A Lonely Place For Dying Logo Design Contest

A Lonely Place For Dying has selected their winning logo design.

For $300 they received 116 designs from 24 different designers from around the world.
Contest
Logo Design Brief Hide
BryteWerks
United States

Slogan

In A Covert War The Only Way To Hide The Truth Is To Bury It.

What We Do

Lonely Place, LLC, the production company for the award-winning feature film, A Lonely Place For Dying, is seeking a new set of branded "laurel leaves" for our movie as it wins awards at film festivals across the globe.

Industry

Entertainment

Top Three Things to Communicate

#1 - Award Winning Motion Picture
#2 - Classic Hollywood Style (Not Hip, Not Cool...But Timeless)
#3 - A Hint Of The Films Location: A Weathered, Abandoned Prison Deep In The Mexican Desert

Our Target Audience:

Cinephiles, particularly fans of character-heavy, dialogue-driven movies in the spirit of A Few Good Men & Pulp Fiction.

The movie, A Lonely Place For Dying, is a 1970's spy thriller with sharp dialogue, rich characters and impeccable research. Audiences describe it as "The thinking man's action film."

This set of "laurel leaves" will be used on DVD jackets, postcards, mini-posters and additional promotional materials as the movie wins awards at film festivals. Eventually, each set of laurel leaves will be included in the film's trailer.

Color Preferences

PREFERRED COLORS INCLUDE:
The color palette of the desolate Mexican desert: adobe, sandstone, sage, chocolate and rust.

COLORS TO AVOID:
Cliched colors of the Southwest, such as Turquoise.

Our Ideas and Additional Information:

Please reference traditional laurel leaves used at film festivals and on award winning movies. We aren't trying to reinvent the wheel here. We simply want a cleaner, more sophisticated version of the traditional "laurels" found on award-winning movies.

In general, laurels are generic and ugly. Here is a common set used:

http://www.k7movie.com/images/K7_laurels.gif

Those laurels and the text layout makes an artist want to cry. About 90% of all award-winning films use the same, boring, ugly, complicated set of laurels. We want to do better. You can help us.

Here are the main problems with existing laurels:

1.) They do not scale well. When printed on 4x6 postcards or as a row at the top of a movie poster, they have poor silhouette value and are difficult to read. They simply look like a busy mash of graphics.
2.) The shape and style of the laurels is generic, clunky, flat and ugly. Clearly, laurels are an ancient, classic symbol but these laurels have to be the worst interpretation of such symbolism.
3.) They often create awkward pockets of negative space when text is inserted between them. The laurels themselves need to be designed to accomodate the typical text that will exist between each laurel branch.

Because of this, please include the following generic text in your design:

WINNER
SPECIAL JURY AWARD
DURANGO INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
2009

OR:

OFFICIAL SELECTION
DURANGO INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
2009

Those are the two types of "text blocks" that exist on all laurels.

Themes

Simple
Subtle
Quiet
Serious
Classic

Style

Emblem

A badge that usually envelopes the logo
Famous Logos displayed under fair use to enrich the general publics' knowledge of graphic design.

Applications

Web
Print
Signs
Television

Entries
Order by Ranking Entry Number

Contest Entries

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Discussion

Discussion

BryteWerks
United States
Sigh...I wish line breaks were respected! The missing line breaks in the "Additional Information" section can create some confusion for designers. Please, note that the generic text should be:

LINE 01: WINNER
LINE 02: SPECIAL JURY AWARD
LINE 03: DURANGO
LINE 04: INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL
LINE 05: 2009
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
Sam -

The contest is for the laurels only. The movie's logo is already done.
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
Currently, there are 7 entries. Entry #6 is the strongest, but the key things I think need additional work:

1.) Stronger, more distinctive font
2.) This reinterpretation of laurel leaves might be too far removed from the traditional version and therefore the audience won't immediately recognize the symbolism
3.) There are still some awkward pockets of negative space

However, what I really like about this design is the strong silhoette value of the laurels. I like how the designer used white space to imply the leaves' folding across each other. I like how the overall shape is a compact rectangle (almost a square) making it easy to use in whatever layout it becomes a part of (from movie posters to motion graphics in a movie trailer).
12 years ago
00banned
United States
Awesome!!!
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
Sam -

I try to adapt. And, I want to treat you and the other designers well...I've been in your shoes. Design is a tough job.

