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After many weeks of digging through all of the excellent entries and debating the merits of nearly every single one, I'm happy to announce that the Epic Logo Challenge finally has results.

It was a very difficult decision to come to, but at the end of our deliberation process we concluded that we will not be using any of the entries, and we will also not be using what we referred to as the "new" logo concept that had been slowly spreading throughout the site. The reasoning behind this decision is rather complicated, and is frankly rather upsetting to me personally.

In the interest of transparency, I'll be as honest as possible about what we went through and what occurred. I'd like to deliver this information in a chronological manner, so please bear with me.        
The Process

Recognizing the Need
In February, when I came back on board, one of my primary goals (set for myself, by myself) was to get the deviantART brand on track. The logo has always been rather awkward and difficult to use, and I felt it did a poor job at representing us as a brilliant, contemporary, and overall stylish community. So, I began a project to develop a new logo, and enlisted the aid of the extremely talented arpad, one of dA's best logo designers. We worked on this project like any logo design duo would: we built concepts, argued over ideas, and after many weeks we had developed what we felt was an excellent logo. For the record, arpad was paid exactly what he asked for and was not any sort of volunteer, nor was he taken advantage of. I feel I have to clarify this for people because I've seen some discussion assuming we paid him poorly or took advantage of him, and I assure you we did not.

Presenting the Idea
After arpad and I had buttoned up every last detail on our logo concept, I built a very elaborate presentation and scheduled a date for everybody from HQ (as well as visiting staff members from across the globe) to see what we envisioned as the new logo. Everybody quickly fell in love with it, and we collectively decided we should roll this logo out as soon as possible. I identified every area of the site where the original logo made an appearance and began building replacement assets for all of them. I then built a schedule for the rollout, marking dates for the following months where specific assets would switch over and use the new logo.

Getting the Community Involved
After a short while, we made the realization that we shouldn't really be pushing the new logo on people. We should be giving the community a voice and the ability to participate in the rebranding of the site which they effectively own. I'll admit, initially the idea of asking the community to participate in a logo contest, of sorts, annoyed me. I felt it devalued the work arpad and I had done up to that point. But after thinking about it, I warmed up to the idea because it put the community first. So, I worked to build a participatory contest around the new logo, and dA admins collectively agreed that we would consider all of the entries fairly and also consider the "new" logo as just one of the entries vying for the top spot.

The Legal Debacle
At deviantART, we have lawyers. We pretty much have to; it's just the way things are. Our lawyers caught wind of the Epic Logo Challenge and quickly told us in no uncertain terms that we could not use any of the entries. They also told us that we could not use our "new" logo. Effectively, they canceled out all of the work I, arpad, and all of you had done, in one fell swoop. So, acting on legal counsel, we suspended the project and began trying to figure out what to do next. This is partly why it took so long to come out with a "results" announcement: effectively, none of the "new" logos won. The winner was the original logo.

The mistakes made during this entire process were made mostly out of ignorance. Nobody within the company ever considered the possibility of all of this work being unusable, as we were not aware of the particular position the lawyers would take. We were effectively thinking with community minds instead of suit-and-tie legal minds. Frankly, I don't think any of us want to have legal minds. We're far too devoted to our community to really sit back and consider obscure legal implications before jumping on a great idea we have.

The Results

Now that you've learned about all of the crap that has occurred on the road to rebranding, it's time to get down to the gist of things. We can't use any of the logos, but we can certainly point out some of the best entries. Believe me when I say, there were some fantastic ones. I went through all of them personally and loved so many of them, and I'd like to share some of them with you. In no particular order, I present to you the best of the bunch:

Also, because we cannot pick a single winner, we're going to award everyone who entered the challenge with a 1-month deviantART Subscription!

In Conclusion
           It is unfortunate that what was to be a fantastic project for dA as a community and as a company had to be scrapped, but sometimes these things happen. Now that we know what not to do, we'll be much more careful in the future. At the very least, those in the community who were uncertain about a branding change can rest easy, as the winner of this challenge was our original logo. Thanks to everyone for their understanding and their support.        
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Katieline Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2014
"After a short while, we made the realization that we shouldn't really be pushing the new logo on people. We should be giving the community a voice and the ability to participate in the rebranding of the site which they effectively own."

