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Speak Up’s Poster Contest

Extended Deadline: Monday, September 20 at 11:59 pm Central Standard Time

If you are the kind of person that would rather spend the summer days glued to a computer designing nonsense than being outside biking or swimming or whatever it is that people do during this season have we got something for you.

Our first juried design contest.

Starting today until September 10 you can submit posters to be judged by none other(s) than Art Chantry, Ellen Lupton and James Victore.

veer_logo_small.gifAnd it is with great pleasure to announce and welcome Veer as our partner, collaborator and instigator for this joyful occasion. Once the posters are all printed, Veer will be the only place — other than Speak Up of course — where you will be able to buy these lovely posters.

But “posters about what” right? Right, so here is the basic premise:

Select your favorite quote ever from the Speak Up archives: it can be from anywhere on the site, it can be something an author wrote on a post, the title of a post, or something that somebody said in one of the 20,000 comments — anything, anywhere, anytime. Once you have selected said quote you must get permission from the author to use it for your poster by e-mailing her/him. (You can e-mail us if you have problems getting in touch with anyone). After getting permission you can then do as well as you damn wish. You can set the quote big, set it small, set it next to the silhouette of an orange, set it on fire, whatever you want as long as we can screenprint it in the end. And please acknowledge the author in your poster.

Not a bad deal huh?

After the deadline, the judges will select three winning posters and a public online voting will determine the fourth winning poster. The winning posters will be printed by Intermark 7, one of the finest silkcreen printers in Chicago. The winners will get a set of all four posters, $75 good towards amazon.com courtesy of Speak Up and $75 good towards Veer products courtesy of, of course, Veer.

So what else should you know? A lot actually. We have prepared a nice PDF with all the information about the contest. And I hope you read it. You also must absolutely download a template to work from, your choices are (all downloads include one template and the rules PDF):

— Illustrator 8.0 .sit / .zip
— Illustrator 10.0 .sit / .zip
— Illustrator CS .sit / .zip
— Freehand 10 .sit / .zip

To aid you in your search for the perfect quote we have expanded Speak Up’s search capabilities. You can now search in all comments too; results take much longer and just bring back the posts where the comment can be found. So it can be tricky, but it’s pretty helpful.

For your enjoyment, we will be uploading posters on a weekly basis or as they flow in. They will be posted anonymously in pages similar to the Word It format.

I think that pretty much covers all of this. Certainly, if you have any questions or need any help at all, don’t hesitate to send an e-mail.

And when you are all done with your designed poster(s) please submit them to: poster@underconsideration.com.

On behalf of Veer and Speak Up, thank you for your participation. Have fun with this — it’s supposed to be.

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ARCHIVE ID 2045 FILED UNDER Speak Up Announcements
PUBLISHED ON Aug.09.2004 BY Armin
Rob Weychert’s comment is:

Wow, the “winners” get $150 in gift certificates and one printed sample of their work. What a deal!

On Aug.10.2004 at 09:18 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

Armin, this is very cool.

On Aug.10.2004 at 09:24 AM
RavenOne’s comment is:

This is a damn spiffy idea; sounds like fun and it's for a good cause . . . or something.

On Aug.10.2004 at 09:46 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> it's for a good cause . . . or something.

The basic idea is to do something really cool. But by selecting some good quotes from Speak Up we are also "putting the word out there" about issues, thoughts or crazy theories on design. It serves a similar purpose to Stop Being Sheep in that while it is a Speak Up promotional it is all about the ideas and thoughts in it. So, yeah, go create!

On Aug.10.2004 at 09:55 AM
Rob ’s comment is:

Now this is really cool. Great way to help spread the word about SpeakUp and design in general. The hardest part, picking my most favorite quote of all time on the site. Oy vey.

On Aug.10.2004 at 10:15 AM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

Interesting idea, I've been saving some of my favorite DesignMAVEN quotes for a while. Now I have something productive to do with them... BUT WHICH ONE????

On Aug.10.2004 at 10:23 AM
Armin’s comment is:

And, seriously, if anybody has any problems finding somebody's e-mail or getting in touch with anyone or somebody not responding, please inundate me with e-mails, it will not be an inconvenience at all. We'll make sure you can use your favorite quote.

