"Proudly Pinoy" Logo Design Competition
The Winning Artist

When Mr Joe Talisic dropped by our office for the handover of the prize money, we took the opportunity to snag an interview with the creator of the winning entry. During the competition, Mr Talisic submitted his entries only under a nickname ("XYJ"), and did not include a link to a web site, blog or home page, so his identity remained a mystery. Moreover, two of his three entries drew on themes from the Katipunan and fight for independence. Consequently we were surprised to find out that Mr Talisic is actually our close neighbor here in Cebu City, hailing from Guba, a mountain barangay a little further up the hills from our office in Barangay Bacayan, in the Talamban area.

Joe's First Entry

The Winning Entry

Joe's Third Entry

Q: So you're from Cebu?

A: Yes, I was raised in Guba.

Q: A sparsely populated mountain barangay of Cebu. Yet two of your entries had a theme commonly associated with the Tagalog area. I mean, in Cebu the national symbols are Lapu-Lapu, or Magellan's Cross. But you chose Aguinaldo as the theme for your first and third entry. So that's why I am surprised to discover that you're Bisaya.

A: I really like my first entry. I wanted to show "the Philippines at heart."

Q: So that's why the star with the "P" is on Aguinaldo's left chest, where the heart is... What software did you use to make the winning logo?

A: Adobe CS3 Package. On a Macintosh.

Q: What inspired you in the creation of this logo?

A: I'm a creative [person], and I wanted to make it unique. I wanted to express nature in the Philippines, and used the concept of a shell, to symbolize both the humanity and natural bounty we have in the Philippines.

Q: A shell? It's not a hand?

A: It is a hand. It is a hand, symbolized by a nautilus shell, holding the flag.

Q: And the gentle way the hand cradles the sun, it evokes love, and warmth, and caring, which are traits more important in the Philippines than in any other country... Filipinos often don't realize that family ties here are stronger than in other countries, that Filipinos care more for each other than do other people. It's what makes Filipinos special.

A: [Nods]

Q: How long did it take you to make this logo?

A: I did it in one night.

Q: One night? You prefer to work at night?

A: I did it after work. Actually then it was revised two times.

Q: What is your work?

A: I work as a senior art director at an advertising agency in Doha, Qatar.

Q: So right now you're on vacation?

A: Yes, I'm flying back to Qatar next week. I'm on a two-year contract, just finished one year.

Q: How can you design artwork in Arabic? Do you speak Arabic?

A: We have teams of designers, both English-speaking and Arabic. First we design it in English, then the Qatari designers convert it to Arabic.

Q: Do you design logos as part of your job?

A: Yes, one of my creations was selected by Logo Lounge for a book to be published in 2008.

Q: Wow. By the way, belated congratulations on winning the Proudly Pinoy contest.

A: Thank you. I wasn't sure if I would win. So many entries, and many had web pages...

Q: Your entry didn't stand out at first, because it is subdued and elegant, and not very loud. But it withstood the test of time. It had an inner, quiet beauty. How did you get into graphic design?

A: I was at first interested in Japanese animations. Later I became a core member of Cebugrafika, the group of graphic artists organized by Norman Nimer. I'm not a Fine Arts [major].

Q: What about experience work-wise here in the Philippines?

A: I worked for the Aldeguar group of companies...

Q: Island Souvenirs!

A: Right.

Q: I bet that was good training.

A: Yes it was. And I also did some graphic design work for Penshoppe, before going abroad.

Q: Do you have some advice for aspiring young graphic artists?

A: I don't consider myself good enough, I'm still in the process of--

Q: [Interrupts] Oh come on... Any advice for those who want to design good logos?

A: Focus on the purpose of the graphics.

Note: The interview was conducted on July 21, 2007. Since no tape recorder was available, the wording has been paraphrased from a shorthand transcript and may not necessarily be 100% accurate.

Copyright 2007