Oh, DA, if only you still had this attitude for us. :(
newdevlogoplz Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
KuletXCore Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2014
Thoughts about :rabbithole:?
Sir-Tristan Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2009
So what did arpad's look like?
FlutterGirl7 Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009
The lawyer thing is bs and y'all know it. It's as simple as a little agreement form, they agree to surrender all rights to you, deal is done. I've done enough contests(tho not this one) and know a few lawyers in the entertainment industry as well as run an official fan club that regularly does cthese sort of contests. Just admit it. You didn't like any of the results so you ditched 'em all..Anyone with common sense knows it. Especially after reading the long winded excuse that never actually states why the lawyers supposedly said you can't use them. You lose people's respect by lying like that.
LuisaRafidi Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009
What was wrong with using the logo you and *arpad created?
wildartguy Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2009  Professional General Artist
Was very disappointed to have missed the comp, until I saw the outcome.
Probably the best result IMHO, Logo design is extremely important and can't be fooled with lightly.
Some of the entries were fantastic and a few were right on the brief, The putative official idea was good but the Typo was very ordinary. Not nearly enough attention paid to the relationship between the symbol and the Type. The 'ART' in particular threw me, it didn't sit well with either the symbol or the first word, weight and curves being particular worries, while the dropping the overall height to the x-height of the l/c seemed unneccesary. A shame contestants weren't offered the option of tweaking what was an excellent, strong symbol that ticked all the boxes.

In the end, everyone involved seems to have done well, but as usual the lawyers did better. Art and culture are the prey of lawyers, but then so is everything else.

What will need to happen, I imagine, is that as the brand is so recognised and effective (despite being bloody unwieldly at times), is that it will most likely just evolve slowly for the next 3-5 years until dA makes another large leap of some form, at which time a new Corp ID (costing millions), will replace it.

Final thought: Anyone at all interested in logo design and Typography should have a good look at the brief first and then have a really good look at the work above - especially some of the small ones. All in all a great insight into the creative process and the creative mind (and why lawyers should be used for making breakwaters)
strigae-excandui Featured By Owner Mar 19, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
:giggle: i only just read this ... i was wracking my brain trying to figure out who gave me a month subscription... now i know thanks :D
fluoroid Featured By Owner May 21, 2009
Ditto that. Awesome.
Spear-Of-Destiny Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2009
So what is the correct procedure for re-branding you site?

I assume the lawyers told you how to go about it; and, not only how NOT to go about it..........
lynucs Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2009  Hobbyist Interface Designer
For some reason this explanation seems really odd. It doesn't sit well with me, a bit fishy I would say, hmm.
RaeLogan Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh... So this is where my subscription from last month came from ^^

Cool ^^
sensestied Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2009   Digital Artist
what a crappy taste you guys have :S
AmandaRobbins Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2009  Professional
I totally understands. Logos are more than just a pretty graphic in front of a company name. A lot of legalities wrapped up in it.
AmandaRobbins Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2009  Professional
Why is there no edit feature on comments? ;_; Pretend my spelling is perfect right there. It's late, okay?!
5tef Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2009
Malion Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I've just seen this... hmm, well, I expected as much, especially after the lengthy qualifications of the contest.
But it all turned out ok I guess... at least know I know where that mystery month subscription came from, and right on the tail of my other contest entry subscription.
kyuketsuki-chan Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009
Wait, when did this happen? I sent in an entry and didn't hear about a thing. I'm not sure if I got the subscription. I might have, because I bought a year long one not long ago, and I think it must have added one month on, cuz I saw it had changed from 12 months to 13 months. I had a feeling this would happen, anyway. It's never easy to decide on a logo.
KatCardy Featured By Owner Feb 10, 2009  Professional General Artist
thanks for that... we've been wondering what the deal was! .. I'm not sure I understand why DA cant change their logo for legal reasons.. surely companies all around the world re-brand and update their images on a daily basis? o.O .. but still, I don't mind as I liked the original logo... it just must be very fustrating for all involved.

