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Logo Designers: We need your help!

by Ryan Johnson, Jul 09 2010

The producers, working behind the scenes of the Skeptologists TV series and other related TV projects needs the assistance of a talented graphic designer to help us create a new logo.

We’re working on another top secret project, but we need your help.  If you are handy with a graphics program, please take a few minutes to create a logo for one of our new projects and send it in by Sunday July 11th. We’ll accept all entries that fit our specifications and the creator of the logo that we select for use will receive a copy of both Skeptoid books, signed by author Brian Dunning, and a DVD of Here Be Dragons, bragging rights and of course our perpetual thanks!

All submissions become property of Skeptologists Partners and all creators release all rights to their use.

To enter, please send me an email: I’ll reply with further details of the project and specifications. Remember we’ll need all submissions by July 12th.

53 Responses to “Logo Designers: We need your help!”

  1. NightHiker says:

    Hey, here’s an idea:

    Why don’t you shop around some design studios and look at some portfolios, find one you like and HIRE them? I’m sick of how little people think of design work, to not even understand there’s something wrong with asking people to dedicate “a few MINUTES” to create a logo for them. Design work is not something we do as an afterthought, while we eat breakfast or something like that. That you come out with only a few days on your deadline and on top of that offers as real “rewards” things people already get anyway in jobs they’re paid for (the right to showcase it) and cheap or free material shows how much you value what you will get.

    Since you (and this goes to many others as well) seem to want to do something for undervalued and misunderstood minorities (like skeptics), why don’t you add graphic artists to the list? I don’t see people asking lawyers to develop their cases for free in a few minutes and send it so they can choose the best one. Why? Because they care about their cases (and because lawyers will laugh at them, unlike many “designers”). Show that you care about your brands and visual identities as well by taking this work and the professionals dedicating their lives to it seriously.

    • No Name says:

      Thank you NightHiker! Creatives don’t mind donating their time and skills to charities sometimes, but this ain’t a charity. It’s a business enterprise. I’d like to see more skepticism on TV and in other media as much as the next person, but we have to eat too.

    • andrew says:

      I would help design a logo if I had the talent, but I don’t.

      Anyway, your sanctimonious screed reminds me of this little gem:

    • Ryan Johnson says:

      With one notable exception, most people in this community are very positive and giving people who love to be a part of projects that will hopefully advance the cause. Posting a request like the one here is NOT a work around, the design is certainly not an afterthought. As a production professional myself I KNOW the value of these artist’s contributions. I have readily given my skills for free on projects that were fun, challenging or something that I felt I could accomplish with minimal impact on my other work. Judging by the tremendous response so far, I think that there are a great many people that get excited by participating in a creative and productive way, rather than just blasting out a tirade comment with a negative attack. Our group involved directly with the efforts of these projects have put in countless days and finances towards these projects. Your comments are not only immature, but are making assumptions about which you obviously know very little. I could go on, but I’ll resist your troll baiting for a flame war.

      Instead of complaining, get up and do something productive, the community will be a better place because of it.

      BTW, My very expensive “professional” lawyer has even offered some of his services on our projects-without fees.

      • Xplodyncow says:

        Thank you, Ryan, for all your hard work and dedication. I hope the ginormous payoff is just around the corner. If not closer.

        I think the problem lies in the phrasing “please take a few minutes to create a logo … and send it in by Sunday.”

        For a talented individual to create a high-quality, relevant, and effective logo, it takes more than just “a few minutes … by Sunday.” Just like crafting a high-quality, relevant, and effective TV series on skepticism takes more than simply “a few minutes … by Sunday.”

        Not a designer,

      • NightHiker says:


        You said:

        “Your comments are not only immature, but are making assumptions about which you obviously know very little. I could go on, but I’ll resist your troll baiting for a flame war.”

        Nice way to avoid the issue with ad hominem. Xplodyncow bellow me got some of the gist of my complaint: it’s not just what you ask for, but how you do it. If you DO take this work seriously, you have not shown it on your post. I bet you didn’t start to work on this “top secret” project yesterday. Most likely, you’ve been working on it for a while – but you thought about asking for a logo less than 3 days before you seem to need it for some reason. Way to show how you care: asking for any TALENTED designers to dedicate a few MINUTES of their time over the WEEKEND.

