Managing the Waterway Logo Design Contest

Managing the Waterway has selected their winning logo design.

For $350 they received 584 designs from 77 different designers from around the world.
Contest
Logo Design Brief
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mtw
United States

Slogan

Cruising Guides & Electronic Charting

What We Do

We are self-published boating authors with four current titles. The titles are divided into two categories: cruising guides and electronic charting. Cruising guides are similar to Michelin, Fodors, or Frommers guides except they are targeted to traveling boaters. Marinas, anchorages, bridge schedules, and fuel docks are the focus versus the hotels, restaurants, and museums of interest to car travelers. Electronic charting is similar to using a GPS such as TomTom or Garmin in your car except you use your laptop with a USB GPS and marine charts to pilot your boat. We are widely accepted as the leaders in the "laptops aboard" category and a strong and upcoming player in the cruising guide category.

Industry

Sport

Top Three Things to Communicate

#1 - Detailed and accurate
#2 - Modern techniques and up-to-date content
#3 - Smaller company, less formal

Our Target Audience:

Retired or semi-retired experienced boaters who travel long distances versus afternoon recreational use, typically as "snowbirds." Upper income, higher educated, and a bit adventurous.

Color Preferences

Up to you pros! [smile]

Our Ideas and Additional Information:

Our website is: www.managingthewaterway.com

Themes

Colorful
Bright
Loud
Modern

Style

Wordmark

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

Literal or representative imagery is used to symbolize the brand.
Letterform Mark

A monogram usually consisting of 1-3 letters.
Character

A mascot represents the brand.
Famous Logos displayed under fair use to enrich the general publics' knowledge of graphic design.

Applications

Web
Print
Signs
Clothing

Entries
Order by Ranking Entry Number

Contest Entries

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1 2 3 ... 11 12 13

Discussion

Discussion

mtw
United States
Really would like to stay away from "reflections." I think they make the logo difficult to quickly see and understand. Also has to work in B&W as well as color so the letter geometry and shape is preferred using bold color and an eye-catching style (similar to the Turbo Web Design tournament that ended yesterday or the day before. Also would like to keep the slogan integrated, "Cruising Guides & Electronic Charting."
13 years ago
mtw
United States
A boat (ala #6 and #10) would be hard to use in our logo as our customers have MANY different types of boat ... and there seems to be a natural dislike of anyone's boat that is not like yours ... [smile]

Powerboaters ("stinkpotters") versus sailboaters ("blowboaters" or "rag baggers") is an example of comments heard on the docks.
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Use of a bird probably takes "Managing the Waterway" toward wetland management versus having the tools to manage your trip down the waterway.
13 years ago
crcdesigns
United States
Some information on how rankings work on this site:

How to Rank and Thank Designers: When it comes time for final rankings, designers appreciate when you choose the top three CONCEPTS (as opposed to variations of the same design) for the gold, silver and bronze awards. If you want to rank two different concepts by the same designer in the top three, that's fine.
Also, rank as many entries as possible, because designers get points added to their overall site standing for each blue ribbon they get.

This is how points are distributed:

1st place - 50 points
2nd place - 20 points
3rd place - 10 points
4-6th place - 5 points
7-10 place - 3 points

After that, each ranked entry gets one point for the designer. Nobody will be insulted by being ranked last, the points are still good! So if you pull some entries out of the "Not Interested" group and give them a rank, the designer gets some benefit from entering your contest.

Hope that's helpful, lots of contest holders don't realize this and most are glad to know. It's a good way to thank designers who don't win the contest prize, but who worked very hard to offer you lots of options to choose from for a great logo.
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Hi everyone,

I think I should clarify a few important points to the group.

1. The target audience is a long-distance cruising couple, typically dominated by the husband, who takes their boat from northern North American locations to the south. Think boaters from Michigan, USA or Ontario, Canada headed south to winter in the Florida Keys or Bahamas. They are like full-time RVers but need information on marinas, anchorages, and bridges versus rest stops, restaurants, and RV parks.

2. They are affluent, retired or semi-retired, and middle-aged to elderly. Eye sight is failing. They live simply and don't like fancy for fancy sake.

3. We plan to use this logo throughout ALL of our marketing and advertising efforts. One design will need to fit all uses.

