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Atlanta Silverbacks Retain Name; Launch Logo Design Contest


Louis

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i don't get the hate for spec work, unless it's just the "i want more work and more money!" jealousy (for lack of a better word)

to those saying it devalues the design industry... it doesn't, in my opinion. value comes from supply and demand. if a team can give out free tickets to a fan to design a new logo, the fans like it, the team likes it, and the "design industry" is left out in the cold, then so-be-it. sounds like the only loser there is the "design industry."

fans have come up with good designs before, and professionals have come up with AWFUL designs quite regularly.

judge a logo by it's own merits. not by who designed it or what they were compensated for it.

I agree. Why should you ask teams to support artists and designers who went to college and dedicated themselves to learning the principles of design and are trying to earn a living doing something they love (and are pretty good at) when there are a handful of fans who have photoshop and are willing to work for next to nothing.... I'm sorry, what was your point again?

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i don't get the hate for spec work, unless it's just the "i want more work and more money!" jealousy (for lack of a better word)

to those saying it devalues the design industry... it doesn't, in my opinion. value comes from supply and demand. if a team can give out free tickets to a fan to design a new logo, the fans like it, the team likes it, and the "design industry" is left out in the cold, then so-be-it. sounds like the only loser there is the "design industry."

fans have come up with good designs before, and professionals have come up with AWFUL designs quite regularly.

judge a logo by it's own merits. not by who designed it or what they were compensated for it.

Next time you need dental work done, don't go to a dentist. Have everyday people to come by your house and try to fix your dental problem. Tell them you'll buy them lunch if you like their work. I'm sure one of them will get it right eventually. Plus there are probably dentists out there that have botched a job at some point, so why trust professional dentists anyway?

Better yet, go around to different dentists and see if they'll do the work for you for free, but tell them they're only going to get paid if you like their work. Then when it comes time to pay, see if they'll just let you take them out to dinner.

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i don't get the hate for spec work, unless it's just the "i want more work and more money!" jealousy (for lack of a better word)

to those saying it devalues the design industry... it doesn't, in my opinion. value comes from supply and demand. if a team can give out free tickets to a fan to design a new logo, the fans like it, the team likes it, and the "design industry" is left out in the cold, then so-be-it. sounds like the only loser there is the "design industry."

fans have come up with good designs before, and professionals have come up with AWFUL designs quite regularly.

judge a logo by it's own merits. not by who designed it or what they were compensated for it.

I agree. Why should you ask teams to support artists and designers who went to college and dedicated themselves to learning the principles of design and are trying to earn a living doing something they love (and are pretty good at) when there are a handful of fans who have photoshop and are willing to work for next to nothing.... I'm sorry, what was your point again?

Stop trying to force your unreasonable costs on the job creators and let the free market decide.

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my point being: you get what you pay for. if you're okay with letting amateurs create your sports identity for you, then you live with the results. they don't owe a paycheck to professional designers if they're okay with their minor league soccer team having an amateur design. and i don't understand why that arrangement upsets so many people on this forum, unless it's just that they're upset that a minor league sports team doesn't value their artwork nearly as much as the artist themselves obviously do.

sports design is purely an aesthetic business that teams can devote as much attention and care to as they please. comparing it to anything that isn't also a liberal arts field is ludicrous. and yes, i know what forum i'm registered at.

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i don't get the hate for spec work, unless it's just the "i want more work and more money!" jealousy (for lack of a better word)

to those saying it devalues the design industry... it doesn't, in my opinion. value comes from supply and demand. if a team can give out free tickets to a fan to design a new logo, the fans like it, the team likes it, and the "design industry" is left out in the cold, then so-be-it. sounds like the only loser there is the "design industry."

fans have come up with good designs before, and professionals have come up with AWFUL designs quite regularly.

judge a logo by it's own merits. not by who designed it or what they were compensated for it.

I agree. Why should you ask teams to support artists and designers who went to college and dedicated themselves to learning the principles of design and are trying to earn a living doing something they love (and are pretty good at) when there are a handful of fans who have photoshop and are willing to work for next to nothing.... I'm sorry, what was your point again?

Stop trying to force your unreasonable costs on the job creators and let the free market decide.

said better than i managed to.

if teams would rather NOT pay big money to professional designers, that's their prerogative. THEY are the market.