I'll try to give very clear direction and I don't mind hearing what the designers have to say. I really hope the designers also contribute feedback about the designs.

- Justin
12 years ago
00banned
United States
Oh boy I just got a tremendous idea, you will see it up soon!
12 years ago
00banned
United States
hmmm ... you don't like the hand holding the laurels as much? should I concentrate on redoing just the laurels?
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
Sam -

The hand is a great idea, but I'm not sure it will scale well and it competes too much with the type. Unfortunately, the type is more important than anything else. This idea would look great on the big screen, but we need something that will scale as well.
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
We'll probably print smaller than 1/2"x1/2" We're anticipating we'll earn about 30-50 laurels. We won't put them all on a DVD box...but, we want to put a lot on. 1/2"x1/2" is a good rule of thumb for a theatrical poster. For a movie trailer, this is fine...there is far more lattitude for a movie trailer. But, as I'm sure your aware, often the worst/most constrictive medium defines the design.

My concern is that the text only occupies 50% of the space...and, the text is extremely important. No matter what the size or legibility, the purpose of the graphic is for the reader to read what festival we won something at.

I think it is a fantastic idea. Honestly, I do. But, what I need is something closer to a traditional set of laurel leaves...just with a better sense of style and illustration quality.

Most of the other submissions are sticking closer to what I need. Most are traditional laurel leaves...however, many are as simple as what is normally seen. WHat I like about your style, Sam, is that your illustration skills are solid. Treating the laurels and the hand as a psuedo-woodcut is great. I just need it to be slightly closer to traditional laurel leaves.

The goal isn't to reinvent the wheel here. It is simply to take the standard laurel leaves and do them better.
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
So far, the key thing I'm seeing is designs are falling into two categories:

CATEGORY #1: Traditional Laurels That Lack Punch
Entry #8, #11, #14, #19 are all clearly laurel leaves...but, they fall into the same trap that the traditional laurels do. The number of leaves is too many. They won't scale well. They have details that look great when printed or displayed in a larger medium, but will be tough to read when 1/4"x1/4" on the front of a DVD sleeve.

Look at the fifth set of laurels (closest set to the right) available at this link:
http://vector-art.blogspot.com/2008/06/laurel-leaves.html

I almost picked these. The biggest problem is they aren't available as vector art anymore. But, the fulfill everything I want...simple, classic, bold, good silhouette value. I'd make the white cut-outs a bit fatter so the image scales better. I'd thicken the black stem/vine for the same reason.

This design has only four sets of leaves (11 total) while most of the designs above are about 17 or more. Clearly, one can create the impression of a curving stem filled with laurel leaves and reduce the total number of leaves. The less leaves, the easier it is to scale, the more room there is for detail on each leaf.

A series of black pointy ellipses isn't what I'm looking for. The leaves need to look like real leaves. A thin line with lots of pointy ellipses is pretty much the same thing that is already used. I'm looking for something that has fewer leaves so the artist has more "pixel real estate" to add in detail (such as using white cut-outs to imply veins, overlapping leaves, different shapes, and the central artery that can be seen on the referenced laurel leaf set above).

CATEGORY #2: BOLD, OUT-OF-THE BOX REINTERPRETATION
Entry #6, #18, #23 are great examples of this. The only problem is these designs are too removed from the traditional laurel leaves. Often, these designs have the most style and clearly come from highly creative designers.

But, as the original "contest" (I hate that word) description said, we aren't trying to reinvent the wheel here. Channel your creativity into a better version of the traditional laurel leaves.

As an example, this is similar to a "rebranding" campaign. Think about the original Apple Logo...the rainbow apple broken into lines. When they rebranded, they didn't change the logo as much as they made it cleaner, simpler, classier. That's what I'm looking for here.

The design still needs to be laurels. It just needs to be BETTER laurels than what other films are using.

FINAL NOTE:
The "Soviet Style" text is a great idea. As I mentioned in the "contest" description, I was looking for one thing that would tie the final icon into our movie. It shouldn't be the laurels...they are universal. They're supposed to look like they were given to us by the film festival. But, the "Russian style" text is a great solution!


