Logo Proposal

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

1.  During my second meeting a discussion of disruptive civil disobedience raised the question,  “But how will the community know it is OWS working on behalf of all.
2.  I offered to donate hats to identify OWS for an upcoming rally, then I thought, “What shall I write/put on the hats?”
3.  Amy M., in an alert for an action wrote, “And we’re asking folks to wear shirts or stickers that identify who the occupiers are and what we stand for.”
4.  Ed Shultz statement on his radio show, “These guys need a logo!”
5.  Presently there are a plethora of unsolicited designs already submitted on the web, but from this country only and without the fun of a contest.                                                                                              
Process:  Start a World-Wide  Facebook contest to design a logo.  
The purpose:                                                     
To establish unity with other like minded groups around the world;                                                          
To establish unity with other like minded groups in the U.S.                                                                     
To energize the populous with continuing publicity as they follow our contest.                                                                      
Major Advantages:                                                                                                                                                                                 
To establish a unifying symbol;
To establish a world-wide psychological link and affiliation.                                                                                                                                    
Minor Advantages:
To allow non-participants to endorse OWS and show support with bumper and window stickers et al.
To allow OWS ralliers of different concerns (racial issues/firings, lock-outs) to self identify at rallies and sympathizers to join because they know the “Who” as well as the “Why?”                                                                                                            
Simplify endorsement of other groups’ efforts by issuing OWS brand.                  

26 Responses to “Logo Proposal”

  1. emily schuch

    the design group has had a discussion about logos going on for months now.
    so ed schultz says we need a logo, you think we need a logo, seymour chwast thinks we need a logo (http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/10/08/opinion/20111009_OPINION_LOGOS.html) but does everyone think so in this movement? i sure don’t. besides, if you think it is even possible to gain consensus around one “official” symbol, well … good luck with that.
    i think that symbols are valuable and we should continue to develop many symbols in addition to those we currently use, but i disagree with distinguishing any one as an “official” logo. i think that the symbols we develop which we like, which we feel embody what we stand for, will get used (on t-shirts or printed materials) and come to be associated with our movement organically. you can go ahead and put a symbol on your hats, but i don’t think there is any need to declare this symbol “our logo.”
    a few months ago when the design working group was discussing this topic in our forums, @bezerbezer said the following (and i tend to agree with him):


    “Some people here are familiar with my views on this subject generally, much being echoed in this conversation. Lots of good points made here. I think that a lot of the logo discussion is fueled by the fact that our lives are filled with logos — we’ve come to expect them. But rarely do American social movements have official logos (contrary to what Seymour Chwast might tell you).

    Let’s use the anti-war movement of the 60s as an example. Think of the use of the Peace Symbol (not the two fingers, but the ideogram): The Peace Symbol was actually first used, and designed for, the British nuclear disarmament movement of the 50′s. And the symbol’s design was based on the semaphore flag system which is probably well over a hundred years old. You might think the logo of the 60s was the Peace Sign (not the ideogram, but the two fingers). However, the Peace Sign is actually just the Victory Sign, made famous in WWII after we defeated Japan (partially declaring peace). Or perhaps the most iconic logo-like image you associate with the 60′s is the Woodstock dove-on-a-guitar image (a dove being one of the oldest (and most religious) icons of peace). Well that image was made for the festival in 1969 — too late to the game to be the logo of the era. These symbols evolved over time, they weren’t born unto the movement in the early years of it. They were borrowed imagery (much like our use of the fist, a la Communism, Black Panthers & others) and not considered official logos in their day — just imagery. They only became “logos” retrospectively.

    The Labor Movement, Women’s Lib/Suffrage, the Civil Rights Movement, the Tea Party and most other American movements did not have any official logos. Usually, all they had were cardboard signs, banners and typography — pretty basic. The only two exceptions I am more familiar with are the Black Panthers’ fist graphic and the LGBT Movement rainbow color scheme (often depicted as a triangle, but not always). There are a few other exceptions, but none nearly as large or influential as the above mentioned, of which OWS is certainly on par with. But now I shall digress.

    So that’s the history of things. But the real reason I don’t think we need a logo is because within this movement, it is almost always the case that our strengths happen also to be our weaknesses. We don’t make demands, and so people are confused about what we want. But our lack of demands prevent us from being easily co-opted. We are viewed as homeless vagabonds — but that homelessness makes us all the more visible because we occupy public space. The consensus process makes us slow, but also meticulous. I could go on with the analogies, but my point is this: Just like the use of the “V for Vendetta” often seen at protests, we are faceless. Sure a logo could be useful to some degree, but at what price? We don’t fit into the media’s “sound-bite journalism” and that’s why we remain hard to dismiss and relevant. In fact, the lack of a logo is essential to our branding. We are “The People”; we are pluralistic. Their is no one image that can easily represent us because we are so large in numbers that we, by nature, are amorphous — like a crowd. Collectively anonymous. Logos are for clearly-defined institutions, of which we are not. Occupy Wall Street is an idea. And that is our strength, as well as our weakness.

