Safecoin Design Competition


Paige, Shona and I have spent time this week planning the up and coming safecoin logo competition. One issue has come up that we wanted to get some feedback on, that is: Should we use a platform to run the competition or should we have the designers submit artwork directly?

As with any decision there are pros and cons to consider, here are the key points as I see them:

The amount that each platform takes varies, but typically you can expect between 60/70% of the fee to go to the designer. The most widely used platforms only accept fiat currency, removing our ability to use bitcoin and/or safecoin as the prize, this is paid in advance. Furthermore, a platform comes with a ready made pool of designers, ensuring that regardless of how much awareness we are able to raise on the competition, we will still have a pool of designers working on the project.

Most platforms limit the time of the competition to around 7 days (this could be seen as both positive and negative). The platform provides a clear, public and objective framework for the contest, ensuring that all the rules are verified by a third party before the competition starts and it is made clear that the copyright is owned by the community. The platform also enables the designs to be publicly viewed.

Not using a platform provides more freedom in terms of competition time and the currencies and rewards we can offer and it also means that 100% of the prize goes to the designer. Running the competition without a platform would make sharing designs more time intensive and we would not have access to a ready made designer pool, meaning that the a successful PR campaign surrounding the competition becomes critical. The lack of a platform will make the process less open to the participating designers and in running the competition ourselves we would need to be more aware and spend more time looking at legal aspects, such as terms and conditions and copyright ownership.

Please let us know what you think?


Love the competition idea.

Curious what happens if there is an EXTREMELY successful PR campaign. Suppose there are 100’s of submissions? Might be a nightmare without a platform…

After seeing the response from the crowdsale, I’ve learned to adjust my idea of what’s possible :smiley:


The platform seems the best, except for the 7 day duration. Something like 14-21 days would give more exposure and chance of getting quality.

I see on 99 designs, they have the Get a free design consultation feature, maybe the length can be negotiated.

Yes, at the minimum… finding where the professionals gather and announcing there.


I’m liking option B, the no platform in house option, better. I understand about having a larger pool of designers however the platform sounds overly restrictive to me. If we want we can run secondary competitions for new logos later. After all who is on the team here? Who is investing in maidsafe? Honestly I’d rather have an icon and logo maid by an artist that cared about the project than one who was just doing it to get paid. Not saying being paid is bad but motivation counts, especially when it comes to doing anything creative.

As for the legal aspect why copyright it at all and instead liscence it under the creative commons? We’re talking about a logo here for a decentralized open source network that openly encourages people to fork it’s software and create new versions of itself. I think in that spirit maidssafe encourages the spirit of evolution and creating new art based on the old or new types of labels, brands and icons. I mean look what I did: I took your wee little icon up there at the top and made a 3D model of it and then @dallyshalla made a 3D printed version of that. Who knows maybe in a few years we’ll be seeing maidsafe jewelery and what not in different styles. My point here is why copyright rather than copyleft? Why not have something like a share alike, attributed liscence (I’m sure someone will want to make money off it at some point so non comercial doesn’t make sense).


Based on the OP, a platform seems like the “easiest” way to go.

The winner will most likely appeal to the masses visually and psychologically.

You could do a hybrid process like the reality shows. The public chooses the top 10 and the winner among those finalist is chosen by MaidSafe. Designers get their recognition and MaidSafe gets a final say.


I vote +1 for this, whatever platform we’ll use :slight_smile:


You can make your own platform of course; though that might be more expensive (tiered rewards are more inspiring than winner takes all, etc). The existing platforms will allow platform dwellng artists immediate knowledge of the task, and artists that are not already onthe platform will be able to learn about it the same way you might inform those artists about your own platform.

Using an existing place for competition submitions also can get you access to a talented artist who will carry through with the vision of their artwork; For example out of 10 submitions you can have 10 different visions and directions. Using those 10 as a base likely all who vote are evaluating from what is available to see. So, it is also possible to not get the whole range of awesome that a particular artist would deliver given a winning prize; given more time; … etc;

I’d note that @Blindsite2k 's 3D rendering of the forum logo is quite crude; though the vision is excellent and I can run with that, with it I can show a professional the range of the figure that I want rendered and therefore @Blindsite2k deserves due credit in the process of the creative endeavor in Logo Design 3D printed .

