Sunday, March 13, 2011

Oops! We goofed. [logo contest]

We've just learned that having an logo contest may not be such an awesome thing to do.  It turns out that the design industry frowns upon such contests as they undermine the value of artists work.  We apologise!  We truly had no idea.  We just thought this was an awesome way to get people engaged in Awesome and we would promote the winners work in return. 

Due to this new knowledge, we are suspending the contest (we certainly don't want to offend awesome artists or designers!) but if there are graphic designers/artists who would like to volunteer with the team of Awesome volunteers to help us come up with a new logo - we would love to chat with you.  After all, our mission is
"The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences is an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe."
So, we don't want to do anything that's not forwarding awesomeness for everyone.  Thanks to those who pointed our faux pas out to us ... seriously, we had no idea.  

Springing forward,


  1. If you caved so easily on your first public move to a handful of relatively disorganized artists, I'd hate to see what happens when you encounter substantial opposition. Remember that the quality of being awesome comes from deviation and disruption from the current way of understanding or practice of what is expected, not from continuing business as usual.

    As a freelance artist of over a decade, I am disappointed that you would let the least innovative in our industry suppress the creativity and competition from new and aspiring artists who should keep raising the bar for established artists.

  2. Hi Ben, thanks for your comments.

    While I've received a substantial amount of feedback similar to yours, I'm quite comfortable with the decision made about withdrawing the logo competition. I wouldn't characterize it as 'caving'. For myself, as a trustee, having looked into the considerations around spec work, I personally don't believe that the competition achieved what we wanted to.

    As an experienced artist yourself, if you're interested in helping to support Awesome, we'd love to hear from you! With a decade in the business, I'm sure you'd have some fantastic ideas about our creative.

  3. Hi John,

    Unfortunately I do not have time for yet another organization that self-justifies through PR and politically correct spin their decisions to avoid taking any risks that may offend others and to not even give their own ideas a chance at succeeding. There are enough of those lingering on in Calgary standing in the way of good ideas.

    I'd much prefer to support one of the skunkworks projects by any of the established foundations who've allotted substantial funding and open mandates to colonize the space you're in, or to help any one of your more agile upstart competitors in 12-18 months to excel in the vast areas around you once you've non-offensively defined yourself into narrow politically correct niche.

    If you are unwilling to take a risk on and for yourselves, why should anyone else support you?

  4. Hey Awesomeers,

    I happen to support your faux-pas acknowledgement and policy amendment. I think that inviting interested parties to contribute to the logo design as volunteers is the best compromise to meet your goals AND for artists to get credit for their work.

    Contests/spec work really DO undermine the value of artwork and I fully support any action that counters the idea that artists should work for free. At least as a volunteer I can add that to my CV. "I entered a contest I found online and came in second place after investing 10 hours" doesn't have a place on your resume.

    I can't speak for anyone but me, myself and I but I don't perceive the decision to suspend the contest and amend the means to the same end as a "cave" based on the fear of "offending any or everyone". In fact, if I'd shown up here and found the contest first, I can admit that I might have been a little offended. Instead, the first thing I found was you acknowledging a mistake, as well as offering up a solution. It says to me that there is learning and growing as this awesomeness develops.