On Aug.10.2004 at 10:31 AM
Michael’s comment is:

Fantastic! At work, I have my desktop pictures (dual monitors) filled with random quotes from various professionals from the graphic design idustry, including some from Speak Up (something to glance up at for inspiration as I bang my head on my desk on some days). I really look forward to using one of the quotes in another medium such as this.

I have a technical question though: say in one of the posts another individual is quoted by someone else? For example, in one of my posts let's say I quote Robert Bringhurst... can what he said be used as a quote in the poster design by someone else?

Maybe this is in the rules I just downloaded... I suppose I should read that first, huh?

On Aug.10.2004 at 10:41 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Good question Michael… as long as the author of the original quote is addressed, yes. No need to include the source (meaning, which book it came from or which essay) unless you wanted to.

On Aug.10.2004 at 10:48 AM
Rick’s comment is:

Coolest. Idea. Ever.

On Aug.10.2004 at 11:21 AM
Michael’s comment is:

I second that.

And thanks for being Johnny-on-the-spot with the quick reply to my question Armin. I'm all fired up about this!

On Aug.10.2004 at 11:36 AM
Nary’s comment is:

Armin, you rock.

Nary bows down to the master of cool

looks around to the other awesome contributors of SpeakUp... Good luck everyone. I can't wait to see the results!

Nary goes giddily about her business

On Aug.10.2004 at 12:10 PM
Nary’s comment is:

oooh...Veer, i love Veer. ooh...now i remember...Armin, you did one of those Lightboxing thingies, huh. Awesome.

On Aug.10.2004 at 12:12 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Cool. I'm glad you are all excited! It should be a fun contest.

> now i remember...Armin, you did one of those Lightboxing thingies

Yeah, Veer and I go back…

On Aug.10.2004 at 12:16 PM
Nary’s comment is:

cool, Armin. thanks for the link. that was fun and inspiring.

did i ever tell you that you rock?

On Aug.10.2004 at 12:28 PM
amanda’s comment is:

ooo. i am so in on this.

On Aug.10.2004 at 12:52 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Michael Surtees

Many thanks. I've got plenty.

I give the quote of the Century to Mark Kingley.

"Give Me a Lever and Enough Room. I Can

Make any Typeface Work".


1. Can Designers use their own quotes ???

2. I didn't read anything in the pdf on submission limitation(s). Unless I overlooked it.

3. Can we use categories in Word it and/or Open Space???

Michael B.

Congrats on Pentagram winning two Society of Environmental Design Awards.

1. Ground Zero Viewing Wall in New York.

2. Awarded for Design of Salt Lake City Public Library.

Graphic Design USA News pg 26. July 2004

Mark Kingsley:

Principal of noted Branding Consultancy Greenberg Kingsley.

Well Designed Posters for the Central Park

Summer Stage. Graphic Design USA. Seen and Noted pg. 36 July 2004

Mark, the kerning was a little to loose on the type.

Just Breaking Balls. I love them.

Sending you a personal email to send me reproductions if possible.


Get back to me on the queations either online

or personal email.

On Aug.10.2004 at 03:00 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> 1. Can Designers use their own quotes ???

Good question… Hmmmm… I don't see why not. Although I think more interesting things will happen if you select somebody else's comment, then you are not so attached to it that you lose creativity or something. But yeah, sure.

3. Can we use categories in Word it and/or Open Space???

I would say no on that one. Open Space is a whole 'nother ballgame. And we already illustrate the words from Word It so it would seem redundant.

On Aug.10.2004 at 03:07 PM
Brady’s comment is:

Pardon me for being the stickler here and please excuse my "knows-enough-to-be-dangerous" talk.

In the copyright section of the rules, it does say,

1. You grant Speak Up and Veer the right to sell the poster using your artwork without receiving any remuneration in return.

2.Your work can be reproduced in print and web-based materials for promotional purposes and resale (winning entrants only).

It does not clearly state who retains rights to the works submitted (winning or otherwise) - Veer, Speak Up... the Designer?

Also, while we - as winning designers - grant reproduction rights (as mentioned above) and while it states that 100 copies of each winning entry will be produced for sale, the wording does not clearly define that Veer/Speak Up has the right to ONLY produce and sell 100 copies, nor is there a limit on the duration of use of the designs either in print or web-based form.