So, think:

a. gender neutral or slightly male-biased
b. simple and solid ... big and bold, easy to see and understand
c. color is good ... (we seem to have slipped into an awful lot of light blue and dark blue)

So, I think designs like #105, #80, #137, and #42 come closest to this design goal so far.

BUT please don't misunderstand me. Diana and I do not want to see copycat designs in that visual style. We are not happy yet with any particular design so that would really be a waste of your time, I just think we're slipping off the rails here and it is undoubtedly my fault of inexperience and in not being able to give you the right direction. I apologize.

As an example, I think we are seeing WAY too many designs with fine type or in a slightly feminine style and appearance.

Think solid, think male, think this can be embroidered on a polo shirt! [smile]

Thank you to everyone for your hard work and fine efforts. Diana and I are really enjoying working with each of you. Please keep the design concepts coming!

Best,

Mark


13 years ago
mtw
United States
Hi folks,

Building on what I posted this morning, I think we should extend the tournament a couple days.

That will give everyone a chance to recover from my poor art direction. [smile]

I'm also going to go back through all of the submissions and try to be more directive in my comments. I think I responded to everyone quickly, but maybe too quickly. I was putting a premium on getting back to you versus trying to do a better job communicating our needs.

I was also purposely trying to be vague so that I wouldn't goof you up. I know nothing about this and thought it best to admit that and stay out of the conversation. In hindsight, probably not a great idea. How do you guys ever deal with clients anyway? We seem like awfully hard rats to train!

Anyway, thanks ahead for all of your patience and hard work,

Mark
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Got quite a few nice emails letting me off the hook. But as I always tell my wife, I can do better ... [smile]

Let's work together to make something really GREAT!

Thanks a lot gang!
13 years ago
bluejet
Australia
Mark,

Don't worry your doing a great job, your logo and it's requirements are just a little
harder to get right than the usual, hang in there, most of us love a good challenge.

Cheers
Julian


13 years ago
mtw
United States
A few people asked for some clarification on our intended uses ...

Think standing out on signage at a trade show booth; readable (or at least intriguing) at ten feet, embroidered on a polo shirt; or instantly eye-catching and recognizable on a magnetic vehicle door sign or vinyl lettering on our boat ...

So, probably not a lot of fine lines, gradations, or subtle colors I would think. I hope this helps!
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Heard back from many of you and everyone agrees it's a good idea to extend the contest two days.

Done!

Plenty of time for more creative juice; pour it on! [smile]
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Hi Folks,

I really don't know how this "ranking" and "not interested" metaphor is supposed to work.

But, unfortunately, I think it may mislead someone (and that someone could be you or me) into believing a concept is still alive if it's really not. That and Diana and I are trying not to hurt anyone's feelings. So we're probably leaving too much in the "ranked" column.

Remember, this is all new to us so please forgive our blundering.

Here's what I'd like to do and how you should interpret the next round of sorting:

1. If it's ranked, it's still alive and I assume you are working and improving that design along the lines of what we've either publicly or privately commented. I also assume you are generating new concepts because, so far, NO ONE IS WINNING. We are not satisfied with even the leaders (high rankings) ... otherwise we would have ended the contest earlier versus extending it. Make sense?

2. Otherwise, it's in the "not interested" column. Earlier, crcdesigns explained to me how to re-order everything at the end of the contest so as many people as possible get credits, and the leading designs all get ranked in the appropriate order (see above post). Never fear, I will absolutely do that at the END of the contest.

3. But for now anyway, the ranked entries are too clogged and they also aren't putting enough fire into either of us. Me, to drill down and focus on designs that could win the contest, and you to abandon concepts that shouldn't really be ranked and not competitive ... when bringing forth a new concept would serve you better.

So please do not be insulted when some concepts go quickly into the not interested column. Let's both communicate and focus on the potential winners!

And by the way, thanks once again everyone for all of the hard work and patience you're demonstrating,

So here goes ...

Best, Mark
13 years ago
TahiaDesign
Argentina
Hi Mark,

Please take some time to read this thread: http://logotournament.com/forum/general_discussion/914
it contains some important info that I'm sure you will find very helpful.
thanks!

Nat
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Thanks Nat! Good info and I'll be sure to do the right thing by everyone after the contest. No question about that. Best, Mark
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Hi Everyone,

We just started sharing the contest URL with some of our readers, retailers, friends, and family.

Some interesting comments are flowing in and I thought I would immediately share a couple with you.

