iZimbabwe logo design challenge: Graphic designers, here’s an opportunity to win $1,000

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Here’s a challenge for Zim graphic designers: Between 5 December 2011 and 31 January 2012, you have the opportunity design a new logo for the iZimbabwe online portal and stand a chance to win US$1,000.

Umuntu Media, the company that launched iZimbabwe last month, announced the competition yesterday. According to the announcement, Umuntu Media is running the competition in response to debate over the current iZimbabwe logo, which some community members felt wasn’t representative enough. Here’s some of that debate in the comments to articles we posted here.

In the announcement, Johan Rupert the Umuntu Media CEO, said about the competition:

We would like to engage with our readers and supporters and get something uniquely Zimbabwean. We want to allow the community of iZimbabwe to design a brand new logo for our portal. We want a logo designed by the iZimbabwe community for the iZimbabwe community


The competition shows our love and dedication to the iZimbabwe community that is one of the fast growing Zimbabwean communities online. Many Zimbabweans continue to express confidence in our brand, and this competition is definitely part of giving back to that community.

Details of the competition (how to enter, terms and conditions etc…) can be found on this iZimbabwe page: www.izimbabwe.co.zw/lifestyle/competitions.html

Disclosure: Techzim and iZimbabwe have a business relationship.


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  1. Raymond Swart says:

    Check out point 15 of their Terms and Conditions:

    15. Umuntu Media reserves the right to cancel, change, substitute or remove
    the prizes at any time with or without notice to the participant.

    Hope they’re trustworthy…

  2. POVO AFRIKA says:

    Competitions and Spec work are detrimental to the design industry  and devalue designers and their work.

    1. It would help everyone if you explained your viewpoint. Throwing it in there as fact just like that without saying how, is, in my opinion quite unfair.

      1. POVO AFRIKA says:

        Will do so just now…

      2. POVO AFRIKA says:

        What do you think of some of the points I have highlighted?

        1. from a general activist point of view, your points are understandably good. And activism (such as that on no-spec.com) is good. The thing though is activism and an individual’s practical options and the decisions they take differ diametrically. 

          The activist stance here generalises and labels the things it’s against in most extreme sense possible in the hope of bargaining for the reasonable. Which again is understandable, just not the way I approach the matter.

          struggling designers who will resort to working for free in the hope of winning the JackPot!

          working for free in the hope of winning the jackpot doesn’t reflect an evil agenda by anyone. it reflects life. it’s definitely not an employees life (employees enjoy ‘security’, compensation per hour, overtime, annual leave, medical aid etc and will never work for free…). It’s an entrepreneurs life. and most entrepreneurs I know, love this life. Unpredictable, richly rewarding sometimes, terribly filled with losses sometimes.

           Participation in such “competitions” certainly devalues the efforts of the creative individual 

          Value is very subjective. How much on average are freelance designers getting currently for a design job?

          Designers will earn much less from this prize money than they would if they were contracted by the client. 

          neither here nor there.

          Some of these competitions you cannot use the work in your portfolio so there is no benefit if you dint win.

          That’s a general statement and doesn’t relate to this contest.

          Again, there’s nothing wrong with activism. we all need activists. I wear an activist hat myself sometimes. I just don’t keep it on all the time.

          1. POVO AFRIKA says:

            Thanks for your thoughts. We will soldier on for designers and artists alike to value themselves and their services.

          2. Tafmak3000 says:

            POVO is right, speculative work is like eating four loaves of bread and paying for the one you like! I can’t think of any justification for spec work apart from a desperate need for money. 

            But Hey that hasn’t turned out to be a sensible justification for anything. That’s why people still right? A desperate need for money!

            Most graphic designers know that some clients would want your liver for free if they could get it! 

            1. Most graphic designers know that some clients would want your liver for free if they could get it!

               rofl wasparka!

    2. Itai says:

      A designer wants money for their work….better than working for Gary Thompson and he pays you $500 at the end of the month….

      1. Tafmak3000 says:

        A need for money is a weak justification for doing anything that will come anywhere close to succeeding. 

        Have you tried prostitution? …No?

        The reason you say no is the same reason we say no to spec work!

  3. POVO AFRIKA says:

    Here are a few points.
    – You lose intellectual property (usually hidden in the terms and conditions)

    –  Potentially hundreds of free design hours for the client, nice profit for iZimbabwe and many disappointed designers. Who is the winner here!

    – Its taking advantage of a struggling economy (Zim) therefore struggling designers who will resort to working for free in the hope of winning the JackPot!

    – Designers are better off contacting a charity and donating your services and getting that into your portfolio.

     – Participation in such “competitions” certainly devalues the efforts of the creative individual and encourages others in the business community to seek inexpensive design work in a similar manner.