Further, while the copyrights have been addressed for the designer's submission - the designer has to ask the author for permission to use their quote to design a poster for submission - but, there is no written terms granting reproduction rights of the quote. There is only vague language of the designer entering an agreement allowing the use of the quote in a design. This also fails to address the indemnification of Veer, Speak Up or the designer from action by the author if the designer's use of the quote is libelous, offensive or otherwise inappropriate.

Give me a pot and I'll stir it.

Seriously, I am very sensitive to these issues and when I feel there is something missing (including something I may have missed myself) I have to address it.

On Aug.10.2004 at 04:05 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Oy, what a stickler…

Actually, thanks for raising the concern Brady. The main thing to acknowledge here is that we don't intend to rip anyone off or screw anyone over. But for the sake of clarity I will review the copyright notices and post an updated PDF as soon as I can.

On Aug.10.2004 at 04:12 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:



I'll assume the same criteria apply for the contest no signature should accompany the Design. Just like Word It.

Just asking. Don't have a problem with it. Just need clarification.

Before I Pull Out My Lever.


Good Catch !!!!!!

On Aug.10.2004 at 05:56 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> I'll assume the same criteria apply for the contest no signature should accompany

Yup. No signatures please. The winners' names will be specified at the bottom of the poster along with other information about the poster (like printer, sponsor, judges, etc.).

On Aug.10.2004 at 06:36 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Actually… maybe when the four winning posters are selected we will ask the winners to include their signature. But for judging purposes there shall be no signatures.

On Aug.10.2004 at 06:37 PM
Ben Kiel’s comment is:

Just to be a paper stickler
I'll point out that, while I love French's Construction line of paper, it does fade very, very quickly. Bear in mind when picking colors.

On Aug.10.2004 at 07:29 PM
Anthony’s comment is:

can I submit an entry for each of my personalities?

On Aug.10.2004 at 10:03 PM
Anthony’s comment is:

but seriously, can we have something like the apple logo or somesuch if the entry involves a computer or ipod?

On Aug.10.2004 at 10:06 PM
RavenOne’s comment is:

I impatiently wait to drool over the posters, being too shy to enter myself.

On Aug.11.2004 at 02:04 AM
Armin’s comment is:

> but seriously, can we have something like the apple logo or somesuch if the entry involves a computer or ipod?

I think that logos are fair game for this kind of poster. As long as it is utterly obvious that the poster couldn't pass as an advertisement for Apple or that you would be trying to sell something.

On Aug.11.2004 at 08:45 AM
Diane’s comment is:

Another question Armin.

For us procrastinators, (yes some people wait until the last minutes, such as myself) can we choose our quote/topic up until the deadline? Are there any date requirements? Such as the quote must have been posted before such and such a date. Let's say on the day before someone posts a statement that jump starts the right-side of my brain, can I do this as long as I have the permission of the quoter? Just a quick thought before I decide to enter or not. Thanks, I can't wait to get started!

Great Idea!

On Aug.11.2004 at 10:16 AM
Armin’s comment is:


> can we choose our quote/topic up until the deadline?


> Are there any date requirements?


> can I do this as long as I have the permission of the quoter?


On Aug.11.2004 at 10:46 AM
Greg’s comment is:

So, theoretically, according to the newly hammered out rules above, I could put in a sentence of any type into any discussion, for instance, "I like cheese," and then use that quote in my poster, since it has been commented and I can use my own comments. Correct?

On Aug.11.2004 at 11:48 AM
Armin’s comment is:

On second thought… you can't use your own quotes. I can see people getting poetic — more so than I like cheese — in the next month with their posts and using them.

Sorry for the confusions.

You can use any comment up until September 10.

On Aug.11.2004 at 11:53 AM
Michael’s comment is:

Even if Armin would say yes to the technical question, doesn't that defeat part of the purpose here, to take an inspiring quote and making something bigger out of it?

Sorry, not trying to be a stickler, I just want to stay focused on the goal without getting lost in all the details.

On Aug.11.2004 at 11:56 AM
Michael’s comment is:

Ah, three minutes too late. Thanks for the clarification Armin.

On Aug.11.2004 at 11:58 AM
marian’s comment is:

Greg, I'd like to use "I like cheese," if it's allright with you ...