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my point being: you get what you pay for. if you're okay with letting amateurs create your sports identity for you, then you live with the results. they don't owe a paycheck to professional designers if they're okay with their minor league soccer team having an amateur design. and i don't understand why that arrangement upsets so many people on this forum, unless it's just that they're upset that a minor league sports team doesn't value their artwork nearly as much as the artist themselves obviously do.

sports design is purely an aesthetic business that teams can devote as much attention and care to as they please. comparing it to anything that isn't also a liberal arts field is ludicrous. and yes, i know what forum i'm registered at.

In the end, then, what you're saying is that the work that designers do isn't worth anything, and that they all deserve to go hungry.

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my point being: you get what you pay for. if you're okay with letting amateurs create your sports identity for you, then you live with the results. they don't owe a paycheck to professional designers if they're okay with their minor league soccer team having an amateur design. and i don't understand why that arrangement upsets so many people on this forum, unless it's just that they're upset that a minor league sports team doesn't value their artwork nearly as much as the artist themselves obviously do.

sports design is purely an aesthetic business that teams can devote as much attention and care to as they please. comparing it to anything that isn't also a liberal arts field is ludicrous. and yes, i know what forum i'm registered at.

In the end, then, what you're saying is that the work that designers do isn't worth anything, and that they all deserve to go hungry.

no... i'm saying that if the people who buy logos would be just as happy buying the logo from someone that isn't as skilled or as well-compensated, then get over it. no one OWES business to artists.

there are benefits to professional graphic design, and you get what you pay for. no one owes anyone any business simply because "they'll starve" if they don't get said business.

your argument is akin to saying that hiring a garage band from the local high school to play the prom after-party means that you think what the rolling stones do is useless, and you want them to starve to death. it's ridiculous. and yes, the atlanta silverbacks are to professional sports what a garage band is to the music industry. we're not talking about the new york yankees and manchester united here. i love this forum, but the pretentiousness of the people who act like graphic design is life and death is ridiculous. i get that it's a way of life for many of you, and a career that you rely on to feed your family, but you can't force an owner to care about your logos if they're okay with using just anything from the scrap heap. it's not a wise choice on their part, usually, but its not criminal and it's entirely their decision.

i post on and read this forum because i care about news of what teams will wear. i'm not a professional graphic designer. i'm an amateur graphic designer (at best) and i have a career in police work. i don't care who designed what. i care who wears what, and how it looks. i understand the value in a professionally rendered identity package. that said, i don't vilify those businessmen who don't, and would just as happily throw out a pair of season tickets to whoever can come up with the most promising crayon drawings. it's their business. not yours or mine.

again, this is about the concept that all good graphic designers are somehow OWED business. it's entitled crap.

i'm sorry that not everyone outside of the design community is willing to throw money at professionals to help them pay for their expensive education and rent...

but i refuse to feel guilty for eating dominos pizza when i know that there's a 5-star italian chef i'm not funding in the process.

and i refuse to feel guilty for changing the spark plugs in my own car, when i know there's a mechanic out there trying to make ends meet.

i can't stress this enough. if an owner of a franchise is okay with having a teenager with a cracked version of photoshop doing the re-design for their team, and the teenager is happy getting paid in a few tickets, a dinner with the quarterback, and/or an article on the team's website, then all you entitled, talented, struggling, educated artists just have to get over it. they found a way to an end result that is acceptable to them that doesn't involve you.

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IMHO Cole has a point. A competition is a very different thing from a pitch, or spec work. Spec work in my opinion is wrong, you wouldn't say to four builders build me a house and I'll buy the one I like. I think most people would find that pretty unacceptable, and quite frankly a ridiculous way of trying to get the best outcome.

A competiton on the other hand is a way for a franchise to reach out and involve it's fans. Yes it means from a design standpoint they're probably going to end up with an inferior product, but obviously they feel that the benefits gained, ie a stronger sense of connection/loyalty built with their fans, far out weighs negatives, and who can argue with them? What's better, having a slick logo that people think is "sick" or having loyal fans who'll attend games spend at concessions and will still buy whatever limited merchandise a lower tier franchise will produce. Yes ideally you'd like both but in order for smaller teams to survive first they need fans and the best way to retain those in the face of the big leagues is to make them feel more involved than the NFL, NHL NBA et al do, and what bette way to do that than let the fans have a real say in the logo?

