One Logo To Go, Please

In my quest for a professional looking and eye catching logo, I submitted a fee and a detailed explanation of what I was looking for to 99designs.com, a site that features graphic artists who compete for winning the contest by providing the completed artwork, approved by the client. It's a great idea. I submitted a description, called a "brief", as well as my badly done original logo as an example. This is what the brief states:

In my mind, at least, I thought I was being straightforward and concise. These are some of the contest submissions so far:

It turns out that these are some of the obstacles I've realized are getting in the way:

  • One designer had created a logo which read "White Whiskers Kernel" accompanying a graphic that I thought had been drawn by his six year old son. After pointing out that the name was wrong, he emailed me to say "I am withdrawing in disgust".

  • One designer admitted that he had problems with English, and he emailed me "Please, what is "whisker"? I look in dictionary, it says hairs that are on chin, not nose."

  • One designer admitted that they hadn't bothered to look at the pictures of the dogs and just drew whatever came to mind.

  • One designer stated that she saw no difference between Belgians and German Shepherds.

  • One designer stated that they thought their idea was better than what I had specified in the brief.

And the comedy of errors goes on and on. I thought I'd been clear in my description, and what has occurred to me is that this experience is yet another symptom of people being unable to communicate in our overly connected world. Re-reading my brief, it's not that I was unclear, it's that none of the dozen or so aspiring artists participating seem to be capable of reading, conceptualizing, and executing a simple and straightforward graphic. That thought process is somehow truncated. While some of the logos are quite nicely done, I've had to explain that I am not producing a graphic novel, I just need a logo that will be simple to reproduce. While not overly frustrating (I'll get this done one way or another), it IS disconcerting. I'd never have imagined that so many could do so little and fall so short of the mark. It's simply a sign of the times. -mn