“After 3,981 emails from 2,017 different people produced 4,445 slogans and 956 different images from 45 countries, the Zambian Tourism team, with the help of a number of marketing professionals, chose the shortlist of 5 slogans and 5 logos. Over the last week the judges from around the world and of course from within Zambia have voted and two clear winners have been chosen.”

Here are the five shortlisted logos from a total of 956 designs.

Zambia logo

And here’s the winning logo by Michel Scarantino.

Zambia logo

The winning slogan by Kelly Geoghegan is…

“Discover Zambia, Experience Africa.”

The contest terms and conditions state, “It is not guaranteed that the winning slogan/logo will be used for Zambia’s tourism marketing,” although an adaptation of the logo is currently in use on the Zambia Tourism website, with the original shown on Zambia Tourism’s Facebook page.

The winning logo variation (below).

Zambia logo

Via @creativeroots.


Could have been better, if color goes off in this logo (as in print), effect of diversity will also go off. The fall wont look like fall but hand paint.

So seems that there was a lack of right judgment here. People went for colors rather than other important elements.

So in my opinion, this logo is not filling the criteria of a logo and being a country’s tourism logo, this is too important.

What a shame that they didn’t think to showcase their own countries creative industry, which surely must exist, rather than running a Blue Peter style competition.

What a missed opportunity. For design and Zambia.

So, a lesson to hack designers out there. Skill and craft not always necessary. With the right marketing team behind you, you too can contribute to the aesthetic embarrassment of an entire country.

Well well well, yes this is a very amateur logo. But the designer who made this may be–by the looks of it– a first timer, and I would hate for them to feel super bad about a logo that in there eyes is good. So remember you can get better, read read read all about logos and identity and go to school, good luck.

Haha, I just love it. They get thousands of contributions and they go with this. Someone said: They get what they pay for. So true. I hope they change their minds and hire a pro for the job.

Im sorry but thats just terrible. I wonder how long the deadline was for this competition, 2 minutes? just enough time to start microsoft paint and make a doodle.

Reaping what they sow. This isn’t going to make anyone want to visit Zambia, quite the opposite.

Very poor logo.

I’m glad this has been posted, thanks David… and thanks also for the comments from other designers.

This shows the general opinions from design professionals regarding bad logos and competitions like this. This is a good example of how not to get a logo designed.

I hope they have a professional do it properly, Lee’s suggestion of local talent would surely produce better than this… please follow up David.

Haha, before I actually read this, I was going to make a joke about it looking like a bad crowdsourcing contest choice…

This is a travesty, the clear winner should have been #5 on the shortlist! The designer clearly knew Zambia “in” and “out”. And of all the logo’s it’s the most elegant, designed to be easily adaptable to any number of applications! The way the leopards paw and the thin white line meet to form a ‘Z’ . . . Ooooohhhh, I get shivers!!!! ;)

In all seriousness though, that first one on the shortlist is a rip of a spa logo I’ve seen recently, I’ll have to try and hunt down that logo and post it here if I find it.

I just love the stretched out font in the 3rd one combined with the squished tree. Amazing. The last one is also hilariously bad. The one they picked is also awful, but just seeing the 5 finalists makes me laugh hysterically.

If these are the five finalists and the winner… Im thinking about the other 951 that lost…

As others have said a pretty poor effort.

I think this is more of a reflection on the client though. It’s one of my main concerns when pitching, that the person or persons making the decisions has the attributes necessary to interpret the work and select the best solution. All too often the client marketing team lacks the experience necessary to differentiate good design from bad and will fall back on the familiar.

That said I do quite like the slogan.

Oh dear, what a waste of energy on everyone’s part.
It looks like a poor copy of a Ken Done* design for Sydney from the ’80s.

The real problem is that even the ‘slightly’ OK ones are terribly unresolved.
They might get some traction with the winning ’80s holiday resort one if they had a studio work on it. And I mean properly, as the ‘fixed’ version they’re using is still pish. As for the tree version. It’s ok, but as it is it’s bleak, lonely, and obvious. Sure it suggests ‘African mystique’ but that’s not what a tourism body wants to promote – big picture-wise. ;-)

*If you don’t know who Ken Done is, he almost single-handedly ‘branded’ Australia for the ’80s and early ’90s. He’s of course, an ex ad-agency creative director, so he at least knew what he was doing. Take a peek here: http://www.janetmckenzie.co.uk/images/books/Ken-Done%27s-Sydney-a.jpg

Why do government bodies and local councils think it is ok to run logo competitions instead of hiring professionals. Auckland City ended up with an appalling logo after one of these exercises last year. When will they learn?

@Kevin Burr – The problem seems to be that WE see it, but “THEY” don’t. And looking around at local businesses, networking events, and trade shows it’s only getting worse.

A trend amongst small-medium business that I can not figure out is their fear of good design. I’m amazed how many people shudder at words like “brand-mark” and “branding”. It’s as if they’re afraid to step too far outside the box lest they be the person at the party that draws too much attention to themselves. Think of them as the awkward teenager, crippled by insecurities, all they want is to “fit in” with everyone else. So instead of doing what would be best for their brand, they follow a path that’s tried and worn, one their peers suggest and have followed many times before to the same end. And what lies at the end of that path? The crap designs that contest sites spew out constantly, or that “the brother of so-and-so designed in (their illegal version of) Photoshop”. With this approach it’s no wonder 80% of businesses fail within the first 3 years!

