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On Mon, 2010-11-15 at 16:25 +0800, David Nelson wrote:

@TDF guys: I'd like to make one last plea for my idea of a logo/mascot
competition (if you have clear arguments against it, I'll drop the

Contests are devoid of the traditional client/designer relationship.
There tends to be no strategy, no briefing, no iterations.

A contest means that each participant invests their time, betting on
creating the one design that will be selected. Contest holders don't
value people's time and effort and you have to wonder if participants
value their own time and effort.

Contests do not speak of community and cooperation. It's everyone
against everyone else. Building on each others work is discouraged.

The risk of ending up with a "good" design that just lacks some
refinement is sometimes met with a refinement stage after the contest.
There you can marvel at design by committee in action. 

You will often see lots of participants with little or no design
education and a panel of judges that have little to no clue what they
are actually looking for, either. Do you think BMW, Apple or Gucci would
hold a logo design contest?

4) We can capitalize on the contact we've made with Ubuntu Artwork; if
they're willing, they can "foster" us in this to some extent, and LibO
participants can learn and develop a lot of good workflow methods and
practices from an experienced and successful "big brother" project. It
will also develop and strengthen this new relationship.

You are deluded regarding the scale, reach and success found in Ubuntu
Artwork (as a community project). I told you before, but apparently you
didn't listen. Does it help to show this are not just claims of some
random guy if I say I have been involved since 2007 and have been
sponsored to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summit 2 times? (Hmm, guess
that means nobody should ask me about successful team-building!)

Guess I sound overly negative, but I just want to avoid wrong

On to the constructive part, what should happen:
First you need a good briefing. Even if you still do a contest, you
should have one. At the core is the mission statement of the entire
project. What are the goals? Based on that, you might formulate a
strategy. That's the foundation to decide on your tone and message. What
do you want to express with your visual design? Set priorities.

Without a good briefing, you have nothing to evaluate designs, expect
for the highly subjective "I like this" vs "but I like that".

Also see:

Developing such a briefing, as well as technical and legal requirements,
is a task best handled by a small group.

You could then select a single or maybe 2 or 3 designers, based on their
availability and past work.

Or, if you must, have a concept/drafting phase open for all. But instead
of turning it into a contest, it should be a designer's job distributed
on many shoulders.

Thorsten Wilms

thorwil's design for free software:

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