    Every brand dies. But ideas, if properly rendered, can live forever. Eventually, a logo for OWS might very well exist. But it should happen organically, and perhaps retrospectively, like any other movement. That’s my two cents anyway.”

  2. image

    1) contest indicates judges. who judges?
    2) any criteria to establish guidelines and reduce submissions of rejectable quality ?

    1) if logo will first be used mar 17, therefore logo will also incorporate mar 17 theme within
    a- example : for discussion sake lets say logo chosen is dove ( i hope not) , then march 17 might be dove with st patricks leprechan hat.

  3. image

    b- if used may day, dove might hold red flag, and so on…..\

    logo is always present like playboy bunny on playboy cover…then altered to incorporate theme, or used naked without any extras….
    simple plain dove.
    ( not dove please, just using for example)

  4. Thiago

    I agree with Emily 100%.

    Movements, groups, people, companies… imbue their symbols with meaning through action.
    Then those symbols come to identify the movement, because of the history.

    The notion of “Fabricating” a brand identity, is something born out of marketing in the midsts of the 20th century.
    Logos existed before, brands gained notoriety, but it was organic… and relatively unplanned.

    Brands (logos were originally branded on property with hot steel, be it cows or boxes), were a way to mark property.

    OWS isn’t a pink ribbon campaign, but many campaigns can rise from it. Having a logo will just make it easier for people to sell OWS tshirts (not necessarily a bad thing, but thats not the issue).

    We can’t consent to a visions and goals statement…. (unless that happen while I wasn’t looking), I can’t imagine the challenge consenting on a logo…. also selection will be a real issue, there will ikely be thousands of entries (occupy.com had to wade through 9,000 logos, and deal with a lot of backlash).

    • emily schuch

      for anyone who is not aware of the issue with occupy.com’s logo contest, the main objection was that they used a “spec” website for their logo contest (spec is short for speculative). meaning, they offered money for the winner, but this means that thousands of people put in thousands of hours for free and only one person got paid. spec work is terrible for the design industry. also, so many designers are offering their services to occupations all over the world pro bono, there was no need for occupy.com to use this spec site.

      the story is different if you are asking people to participate without an offer of money. i have no objection to that, asking people to work pro bono is fine, asking them to work speculatively is bad. however, you would likely still run up against the same problem of having to sort through thousands and thousands of entries, creating the need for “judges” to narrow down the field, and then asking OWS to consense on one. i see so many problems with that.

      i say come up with a symbol to put on your hats. there are lots of designers in this movement who could help. but there’s no need to call it the OWS logo.

  5. Beezie

    PLEASE, tell me what the Tea Party’s logo was— What?? They didn’t have a logo? But that’s impossible! How could a movement succeed without a logo??

    I’m sorry, but this topic is irritating. Why do people still think we need a logo?? Sorry to be so blunt, but I’d bet my right arm you have no background in graphic design. I don’t doubt you’re a very useful member of OWS, but this isn’t a good use of your time.

    Instead of making proposals for logos, organize a protest. Go march on Washington. Create some kind of workshop for the underprivileged. Hand out flyers educating the public on whatever topic you prefer. There are sooo many things that are much more important. We do not need a logo. We need you, working on projects. That’s what makes this movement happen.

    To my knowledge (and I’m a graphic designer), no social movement ever had a logo to begin with. They all happened retroactively, regardless of what Ed Shultz told you. I’m not sure what people think will happen when we get a logo. You guys assume suddenly the GOP will like us? Will people stop calling us hippies? Will Bloomberg give us back Liberty Square? What is going to happen when this logo finally arrives?

    Go ask Occupy.com how their logo search went. They got 8,000 submissions and they all sucked (I saw well over 2,000 of them) **If a logo arrises naturally, so be it. Cool. But a logo contest is a waste of time.

    Here’s what you do — write “Occupy Wall Street” in a sans serif font. OR… write “OWS”… in a sans serif font. Use yellow and black. Boom, you’re done. This is called visual identity. That’s all you need. People will know its us. I promise. This is much stronger than a logo.

