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STORIES FROM THE FIELD logo competition


With Media Communications Association International, New York Chapter

Judging Feedback


To award the prize money, judges were asked to select their top choice. The $5,000 will be divided equally among the individual choices as follows:

Abi Huynh and Florence Truong

Stories from the Field by Abi Huynh and Florence Truong was selected by judges David Carlson and Jennifer Leonard as well as DESIGN 21. Since this entry was chosen three times, Abi Huynh and Florence Truong will share $1,875.

Jennifer Leonard: "It’s a very simple treatment and yet it’s visually compelling. I enjoy seeing the framing device applied to a range of photographic imagery. It puts the focus on the content, as the film series surely will, so it looks good and also has meaning behind it. Finally, because of its clean and flexible design, this logo entry has universal appeal — a very important factor when considering a global audience."

David Carlson: "I like logos that are plain and simple yet with a strong personality and identity. This submission is definitely such a logo. I like the reference to the viewfinder of a camera, which I think is more subtle than all the film reel, filmstrips and clapper images cliches among a lot of the submissions. This logo will subordinate itself and capture the spirit of the different movies of the festival and deliver it unpolluted to the beholders. It will work on more or less any photo or color as well as in front of moving images."

The following Judge's Picks all receive $625:

Karsten Skjoldhoj

Film Reel by Karsten Skjoldhoj (Denmark) chosen by Jacques Lange

"The competition requirements demanded a wealth of global insights into social, cultural, development and political insights and challenges. Balancing these, are surely an impossible task without offending, patronizing or stereotyping anyone from around the globe. I believe that this is an ‘almost impossible task’. However, I believe that my selected final choice is technically faultless on all scores. It is aesthetically well executed, conceptually innovative and culturally neutral. Moreover, I believe that it encapsulates the ethos of the competitions in an innovative manner without imposing any preconceived idealisms. It is a positive signature for what DESIGN 21 stands for and what the "Stories from the field: The United Nations Documentary Film Festival" requires. It is visually beautiful and intellectually inspiring."

Stiff Rowlands

Stories from the Field by Stiff Rowlands (United Kingdom) chosen by Laetitia Wolff

"Stiff Rowlands' logo incorporates, in a subtle way, the film industry and the storytelling aspects, without being too literal with the icons, and while working essentially on a typographic solution. From the selection we saw, typographic treatments in general, I thought, were the most convincing designs. The advantage of this one is that it keeps a casual, heartfelt and tactile quality, thanks to the hand-drawn lettering."

Mirjana Pavlovic

Stories from the Field by Mirjana Pavlovic (Serbia & Montenegro) chosen by Halim Choueiry

"What drew me to make my choice is the potential that this logo carries rather than it’s actual format. The logo is minimalist and neat. Crisp and easy to remember with an interesting potential but in my opinion it needs to be carried further. Placement of type is good yet, the choice of type can be enhanced, and the type sizes and word emphasis as well. It has also a potential of becoming bilingual and carrying two languages at the same time to reach more cross cultural societies therefore spreading the message out to more individuals. Color can be added to accentuate the meaning and maybe using two different colors for the hands... Two hands from two different cultures, two different fields maybe."

Yael Miller

United Effort, United Change by Yael Miller (USA) chosen by Mariana Amatullo

"I commend Yael for proposing a brand identity solution for Stories from the Field that relates clearly to the global work of the United Nations and the broad agenda of the Millennium Development Goals. I believe that this piece has a very humanistic and upbeat quality through the use of hand illustration and bold palette. The overall effect is of high emotional impact and content that is rich with possibility and promise for the stories the documentary festival will tell. I believe it would not be a problem to see this logo on a website successfully and that the designer would be able to work with the client to adjust the logo so it could work on stationary and cards."

Rita Moubarak

Until then by Rita Moubarak (Lebanon) chosen by Omar Vulpinari

"The symbol strongly and relevantly communicates through the “family of humanity” (man, woman, child) forming a large cinema screen that brings their stories to the rest of the world. A highly impacting and emotional icon that celebrates those that are in front of the camera and not those behind it nor the camera itself. The color scheme and typographic design are not coherent with the symbol and theme unfortunately."


DESIGN 21 selected five entries for Honorable Mention:

Fermín Zelada

From dark to light by Fermín Zelada (Spain)

Giovanni Atalmi

Stories from the Field Logo by Giovanni Atalmi (United Kingdom)

Jurate Veteikyte

Little Bird by Jurate Veteikyte (Lithuania)

David Mühlfeld

Square with Filmstrip by David Mühlfeld (Netherlands)

Goodmorning Technology

RGB by Goodmorning Technology (Denmark)


Yuko Inagaki

One of our judges, Jacques Lange, had comments about the entry that received the Most Popular award, Beyond the boundary by Yuko Inagaki (USA):

"The visual solution is seemingly well-crafted. The design elements and principles are well-balanced and well-executed, resulting in a ‘technically sound’ solution. However, everything goes wrong in the subtext and semiotics. I am an African and am highly sensitive towards the portrayal of stereotypical biases and I find this solution is a textbook example of that. I read the subtext as being grossly patronizing and intentionally contributing to ‘othering’ – ‘the poor Africans need help and we (from the first world) need to pull them by the hair to get out of poverty, disease, corruption, war, etc.’ The selected color scheme is aggressive and when it is combined with the aggressive shapes (of what is intended to be leaves) it implies fire. In addition, the image of the hand protruding from the back of the child’s face is extremely daunting and aggressive and the geometric pattern of the ‘film strip’ to the right of the logogram can be interpreted in cultures like mine as ‘ladders or staircases of oppression’. My first impression when viewing this solution was a sense of aggression and abuse, amongst others. Surely this is not what the festival would want to portray."

About Competitions

The DESIGN 21 series challenges designers of all disciplines to find solutions to social and global issues. It’s guided by UNESCO’s premise that education, science, technology, culture and communication are tools to spread knowledge and information, build awareness and foster dialogue.

More About Competitions