An innovative logo gets stuck, a shameless (but belated) plug, a crowdsourced logo contest causes an uproar and two others go awry.
Innovative logo gets stuck
When the Smithsonian Institute unveiled their new Department of Innovation blog and representative logo, critics were quick to pounce on the fact that the logo didn’t work. Not visually, but in actuality. The three gears would lock up if they had to turn (above left). After coming under fire on various political blogs, the logo was quietly changed so that the gears could turn (above right). If they were real. That got people pointing out that the varying spaces between the gears would lead to the little teeth shearing off. If the gears were real. And if they had to turn. Not the launch anyone wants for their new logo (hope people don’t look too closely to the gears in our logo).
Via: Logo Design Love.
Shameless, but belated, plugs department
Over the summer, while we were on hiatus, missed the opportunity for a shameless plug about our humble shop. Namely a nice little interview with yours truly that showed up in Canada’s The Globe and Mail small business channel on the importance of a decent logo, and the value of keeping a logo simple but smart. Worth a read if you have a few minutes to spare.
Huffington Post raises designers’ ire
When the Huffington Post started a logo design contest, they probably didn’t realize the firestorm they’d ignite. After all, a design contest is a cheap way to get stuff designed, crowdsourcing is the latest thing, and some lucky designer would be thrilled to have their work featured all over the internets, right? Well, ignite a firestorm they did, with designers and non-designers giving the political news site one helluva backlash through comments and blog posts and even media mentions in AdAge, Media Bistro, Politico and Forbes. The fact that a $300 odd million company was asking for a free logo was a bit much it seems. Obviously taken aback by the fury of the response, HuffPo were quick to issue a release defending their actions
“We asked fans of HuffPost Politics to submit suggestions for social media icon designs as a fun way of enabling them to express their passion for politics — and for HuffPost. As readers of our site know, we frequently engage our community with requests for feedback and suggestions. So while AOL Huffington Post Media Group employs an in-house team of more than 30 talented designers, we felt this would be a lighthearted way to encourage HuffPost Politics users to express another side of their talents.”
What’s interesting about this particular episode is that spec work (and the design community’s opposition to it) finally got some mainstream press. And new anti-spec work initiative antispec.com received quite a lot of buzz.
It’s all in the redaction
Speaking of crowdsourcing (oh yes, we were), new startup Shopsantity were so thrilled about their naming and logo design project on Crowdspring, they wrote a post extolling the virtues of the Chicago-based spec work platform. Called it Crowdspring saved us $200,000 (not sure where that figure comes from) and went on about how great it was to have a logo designed via a design contest. Only one small problem. The winning entry they picked was pinched from Shutterstock (whose terms of service strictly forbid their images from being used in a logo of any sort). That led to an update on the blog that took away a little oomph from the original endorsement:
“Thanks to the feedback of commenters, we found our crowdSPRING sourced logo was stolen from elsewhere and then sold to us. Yikes. We don’t condone IP theft in any way, and, we assume, neither does crowdSPRING. We’ll post again when they respond. Does that make us rethink crowdsourcing generally? Not entirely. We wish crowdSPRING had done a better job of policing the entries, but at least there’s someone we can now hold accountable for that problem. Managing our own policing effort sort of defeats the purpose of using a place like crowdSPRING for something quick.”
How do you say ‘doppelganger’ in Italian?
Which brings us to another logo contest controversy, this time for the Italian Minsitry of the Interior, who like so many others before them figured a 3,000 Euro prize would net them a pretty decent logo.
Trouble is, the design they picked is almost a carbon-copy of an earlier logo created by UK designer Roy Smith in 2008 for the French Property Exhibition. Gives you the warm and fuzzies about this crowdsourcing lark, huh?
Hat tip: Logo Lounge.
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