On Aug.11.2004 at 03:09 PM
Greg’s comment is:

I would LOVE to see that poster. Go for it marian.

On Aug.11.2004 at 03:35 PM
ps’s comment is:


taking the easy route? who doesn't like cheese....

On Aug.11.2004 at 08:06 PM
Bryony’s comment is:

mmmmmmmm... cheeEEeeEse

On Aug.11.2004 at 08:49 PM
Bryony’s comment is:

On a more serious note, I wanted ya'll to know how excited we are to start this new venture. We have been working on it for a while now and are giddy with excitement (borrowing words from Armin here) and looking forward to the next couple of months.

Many great questions have been asked and hopefully answered, and I do imagine more will come. We will do our best to answer with wit and charm (of the same kind we hope to see in the posters).

Good luck to ya’ll!

On Aug.11.2004 at 08:56 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

It's times like this I wish I bought Fontographer.

Not a one on eBay for PC.

Honey, have you seen my tempra paints, india inks, designer gouache ???

While you're at it. Get my Prima Colored Pencils.

And, Ahhh Haaah, my Secret Weapon the Airbrush.

Where's my Artgraph Projector ???

Do I still have that Kroy Lettering Machine ???

And 48-60 point Press Type.

I just found the Bainbridge and Cresent Illustration Board.

I'm in a WAR.

Gotta show these Kids. I'm a Contender!!!!

Psssssssssst Armin, One last question. Can I create silhouette photos in photoshop. Transfer them into Illustrator and Rasterize them at 400 dpi ???

I know you said vector.

I'm transfering Raster images into Illustrator.

Get back to me please. Nobodies listening.

On Aug.11.2004 at 10:25 PM
Michael’s comment is:

Nobodies listening.

Working a late night here, and this made me chuckle... outloud.

Thanks for the laugh Maven.

On Aug.11.2004 at 11:01 PM
Armin’s comment is:


Yeah, you can silhouette photos. It would be great if you could autotrace it in Photoshop and use as vector. But rasterized is OK.

> It's times like this I wish I bought Fontographer.

Fontographer? Maven, for what? You are going all out and customizing your own typeface for the poster?

On Aug.12.2004 at 02:19 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

What if we have a quote from a dead guy. Do we have to still get his signature?

I'm finding few quotes I like that don't require difficulty getting authorization...I'm thinking of forgery, Armin, it's a well respected craft.

On Aug.12.2004 at 03:18 PM
DesignMaven’s comment is:

Just Chiming In.

Thanks Michael.

Fontographer? Maven, for what? You are going all out and customizing your own typeface for the poster?

I've Got Something Up My Sleeve. Honestly, I procrastinated on Fontographer.

Should've had it among my arsenal.

Inspired by looking through some Vintage Type Books. Wanted to modify some type.

My Solution Deserves the Best Equipment I can Afford. Other than Manipulating My Computer.

Armin, I'm excited more than you think.

Many thanks for the save on the Silhouettes.

I'm mapping things out. Keeping everything within Specification.

On Aug.12.2004 at 05:48 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> What if we have a quote from a dead guy.

Pesky, as far as I know — knock on wood — anybody who's left a comment on Speak Up is still alive.

> Armin, I'm excited more than you think.

Hmmm… I think I believe you : )

On Aug.12.2004 at 06:37 PM
RavenOne’s comment is:

... DesignMaven's list of toys makes me a bit jealous. (poor me wants more artsy toys!...but I'm saving up to replace my depleted arsenal of Tria markers...one at a time). I can't wait to see the results. I wanna be like DesignMaven when I grow up. (Ignore the fact that I'm 22. I'm still a kid!). Alright, so I just want to visit everyone on the list, play with their supplies, and then return home covered in ink, paint and whatnot, and with a stomach full of caffiene and snitched food.


On Aug.12.2004 at 10:54 PM
Jason T’s comment is:

... DesignMaven's list of toys makes me a bit jealous.

Where does he get those wonderful toys?

On Aug.14.2004 at 01:37 PM
Armin’s comment is:

I have updated the copyright information to avoid as much confusion as possible. As I have said before (in this thread, and pretty much anywhere), we are not trying to rip you off, exploit you, belittle you or screw you over in any way. We are nice guys. I have also updated the templates, you don't have to download them again, just be aware that the applicable copyright is from the most updated templates.