    – Designers will earn much less from this prize money than they would if they were contracted by the client.

    – Some of these competitions you cannot use the work in your portfolio so there is no benefit if you dint win. 

    1. Jeremiah Mavedzenge says:

      Umuntu Media should allocate a budget, ask for quotations from designers and agencies and pay them for the work they would have undertaken.

      1. Pindile Mhandu says:

        $1000 for 10000000 man hours of design

    2. Joe Black says:

      Rubbish. I’m a designer myself, and I have to appreciate that the options for the client / contractor are limitless, and mine are limited. So if they choose to go this way, it’s THEIR CHOICE.

      Because it’s their money.

      If you have a problem with working from a public brief, then maybe it’s fear of competition! I have been a member of 99-Designs for a while, and you not only learn from either LOSING bids (you get to match the brief to what the client chose), you also get to see the kind of talent out there.

      It’s all fair if iZimbabwe wanna do this… cos it’s THEIR money.

  4. I think it’s great for young designers to gain some experience/disappointment. A decent prize for them. Part and parcel of these competitions is giving up the right to “Own” the finished product but then if that bothers you don’t enter?

    I can’t figure out what the design guidelines are, they say use http://www.umuntumedia.com as research but there is nothing there? If all the the other i’s have the same style logo does that mean it needs to fit into the same design guidelines or anything will do?

  5. I completely dissagree with you @twitter-312226891:disqus , If they wanted a cheaper option the could have used sites like http://www.mycroburst.com/ where they could have got it done for $400 or so, stop complaining, get designing and hopefully you win.

  6. POVO AFRIKA says:

    And lastly a link to a WHOLE campaign based on speculative work. A must read for designers and those who hire designers as well.
    FAQ About Spec Work – http://www.no-spec.com/faq/

  7. Dgomo says:

    Munhu ngaabhadharwe zviripachena kwete zvemakwikwi izvi. iyo Umuntu izimbabwe yacho iKambani yakaregestwa here? Chinos where u at? Kushandiswa MuHarare. 

    It all boils down to how much the logo designer respects their work and energy – if you don’t have respect for your creativity you’ll be in this kinda stuff, and I’m not sure how far this shows Umuntu Media’s respect for 1000 designers’ time and energy. 

  8. The cheese is moving @povoafrica:disqus  . l respect good design (which is only a small part of what branding is all about), and believe it deserves its space (through premium pricing). If recent events are anything to go by; crowdsourcing and competitions like these are the new order (mainstream). This was begun by platforms like freelancer.com, odesk.com , elance.com etc. It opened up opportunities to a global workforce and unfortunately commoditised mass market design as designers in India could always outbid their global peers (with a huge discount on quality…). 
    The second phase in the evolution of this process has been ushered in by startups like 99designs.com, Designcrowd.com and even Freelancer has gotten in on the action with freemarket.com . Now designers compete for a sometimes guaranteed amount by doing what you refer to as spec work. Guys like you around the world will continue offering premium services however the mass market will be consolidated under the above (it’ll take a while on this side of the world…). In this era you either build platforms, are sidelined by them or consume them. Mainstream America is now even questioning whether or not Silicon Valley is grabbing people’s jobs under the guise of “collaboration”, “scalability”, “efficiency” and other buzzwords. The king of all these buzzwords is “disruption” and it is changing everything (yes everything!). Traditional business models like brick and mortar stores are bowing down to ecommerce. E-commerce itself is viciously charging ahead with evolutionary subsets like group buying moving in and swallowing those before that. This era is about survival of the fittest. Position yourself well.By the way I have great respect for the work you did with Tedx Harare.

    1. Tafmak3000 says:

      1. @twitter-297894609:disqus  Visual branding has as much to do with design, as speeches have to do with sound! Show me one ugly looking good brand and I’ll send you two Unicorns! To my knowledge, I’ts marketing that has other aspects of it that are not visual and have little to do with Graphic design, once a brand becomes visual, which they mostly are then design become a major necessity! The largest chunk of most marketing budgets of major coporations goes to design!

      2. Crowdsourcing and competitions like these are no where near the main stream my friend. The top 100brands in the worl or in South Africa even all don’t crowd source, they have exclusive contracts with design houses and nothing pints to them changing this. The websites you mentioned are primarily targeted at people who can’t afford professional services, i.e small-to medium enterprises and startups. As you go through the websites you will notice this yourself. When big brands hold competions like these it is to get public attention not cheap prizes, this approach however works with recognized brands! i.e redesign a CocaCola “special edition”  coke can, or become the face of X Box! It will take a while on all known sides of the world before design houses die and crowdsourcing takes over. 