        Also, I doubt your lawyer (someone who seems to already work with you on other projects) offered you his council after you told him you would ask many talented lawyers to give you a few minutes of their time (i.e. the time you spend will likely go to waste – since there can be only one “winner”), so it’s not an answer to my argument at all.

        And before trying to paint me as a villain who should “get up and do something productive” (yeah, talk about making assumptions one knows nothing about – I’ve been doing volunteer work for more than a decade now), you should think maybe I have reason to be complaining about a behavior that is unfortunately too much common (so the lack of patience that lead to the negative tone can be understood). One good reply from you would have been along the lines “I’m sorry if somehow it felt I was selling your work short or seem to be in a hurry, but even if I take fault at your tone, I’ll think about it next time I need design work.”

        Oh, and by the way, it would also be good if you guys didn’t try to paint anyone who actually dared to say when you do something in a bad way as a “flamer”. Pretty weak argument for a forefront skeptic. If you don’t want to make this a “flame war”, you could start by not calling people “trolls” or “flamers.

      • PeligrOSO says:

        I think if you had been a bit more humble and had simply asked for this as a favor instead of promoting this as a super-exciting contest, you might have been alright. But, as has been posted above, the way you’ve done this is a bit insulting.

        Listen, it’s clear that you’re in a bit of a bind. You need a logo quick and you don’t have a lot of cash(unless you do, in which case you’re horrible). I think a lot more people (and much more talented people) would be interested if you had gone about this differently.

        Maybe next try to appeal to students or contact a design program at a local college. Students and amateur designers are the only ones who this would really benefit. They would benefit not just from the experience working with a real client, but a portfolio piece(which would be way more valuable than 2 books and a dvd). Your disclaimer about surrendering all rights implies that using the logo in a portfolio(even if you don’t win) would not be allowed; you may want to be more clear about that.

        Another thing, you should probably describe the project a bit more. For one, you don’t indicate whether or not you are making any money off of this project (if you are, you, again, are horrible). Doing free work for people to help out a movement and doing so to help someone make money are two very different things.

        here are a few more things to keep in mind:

        -Look up the “No-Spec” movement. You may not know it, but what you’ve asked for is extremely controversial in the design world at the moment. I, personally, am not a part of it; but you should expect a little flack when you ask for it.

        -Graphic Design IS a profession. Good work actually does take time and effort. Your post doesn’t seem to acknowledge that you understand that.

        -Freelance design can actually be quite cheap. I personally charge $50 an hour or less(depends on the client) and would only spend about 6 hours(depending on revisions and such) on it.

        -A logo has a lot of real-world value. It is something that will last the lifetime of your company or project(even if you change it, the new version will likely be somehow based on the original). And it will be something that your brand’s look and all collateral can be based upon. It’s probably not a good idea to have someone whip one up in a few days without making it worth their while in some form.

        All of that said, I really appreciate the work all of you are doing for the skeptical community and really would like to see the Skeptologists on TV at soon. I hope I don’t come off as insulting; I’d just like you to be a bit more respectful in the way you ask for work from designers.

      • Malachi Constant says:

        I’m surprised you’re not more sensitive to this kind of stuff, Ryan. NightHiker certainly didn’t deserve that unprofessional response from you.

        I’ve worked in TV production too, and the number of job postings I’ve seen that offer nothing beyond “credit” or “experience” is mind boggling and also insulting. Graphic designers have it even worse, I’d imagine.

    • It’s easy to find fault with those of us who are working our asses off. What you may fail to recognize is that Ryan and I are not the only ones who are enthusiastic about this stuff. If you’ve looked at the credits for any of our shows, you’ll see many more names, almost all of whom donated their talents as we did. We do this because we hope for one of the projects to be successful, and because we think the work is important. So far I’ve not heard that anyone who has donated graphics or other skilled work to any of our projects feels taken advantage of.

      • trickunicorn says:

        Brian, you seem to forget that we artists are also “working our asses off” so we can, you know, pay our bills. I understand that quite often people donate their time and skills for causes, but the simple fact is that more often then not, artists and designers are expected to work for free because people don’t seem to think our time is valuable, or that we put so much skill and effort into our work. If I had a dime for every “opportunity” that was like this contest, I wouldn’t have to take odd jobs in between art jobs to make a living!

