logo mechanics format guide

Grab our free & handy guide to logo formats (a 3.5 MB .pdf) While it’s downloading, you can read about brand identity theft and how our work ended up representing other companies in Brazil and Ireland.

Let’s get the manual out of the way: As I mentioned a few days ago, we’re working on a new site design (for a couple of years now, our main site has been unyieldingly clunky) and rummaging through old blog posts and what-not, trying to figure out which ones can be left here, updated for the new setup or scrapped entirely. I’ve ran into a couple of pearls; WIP manuals that for one reason or another, were shelved after token announcements or mentions. One was our Guide to Great Logos that I wrote about a few days ago. Another is this pretty cool Guide to Logo Formats that was part of it. It’s a little dated maybe – many might argue that .EPS and .AI files are obsolete in favor of .PDFs – but it still covers some decent technical territory in layman’s language. This is an area that many novice and beginner designers have a hard time understanding and it’s usually complete voodoo to clients who receive their digital files after a logo design project is completed.

Download your free copy here (about 3.5 MB) Now, the segue into brand identity theft:

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crowdspring mavericks design contest

Apparently neither does he or Crowdspring.

Remember last summer – no, the summer of 2013 – when Marc Cuban announced that he wanted people to design the new uniform for his Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball team? No? You can read the long version here (I can wait) or we’ll recap: Billionaire entrepreneur Marc Cuban announced a Mavericks uniform design contest on his blog in a particularly dick way. Designers carped on Twitter and blogs as they are wont to do. Crowdsourcing platform Crowdspring jumped in, offering to host the contest – on top of stuff that was already being posted on Cuban’s blog – and pay out a G-note in prizes (split into $600 and $400) through a “Buyer Assured” contest.

We all know what “assured” means, but in this context? Simply put, it means that whoever is holding the contest, the “buyer,” is guaranteeing, in Crowdspring parlance “assuring,” to pay out prize money to a winning designer or designers (yeah, promising to pay a winner is actually optional on design contest sites, bless their hearts.) If a winner isn’t selected, or the prize money isn’t paid out, the platform is supposed to step in and either distribute it to multiple ‘eligible’ designers (ala 99designs) or pick a winner (ala Crowdspring.)

For the record, that contest was launched on May 14, 2013 and ended June 1, 2013 with participants “assured” that the “buyer” (as Cuban never promised to give anybody anything, I guess that’s Crowdspring themselves) would pick something and actually pay somebody. Cuban got oodles of free design stuff and one supposes, an awesome new uniform design. This enterprise was novel and as Cuban’s always newsworthy, Crowdspring got tons of free promo in the mainstream press while two supposedly happy designers would get some dough for their efforts. A trifecta of win. It was only snooty, whiny, cry-baby elitist luddites like yours truly that moaned about this happy nice-time event, refusing as always, to get down with this design crowdsourcing thing. Anyhoo, here’s how it went:

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Steve Douglas on September 9th, 2014

The Logo Design Contest Game

Designing free logos on contest sites for fame and fortune. (Theirs.)

It’s been a while since I’ve written a full-blown design contest screed or crowdsourcing rant (they’ve been done to death and for the time being, I don’t have it in me.) I also haven’t designed or illustrated something really, really complex – just for the hell of it – in quite some time. Figured this was the best of both worlds – a snarky, monster-sized infographic that imagines logo design contests as a game (which they kinda are) based on the real McCoy (or McCoys if you will.)

Here’s a bigger size (for more robust internet pipes:)

1000 px wide.

And a monster-sized one
(for those with really big monitors:)

1600 px wide.

Anyhoo, I set this puppy up in Illustrator over about a week, starting with the icons and spot illustrations, writing the text and then trying to incorporate everything into a zany board game theme, based on some foggy memories from my youth. Sure, the underlying subject matter is a pet gripe but I ended up having a lot of fun with this (while still attempting to illustrate the issues with spec work sites and design contests.)

Speaking of which – any similarity to actual design contest sites is purely intentional and in fact, I used exact scenarios, rules and methodologies from a leading one for direction. (There’s 99 reasons why I won’t say who it is. Not a hundred. Ninety nine.)

If you’re interested in a real logo game, you can always have a go at our latest Movie Logo Quiz.