I hear business peers recommend 99designs.com to each other all the time, I interject of course, but often times I’m looked at as if I’m out of my mind . . . I’ve actually been told on one occasion that I lack business sense. It doesn’t help that business publications in the U.S. are spearheading a campaign toward bad design, going so far as to encourage those businesses who aim to cut expenses to go to contest / crowd-sourcing sites.

The topic is getting so old and I’m getting so sick and tired of arguing it, but so far as I can tell, this problem is not going to go away anytime soon, at least not without drastic measures. Hat’s off to David for posting the results of these “contests”, they help without a doubt, but I’d be willing to bet a large majority of people outside of our circle, “they”, would find the selections above more than suitable.

If you’re really interested in “ending” crowdsourcing’s reign, I think it’s time for us to get a little more creative. One thought: We’re always so up front with our commentary on major brands, why not be the same with local businesses? They’re in the public domain after all, so why shield/protect them from criticism? If you get a mailing or are out and about and see a logo design/brand application that makes you puke, why don’t you take a picture of it and post it to a discussion forum, maybe write a blog on what’s so wrong about it/what could be done to improve it. Most importantly though, send a link to the discussion/blog back to the business owner whom you’re discussing (anonymously if you like). This may seem harsh, but it’s intended as a wake up call, and it just may work, especially if my theory is true of them wanting to “fit in”. Alerting them to the fact that they’re standing out for the WRONG reason’s will surely invoke a reaction . . . and may just help our chosen profession if enough of us have the creative “balls” to follow through with such a plan . . . food for thought anyways.

Well said Chris.
Perhaps sending these companies an email with a link to this page would be enough of a clear message..
or maybe not.. as many do seem to have their heads in either the sand or the clouds.
Maybe poor logos/designs are a necessary evil after all.. like yin & yang, good and bad, etc.. without one the other wouldn’t exist.. if all logos where great, who’s would stand out?
In fact.. without this one, I wouldn’t have enjoyed reading and laughing at all the comments slating it!

A missed opportunity to really bring something out of Zambia as a brand and country not many people aware of its huge amount of history, heritage and African wildlife that you can’t see anywhere else.

Nation branding is not something that can be changed in a day, or done by crowd-sourcing but done by hiring experts and professional, marketers, designers and brand strategist.

It looks like this was done on the cheap a real shame.

This is the best five out of 956 images?

Hopefully this proves to anyone with any remaining doubt, that ‘design’ competitions are pointless and a waste of time for all involved.

It’s not the best logo I’ve ever seen (and definitely not the worst), but I bet if none of us (designers) knew it was from a contest, the bashing would be nowhere as bad. I’ve seen some pretty equivalent logos on Logo Moose, Logo of the Day and a host of other “respected” design sites. Yes, contests suck. Bad. But they won’t stop, because NO ONE understands that nuance of design like designers. We can march, protest and scream it to the mountaintops. Basically, the average person does not care. This is one of those situations that is what it is.

Not only was this my least favourite of the designs, they have managed to pixelate the edited version. I believe the first logo should have won, it’s much more sophisticated and the logotype reflects the countries culture whilst the symbol represents the luscious atmosphere of the heat and natural surroundings. I would be much more inclined to visit with the first logo.

I think with the winning choice, they should have lost the waterfall at least and the edited sun is much better but I’ve seen that sort of sun before…

hilarious! It’s funny that even though the “reward” is prob valued at around 5K crowd sourcing still does NOT work. They should of increased the reward to 20K maybe they would of received some better options. I think that design has been done before by every child that gets their first crayon set. :)

All joking aside what Zambia really needs is to hire an agency either local or some what close to give them a complete re haul and brand them. When dealing with tourism of any location you need more than a logo that any bull shit crowd source will ever do for you.

i have never been to Zambia. But i am certain the logo does not do justice to the beauty of the land and its people. Shame.

The other entries showed much more skill and complexity in the design. This winning design looks like it belongs in a coloring book!

I am Zambian. These logos are a shame – no sophistication, no evidence of time spent on them… I wouldn’t pay 10 dollars for them. But then again, these are the effects of poverty – the crew at the tourism board were likely looking for a cut here and there for themselves so they ‘secretly’ outsource (as in go outside the country – no local artists implored to participate in) the so-called rebranding… taxpayers get a huge bill “for the global rebranding exercise” and the tourism board fellas buy themselves some personal SUVs with the change… man, sometimes Africa sucks!

My God!! What a scare! The old one was far better. This looks like a logo in a pre school deco. Too bad the competition is closed. I bet very few Zambians are aware of the logo seeing that there has been no publicity from Tourism Zambia. It expalins why Zambia lags behind even in the simplest of things. What a shame!

A quick google image search reveals tens of entries to this competition by professional designers that are excellent pices of design. This competition it would seem is a fraud: the finalists are so poor by comparison, that either they chosen at random or were the work of children whose parents were tourist board employees.

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