      • NightHiker says:


        I’m not criticizing the work you or Ryan do overall or implying that I don’t value it – actually, I’m saying the opposite, that it seemed you didn’t think much of mine (I admit I was not very diplomatic about it after years suffering this kind of thing, but the issue is real). Complaining about that doesn’t equate to criticize your full body of work as a skeptic, so stop wearing the victim hat – to think that any time someone offers criticism they’re trowing all that you do in the garbage can, that is actually the immature behavior. I like your work and can’t find anything I don’t agree with on your views in general, and I’m sure you’re a pretty nice fellow, and likely Ryan as well – but if that’s the case, you would not be the first nice guys that don’t give design work its due value (I bet most don’t). I’m not saying you did it on purpose or want to take advantage of young talented designers, but on the face of it, plainly speaking, that’s what shows in the way you asked for it, and in the same way you would feel pressed to not comment on an issue regarding skepticism that felt dear to you, I could not avoid bringing this out, being a designer. By the way, since Ryan tried to undermine my criticism by saying I’m just negative: I have done volunteer work for Paul and Mynga, just to cite an example – I created the first Brights logo and card (later they decided it would be better to do it through the Brights community, which I understood, so they ended not being used) and the current phrasing of their slogan is my suggestion (the original was similar but more cumbersome in the wording), but I had never said that before in public, because I’m not interested in bragging.

    • trickunicorn says:

      For what it’s worth, NightHiker, I’m a freelance artist and I agree with you 100%. Thank you so much for speaking up.

    • sansdios says:

      Lighten up, Francis.

    • You GO, Nighthawk. As a newspaper editor, I agree on everything you said.

      Ryan, maybe somebody on Examiner, Route101, etc. has already created a quick and easy logo for you?

    • Tom says:


      This request reminds me of a great email exchange referenced by Lucy Kellaway in an FT column a few months ago. Read and enjoy.

    • Ron M Kolman says:

      Point well made “NightHiker”. If you’re a non profit org, and are pressed to find a logo, I would certainly help. I’m in graphic design. What I would not do is spend 5-6 hours rendering a very hot and evocative logo for “bragging-rights”.

      You can also try

      I will create something for you, not a 6 hour project, and see if you like it.

  2. Andy W. says:

    Right on, NightHiker!

  3. Val Dobson says:

    Nighthiker – relax, breathe, calm down!
    I’m not a graphic designer but a web and print designer, so I won’t be trying for this particular job.
    I’ve done work for free or very low cost, simply so that I can have “Design by Val Dobson” on the bottom of it and put it into my portfolio. I’ve had paid work from people seeing the free stuff I’ve done and saying “That looks nice, can you do one for me?” So I think that quite a lot of people will be happy to have a go at this – as the post says, they’ll have bragging rights and there’s every chance that somebody will see it and say “Hey, that looks nice, wonder if….”.
    Good luck to whoever gets the job.

  4. Karla McLaren says:

    Oh, I found a free logo for the project with a simple web search!

  5. Wicked Combover says:

    I’ve got to go with NightHicker’s initial post on this. The request is kind of a turn off, it’s not really the most appropriate way to ask for a designer’s time. Regardless, Ryan, I hope you get something top notch.

  6. Steve M says:

    As a professional graphic designer myself, I have to agree that NightHiker makes a very valid point.

    Free work (especially logos) solicited from strangers at the last minute often ends up looking like free work solicited from strangers at the last minute.

    • Max says:

      Googling “logo contest” returns a half a million results, including (“Complete professional logo design for as little as $79.”) and (“You will see amazing logo designs within hours.”)

      That must really piss you off.

      • PeligrOSO says:

        Actually, it pisses many designers off. Spec-Work has been a hotly debated topic in the design community over the past few years. Some feel that those sites are destroying our profession by devaluing design(2 days and $80 for a logo is not good for the designer or the design). Others(such as myself) see it mostly as a way to connect cheap clients (This isn’t directed at Ryan or anyone else on skepticblog) to amateurs, students, and untalented designers.

        Here is a link to an AIGA (design’s Jref) page on Spec-Work and a link to the No!Spec movement’s work for more information and 2 (slightly) different viewpoints on the subject.

