We have decided to pull the plug on our logo design contest. Thank you to everyone that contributed a design concept so far. After reviewing feedback we received from the online design community, we felt it was better to discontinue and cancel the contest. We consulted several designers as well as the AIGA to arrive at this decision.
The general consensus from the design community is that contests cheapen and hurt the industry as a whole and accepting work for free in the hopes of being compensated later is wrong. When we first launched our logo design campaign, we truly were just trying to have a fun contest that would bring in a wide and diverse group of talented designers to create a fresh and new logo for us. It was not intended to be a “branding relaunch” as we incorrectly stated. We thought that using a popular service like 99designs.com was credible and acceptable and would allow entry level designers to compete for a chance to earn $300. I feel contests are appropriate for some circumstances, but probably not for a logo. As with all art forms, graphic design is a professional and skilled trade that people who dedicate themselves to should be compensated for.
As an art organization ourselves that is part of the wider design community, we respect the views of everyone and we value input, even if our feathers get a little ruffled along the way [sorry @HelloMelendez ] We felt the spirit of our contest was pure and at no point did we intend or even consider that our contest would offend members of the community. For the record, SeattleArtists.com has graphic designers on staff and is a division of a larger creative web agency. We get it.
So, that being said, our logo design contest is official dead. We will review our future plans and consider alternatives for getting new designs in the future and may hold a call for portfolio submissions from which we can hire a talented designer for us.
Again, we thank everyone who gave us feedback and helped to guide us in making this decision.