But for general purposes I'd recommend downloanding the new PDF.


On Aug.14.2004 at 05:24 PM
Ragnar Freyr’s comment is:

Hey all!

I am not from America. I am from Iceland. Can I still participate?

On Aug.15.2004 at 06:41 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Of course!

On Aug.15.2004 at 07:28 PM
Jeroen’s comment is:

Hello all,

Nice initiative. I haven't designed so many posters before, but I'll give it a serious try and select the best three.

@ DesignMaven: try Rasterbator. Yes, it sounds more corny than it is. ;-)

On Aug.16.2004 at 04:50 AM
Rav enOne’s comment is:

DesignMaven-Inquiring minds want to know- Where on earth do you find the space to keep your stuff? portable black holes?

Aww what the heck. If I can find time I might enter something. It'll probably suck mightily, but there's a first time for everything...

On Aug.16.2004 at 11:05 AM
cat’s comment is:

before i start, in no way am i accusing speak up of trying to pull a fast one. i hold this site in the highest regard. also, it's apparent to everyone that printing a first run of 150 is NOT a money making deal, although the clause "you grant su and v the right to reproduce it for promotional and resale uses in both web and print formats as long as necessary" makes me cringe. how long is 'necessary'? until the printer is paid off? [i realize su cannot be expected to eat the printing costs ...]

and shouldn't other 'considerations' be taken into account?

for instance, check out gag's guidelines -->> http://www.gag.org/resources/compet_rules.php

and an article by jeff fisher -->> http://creativelatitude.com/articles/articles_fisher_dcontest.html

all that work. by all those talented people. at the very least all entries should be shown somewhere. not just the final three.

just something to think about.


project manager

creative latitude

On Aug.18.2004 at 08:37 PM
cat’s comment is:

dang, just read this "After the deadline, the judges will select three winning posters and a public online voting will determine the fourth winning poster."

when i first read it, seemed only the judges were seeing all posters.

although a clarification of "as long as necessary" would be handy ...


On Aug.18.2004 at 08:50 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Cat, sure thing, I'm happy to clarify.

> although a clarification of "as long as necessary" would be handy ...

For "as long as necessary" by no means means that we own your soul. We don't have the intentions or plans to print and sell more than 150 posters of each winning entry (that's a total of 600 posters in case that wasn't clear). If the demand is, like, totally overwhelming and we run out of posters we would like to print more without having to ask again and again for permission. If in ten years we decide to reprint, believe me we will let you know about but we will have the right to print 'em.

To say it once more: we are not looking to rip anybody off. This is not a plot to make money so I can take my wife and cats on fancy vacations. The money generated from this will feedback directly unto Speak Up for "as long as necessary".

> when i first read it, seemed only the judges were seeing all posters.

Yes, they will all be publicly viewable and available. They will be posted anonymously for the voting, and then we will add everybody's names.

> for instance, check out gag's guidelines -->>

That's an interesting read, thanks for the link. I'll re-read it tomorrow when I'm more lucid and see if I need to make any changes.

> and an article by jeff fisher -->>

For my own snobbish reasons I take what Mr Logomotive says with a grain of salt. And he is also speaking about other types of "design contests" (I love how he puts that in quotes). As was the case with the T-shirt competition in a similar discussion, I am very much capable of designing Speak Up T-shirts, posters, coffee mugs and fanny packs, I don't need to hold "design contests" to get some good work done. We do it, because it's fun. I think. If it's not fun, don't participate — not you personally cat, just sayin' in general.

Anyhoo, that's what I think.

On Aug.18.2004 at 10:06 PM
cat’s comment is:


no need to clarify the point about ripping anyone off. as i mentioned before "in no way am i accusing speak up of trying to pull a fast one. i hold this site in the highest regard. also, it's apparent to everyone that printing a first run of 150 is NOT a money making deal"

On Aug.18.2004 at 10:31 PM
RavenOne’s comment is:

But Armin, what if I want my soul for some off-chance purpose? Can I rent my soul back, or get special soul visiting hours?

On Aug.19.2004 at 02:38 AM