        After re-reading a bit of those links, I now think one of the main problem with the blog-post was that it was presented as a contest when it should have just been a call for volunteer help. I think more pro-designers would rather do the work for free (assuming it’s for a good cause) than to be told their hard work was only worth a couple of books and a (really cool) dvd.

        Also, ease up, man. Just because you disagree with that guy, doesn’t mean you have be so hostile.

      • NightHiker says:


        You can find hundreds of thousands of “cheap and quick” logo design offers on Google for about the same reason you can find millions of hits for “penis enlargement” and “açai berry pills” offers (clueless enough people to buy either). I don’t know if you were being ironic or not, but either way your argument helps mine, Chris’ and Steve’s points, so thanks.

      • Max says:

        Not to mention degree mills.
        Of course, the Nike logo was created by a graphic design student for $35, BUT she charged $2 per hour, so it still took more than a few minutes.

      • Max says:

        Although the “Swoosh” was just one of the options she came up with, so maybe it did take a few minutes.

      • tmac57 says:

        How much quality thought do you think might have gone into creating the Lucent Technologies logo?

      • Max says:

        A lot of blood sweat and tears have gone into creating the Lucent Technologies logo, which is why it’s written in blood ;-)

      • NightHiker says:

        Corrected for inflation, that would amount to about 200 dollars today. Still quite cheap, though. However, it’s a different issue for several reasons.

        First, no matter how qualified or how cheap her work, Davidson was personally hired to create the logo – and therefore doesn’t figure into the reasons for the criticism I initiated.

        Second, this was in a much more naive age as far as branding goes, with much less competition and saturation than you see today. Something you failed to mention, as well, is that the owner was not completely satisfied with the logo, but due to time constraints chose then the “stripe logo”. That logo, also, was not the same logo they have today – while Davidson had a great insight at the time for the main concept of the now famous swoosh, she didn’t execute it as well as she could since it’s clear the logo had an amateurish or hasty look, with what I consider to be bad typography and composition choices.

        Nike had, also, decades to imprint their brand into their target audience, and it didn’t achieve such status until more than 20 years later. The logo is just a small, though important, part of it all.

        And now we live at times where it’s much more difficult, if at all possible, to create truly original designs. The brands that were established decades ago are strong not only because they’re great (and many are), but also because of such head start. New brands have a much tougher times now.

        So, initial anger subsided, I’m not here to conduct a witch hunt. As Steve M said, I simply saw this as an important point to make clear and chased the opportunity. The fact that Ryan, as some agree, didn’t approach this request in a very thoughtful manner became less aggravating than his unwillingness to accept criticism, something, by the way, that is not entirely uncommon among people here. As someone said, there are too many high horses around.

      • Steve M says:

        It doesn’t piss me off in the least. It’s a free market, and if people like their $79 logo, and the creator is financially satisfied, then everyone is happy, and I, as a non-involved third party, have no reason to complain.

        I charge more because I believe my product is worth more. I don’t get every project I bid on, but the ones I do get are usually from clients interested in more than simply a quick and inexpensive product. It’s like the old adage:

        Price. Speed. Quality. Pick two.

        I have no problem with Ryan’s solicitation of (almost) free graphic design work via this web site. I simply view this thread as a “teachable moment” to help enlighten those who might be under the impression that logo design is something you do in “a few minutes”.

        I’m sure some young designer with time on her hands will come through with a great idea. Ryan will be happy. The designer will have some new shwag, and a portfolio piece. The world will move forward.

        That’s not a bad thing.

      • NightHiker says:


        “It doesn’t piss me off in the least. It’s a free market, and if people like their $79 logo, and the creator is financially satisfied, then everyone is happy, and I, as a non-involved third party, have no reason to complain.”

        I would agree, with the only exception that such offers do help create some unhelpful expectations among people in general about what our work entails (business owners included), and that does make our life harder, though how much is debatable. The internet has become the karaoke of graphic design.

  7. Babs says:

    I love it when someone hires me for my creative skills, but I see no reason to feel trivialized by calls for voluntary contributions. They can be incredible opportunities. What are people supposed to do when they need help? Not ask?

  8. Weakly says:

    This is a textbook case for

    WE NEED A LOGO IN THE NEXT 48 HOURS!! (You’re cool with not being paid, right?)