12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
Whoops! I space found its way into #23 above!
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
One note...after I had my team evaluate the current entries, we all agree that the Russian Text in #27 doesn't immediately read Russian. The first reaction from the audience is simply "Why are the letters backwards?" So, unless the font is more obviously "Soviet" this idea won't work.

I'd suggest flipping the letters so they are normal or looking for an ultra-soviet font.
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
Okay, Sam raises a good issue. Perhaps "Soviet-izing" the text is too ambitious. I don't really care what Russia thinks about a logo intended for the English-speaking world (my family left Russia for a reason, and they can kiss my now-American butt) but I do care about our intended audience either:

A.) Not being able to read the text because it has too much cyrillic.
B.) Simply flipping a couple letters, which doesn't look Russian enough and too much of the audience will say "Huh? Why are the R's backwards?" So, that's why Entry #32 is currently ranked as first place.

Sam, as for the 5K to 10K for a logo...damn, I should have been working for you when I was a logo designer! The most I ever got for a custom logo was 1K.

Also, neither of you should worry about what the other guy says. Think about this...I'm using Logo Tournament not just for this logo, but as a way to see who I think has the personality that I'd like to work with long-term. I need hundreds of graphic design materials a year...everything from movie logos (which I usually do myself, because I like to put my personal touch on my projects) to logos within a movie, to lettering in a movie, fake newspapers, cigarette boxes...everything. This movie was a graphic designer's dream! We had to recreate 1972...from cigarettes to lettering throughout a fake Mexican prison. Passports, car decals, microfiche, insignia's on props...we had a lot of work for graphic designers and I don't have enough time to do it all myself anymore.

So, please, let's stay polite. If someone has a critique of your design and it isn't me, consider that they just gave you an opportunity to redraft and win "the contest" (which, I hate the term). It can't influence me. I'm a graphic designer, too. I'm not like a lot of the contest holders who don't have a background in visual language. You could BS them about how red subconsciously makes people hungry and they'd nod and buy it.

Anyone who tries to undermine someone with dumb comments is simply shooting themselves in the foot because my entire staff reads this and we make note of who we'd like to work with long term. :)
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
What the hell happened? This is childish. I had the guy ranked as the winning entry!

As a side note, when someone educates me and says "Don't list someone as uninterested, rank them because they get points" I'll happily do so! There is 5 days left on this contest! I'm a fellow graphic designer and I'll bend over backwards to treat everyone who enters fairly!

But, withdrawing a design because of a beef with another designer is self-destructive. Withdrawing a design because someone else is designing something similar is self-destructive.

In the end, I assume there will be MANY similar designs because my guidelines are very clear. I'm asking for laurels! That's it. I'm not asking for someone to think up a logo from scratch, this is merely a rebranding of an existing image.

We all got to chill out here. I'm one of you guys! I've had clients reject my best stuff, I've had clients who give no direction, I've had clients who give contradictory direction, I've spent 2 hours on a logo that was approved and 40 on a logo that was never approved.

Gerasidi, if you quite because of someone else and not me, the client, how is that professional? I'm the client!
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
Okay, now that I understand that ranking helps designers I'll take the time to make sure EVERYONE is ranked, with the following exceptions:

1.) If your design looks like you downloaded a vectorized artpack from some website, then I'm listing the logo as "not interested." I'm a designer, people. You think I don't know how easy it is to buy clip-art? If I wanted clip-art, I'd pay 20 bucks and buy it myself. I want something original, I want something you designed.
2.) If the design is truly, truly the work of an amateur I can't reward that. Sam, Gerasidi Brendan and others are true designers. They're creating original work and they deserve to be ranked. If someone slaps some ovals with a bad typeface and can't take the time to kern properly, then it's time to go back to school. Sam, Gerasidi, Brendan and others are giving me professional designs to choose from.

I have such respect for this craft. I really want to make a lasting relationship with some top-notch graphic designers who can help me out now that I don't have the time to do this myself. I want to do right by everyone who submits to this contest. As I said earlier, feel free to educate me. I'll listen and I'll adapt quickly.
12 years ago
BryteWerks
United States
Gerasidi and Sam, you guys should be proud! Awesome designs, man!

Sam, I noticed you eliminated one of the leaves in your laurels, allowing them to reach a sharper point. Excellent choice, man.

Currently, I'm really torn. Both #52 and #60 just rock.
12 years ago
00banned
United States
You are right they are way too close.
12 years ago
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