Chances are, you probably already know Shiref’s work. Maybe it’s a flag flying on your neighbors’ balcony, or a bumper sticker on the car in front of you. Perhaps you met him at a craft fair and bought one of his bridge prints.
When the St. Johns Boosters received a Placemaking Grant from Venture Portland to add banners to electrical poles in St. Johns, our Banners Committee knew right away that we wanted to work with this popular local designer! We knew Shiref could create a beautiful and eye-catching design to help drive traffic to the Boosters’ website marketing local businesses.
Interview with Shiref
Interview by Liz Smith of Bizzy Lizzie Social Media Marketing.
I recently sat down with Shiref of Alshiref Design to talk about his design background and why St. Johns is special to him.
Q: How did you get interested in graphic design?
A: Drawing was a lifelong interest growing up. I went to college to study social service, so I have a social service degree. Ten years later, I decided I would rather do what I loved to do, so I went back to school to study graphic design in Portland. I graduated in 2010.
St. Johns Flag
Q: How did you come up with the idea of the St. Johns flag?
A: Five years ago, I was talking with my neighbors and we decided that our neighborhood needed its own flag. They said, “you’re the graphic designer, you should design it!” I came up with several ideas and shared them with my neighbors and together we settled on the design that you see now. Each part has a meaning: the bridge symbolizes connection, the circle (or sun) symbolizes community, and the river is the flow of life. You’ll see with the bridge that one leg crosses over to the other side. This is connection of us not only to each other but to other communities.
Q: What are you doing when you are not designing?
A: Cooking, playing soccer with my kids, playing with my dog Lucky, playing in a local band, or sailing on the Columbia. One day I went out on my friend’s boat and they asked me to be on their sailing team.
Q: Where can people find your work?
A: Salty Teacup in St. Johns just started carrying my products, so you can see them there. I do many outdoor street fairs including the St. Johns Bizarre, Crafty Wonderland and the Portland Saturday Market. People are also welcome to visit me in the studio, by appointment. My studio is in the Pioneer United Methodist Church at 7528 N. Charleston in St. Johns, near the library. To make an appointment, contact me at email@example.com
Q: Which neighborhood projects are you working on next?
A: I am working on the poster for the St. Johns Farmers Market, which opens on May 19th. It is exciting because I did the poster for the 5-year anniversary of the market, and this year is the 10-year anniversary.
Favorite Thing About St. Johns
Q: What is your favorite thing about living in St. Johns?
A: My favorite thing is that everyone knows everyone. When you are walking down the street, everyone says hello or at the very least, acknowledges each other. This is how it is in Europe, so it is what I was used to before I moved here. In other cities where I have lived, they don’t do this. But St. Johns is a friendly place, and a great place to work and raise a family. In fact, St. Johns is like a big family.
You can see more of Shiref’s work at Alshiref Design.
Get Your Name Up Top — Sponsor the Banners!
As part of the Banners Placemaking Grant from Venture Portland the St. Johns Boosters need to raise $3,000 from sponsors. Depending on the sponsorship level you select (Bronze, Silver, or Gold), you will receive 3 weeks, 5 weeks, or 9 weeks of advertising up top in the header of the Boosters website. That will give you visibility on each page of the site, and the opportunity to get your message in front of the over 1,000 website visitors we have monthly.
Sponsorship benefits also include social media posts, and, for Gold sponsors, 1 week of your message listed on the marquee in front of the Bridge. All sponsors will receive a signed limited edition print of the poster. Only one poster will be printed per sponsor!
To participate, go to the Banners Project section of our website.