  9. Joreth says:

    I’ve donated graphics work in the past, as well as video production work (which is most definitely not cheap, and quality is not easy to come by). I’ve also worked with attorneys, therapists, and medical practitioners who donate their time and skills for low/no budget projects because they believe in the project and getting it done is more important than who gets paid how much.

    Some of us have our jobs that earn us a paycheck and then come home and dedicate our free time utilizing those skills we have developed through our jobs and our education to further advance creative endeavors that we believe in. For some of us, participation in something greater than ourselves is worth as much, if not more, than dollars.

    I give my time, my skills, and my money, to those projects and events that need them when I can. If your design skills are worth money and nothing else, than projects like this are not for you. Some of us willingly and appreciatively trade our skills for recognition and participation.

    And some graphics have been designed in “a few minutes … by Sunday”. Depending on the designer, the requirements, and the inspiration, it’s a tight call but not an impossible one. I pulled off an entire line of clothing in under 30 minutes, and I’ve designed entire theater sets with scale floor plans & front elevations in a weekend of cramming. I’ve also put together logos in a few hours with variations for print, web, and die-cut options, and drafted fantasy-based costumes over lunch. When inspiration strikes, creativity can happen quickly for some people on some projects.

  10. Jasmine says:

    I lot of people love to help design and come up with ideas for things they are passionate about. I have designed many posters and flyers for people in a very short period of time, and I must say I feel honored when they ask me for help. If people don’t want to submit anything or think it’s too much to ask, obviously they don’t have to. If not for the fact that I just moved to a new state and am focusing almost all my time on finding a job I would probably try to come up with a design just for the fun of it.

  11. Joseph Allen Cavin says:


    If you do not want to do it then do not and STFU! This is a good way for someone to get some free advertisement, help out a good cause and possibly end up getting more work by doing a great job on this one. I get so pissed about “Professionals” saying this kind of thing is “killing” their business and taking money out of their pockets. No it isn’t, because you are to big of an ass to just do it, to be a part of something. Wished I had my photoshop loaded I would give it a try!

    F*** them if they are just to good for being a little charitable.

  12. Chris Bidlack says:

    As what they call a professional communications designer, I frequently provide pro-bono design services to organizations in need. (I am currently involved in two such projects.) Many non-profit organizations have benefited from my free help over the years, and if I could afford to, I’d give many more hours than I do now. But like NightHiker, I found the tone of the request and the tone of the responses to the criticism of the request uncalled for. Proper branding requires much more than “a few minutes” of design, and it will be difficult to achieve really effective branding success with just three days notice. (Although it’s been done at my company, it’s not cheap, not easy, and far from enjoyable.)

    It probably would have been a better idea to ask for a straight donation of time and a promise of credit and gratitude, rather than supplying some trinkets as payment. My fee for logo design usually falls between $5,000 and $10,000, and involves a lot more than a few minutes of time to design. The offer of a few dollars worth of goods, however cool those things are (I want that DVD!), may have simply added insult to the request, if you were really looking for professional designers to respond.

    My most solid and mutually-respecting client relationships are with people who understand and respect the effort and importance of good branding. The purpose of branding is to generate real attention and success (financial and other), and to establish long-term credibility with the target audience. The design profession is perhaps not as critical as that of a scientist or a teacher or a doctor, but many people, and certainly our informed clients, see a great deal of value in the services we provide, and our non-paying AND paying clients are more often than not very grateful for our help.

    What caused the turmoil above was not the request itself, but the structure of the request. Like many others, we designers work very hard at our craft. (Creativity is hard.) And we are constantly rescuing companies and organizations from bad design and poorly planned branding decisions. That’s why it is so depressing for people like NightHiker and myself to see our profession scoffed-at by the method of your request and some of the responding posts above.

    • NightHiker says:


      Thanks for laying it out in such a better way than I had patience to do. Maybe you won’t be called a troll.

      The sad thing is that Ryan’s answer actually aggravated the issue, instead of helping it. After all, he said all those involved in the project have spent a lot of time and money on it, but then when they realize they need a logo they want it cheap and fast? How is that giving the profession due respect?