1. Suggestions were made for those doing anything on the water to perhaps incorporate standard nautical chart coloring for a subliminal familiarity as well as appeal.

2. A similar suggestion was made for anyone using navigational aids (buoys, lighthouses, etc.) to try and stay faithful to government aid coloring. Red and green buoy colors, etc. Or lighthouses that look familiar in shape and marking (such as lighthouses at Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, etc.). Spirals are probably preferred but, hey, they come in all flavors so go for it!

I will share more of these comments and suggestions as they come in. I hope they are useful.

Thank you as always for all of your hard work!

Mark

13 years ago
mtw
United States
Hi Folks,

I've been talking offline with a couple individual designers and I think there's an insight I ought to share with the group.

Right now, if I had to guess, I think the contest will end in one of two directions:

One is an integrated block of text and nautical graphics path. in other words, a bold eye-catching, somewhat decorative integrated visual "block" (name, tag line, and a GENERIC nautical tie-in or graphic element).

Examples of this are #392, #414, #104, #42, and #416.

The other is very similar, but non-generic (or subtle), directly underscoring the fact that we produce books for boaters. Recently, I've been trying to encourage a more direct book/publishing tie-in with several of the designers. This concept would include an element that could be separated and used as a publisher's mark for the spine of guides, etc.

Examples of this are #433, #418, #393, and #427.

Path two is probably the best of both worlds ... that bold eye-catcher, tightly integrated visual "block", where (as offbeatdesign's examples nicely demonstrate) the nautical tie-in or graphic element is a book where the pages become waves.

Diana and I realize that this may not work out, however, and are fine to also go with "path one" if that is where the contest leads, and ends.

Anyway, I hope this helps everyone.

I just thought it was important that everyone know where I think we're headed and, barring something really new and brilliant coming over the wall (don't stop trying the new stuff!), each of you should solidly understand the concept of path one and path two.

Best, Mark

13 years ago
mtw
United States
Hi Gerasidis,

I'm hoping it will. Above I said that, "Path two is probably the best of both worlds."

Keep working it!

Thanks
13 years ago
mtw
United States
GENERAL COMMENT: The orange that seems to have crept into a lot of the designs is too dark, too Euro for this (primarily) American market. We'd like to see more color in the designs ... and these should be "American boater friendly" color choices (whatever that means!), please. [smile]

Thanks again folks; we're almost there!
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Strangely, we are getting a barrage of poorly thought out and hastily executed submissions in the closing hours of our contest.

Please save yourself (and me) the time reviewing these and placing them in the "not interested" category.

I don't think it's fair that you do not do the work for the last 10 days and then expect points for these submissions.

Thank you in advance for your self-control and fairness to those who have worked very hard on our contest.
13 years ago
mtw
United States
I am working feverishly to re-rank all of the designs before contest end and would like to credit as many designers who worked on our contest (diligently and professionally) as possible.

To Diana and I diligent and professional means ... showed up before the final bell, communicated with us, submitted multiple designs, accepted feedback graciously, re-worked ideas and submitted new concepts, and very importantly, treated the no-nothing newbies that we are, with respect and courtesy. [smile]

If you have withdrawn all of your designs I cannot do this!

Please quickly get something you submitted back up so I can rank you appropriately.

And thank you again everyone, for all of your hard work and patience. This was truly an experience and will be a fond memory for the two of us.

Best,

Mark

13 years ago
mtw
United States
Thanks once again to ALL of the folks who really worked hard on our contest.

It was a surprisingly incredible amount of work and I think the results prove this out!

Diana & I will continue to tweak our top choices and experiment with their use and appearance on www.zazzle.com before finalizing a winner.

And, rest assured, we will also, of course, continue to tweak our rankings so that each of you are given appropriate credit for your effort and talent. This truly is a special group of people. We were indeed privileged to have met many of you and to have experienced your gift first hand.

Again, thank you all very much and best of luck in your future creative endeavors!

Mark and Diana
13 years ago
mtw
United States
Thanks to all again! Congratulations to grafikus for the winning entry and to Gerasidis and offbeatdesign for REALLY strong honorable mentions. Diana and I appreciated everyone's great ideas, hard work, perseverance, and professionalism throughout the contest. We learned a lot, made some friends, and had a GREAT time. Many thanks, Mark and Diana
13 years ago