ActiveCaptain Logo Design Contest

ActiveCaptain has selected their winning logo design.

For $300 they received 278 designs from 25 different designers from around the world.
Contest
Logo Design Brief Hide
ActiveCaptain
United States

Slogan

The Interactive Cruising Guidebook

What We Do

ActiveCaptain is the interactive cruising guidebook for people who stay on their boat overnight and beyond.

Industry

Sport

Top Three Things to Communicate

#1 - We are innovative and interactive (as opposed to the paper guidebooks they use now).
#2 - We are real and stable.
#3 - We are boaters ourselves.

Our Target Audience:

People who are on their boats now or people who will be on their boats in the future for one night or beyond. This is typically a couple in their 50's or older with higher than normal income. They have higher than normal education. They are often environmentally aware. Many are looking for ways to save money. Most are looking for some type of adventure.

Color Preferences

We're open to color. Obviously, blues and greens signify boating but that shouldn't constrain any design.

Our Ideas and Additional Information:

We need a logo with our name included that would look really nice on hats, shirts, burgees (flags on a boat), etc. as well as on our web site. As our users write more reviews, they receive items (like a hat). We want them to wear the hat when they check into a marina because it says to the marina that this person writes a lot of reviews. We want the hat to be noticed by the marina and we want it to look good enough so the boater will want to wear it.

We will also have other software under the ActiveCaptain brand for boating uses. For example, we're working on some boating weather applications for the iPhone and other mobile phones. We'd like the icon for these additional programs to have some component of the ActiveCaptain logo in it so that it is obvious that this software addition is part of ActiveCaptain.

Because the logo will be embroidered, it is very important that it will look good in stitching - no gradients, not too many colors, etc. It needs to stand out in a room full of people wearing hats.

We have an existing logo on our web site (www.activecaptain.com) but it doesn't have to look like that. We're making a major change to the web site and would like a fresh look. We're also interested in other design help for the web site.

The slogan doesn't have to be a part of the logo especially if it makes the logo more complex looking.

Themes

Simple
Colorful
Sporty
Adventure

Style

Wordmark

Stylized type that may include small abstract or pictorial elements.
Pictorial Mark

Literal or representative imagery is used to symbolize the brand.
Famous Logos displayed under fair use to enrich the general publics' knowledge of graphic design.

Applications

Web
Clothing

Entries
Order by Ranking Entry Number

Contest Entries

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Discussion

Discussion

ActiveCaptain
United States
Thanks for all of the first designs. I'm impressed with your abilities!

There were a couple of other points that the designs made me think of. I though it would be good idea to add some more about them here.

- Our users are well split between owners of sailboats and power/motorboats. No sailor wants to be associated with a motorboat. This is somewhat true for motorboaters too although perhaps to a lesser degree. So images of boats are probably not going to work - it's going to offend half the users - unless it is some type of style that each type of boater can identify with. Flowing sails often have a "boat" meaning and that's probably OK but it's close to being dangerous. Helms are OK because they are used in both types of boats. Google "helm wheel" and click on images to see some samples - there are many.

- Our users access our site on the internet. Today, almost every overnight boater also has a way to get internet on their boat. So they are very connected. One of the huge advantages of our interactive guidebook is that they can get up-to-the-minute reviews and information about places they are going. We track fuel prices for example - something that can change daily. This has a big advantage over a traditional guidebook that is out of date the moment it is printed because the information can't be updated. So a big part of what we do is "connect" the boater to all of this live information on our site.

- Check out our favicon by going to www.activecaptain.com and looking at the little icon that shows up for our web site in the browser (next to the URL generally). Our original concept was a helm with an RSS type of "connected" icon. I can make larger versions of that available. We aren't tied to that at all and in fact are looking to change that to something better designed. I'm a software developer that I did that one - we need something fresh.

- There are lots of other marine/boating/nautical imagery. Google "nautical flags" and look at the image results. Every letter has a nautical symbol associated. I see many designs in other contests using letters from the name and some early designs here used A and C. Perhaps there's a cute way to use some of the flags - they are generally high contrast because they are meant to be seen over long distances (in older days). Also Google "nautical chart symbols" and click on images. There are standard symbols used in nautical charts for buoys, lights, and many other things.