      I understand there are a few situations where it fits, but usually the “contest for peanuts” formula can’t be a good thing. I’m all for pro-bono and collaborative work, as long as it’s done on a one-on-one basis: it’s OK if you don’t have the money to pay for such services, and then look for a professional you like and ask if he’s interested on helping you out, and keep doing it until you get one who says yes, or even ask for people interested to look for you and then chose one BEFORE the work is done. But even then, you still shouldn’t demand it to be done quickly. These kinds of contests allow people to try and get the best possible result (maybe they luck out and get a good logo out of it – in their view), without any of the commitment and effort needed to actually find a good professional. That’s being lazy, and I’m afraid I have higher expectations for people who want to help the cause of skepticism.

  13. Mat says:

    Has anyone stopped to think of the mess we would be in without logo designers?

  14. Gary says:

    Jeeezus Christ! Ryan is just asking for some help. Such long angry rants about nothing helpful. Millions drop a 20 dollar bill or more into the basket every Sunday at church for a non-existant God.

  15. Chris Bidlack says:


    You encapsulate the issue excellently: Ryan, you point out, was “just” asking for some help. That’s the problem.

    This issue is all about the perception of value.

    Every project that professional designers provide-and the professional occupation we work in—has considerably more value than a 20 dollar bill tossed into a collection basket on Sunday. As in other fields, the money we spend on equipment and software, and the time we invest on behalf of or clients is extraordinary.

    I’m sure that if everyone commenting here were eating dinner together in the same room, we’d all get along extremely well, enjoy each others’ observations, and grow from each other’s knowledge and conversation. All the designers are trying to do in this discussion is to point out that the ubiquitous branding you and all of us see around us on a daily basis was not created hastily, required a lot of thought, and has a lot of value.

    Good branding design is more than “just” a logo. If Ryan had been asking high school students and hobbyists to join his contest, I’d have no issue with that. But Ryan is after “the assistance of a talented graphic designer.” That’s why it’s not a matter of “just.”

    • Max says:

      I’d think that a talented graphic designer can whip up a decent logo faster than an inexperienced person.

      I’m sure that this isn’t Ryan’s first logo, and if he asks for a logo, then he doesn’t need a freakin Sistene Chapel. Maybe community involvement and cost saving are higher priorities here than a slick professional design.

    • Gary says:

      Believe me, I understand the “just”. “You’re an artist ‘just’ paint me a 57 Chevy on my shirt”. I’ve heard it for 21 yrs creating low-brow trash art for people that don’t value your skill.
      You might feel good about yourself providing a pro-bono service to someone that will truely appreciate it.

  16. oldebabe says:

    If I needed a logo, and one that would represent skepticism or critical thinking, I would certainly contact a graphic designer, or several if need be (especially if I were asking for a donation of time and artistry), not ask publicly, and airily, for anyone who might have an idea that I might find acceptable to send me something quickly. I can see where professionals would feel disturbed at the implication that fellow skeptics view that their work can be reduced to a quickie contest.

    On the other hand, I’m sure that no one meant to deliberately denigrate anyone, and it was just a moment of not thinking things through before accidently placing hoof into mouth.

    C’mon boys, off those high horses, and shake hands.

  17. Rich Nistuk says:

    So, I’m attracted to this issue by a tweet from Brian Dunning that goes like this: “Skeptologists: “Help us with this new project.” Haters: “No! Don’t! Demand money!” ” I’m thinking “DAMN, Brian wants me to see some nasty hate from the irrational! Maybe I can chime in have a go at the nutters!”

    But when I get here I see one person, no haters, with a valid criticism, that has nothing to do with demanding money.

    So I mention this in a tweet back to Mr. Dunning. To which he replies “Feel free to post a clarification of why designers should be discouraged from contributing with us.”

    Mr. Dunning, where did I, or the original critic (NightHiker, who doesn’t seem to be a hater) for that matter, ever discourage designers from contributing?

    This is a really big WTF moment for me.

    Is there something going on that I don’t see? Did NightHiker send a *really* nasty email? Did he send emails to all of the graphic designers asking them to demand money?

    Why the vitriol from the Skepticblog/Skeptologists camp? If there’s a good reason for it I’ll jump on that bandwagon too!

    • NightHiker says:


      “So, I’m attracted to this issue by a tweet from Brian Dunning that goes like this: “Skeptologists: “Help us with this new project.” Haters: “No! Don’t! Demand money!” ” I’m thinking “DAMN, Brian wants me to see some nasty hate from the irrational! Maybe I can chime in have a go at the nutters!””