      3. When one reads tech magazines too much its easy to get the impression that Technology is moving extremely fast that by next year we will have robot babies instead of children! It’s fast but don’t rush it! 

      But then Again they’re just my own three little opinions! 

  9. 0772892038 says:

    From the posts above we can surely tell who works at Johan Nel’s Umuntu Media Offices and is too lazy to design a logo. Get designing and hopefully you win! Good job with the PR. To Clinton, i like your Techcrunch post about America’s crowdsourcing but we are in Zimbabwe where a man should be paid for his sweat. this model of collecting creative work has intellectual property implications and usually is done by a doesn’t take quality seriously. If they dig the whole crowdsourcing model why didn’t they just post it on some indian website (Ask Avusa why their Zappon business failed).

    1. It was great PR wasnt it. Its amazing how people missunderstand comments.

      My response was to show that if people stopped complaining and actually got on with it, they could actually get somewhere.

    2. @6a38bd8b78455e54c0c10d15ca3f7180:disqus they didn’t post it on some Indian website because India is not in Zimbabwe. Perhaps $1000 might be change to you but l know enough young designers who could benefit from the exposure and opportunity this avails. In a land of rampant unemployment l actually believe crowdsourcing can do more good than harm. I agree with you that IP for stuff like this needs to be clearly stated. Crowdsourcing does not mean that quality is compromised, it means the gates are opened up to more options.

      As a kid, l remember a friend (he’s now a really good designer) and l scrambling to enter a logo design competition for a massive Swiss conglomerate’s Africa operations, we even paid money to send our submission out via DHL, didn’t win but the experience was amazing (DHL benefited:  nowadays its all done via the internet at almost no cost!) . 
      To those that’ll take part, good on you! To those with concerns, have them addressed…To those with conspiracy theories and suspect mischief is at work, keep it up-the world wouldn’t be a fun(ny) place without you. To Umuntu Media, its amazing what you guys have achieved in such a short space of time, you have the real chutzpah of a startup! Continue iterating, scaling and building a beast.

       P.S How the heck did you signup over 3600 FB fans so rapidly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. “To those with conspiracy theories and suspect mischief is at work, keep it up-the world wouldn’t be a fun(ny) place without you.”

        Could’nt have said it better… HA HA HA

        1. Tafmak3000 says:

          You will be surprised how most things in the world don’t appear to be what they seem. Many people are paid a lot of money to create perceptions, and when you believe you are imune to that manipulation, then shame on you!

          I’ll end with this, Apple, Gucci, Nike, Ferrari, Lamborgini

        2. 0772892038 says:



          1. World class designer who does’nt make sense or proclaim who he is? Sounds world class to me. ha ha ha. Its a shame that it has come to this, petty nonsense!

            1. 0772892038 says:


      2. Tafmak3000 says:

        Just say it… NESTLE!

      3. 0772892038 says:


  10. Madziva says:

    1.a) DISCLAIMER could work here to protect Techzim from Johan Nel’s IZim as in the other Business Directory/Classifieds item where the relationship was made clear.
    b) The disclaimer could help us in discerning a promotional piece from a news piece.
    2. Byers Designs: They want a LOCAL designer to fuse a local feel to the logo.
    3. I think the whole idea of creating a competition for the logo is just a way of marketing or promoting iZimbabwe because if it is an issue of logic and business sense, it is actually cheaper to contract a graphic designer rather than give 1k.
    4. A competition will also give iZim access to a lot of options which they will obviously not get for free from contracted designers.

    1. – Disclosure was an oversight. see inserted.

      The disclaimer could help us in discerning a promotional piece from a news piece.

      Not a promotional piece at all. It’s a blog post. We would post if any company ran similar competition.

      1. 0772892038 says:

        “Not a promotional piece at all. It’s a blog post. We would post if any company ran a similar competition.”

        But it’s considered a promotional piece if you have interests in the post in question. be clear.

        1. clearly, our definitions of ‘promotional’ and ‘interest’ are very different.

          1. 0772892038 says:

            L.S.M. Kabweza The statement from your previous post

            “Disclosure: Techzim and iZimbabwe have a content sharing and advertising arrangement.”

            Has promotional and interest written all over it. kaching

            1. and that was clearly misunderstood for “we push iZim promotional articles”. 
              hence the change in the latest article.

    2. Who do you work for? is the question, you sound like you are just commenting to cause issues? You probably work for the “Competition” and are just here to cause a stir. “stop complaining, get designing and hopefully you win. ” honestlt meant what it says, if you are a designer and you want a chance to win $1000 for your work, then get working. Does not take a brain surgeon to work that one out…. uhhh

      1. Madziva says:

        077 asked about who do you work for. But still it will be interesting to know that information.

