In early May, the call for entries for A Logo for Human Rights (LHR), a “global creative online competition with cash prizes and open to everyone,” was announced. The goal? To “create a human rights logo ‘by people for people’, thus making a contribution towards the global spread and implementation of human rights with the support of a large public.” The process was your typical contest malarkey: People design, people upload, people vote on uploaded logos, designers e-mail friends and family to vote for their logos, participants complain about the voting process, the top 100 vote getters get presented to the jury (Spiekermann! Ai WeiWie! Jimmy Wales! Jimmy Carter!) and the “experts” (No! Idea! Who! They! Are!), the jurors select their own favorite ten logos, of those top vote getters ten finalists are presented again for online public voting, participants complain about the selection process, finalists designers e-mail friends and family to vote for their logos, a winner is announced. On Friday, LHR announced that Serbian designer Predrag Stakic had been selected as the winner from over 15,000 submissions.
What do you know? The result is not bad. It’s easy to mock it or denounce it as the offspring of the evil process of a contest, but if you look at the two concept images above — the kids drawing their hands not that much more difficult than doing a handprint turkey and the image of protesters holding their open hand in the air — the logo has the potential to find lasting power. There is something weird about the way the thumb breaks into the dove and the dove has some mighty big feathers, but as a simple mark that could be adopted by a lot of people it works remarkably well. But it’s all potential and maybes right now with this logo — its real success depends on whether people across the world use it.