some time ago, i was mentioning to a friend how i needed to develop a couple logos, and he told me how his company had used logo tournament.
logo tournament is an online logo design website with a collective of designers from, literally, every corner of the globe. as a “contest holder”, you fill out a simple creative brief with easy-to-follow prompts (things like “what 3 things do you want this logo to communicate?”). there’s a set of sliding scales to move (masculine vs feminine, luxury vs every day, and a bunch more). eventually, you choose a dollar prize for the winning logo (there’s a $275 minimum). the site tells you how many submissions you can likely expect from various prize levels.
for my first try, i used logo tournament to design my logo for “The Youth Cartel”, my new brand for all the stuff i’m doing these days. i knew i wanted something a bit mysterious, even dark. i told designers i wanted something that felt like it would reside at the intersection of organized religion and organized crime.
each contest lasts a week. and my role, as a contest holder, is to frequent the site, ranking incoming entries and adding comments. this is critically important, because it gives the designers more input along the way. the first few days are a bit nail-biting, as nothing much comes in (either in quality or quantity). on both of my attempts, the early stuff was crap. but i used those to make comments about what i did and didn’t like.
eventually, in the last couple days, good stuff starts rolling in. i ended up giving focused feedback to about 5 or 6 designers who were each onto something possible. with each revision or variation they sent in, i ranked, eliminated and gave feedback and ideas.
when the contest times out, only the designer in the first-place ranking can submit further. that was important for me, as i needed a handful of tweaks at that point — all of which my first designer, who lives on the french island of reunion, off the east coast of africa, easily and promptly provided for me.
eventually, i choose a winner, and the funds i’ve pre-loaded are released to the winning designer. he uploads the final designs (i got two variations in black-on-white and white-on-black, with eps and jpgs of both). once i download and approve them, a contract is available that stipulates i own all rights to the logo (the designer only has rights for use in his or her portfolio). and the deal is done.
on my second logo competition, for the ‘Middle School Ministry Campference” logo, i was getting such slow traction, i spend an hour looking through the portfolios of the top 100 designers. those who had winning designs (in other contests) that had the feel i was looking for got a private message from me, inviting them to my contest and affirming their work. this resulted in a fantastic increase of quality and quantity.
the designer for my 2nd logo lives in romania, and he was wonderful to work with (eventually sending me, via email, a large file with a huge variety of file sizes and formats).
i write all of this as a blog post because i think logo tournament has so much potential for churches and youth ministries. sure, not everyone can afford $275 or $400 (i offered $400 for my first logo, and $300 for my second); but it’s certainly a lot cheaper than many traditional ways of getting a great logo created. i had well over 100 submissions in each contest (129 in the first, and even more in the second). just browse through the current contests, and some of the prior winners — it’s really fun; and very, very cool.
hope this helps some of you!