The Boat Logo 2015 Edition

One last look at our infamous boat logo before setting it free.

Regular readers of our (now) legacy blog are familiar with the ongoing saga of “The Boat Logo.” Not going to rehash again – you can read this pared down synopsis or start here if you’re so inclined – but let’s just say, it’s the quintessential case study in why logo design contests are a pain-in-the-tuckus (and why it’s risky for designers to preview their work on the Internet until it’s well and truly in use or fully protected.) The Boat Logo’s been a running joke for years now, but we’ve grown so tired of playing whack-a-mole with this design – another outbreak this week – not only gonna show you how to make one in six steps, we’re gonna release the art into the wild so everyone can have their own.
How to make a boat logo

The devaluation of unique.

Used to be that logos were meant to be custom, original, one-of-a-kind. Designers as a species took great pride in delivering designs that were pretty much a company fingerprint. Apparently this isn’t as absolute as it used to be..
Not going to link to the portfolio that this thinly disguised version of The Boat Logo is being displayed in. That’s not the point, nor does it seem fair to center them out. Right now versions of The Boat Logo are all over the place, in at least three logo contests (on different sites) and there’s even a Frankensteined version for sale on a $99 “ready-made logo” store – that’s the “non-exclusive” price by the way, so it may have been purchased by several buyers already. Here is the point – what should be a valuable little bit of corporate identity has been rendered completely and utterly worthless. Worse than worthless actually. If anyone that’s read our blog over the last decade stumbles upon a variation of The Boat Logo in use, there’s a very high risk of mocking a’plenty.

Paying for nothing.

Anyone that pays a designer, a logo contest platform or a so-called ready made logo “store” a brass farthing for this artwork are being taken for a ride. A boat ride perhaps?

The guys selling it know that too.

I stopped getting aggravated about people knocking-off this artwork years ago and came to view it as grimly comical. Germans have a word for this kind of thing (they call it shadenfreude) but it does bother me that unsuspecting buyers are actually paying for something that’s been knocked off so many times, it’s now the most unoriginal boat logo in the history of ever. Accordingly, and with a little bit of melancholy, I’m gonna set this little fella free. Release it into the wild. free-boat-logoAt the bottom of this post you’ll find a link that leads to a vector PDF of The Boat Logo and its waves, portholes and sweeping hull. Use it. Abuse it. Mangle it. Twist it. Shear it. Give it away to whoever you like. Just don’t claim you designed it cause you didn’t. And for heaven’s sake, don’t try and sell it to anyone. Because it’s worth exactly what you paid for it.


Click on the link for your very own Free Boat Logo (PDF)