A few years back as MANVIL was still in its inception, we had the chance to talk to friends of ours who do their own schtick on this thing we call graphics.
Your Plan B is a Chicago based website development company run by a pair of good friends we know from back when. And when we were starting out, they suggested finding some of the competition sites. They suggested we compete, in order to hone our craft and maybe even gain some recognition. So we tried it, and we enjoyed the chance to put our work against a global forum.
To be fair, sometimes the tasks were simply daunting.
Daunting like: The anally retentive client wants the image yesterday for super-duper-cheap including complete branding with logos on everything from stationary to websites to beer coozies.
Daunting like: There are 2000 people also vying for the same project. (Which, should you win, will surely bring you fame, fortune and an other-worldy pat on the back from Paul Rand)
The work of your competition is visible on these sites, and when we lightly say visible, we mean lingering and impressive. There are a lot of folks who compete for these seemingly small prizes. Many of them have some freaking brilliant ideas. Ideas that rock hard and cause serious ego bruising. Pay attention to those ones, learn from them.
Thankfully, there are lots of others who could best be described as “also rans” but in the end, unless you win the competition, you too are an “also ran”. Hell, we didn’t win anything, but the competition showed great work and similarly drew great work from us. That is what is important.
In order to win in the major leagues, you have to play in the major leagues, and it is extraordinarily rare for a rookie to walk in and win the pennant. So go out and compete. Other than chipping a nice batch of self-confident ego off your shoulder, what do you have to lose?
MANVIL put this graphic together for one of the competitions we went for. The non-profit organization it was designed for was in the midst of re-branding their logo. The update was going to change their stodgy looking book logo to something more eye catching and brand-like. If you’ve seen the MANVIL site, this design is kind of a stretch for us. We’re not big on faux brush strokes, but we thought this graphic was something that worked for the client. In the end, the client went for the image of another book. C’est la vie.