      Thanks for the heads up. I don’t follow Mr. Dunning on Twitter, so I had no idea he was trying to gather support from his followers by completely misrepresenting the issue, and on top of that, using the TAM8 tag, which obviously has nothing to do with this discussion. Who is looking pretty immature now? When I typed my rant I was aware it could receive a lot of heat from many of the commenters, but I never expected I would be called a “troll”, a “flamer” and a “hater” by people who are supposedly at the forefront of the skeptical movement and should be examples of valid and sound reasoning. I’m very disappointed to see the kind of fallacious argument and tactics that I would expect from religious fanatics here, and have to say much of my previous respect for those people has simply subsided.

      Those here who defended them seem to not have grasped the issue either, maybe already predisposed by the baiting from their twits. It’s obvious I’m not complaining about the charitable aspect of the work, but about the fact that the way the request was written it actually seemed to imply that by putting the request up Ryan was the one doing the favor to “talented” artists. Had he written it more along the lines of “We know the time is short and the reward is not great, but we would be grateful if someone could donate their time and skills to help the cause”, it would be all right. But the hubris showed in the post as it is, and in their subsequent answers to my rant, are good indications that this pseudo celebrity status some skeptics have achieved is getting to their heads, to the point of making them think that they’re the only ones who do anything to help the skeptical cause, and/or that anyone that doesn’t agree with something they do is a “hater”.

      Well, Mr. Ryan and Dunning,

      I have been pretty active in the skeptical movement for almost two decades now, and have dedicated a lot of time and money as well to it, and to the environmentalist cause where they intersect – the difference being I don’t automatically promote myself while doing it. That includes creating a lot of content for the non-profit organization ran by my family to raise awareness regarding the importance of preserving the environment and our water here in Brazil, and workshops about critical thinking (as part of raising such awareness) at public schools without any pay and most often even paid expenses, to people who will never know either of you and the material you create, available only to an elite, exist. So, who do you think you are to label me as a “hater”? Shame on you both. I hope you learn something from this episode, though from my experience here I’ll not bet on it.

  18. Pasquale Mazzei says:

    Hey Ryan.

    Sorry for finding this request just now. I am beating myself up over it. I just got home to Chicago from TAM8 literally 20 minutes ago. I hope you are getting responses from people. Feel free to contact me in the future if you need Graphic Design/art direction expertise.

    I am an art director who specializes in print design for a firm in Chicago.

    /sorry for tardiness. off to recuperate.

  19. Kristine says:

    So… Shoot. Is the deadline still really today? I was hoping to submit something with a friend, but we just saw this and had no time to talk about it or anything… Any extension?

  20. Ryan Johnson says:

    So this is the last I’m going to say on the subject.

    Firstly, We have received a great number of submissions, all of which are great works in and of themselves. Those that took the time to create something and send it in really got it. I am thankful to those that have emailed me and offered their support. For those of you who have seen the post late and wanted to participate, thank you for your offers, we most likely have what we need, but I promise you we will have plenty of other opportunities in the future.

    Secondly, WOW! These projects are hard enough to do without feeling like I have to defend myself among those that I work so hard to honor. I’m amazed by the amount of attention that this post has made, and almost all were off the topic of my post. Which is very sad to me. I am disappointed that regardless of my careless usage of the words “a few minutes” the true intention of my request wasn’t understood. I’m disappointed that this post, which I made in the spirit of involving a few of our great community in a project that will eventually become more public, became an opportunity for several artists to complain about being taken advantage of and feeling like I or others do not value their talents.

    Speaking for myself, I DO value artists, and I consider myself one as well. I understand and appreciate the unique skills each can bring to the table. Furthermore, I know that these skills come with years of patience, practice, dedication and hard work. By asking if anyone is inclined to and has the time and willingness to try their hand at creating something, is NOT by default, my way of taking that all that effort away. I get it. I see people asking for something for nothing all the time. When I don’t want to participate, I simply don’t. I don’t understand the need to make a post about being sick of how little people think of design work, and calling it out on a public forum. This is not the place for it. A graphic artist blog would be much better.

    NightHiker: You assume that I don’t value designers. That is untrue and should not assume such, regardless what I say in a post. I did not appreciate your way of attempting to “educate” me by making the comments that you did. That is what set me off and led to my hasty reply. I apologize for saying that you were troll baiting. Your comment was basically an attack, however, and if you meant it to wound, it did.