      2. 0772892038 says:


    3. Tich, we are a LOCAL company, by the way…We are all about the local feel. Do you have a link to your portfolio? Would be nice to see your LOCAL feel

  11. Joe Black says:

    It’s all well and good bitching about this and that all day, comment is free after all. Opinion is also perfectly respectable. But the facts are these:

    iZimbabwe have $1,000 to give away. To me, this is pretty tempting.

    Think you can win it? Go for it. Otherwise you’re pissing in the wind. 🙂

    1. Itai says:

      Spot on!!!

  12. Tafmak3000 says:

    It never rains but it pours for Umuntu. 

    I think the truth of the matter is that this move has nothing to do with wanting a new logo as much as it is damage control! I am certain that Umuntu media can well afford a new logo from a professional agency! What I think though, is that Umuntu realised that they have alienated Zimbabweans from the “iZimbabwe” site when its success lies primarily with Zimbabweans accepting it as their own. So they have – in a brave and genius move – decided to own up to their mistake and let Zimbabweans design a logo they want on their own! The problem though is they didn’t explain this and instead opted to make this move sound like charity or a favour i.e “this competition is definitely part of giving back to that community.” 

    In my opinion it might have helped had they simply issued what at least sounds somewhat like an apology for making a mistake with the context of another man’s flag, nation, history, heritage blah blah blah… and said something like “It has come to our attention that you are not happy, We are very sorry for messing up the logo of “your” website, we would like to address this by creating the most unique and beautifully Zimbabwean logo ever made! We would appreciate your input and suggestions on how we can make something you will love. In fact we are offering $1000 to one of the lucky randomly selected contributers” or something like that… People, even none-designers would have poured in contributions and perhaps poorly drawn sketches too of what they think the new look should be, this way Umuntu would have gotten maximum public contribution and involvement from a potential disaster. More importantly every one who would have contributed would probably follow up so check on progress and how “their” new logo is going as they feel they have ownership of whats happening. Every one who wud have suggested even the silliest and most useless suggestion will still feel part of the new logo and the new website even if their suggestion of intergrating a flame lilly juxtaposed againt the “magnificent” victoria falls was completely ignored.
    As it stands now this has turned into a little “elite” design competition that unfortunately alienates most people who can’t use photoshop or are too busy to commit to a spec-project, where as they would have been content giving suggestions. This is now survival of the fittest, win or die yet in my opinion for a brand that is not yet established what you want is for every one to participate and feel they have a chance.  It also now turns out that this may have also infuriated some graphic designers who now think umuntu is cheap or exploitative. Also because one complete design will emerge victorious at the expense of a dozen other designs, only one person will really be happy with the outcome since the other 20 or so  who lost will most likely hate on it, and most of the people that where too intimidated to participate won’t care that much, the best you might get would be a “that’s nice” or “that’s better” yet they could have gotten a “well that’s a nice logo, we made  so who ever thinks it sucks can go hang”! Hopefully this won’t be like the Netone rebranding, no one saw it cause no one was looking! The thing with money as an incentive for work done is it attracts entrepreneurs and capitalists when I’m sure what  umuntu wants right now are fans and loyalists. That said I must commend them for listening and responding, that is definatley a rare quality in most of the other companies we are “stuck” with. Who knows??? I could be wrong and just farting in the wing! 

  13. Tafmak3000 says:

    To illustrate my point, Compare the responses here and the responses from the artcle linked below, of the Broadacom competition!


    -: The Difference? Well in the Broadacom case many many different people said something regardless of how intelligent their comment was because they knew that all they had to do was get involved! The barriers to participation where small, the opportunity to win equal and the effort to qualify minimal! It is interesting that most if not all comments are positive in Broadacom’s favor!

    -: Now here with this article, it has suddenly turned into an expert show down where egos are bruised or stroked! and the conversation has quickly been taken away from the issue at hand into the realm of fiber optics and Gigabits! As facts are made up and opinions forced on each other! I don’t see how the average peace-loving guy who wants nothing more than to read some good ol’ news and search classifieds has the courage to participate in this “intellectual” show of force! He/she will simply move on and not remember what this article is about in the firstplace! Thanks to the lingo and theories that have nothing to do with umuntu doing the rounds! In the Broadacom case people kept it civil as they each paid tribute to Broadcom for giving them all an equal oportunity to  get money for doing no work! The comments are sweet and short, while the “intellcets” – shamed and white mouthed – seemed to have sate this one out!

    PS-Who ever opposes my comment will be hit smack on the  head with a ton of googled facts and logic that has nothing to do with this article!

  14. I am too late to participate in this contest. Try my luck next time to win this logo design contest.

    1. Victor Bhagu says:


  15. Victor Bhagu says:


  16. Any idea to the results to this competition would be interested to know.

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