Crowd Sourcing your Brand: How the Data Portability Group leans on the Community to design, vote and reward it’s new logo

dplogos

Fedora and Data Portability Logos, too similar for comfort. (image via Techcrunch)

Turning over the logo creation to your community
For a few years now, we’ve been saying that the brand is really owned by your customers, not your MarCom brand police team. Today, we’re seeing this actually play out in a very interesting twist.

The Data Portability Workgroup launches
The Data Portability group is a workgroup focused on building industry-wide standards for information to safely and freely pass from one site to another –all at the control of an individual user. Yes, I know we’re all sick of seeing yet another working group with little or no results, but this group appears to be making progress, I’m reviewing their status reports, and will probably be briefed by Chris at major milestones.

Logo infringement a cause for redesign
Recently, they launched and announced themselves, including the easy to remember figure 8/infinity sign. Apparently, this was too similar to the logo of Fedora, While copyright infringement is never a fun thing, what’s interesting is that the DataPortability group is crowd sourcing their logo design to the community.

The community designs, votes, and is rewarded
There are hundreds of dollar worth of prizes, ad exposure on Techcrunch and CenterNetworks, and iPhone and other goodies, read the full guidelines on Chris’s site.

The logos will be submitted on spec to the team and a ‘representative election’ will occur:

“The co-founders of the DataPortability project, along with the steering group, will make a short list. We will then provide a web-based voting system for the community to make the final choice.”

Letting go to gain more
This is really an interesting way to let the community create, decide, and take ownership over your own brand and logo. Let’s see how this turns up. To add to the reward, I’ll point to the winning designer, granting even additional exposure. Great job Chris and team, turning a potential lawsuit into a community involving event, I look forward to seeing the results.

  • we made great experience with this kind of community involvement – at our “Open Logo Project 1.6” we received about 3,000 designs by designers of 45 countries. altough it is a lot of effort, too, it was great fun.
    I wish dataportability all the best.

  • Thanks for the mention of the logo contest Jeremiah. We took the advice of Marc Canter and many others to stay focused on DataPortability (DP).

    BTW, one of our first major tasks will be a thorough review of existing DP tools and scripts. There’s so many things out there (OpenID, FOAF, APML, etc) that we’re starting from a good point.

    Cheers,
    Mike Reynolds
    A co-founder of DataPortability.org

  • As you state, this logo competition is getting community involvement and changing perceptions. It’s good to see that people now recognise what DataPortability is about: when we say we, we literally mean “we”.

    That’s the first big thing we need people to realise. The second, is that this isn’t something that’s going to happen overnight – we are in it for the long haul. Dialogue to get things right takes time. It’s why we are officially in a “research” phase, that will last another 2-3 months.

  • I’m really excited to see that people are working on this project and will repost about supporting it on my blog. Since OpenID was announced, I’ve been waiting to see who would do this. User data should not be held captive as a barrier to switching/barrier to entry for other products. Awesome to see it happening!

  • Jeremiah,
    This kind of crowdsourcing for logo and advertising is really picking up speed.

    GeniusRocket is working with all kinds of clients and our huge professional creative community to replicate exactly what you talked about in your post.

    Thanks for all the great articles!

    Dave

  • Great post Jeremiah,

    I actually had a run in with this problem myself a few weeks ago.

    My dilemma was that I work in a pr and advertising agency and the creative dept./dir. have such a furious grip on logo redevelopment that even on small projects they will never give up creative control to the consumers. Even though, as you say the consumers own the brand.

    Nice observation.

  • Pingback: yukaii.com » Blog Archive » Logo Development Process.()

  • As you state, this logo competition is getting community involvement and changing perceptions. It's good to see that people now recognise what DataPortability is about: when we say we, we literally mean “we”.

    That's the first big thing we need people to realise. The second, is that this isn't something that's going to happen overnight – we are in it for the long haul. Dialogue to get things right takes time. It's why we are officially in a “research” phase, that will last another 2-3 months.