    Because we cannot comment on details of the project further, the request that we made, and the requirements of the logo really didn’t need more than what was presented. I didn’t want to give more time 1. because we would like to get our presentation in the hands of someone quickly, and 2. because the logo is of secondary importance to the materials being submitted. People should realize that in some cases, their part of the puzzle might not always be the most important piece. I understand the value and importance of branding and logos and I know that when it comes time, this becomes a large discussion and should be given great importance.

    I used to post regularly on this blog, but do so no longer, in many ways because I feel the level of negative attacks and tasteless comments are too great. The others must have thicker skin than I. When I feel I’m sharing something personal, or have put thought into writing a piece, it’s not great to have it picked to shreds. There’s a big difference to me between being a good skeptic and someone that finds it amusing to just search to find faults or just make rash assumptions. In my world it’s all about intention. My intention was good, and I have found here, that in some comments even though the message might be valid, the intention behind it is far less than positive or informative.

    If everyone on here could be a bit more positive and consider the intention of their comment, this place would be a much better community to thoughtfully discuss.

    At the end of the day we are all human, and we are all susceptible to getting our feeling hurt. Brian, I and the others on the team that have worked so hard to get good skeptical programs on television and other outlet. It’s been a difficult and frustrating journey, that most people would not even believe. We are still at it, trying our best.

    Please make an effort to support us. If we falter or let our guard down, or let our emotions take over maybe a strong arm helping us up would be better than a bat to the knee. I and others all likely have many more opportunities and other communities that would value our contribution.

    I NEVER intended to slight, denigrate or belittle the talent and worth of any artists, EVER. I appreciate all the various and talented people that make up the great skeptic community, and I understand that we somehow hold ourselves to a higher standard. I will do my best to honor that going forward.

    Now, we move forward. Yes?


    • NightHiker says:


      This will be a bit long but necessary in view of our exchanges.

      You said: “NightHiker: You assume that I don’t value designers. That is untrue and should not assume such, regardless what I say in a post. I did not appreciate your way of attempting to “educate” me by making the comments that you did. That is what set me off and led to my hasty reply. I apologize for saying that you were troll baiting. Your comment was basically an attack, however, and if you meant it to wound, it did.”

      I understand that you did not appreciate the tone of what was indeed a rant, and have acknowledged it contained unnecessary anger, even though still think the issue was valid. I didn’t mean to wound any more than you did with your post – it was more a gut reaction to feeling wounded myself, no matter if inadvertently. I was also disappointed by your and Brian’s reactions, but I agree we are not above being preyed upon by our emotions, having been a victim myself. I’m glad you do understand, however, that once you put your face and ideas out there, people will hold you to higher standards indeed – whether it’s fair or not, and I think even out of topic, this was a good lesson in regard to how to deal with criticism (and how to dole it out, no doubt).

      Most of the design work I do nowadays, which is not much, is pro-bono, simply because I’m pretty tired of how this market works, and because I don’t see it getting better. I have dedicated more and more of my time to writing, and I hear you in regard to the difficulties of producing for TV, since I am dedicating most of my time to develop a couple of educational TV series for kids, among others, and, unlike you, I’m doing it pretty much alone.

      We both have said what we had to say. I’m not sure we see completely eye to eye in this regard (I accept it’s not a matter of ill will, though), but I agree we probably should not dwell upon it anymore here. We are, after all, ultimately on the same team, or at least share many goals. I don’t believe it was a waste, however – many people who might never have thought of such things had the opportunity to do so here, whatever their conclusions, and that’s good.

      I accept your apology and offer mine once more. Moving on.

  21. Oh my god. Clients from hell . com! I love that site. Shame I missed this or I’d have submitted something even after I swore I’d never touch another design job until hell froze over. Fifteen years in advertising kind of made me a little bitter. Generally I tell people your professional life expectancy is as follows:

    1 Within five years, you’ve killed someone you work with

    2 Within ten years, you’ve killed someone you work with and then committed suicide

    3 Within 15 years, you’ve killed someone you work with, committed suicide then come back to life to kill someone else

  22. Jeff Pedigo says:

    Hell, I just thought it sounded like fun….