- Remember that we're trying to convey that we're a guidebook. If you're not familiar with boating, consider how you'd use a guidebook for a foreign city if you hadn't been there before. It sort of gives you a general idea of things to explore. A guidebook for a boat is similar.

There are two people evaluating the designs. We'll give individual feedback for each design within a couple of hours - we'll be checking here continuously. I'll make other general comments here as your designs make me think of things.

You're all very talented. I'm really glad that we decided to use this for our logo!

12 years ago
ActiveCaptain
United States
Lots of interesting work in just the first day. Thanks for all of the attention.

The thing that hasn't been explored are things that represents a guidebook. That's a really important part of what we're trying to convey.

I'm also not against seeing things that are more abstract. Everything has been very concrete so far. I'm not necessarily looking for something abstract but I wonder if that might help with some design ideas.

Please don't hesitate to ask questions. I'm trying to provide a lot of feedback to each design.

12 years ago
ActiveCaptain
United States
Thanks for all of the new designs. It's helping us to understand what we're trying to say about our product.

We're thinking that my suggestions about using some type of book are creating logos that don't look very nautical. They won't make other boaters think that the logo is about boating. They're also a little too complex for hats.

The logos we have liked so far have involved waves. So we're thinking that perhaps the right image to project is one of being "active" on the water. #30 and #44 are starts in those directions.

I've also been writing a lot about things that we don't like. I'm honestly trying to be helpful - I hope all of the feedback is being taken that way. It made me think that I'm not showing enough things that we really do like. So we hunted around and found a couple of logos that we think are really nice:
http://www.oceanleadership.org/
http://www.nycia.com/graphic_design/logo_portfolio.asp?id=1

The thing that we like about them is that they really stand out. They'll look great on hats. We seem to like "waves" and the "ocean". There's also a simplicity about those designs.

Please let me know what other types of feedback would help.
12 years ago
ActiveCaptain
United States
I've made a bunch of additional "hat" images with the different logos that are currently at the top. You can see them here:
http://www.activecaptain.com/logo/hats-2.jpg

Take a look at those. Ask yourself, which hat looks best? Which one allows you to see our name and makes you think about our boating application (an interactive guidebook).

Also, almost every logo is using three very similar colors. There is absolutely no requirement at all to use those colors. I'm not saying that I don't like those colors but the powder-blue/medium blue/and gray give a very low contrast image. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using additional colors. Blue itself is not a requirement - we have no color expectations at all for this. Feel free to explore and surprise!
12 years ago
GoNorth
Canada
So is the design basically chosen already?

Just reading through some of the comments on cemerydesign's entry page
http://logotournament.com/contests/activecaptain/by/cemerydesign

12 years ago
ActiveCaptain
United States
It's certainly over if no one else provides any other designs.

Here's where we are:

- I'm very happy with the first 6 designs. We've selected those for now to show a group of others to get their impression.

- If the contest ended today, I would be very happy to select one of those designs.

- There are almost 5 days left. I'm definitely interested in additional ideas. Why wouldn't I? I can guarantee that additional designs that are re-works of existing ones aren't going to get our attention. If you want to be in the final selection, you need to come up with something new.

I've taken almost all of the top designs and put them onto hat designs, jacket designs, our web site, and even on the side of our boat (all through Photoshop). Just because I'm doing that and continuing the dialog with some designers doesn't mean the contest is over.

A real competitor doesn't stop the race with 2 laps to go. They run to the end...
12 years ago
ActiveCaptain
United States
I've given almost 200 comments so far. I don't know how much more encouragement I could possibly give.
12 years ago
ActiveCaptain
United States
OK, we're down to the last 2 days. There are three designs we've narrowed everything down to. It's worth noting that one of the designs just showed up for the first time a day and a half ago. So if you have something interesting and captivating, now is the time to put it up!

The final three designs on hats can be seen here:
http://www.activecaptain.com/logo/hats-3.png

We like a few of the varieties of the third design and selected the simplest one for the hat example.

12 years ago