In an inspired move by the university marketing department which somehow makes for the perfect cover for its own lack of inspiration, UWA Sports last month opened up a competition to the public for the design of its new logo.

Commencing on 17th of February and closing this Tuesday the 29th of March at 11:59pm AWST, the competition has so far generated a strong and enthusiastic response, with 63 entries available for preview on a UWA web page gallery here. Aside from the common motif of tanked swans, the selection pool exhibits a rich variety in its design materials, creative approach, apparent familiarity with Photoshop, and balls.

The artist behind the winning design will be determined by popular vote. In return for their time, skills, labour and creative property, they will receive Beats by Dr Dre Urbeats earphones, a $150 iTunes gift card, and a double 12-month UWA gym membership. The sum of these figures UWA estimates to be $2,079.95, which no doubt represents a motherload of savings for the university. It also evokes the ‘opportunity vs. exploitation’ debate that follows the crowd-sourcing of corporate labour for non-cash, non-insured, pre-determined good and services rewards.

As stated in the terms and conditions, any worldwide citizen of any age is eligible to enter who is not an employee of UWA (the ‘Promoter’) and its associates, or family member thereof. Since the design will be automatically incorporated into the official UWA brand, it is also stated that “there is no requirement to include the Promoter’s logos or any reference to the Promoter in the Entry, only ‘Sport’.”

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Pelican wonders if UWA Marketing has a contingency plan should another ‘Boaty McBoatface’ occur by way of Sporty McSportface. In other words, if the public votes for a design which they feel does not adequately reflect the UWA brand because it shows VC Paul Johnson in a mankini riding a swan, how will they respond to and handle the situation? The terms state that “there is no guarantee that the winning Entry will be used by the Promoter as the logo of UWA Sport.” Is a New Zealand flag referendum repeat on the table, or is changing the brand a mandate?

The long weekend frustrated these and other earnestly emailed enquiries.

In support of the Department (and in light of the fact that walking from our office to the gym is literally as much exercise as we can typically handle), Pelican has joined into the spirit of hypothetical fitness and submitted a logo, reproduced here, in which we have strived to capture the leadership and aspirations of the university, as well as “represent as many aspects of what UWA Sport offers”. A small yet diverse selection of other entrant’s submissions has also been republished below. In the hope that we see some more entries before the Tuesday deadline, please find the entry link here.

“Vote #1 for Sporty McSportface !!” – Pelican M.

“I feel like this new logo embraces the more relaxed atmosphere of UWA sports. Its an organic expression of the joy of exercise” – Felix S.

‘no idea what to say… thought adding a swan to the logo would make it more uwaish’ – Bojan D.

[no caption] – Travis D.

“beautiful” – Isabella H.

US 1, '...', James T.

‘…’, James T.

Once again: that entry link. Here.

Words by Kate Prendergast