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Big Bargain Basement Blog Branding Battle!

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If you look way way back in the archives, you'll see that my first ever post to the Bargain Basement Blog (then known as "John Hattan's Developer Journal" as the term "blog" hadn't yet been coined), you'll see that it was on March 28, 1998.

That means that the Code Zone Bargain Basement Blog is turning Ten Years Old next week. And, as with all birthdays, I require a present.

Specifically, you must make me a logo.

You see, despite The Code Zone existing since the day I left Tandy Corporation to do contracting work, I've never really had a proper company logo. Fact is, I knew too many people who got themselves so wrapped up in the outer accouterments of a company (logo, business cards, stationary, etc) that the work seemed secondary. I decided that I'd concentrate instead on the make-money part and I'd worry about the trivialities of external image later.

Sixteen years later, I still don't have one. While I've thrown together some bits of kitschy clipart when I need it, I really don't have a "blessed" company logo. Of course there's the flyman bitmap that you see up there at the top. Also I have some 50's sci fi bits that I use from time to time, lovingly given to me by Corel's "fifty hundred jillion clipart bonanza galaxy". . .

But I really didn't draw any of it.

So I need a logo. And I'm paying for it in merchandise and in actual cash!

The prize for the winning logo is $100 plus THE CODE ZONE SUPER ULTRA PRIZE PACK THINGY

This prize pack is a pile of stuff lovingly gathered from around the office. It includes. . .

  • One gamedev.net pen with lanyard. Writes in any language in red and black ink (but not both at the same time)
  • One deck of Lucasfilm Ltd playing cards, lovingly festooned with characters from Star Wars and Indiana Jones
  • One pretentious Moleskine notebook, brand new and still in plastic!
  • One audio CD of "Sonic Damn Nation", which is an album of prank phone calls. One of the calls is mine and I got paid in free CD's
  • One DVD containing three episodes of Rocky & Bullwinkle
  • Six gamedev.net stickers
  • One genuine Starbucks Coffee sleeve specially designed to fit a Starbucks cup perfectly and fashioned out of finest composite materials
  • One "Poppit To Go" game on CD
  • One "Phlinx To Go" game on CD
  • One "Arctic Stud Poker Run" game on CD
  • One copy of "201 Solid Gold Games" by Cosmi, which is the last remaining place where you can get my original 50-game pack on store shelves (available at Office Depot, buy now)
  • One laser-cut snap-together wooden castle model
  • One USB LED telescoping light
  • One handsome "Batz-Maru" drawstring pouch. It's apparently one of Hello Kitty's pals
  • An "I [heart] Craft" and a "Maker" button from Austin's Maker Faire
  • A couple of Code Zone Gift Cards

Oh, and also a hundred US dollars (aka 65 Euro. Sorry about that, but I don't control the exchange rate).

Okay, here are the rules. Read 'em because they're important.

I want my logo to have a kitschy sci-fi theme. Something that looks like it's straight out of a cheapo movie from the 1950's. The little bulgy rocketship above is my favorite, so I'd probably prefer something along that line. It needs to be simple enough that it'll look good reduced, so don't get too complicated.

This contest will go on until April 4. After April 4 I will try to post thumbnails of all the entries for discussion. A few days later I'll pick an official winner and send off the stuff.

Any logo you make must be your own work. Don't just grab a sci-fi poster off the net and slap some words on it.

Vector file-formats are preferred, but I can read just about anything. If you need a vector editor, go get inkscape. It's pretty good and it's free. If you need to learn how to use it, go pester Trapper Zoid.

If you're entering from a country where it'll simply be impractical to send the prize pack due to local laws prohibiting ownership of one or more of the prizes, I reserve the right to send the pack elsewhere and just give you the money.

Payment will be via check (drawn on a US bank) or paypal, whatever works best for you.

The winning logo becomes property of The Code Zone, although the winner's name and contact info (studio URL, whatever) will be credited on The Code Zone's contact page for the duration of the logo's use.

Entries should be emailed to john@thecodezone.com with the subject line "LOGO CONTEST" so the spam-trap doesn't get it. You can either attach the logo or send me a URL of a place where you're keeping it. I'll send you an acknowledgment so you'll know your email wasn't grabbed by the spam-filter. Send along your postal address so I can brace myself for how I'll get the prize to you.

If you have any questions, please email 'em to me or post 'em as comments and I'll try to clarify.

I reserve the right to change the rules as necessary. I don't have plans to pull the rug out from under you, but I do need to be able to make changes if something unforseen happens.

Employees of The Code Zone are ineligible, although seeing as I'm the only employee, this shouldn't be much of a problem.

So have fun. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
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