busy information-passing circuits, I wanted a color to also embody the look. The oxidized copper of The Statue Of Liberty made a perfect color green for this mark.

Our state motto “Excelsior” not only describes us, but also our tech community… ever upward.

What is your favorite part about NYC tech?

My favorite part about NYC Tech is much like the city itself. It’s filled with diverse people coming from a multitude of backgrounds, sharing ideas, innovating change, and leading by example. 

Like any community, it’s the sum of the people who have created it, participated in it, and supported it.

digital nyc

How long did it take you to design this logo?

All said and done, it took me about 20 hours to create the NYC Tech logo.

In three words, how would you describe the NYC tech ecosystem?

Build. The. Way. 

Thanks for helping us represent NYC Tech in style, Fisk! Check out more of his work here and on social media. And if you're at SXSW, today's your last day to tweet or Instagram @NYCTechinAustin for a free t-shirt with the design! 

NYC Tech



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