[thelist] Logo Contest Question

Max Schwanekamp lists at neptunewebworks.com
Sat Feb 4 20:31:50 CST 2006

Antigone Zero wrote:
> Your Mission: To create a logotype containing a name and a sign for the new
> Institute. The logotype will be used on the Institute website and in various
> print materials.
> Have I legally obligated us to use this logo? What
> do we do then, put it up to meet our obligations? For how long? A day? A
> week? 

Do your contest rules specify?  If I was a young design student, I would 
likely be more interested in the exposure than the paltry $100.  So, 
yes, you may be well obligated to use it.  However, if you specify only 
that it will "be used" and not that it will be "used on all pages of the 
website in perpetuity" then perhaps you can just post a "contest 
results" page, in a site blog page (if you have one), or just some 
one-off "current news" page, and use the logo on that page.  Obligations 
fulfilled.  (Something similar can be done with a printed page).

> And how do I tactfully tell the designer that he won because he had
> the only entry, and we don't actually like his work (at least this specimen
> of it, for $100 he probably didn't spend a lot of time on it)?

I'm with aardvark. Be honest.  *Especially* because this is from an 
aspiring designer!

> And, for future reference, other than specifying that the logo 'might' be
> used, what should I have done here? What would have been a reasonable prize?
> Do you think we didn't get any entries because our Institute's mission isn't
> 'sexy' (we're engineers) or was to hard to design for, or because AIGA
> disapproves of works on spec, or was it just that we didn't put up enough
> money?

The latter.  $100?  What is that, dinner for one at a decent restaurant? 
  No way.  Suggestion: if all you want is a logo, go to one of the logo 
design sites such as LogoWorks.com and pay $300-400 for a decent logo. 
Otherwise, hire a pro locally.  I'm actually surprised that no one has 
jumped on you for that.  Would anybody on this list recommend having a 
website design contest on similar terms?  I understand you're trying to 
work with limited funds, but if you want professional design services, 
go to a professional designer.

Max Schwanekamp

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