I'm a designer and I can see why designers hate these things, and as I said I think the premise of spec work is wrong, but the truth is design agencies are for the most part two faced. They whine and complain about spec work and competitions devaluing design, but these same agencies expect kids who have spent four plus years at college gaining a DEGREE in the subject, who've studied their craft and are now FULLY QUALIFIED to work for FREE as interns, while all the while charging the kids time out and generating PROFIT for the agency! Until the design industry stops :censored:ing on it's own, it should shut up about the external things that it thinks devalue design and take a long hard look at itself.

9erssteve

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IMHO Cole has a point. A competition is a very different thing from a pitch, or spec work. Spec work in my opinion is wrong, you wouldn't say to four builders build me a house and I'll buy the one I like. I think most people would find that pretty unacceptable, and quite frankly a ridiculous way of trying to get the best outcome.

A competiton on the other hand is a way for a franchise to reach out and involve it's fans. Yes it means from a design standpoint they're probably going to end up with an inferior product, but obviously they feel that the benefits gained, ie a stronger sense of connection/loyalty built with their fans, far out weighs negatives, and who can argue with them? What's better, having a slick logo that people think is "sick" or having loyal fans who'll attend games spend at concessions and will still buy whatever limited merchandise a lower tier franchise will produce. Yes ideally you'd like both but in order for smaller teams to survive first they need fans and the best way to retain those in the face of the big leagues is to make them feel more involved than the NFL, NHL NBA et al do, and what bette way to do that than let the fans have a real say in the logo?

I'm a designer and I can see why designers hate these things, and as I said I think the premise of spec work is wrong, but the truth is design agencies are for the most part two faced. They whine and complain about spec work and competitions devaluing design, but these same agencies expect kids who have spent four plus years at college gaining a DEGREE in the subject, who've studied their craft and are now FULLY QUALIFIED to work for FREE as interns, while all the while charging the kids time out and generating PROFIT for the agency! Until the design industry stops :censored:ing on it's own, it should shut up about the external things that it thinks devalue design and take a long hard look at itself.

9erssteve

I'm not a designer nor claim to be but it seems like these contests are perfect for a young designer looking to make a name for themselves and launch their career.

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Of course it's not wrong or illegal. I don't have a problem with a company being upfront and saying compensation is season tickets. But hire 1 designer and give them those tickets. When you open it up you don't get an earnest effort. You get people throwing something together or old concepts. You dont get the time and care you get with a focused artist. You as the decision maker can look at options, make changes, be a part of te process an get the finished product you deserve.

We arent being pretentious, you don't need to hire ME, just HIRE someone.

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Of course it's not wrong or illegal. I don't have a problem with a company being upfront and saying compensation is season tickets. But hire 1 designer and give them those tickets. When you open it up you don't get an earnest effort. You get people throwing something together or old concepts. You dont get the time and care you get with a focused artist. You as the decision maker can look at options, make changes, be a part of te process an get the finished product you deserve.

We arent being pretentious, you don't need to hire ME, just HIRE someone.

While you're 100% right you wont get the same expertise or probably anything close to the best or most focussed solution, that's not always what minor league or start up teams are looking for.

As designers we (I know I certainly do) tend to become focussed on the aesthetics of a teams identity. And that's fine fine it's what we're trained to do. But it's not what the vast majority of sports fans look for. They want a connection. A relationship with the team.

Minor league teams need, FANS first, and slick identities second. What better way to connect with your local market than to actively engage them with regards the naming of the team and the design of the identity. Will it get the best logo, NO, but will it gain more media coverage and genrate more interest in your team than announcing you've spent a small fortune with Agency XYZ (who the vast majority of fans will never have heard of) to design you new logo? You betcha it will.

Teams can survive without a logo, hell the Cleveland Browns have managed it since day one. To the best of my knowledge a bad logo has never put a team out of business (entirely on it's own), but a lack of fans does it in the minor leagues of all ports EVERY YEAR.