    Last thing — Q: How are you gong to “enforce” this logo? A: You won’t, people will do whatever they want.

    Sorry for the total rant. I just think we have a lot of smart people that get bogged down with things that are trivial. Hard work will move us forward, not trademarks.

    • emily schuch

      well, beezie, you sound a little irritable today, but i still agree with your sentiments. ows DOES have visual identity and it is yellow & black, like this site, and sans serif fonts. we also have lots of recognizable symbols (ballerina on a bull, fist, 99%) but let’s not call any one of them our logo. this is all you need for recognizability. everyone’s time would be better spent working on something else.

      • Beezie

        Yes, rather irritable today. Not much sleep in the last week. Sorry I’m such a jerk Brett. I bet Brett is actually a highly productive member of ows. In fact I’m sure of it. I’m sure he has talents we cannot do without. But if people keep insisting on logos, I will bring a proposal that we have an official OWS representative. Because those two ideas are more similar than most people seem to understand.

        • emily schuch

          great comparison. that pretty much sums it up.

          and i don’t think brett is the proposer, i believe he is just the member of the facilitation group posting the proposal. if you go to the “future proposals” page it lists the proposer as donald nobles.

      • Yoni Miller

        Brett didn’t make the proposal, he just posted it up, ;P

        I agree with you Beezie though, I like the organic non bureaucratic sense of it all, ;P

  6. drew

    I agree with the stuff above. We have logos, we don’t need an official one.

    Something that hasn’t been mentioned is that once you have an “official” logo then you have to police the use of that logo. We can’t have the wing-nuts for inequality running around with our OUR logo. It opens up a whole can of worms.

    Plus design by committee is impossible and choosing the logo isn’t worth the contention.

    Personally, as a designer, I really like being able to use what ever iconography I want. We should be putting more emphasis on collecting and sharing all of our logos, rather than make a single one.

    • emily schuch

      “We should be putting more emphasis on collecting and sharing all of our logos, rather than make a single one.”

      @drew big up twinkles to that!

    • Monica McLaughlin

      @drew, do you know what happened with the trademark application that was put in by Pete Dutro and Victoria Sobel in October?

      We need a single logo — brand recognition. Multiple logos will be confusing for the public. We need to simplify ourselves and who we are to grow the movement. It is already too fractured and splintered as it is

      • drew

        I don’t know what the status of our legal entity is.

        On your other point OWS isn’t the whole movement. We aren’t the only leaders of this movement, so we would have to build incredible buy-in for the logo from the movement. Currently we don’t have the technology or infrastructure to connect with other occupations on that level.

        Bringing the GA’s together (starting with the greater new york area) is the way to stop the fractured/splintered. We already have the brand lets all party and plan.

        • Monica McLaughlin

          Pointss well taken although I am not a fan of GAs, I do believe that the various Occupies nationwide need to come together on a basic level.

      • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

        @monjon22 have you tried calling Stecklow Cohen & Thompson (since *they* filed the TM)?. Just sayin’.

        • Monica McLaughlin

          I looked it up online and the trademark was rejected. Trademark applications are public informaiton.(Btw, you cannot call someone’s private attorney and ask for info about their clients legal issues. No ethical lawyer would sell out their client like that.)

  7. Beezie

    Oh right, I forgot that its always posted by facilitation. Thank you for the correction.

    @yoni2b yeah man, whatever happens is what happens. I’m all for things happening organically. If something pops up and people like it, then great. Because that’s what I think we’re all about– Consensus.

    Multiple choice question time!:
    Back in 1968, a couple of hippies got together before an anti-war demonstration to make protest signs. They had a bunch of cardboard, paint brushes and some tempera paint. One hippie turned to the other and said, “Hey man, like what do you think I should paint on my sign?”. The second hippie turned to the first and said:

    A. “You should paint a peace sign.”
    – OR –
    B. “You should paint our logo.”

  8. image

    to say we need a single logo while seeming wise ( and in fact in a business sense it is)
    is rather limiting as others point out
    as well as a bit of an assumption that this ows here in nyc should
    a) determine the necessity
    b) choose the logo

    therefore i suggest in the interum we use the following logo:
    ” Monica McLaughlin ”

    is that sarcasm?
    is it trolling…….

    frankly im not sure……

  9. Yoni Miller

    In many ways, the Fist has become the collective symbol of our struggle, and it has beautiful history, as it was used by many others,

    I’m all for creating a sexual vaginal cult, and using Point of process symbol as our logo too, since the fist is pretty hard core in the gay community ;D

    • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

      Didn’t you hear? The PoP is a secret Freemasonic salute.