Conclusively, some kind of structure should exist; it would be epic to make a new platform for running this contest on the testnet for example with a digital contract and voting system, though I think the prize or prizes would also have to be conference worthy to attract artists to this platform :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Agreed, management of the ideas will be key

Fair point and I will look into the options here.

Interesting idea

Maybe too labour intensive for current requirements, but maybe a good app for someone to build pre/post launch!


If we are talking about a logo, then do recall that at least in the US and most of Europe, logo usage is more based in trademark law, than it is in copyright per se. Not that creative commons may not be the way to go at least for the copyright, just remember that if its a logo then there is another body of law which may need to be thought about dealt with. I’m just not sure how creative commons would work if someone down the road were to try cause problems using trademark law.


I think the benefits of a platform are worth the loss of Safecoin option and commission.

Principally because we need to reach a lot of designers quickly in order to get a few interested enough to do a decent job. I think that would be hard to do ourselves.


I agree @happybeing, I just don’t see us reaching enough designers within our current community. I really liked the feature of the platform that allows us to share a poll with everyone, so we all have a say and those favourites go through to the final round.


a while back Ripple Labs (then called OpenCoin) was looking for designs for their coins.
They posted in the Ripple forum, initially complained about low participation but in the
end something rather beautiful came out:

So there are some capable designers in the crypto-space. If we post in multiple forums and
maybe get a chance to announce this on some portal like LetsTalkBitcoin, Coindesk or CryptoCoinNews
(might be a good opportunity to talk a little about testnet2 also…), then I’m sure something will come of it :smile:


Good find, although a worrying statement from within the ripple post “…The contest forum thread had very little activity at first, and one wondered if anyone was even going to take a run at the prizes of up to 50,000 XRP. Eventually, two designers came forward”. IMO this is exactly the situation we are looking to avoid.

I agree that the designs are stunning, but they are incorporating an existing ripple logo onto a 3d coin. What we are looking for is a design from scratch and I believe the community need to see a number of concepts in order to make a balanced judgement.


I have two suggestions for the safecoin design competition.

My first suggestion would be to require the new safecoin logo to be published in an open source vector image format (preferably SVG). This would make it easier for web developers and web designers to insert the logo as a vector image in their websites. And for people who use open source vector graphics editor like Inkscape, it would make it easier for them to modify it. Of course, this should be in addition to the proprietary .ai format and the popular .pdf format.

My second suggestion would be to require the new safecoin logo to be dedicated to the public domain via the Creative Commons CC0 Waiver. If you have any concerns about the public domain, I would like to hear them. The second best choice would be to use the Creative Commons Attribution license. Any other license would be too restrictive. I don’t see any advantages to using a copyleft license (for example, the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. I think we should make it as easy as possible for people to copy, modify and distribute the logo, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. And it doesn’t get easier than a public domain dedication! :smiley:


Why do we want people modifying the logo?


Why not? :stuck_out_tongue: I think we should encourage a remix culture. You think something like the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives license would be better?

I can think of a lot of reasons to remix, transform or build upon the safecoin logo. It could be to adapt it for a t-shirt, for a poster, for an artwork, for a 3d printed version, etc.


So you’re saying you want to limit the competition to 2D imagery and disqualify 3D graphic artists? Also even within 2D imagery vector graphics isn’t everyone’s forte. You’re getting very specific there.


Not necessarily. I’m not an expert with 3D graphics but if they are accepted, then my suggestion would be to require the 3d safecoin logo to be published in an open source 3d graphics format. Probably one that works with Blender.

Well vector graphics would be ideal for a logo. But I guess raster graphics can be accepted too. In that case, JPEG or PNG would be good formats to accept.


These use cases would be part of the design brief itself, I would think. The actual logo it’self should not be altered…the symbol represents the life blood of the network…and needs to be kept consistent across all media and within all apps.


Then I would suggest keeping it REALLY simple just like religious icons are REALLY simple. Leave the elaborate decorating and stylizing to remixes. I say you should be able to draw the maidsafe symbol with dots, lines and geometric shapes. The Christian cross is essentially two lines that intersect at a right angle and yet it’s been stylized countless ways over the centuries and has immense symbolic power. Likewise if you say the core symbol shouldn’t change then I suggest keeping it incredibly simple. Also I suggest having a real in depth discussion about what core concepts maidsafe is trying to symbolize with it’s logo. From what I gather from the images so far it seems to be trying to portray the resource loop between farmer, network and user via proof of resource. I also think they’re trying to illistrate decentralization but that’s just my interpretation.