At the end of the day one of the main functions of a logo is as a marketing tool. A mark to generate interest and association with your product or service, and if the teams can generate a bigger buzz with a poor logo designed by the local community than they can a slick one designed by a qualified designer, then it make sense to go with the one which will create the most local buzz.

Once the team is established and has secure revenue it can look to upgrade it's logos if it so desires, and at that stage then yes I'd advocate hiring a pro, but I can see why minor league sports teams are keen to go the competition route, as the short term benefits it can bring far out weigh the problems caused by a rough looking logo.

9erssteve

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We arent being pretentious, you don't need to hire ME, just HIRE someone.

Why?

If you can get someone to design a logo that the fans will choose by popular vote at no cost to yourself (except some tickets and t-shirts, so basically for free), why pay someone a lot of money to come up with something that may not be met with public enthusiasm?

There's no moral imperative that says that because you can hire someone to do something you therefore should hire someone. It's the old ethical truism that you can't derive an "ought" from an "is."

I could hire someone to wash my car or clean my house, but I don't usually do that because I care more about saving money, even though I may get a inferior product.

In this case, the Silverbacks may care less about quality and more about saving money, building a fan base and some of the other concerns previously stated.

I'm also on board with whoever said that this may provide an opportunity for aspiring artists to add to their portfolio, making them more marketable and getting them started in a career without slogging through a dog-eat-dog internship.

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Because I don't think a team is well-served by an inferior product. Which you will inevitably get.

That being said, I think there's a happy medium to be found. In 1977, the Milwaukee Brewers held a fan contest to design their new logo. They took the winning design:

oldlogo_story3.jpg

And then they turned it over to professional designers, who adapted it into something worthy of a pro team:

brewers+logo+classic.jpg

Win/win. Fans were engaged, and professionals did their jobs.

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That Milwaukee adjustment is "professionals doing their job"? We see derivative logos like that all the time where the professionals are taken to the woodshed for plagiarism. I would hope a professional's job is much more than cleaning up a few lines. Looks like all the creative work was done by the fan.

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thank god i'm not the only sane person in this thread anymore. i was getting scared.

I dont think it's a question of sanity. I think it's just a question of trying to figure out the objective of the excercise. The designers here, myself included would have the objective of producing the best looking and functioning graphic tools possible for the team. The team on the other hand cares more about generating some buzz and interacting with the fans. Two entirely different purposes for designing a logo. Neither one right or wrong just different sides to the same coin.

I think sports are a slightly different proposistion, to say websites where companies pitch their idea 200 people do the job and the company pays "the winner" $100 for something that is utterly generic and probably not fit for purpose. Or spec work where jobs are put out to tender and multiple agencies complete the task but only the winner gets paid. Those genuinely devalue design in my opinion.

With teams, especially minor league ones, it's all about generating a fast and lasting connection with the fans. Sports teams rarely have time to build brand loyalty in the way other companies do. Which is why I feel the competition thing is worthwhile, because as others have said once you have the fan idea you can always tweak it to make it tidier and more suitable to purpose after a few years, as a rebrand will always help boost merchandise sales.

9erssteve

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That Milwaukee adjustment is "professionals doing their job"? We see derivative logos like that all the time where the professionals are taken to the woodshed for plagiarism. I would hope a professional's job is much more than cleaning up a few lines. Looks like all the creative work was done by the fan.

Yes, of course it was. That was the point.

The logo was designed by a fan, and then his design was perfected by a professional designer hired by the team for that purpose. So you have a fan-designed logo that is of professional caliber.

Not sure where you think plagiarism comes into it.

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Again, nothing about this is illegal nor should it be. But being told we are pretentious for defending our profession is ludicrous.

I didn't say pay someone a lot of money. You can wash your own car for nothing and may do a bad job, you can pay someone $5 bucks to run you car through a crappy automatic, or you can go pay $100 to get it fully detailed. Or everything in between. I'm just asking that you don't offer all the neighborhood kids to wash your car over the next 5 days and whoever does the best job gets to watch your big screen tv for an hour. You get your car washed for 5 days in a row (poorly) and 4 kids get soaked for nothing. I'd much rather you pay those kids each $5 and then whoever does the best you hire for all future washes.

I'd probably be ok with this whole thing if they gave everyone who entered a free game ticket. It has nothing to do with the amount money. Just contests vs hiring someone.

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