A month ago Smashing Magazine announced a Logo Contest for their website. Personally, I’m not a big fan of such contests for a couple of reasons: I don’t support the idea of a free talent exploitation by someone who can afford to pay, and I don’t have time to participate in such contests. On the other hand, it is definitely a good publicity for many designers who are trying to break into the market, get a recognition and simply take on a challenge.

Well, today SM has announced the winner and published 30 logos that were submitted for the Contest. If you haven’t seen them yet, definitely worth checking out. It is interesting to see all these different ideas and logo sketches. I must admit though I didn’t find too many original designs there, and practically none of the presented logos were able to deliver the “Smashing” feel and a message that SM is trying to convey to their readers. Frankly, from some of the sketches I got a feeling that they’ve been designed in less than half an hour, they were too affected, mostly influenced by the current so-called Web 2.0 trends.

However I definitely liked one of the selected logos more than all others and my choice of the logo is not the same as SM’s. My personal pick is Alex Molchan‘s design.
I like the SM symbol (connected S & M letters), reminded me the cleverness of the SUN logo. I’m not crazy about the colour scheme though (it’s a bit too light and not enough contrast), and I find the type selected for the name itself to be a bit too thin. But I do like how he turned the letter “i” into an exclamation point “!”, and additionally separating and accentuating the word Smash! from Smashing. I guess I find the general concept and ideas presented with this sketch interesting. With an extra bit of work, this design could be turned into a perfect logo for SM.

Smashing Magazine’s choice I find a bit too simple and not very original, but nevertheless congratulations to the Winner – Ruan Deyzel.

Which one is your personal pick and why? (you can right-click on the logo over at SM and copy&paste here the URL of the image)

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10 Insightful Bits in response to “Smashing Magazine Logo Contest”

  1. I liked the logo by Roland Hidvegi the best. They put it at number 8. I think it is clean and simple but with a modern flair. Do I sound like a designer? I think not but I like it anyway.

  2. ibit

    You sound like a designer with a modern flair :-)
    I do agree about that logo’s simplicity, but I don’t like the difference in words baseline positioning and to me the two words look too disjointed. If Smashing was a name of an actual magazine, then it would make sense to make the word Smashing stand out and use only the letter S in the logo’s symbol. But in this case, “Smashing Magazine” is the blog’s title and should be unified in the logo’s design.

  3. I’m not a designer, and dunno anything about such stuff, but on seeing the logos, I liked the last one on that page.

  4. I personally liked #8 with the orange look.

  5. Jess

    Very impressive! I personally like #1 the most, but they’re all very creative logos.

  6. ibit

    it’s interesting to note how your comment is a complete opposite to all the points I’ve tried to make in this post.
    Why do you personally like #1 the most, Jess? And what did you find creative in all those logos: the colours, the originality, the concept, …?

  7. Okay Ibit, you sound like the designer. Oh wait, You Are a Designer. If you get enough comments on this post it would be interesting to see which one your readers pick.

  8. Jess

    I personally like #1 because it’s very simple. I’m a very simple kind of person and it takes very little to impress me. The arrow on the G is quite creative and maybe that’s why I like #1.

    The rest of the logos I found creative just because logos are very hard to come up with. For me, it’s hard to even think of a logo, but to design one? Now that’s creative. All the logos are very unique so that’s why I said that they were all creative. :)

  9. Tough choice! There are so many of them that I like … :P

  1. Inspiral Logos » Blog Archive Rickmann Design

    [...] Inspiration bit has an interesting critique of the Smashing Magazine logo contest. While I agree with her assessment of these contests as a whole I also thing the results can be very interesting when done publicly. [...]

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Hi, I'm Vivien. Thanks for visiting my Inspiration Bit. I often find myself scouring the internet looking for either answers to many questions I have or websites that inspire me, sites that I can learn from. On what topics you might ask — any topics that interest me, anything from web design to typography and art, from blogging to entrepreneurship, from programming to open source.
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When I'm not blogging, I design web sites, teach, play with my daughter and try to balance family, work, friends and a somewhat active social life on