Thanks for being straight with us.
Aioliki Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2009
Oh that's too bad :( there were so ma ny great logos
rcmck Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2009
So it is illegal to have a new logo?
Wirls Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2009
Thanks for the subscription!
cairnthecrow Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2009
I'm sorry that some people seem to think that you all are corporate bastards. dA is an awesome place; without a dedicated staff, it would be impossible to remain that way--it would have gone the way of Myspace long ago. (Another topic for another day, Myspace.)

I like the old logo; I loved the would-have-been new logo; I'm not sure that I would have loved one of the user-generated ones. There's certainly some great logos, and there are a few in particular that I thought were brilliant, but they would have been a bit of a leap.

At any rate, thanks for being as open as possible. Reading the comments here, it's really quite sad that so many people can't get it through their heads that you all won't/can't share more information. A nice handling of a rotten situation, though. :)

Hopefully, next time a logo redesign comes around, it'll actually be cleared with the lawyers first.
Mole-Patrol Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2009
I agree with you on that one, this is just a slap from reality really.

Welcome to the real world guys. Stuff like this happens.

I also think they handled the situation well, considering the circumstances.

There were some entries there that made me wonder how they got there, others that had a great and well-executed concept (but didn't fit the criteria) and some that looked like they could possibly have been used. But that's just my opinion.

And people, you think you got a raw deal? What about arpad?
LordLouis Featured By Owner Jan 27, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
this was so obvious wasn't it?

I'm glad we keep the current logo :)
AnnaCullen09 Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
im sorry you had all those legal issues. and stuff
i dont care >.<
i still love you dA
fense Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009   Digital Artist
Thanks for the sub. *is confused about third-to-last result*
lioninoil Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2009
Another epic fail? Oh, nice work -- and it's the fault of the lawyers? Yes, of course.
MuMMaDaLi Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009
thanks for the subscription :)
verndewd Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009
I saw that coming from a mile off :D I knew there were way too many good logos in that mix. IMO the current logo is the best.
shell4art Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009  Professional Photographer
This is my fave [link] but it looks alot like my school logo at AAU : [link]
LizMinamino Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009
Nice work, for all of you ;D
Art-n-Coffee Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2009   General Artist
the first thumbnail up there is hideous. the rest arent too bad. i feel this on is best [link] but doesnt fit the "feel" of DA. this one is simple [link] yet again doesnt fit DA. i feel the best one out of all of them. even though its a ripoff of what you already have is [link]
shell4art Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009  Professional Photographer
I think your fave looks like boobs lol
Art-n-Coffee Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2009   General Artist
augh. it does. ok not my fav anymore
scuzzo Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2009
To think that I had two deviations removed and 2 that got flagged "mature" only because I didn't "consider obscure legal implications before jumping on a great idea" makes me feel stupid...
absinthujone Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2009
So, my logos are mine, right, not yours? [link]
Toast-Maniac Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2009  Student General Artist
Is there any place the logo by *arpad could be found? I couldn't find it in his gallery, though it was filled with other amazing work
TempleoftheEye Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
Ah, now I know why I suddenly have a subscription. I'm a bit slow.
Aryndiel Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Me too.
anonymous-bot Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2009
I was wondering the same.
TempleoftheEye Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
That makes me feel better, though from the looks of things the "why do I suddenly have a subscription" people are the majority. ;)

But now that I'm used to being a subscriber (Ads? I don't want no stinkin' ads!), looks like I'll be ponying up some monthly dough.
anonymous-bot Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2009
Maybe dA knew people might buy subscriptions after having tried it; that was the plan all along XD
sueded Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2009
well, even though it didn't work out, i think you did a great job. i think you handled the situation very well, and appreciate you writing this and clearing everything up. I experienced this same type of thing in college when i tried to arrange an event - it capsized miserably. either way, i think you picked out some great logo entries! congrats to those who were brave enough to enter, and to those who were acknowledged. cheers!
Shurakai-Zero Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2009
So what was the legal reasoning behind the decision to scrap everything?
ryosgold Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
At least everyone that entered got a 1 month sub. :)
CorpseOfSteel Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2009
tanto rollo pa ná
Poka-SorM Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Haha thats explain everything why I got a sub XD
jeriweaver Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Awww, thats too bad. THere were some really awesome entries.
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