[Paizo Fans United] "Design the PFU Logo" Contest!

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Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

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Paizo Fans United. What exactly is it? A company? A secret organization? A front?

Paizo Fans United (PFU) is a banner for fan-based products produced under Paizo’s Community Use Policy. Rumor has it that Paizo needed something to put the Wayfinder issues under in their store, and "Paizo Fans United" seemed to be a pretty apt name. Since then, Wayfinder Fanzine issues have been loaded under the PFU name, and recently the Pathfinder Chroniclers’ Anthology was added. But, the PFU banner has come to mean a bit more. These are not just any fan-made materials. These are products that are inspired by Pathfinder content and by Paizo’s quality. The result is a highly professional look that makes readers question, "this is by fans?? Wow." THAT is what the Paizo Fans United banner means.

But, despite all that, when people ask for a logo for PFU...well, there isn’t one. :-/

After nearly a year of discussions about how to come up with a suitable logo for PFU came up with no ideas, Hugo (butterfrog) Solis proposed this: A CONTEST.

And so it shall be!

We call upon the Paizo fan community to design a logo for Paizo Fans United!

This logo should be the best representative image that symbolizes professional quality content produced by Pathfinder fans FOR Pathfinder fans.

We will be accepting your interpretations and designs until April 16, 2012. Then, a panel of judges from the Paizo Fans United representatives will select their TOP 5 choices from the pool of entries, to be announced on April 30, 2012. At that time, the contest will be open to the public to vote for their favorite logo from the top 5 choices. Voting will close on May 15, 2012.

The end result, of course, is a fan-created logo for a fan-based content banner chosen by the fan community!

PRIZE: The designer of the winning logo will not only receive the accolades of the fan community, and get to see their logo representing the Paizo Fans United banner, but they will also receive:

  • Print copies of Wayfinder #1, 3, 5, and 7
  • Print copies of Pathfinder Chroniclers Anthology #1 and #2

Submission Instructions
  • The logo should be an "original" logo...no use or modification of Paizo logos, art, or images allowed.
  • Conditions for Submissions. Artists must agree to have their logo reproduced for use on products under the Paizo Fans United banner, or for use on a Paizo Fans United member website or website of another non-profit fan organization adhering to the rules of the OGL and Community Use Policy. Artist must also agree that their logo can be edited/ revised/converted by Paizo Fans United. All of publications under the Paizo Fans United banner are NON-PROFIT, and artists and authors will be given proper credit where due.
  • Send all submissions to: wayfinder.fanzine@gmail.com with the subject line containing “Paizo Fans United Logo”.
  • Logo submissions should be in color.
  • Logo submissions can be in a graphics-friendly format (.jpg, .bmp, .wmf, .emf, or .tif formats); however, the logo ultimately needs to be a vector-based image file (.psd files, .ai files or .svg file formats). If you can manage this for your entry, GREAT! If not, it will be converted, if chosen.
  • Images should be at least 300 dpi, with a maximum size of 8.5 x 11
  • Be sure to include your real name with your submission.

    DEADLINE: April 15, 2012, 11:59 Pacific.

    Any questions can be asked here in this thread, or email your questions to: wayfinder.fanzine@gmail.com

  • GO GO GO! Dig those awesome prizes folks—finding print copies of Wayfinder #1, 3, 5 and the upcoming 7 is VERY hard.

    Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

    Go PFU go!

    Dark Archive



    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    Just want to make sure people see this contest announcement early on ....Logo drawing...GO!

    Paizo Employee CEO

    3 people marked this as a favorite.

    Very cool! I am pretty sure I am the one who came up with the name Pathfinder Fans United as we were hurriedly trying to put up Wayfinder 1 on the website and we needed a company name to do so. To think that that name that was pulled out of the blue like that has come to mean something and will now have a logo is pretty neat. Sniff. My baby's all grown up! :)


    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    I have received our first entry, folks. So far, this entry is winning (as there is no competition!).

    Don't let them have such an easy time of it....send us your vision for a PFU logo!

    Liberty's Edge

    Working on one right now. Hope I can finish it today. :)

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    I started working on something but the problem is I'm such a perfectionist when it comes to this sort of thing that I realized I just don't have the time I'd want to commit to doing it *right* so good luck to those who submit!

    Sovereign Court

    C'mon folks! People who submit material for each issue of Wayfinder, have to put in a new submission each issue. If your submission for the logo is picked, you only have to submit one time and have your work appear in every issue moving forward!

    Also, that logo could be used in other places as well ... ;)

    Sovereign Court

    <insert Shameless Bump here>

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    Ok, maybe I'll try to whip something up tonight. I just get sucked into this stuff then dedicate wayy too much time to it lol

    Sovereign Court

    <yet another Shameless Bump to keep this in view>

    Thanks jreyst!

    C'mon folks! You can do it! Send in your logo designs for Paizo Fans United!

    And in other news, remember, tomorrow is the deadline for article submissions for the next issue of Wayfinder! Details can be found here.

    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    bleh I spent a couple of hours on something and don't feel like it's going anywhere. This is what happens - good concept, poor execution lol

    Sovereign Court

    No worries, you still have until April 16th to tweak it out. Sit down, grab a cup of coffee/mug of beer/glass of wine/etc. and let those creative juices flow!!! ;)

    Seriously folks, 17 more days to get these in. You can do it!

    Well I am going to have to submit a few designs then.

    Sovereign Court

    Do it, LPJ, do it!

    And YOU do it too!

    Yeah, that's right, I'm talking to you. The one there reading this post right now, wondering "Should I put together a logo for this?"

    The answer? YES! Of course! We want to see what you come up with!

    What's that you say? You don't think you can do it because:
    - you aren't a professional designer
    - just can't come up with a good idea
    - you are afraid it could lead to an attack by lemurs
    - some other silly reason or another?

    You do realize one of the most iconic logos out there was designed by a student, right? And the design was really by complete, freaking chance, right?

    I'm talking about the Nike Swoosh, designed by a graphic design student who made a check mark on a piece of paper while she was having trouble doing what? Coming up with a logo! That check mark became the Nike Swoosh which has been Nike's symbol for the last 41 years (I always thought it looked like a Bugs Bunnyish scimitar blade more than a check mark, but I could be somewhat biased ;) ).

    Moral of this quick, somewhat nonsensical post?

    Just Do It.

    Sorry, I couldn't resist, but it is so freaking appropriate. Do it, if you have an idea, an inkling, work it up and submit it. You never know what will come of it.

    Dark Archive

    Indeed everyone should send their ideas, i did, and it was a simple WF!

    Timitius wrote:
    DEADLINE: April 15, 2012, 11:59 Pacific.

    Just a reminder to anyone considering entering, the deadline is coming up soon... don't wait too long!

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Sent in for Moorluck!!!! :D

    Sovereign Court

    Woot! Another submission!

    Keep them coming folks! Let's get those last minute entries in!

    Sovereign Court

    bumpity bump

    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    We have FIVE submissions in the running right now.

    Come on, folks! Make it a COMPETITION! How about 5 more entries to make it really interesting??

    Pretty please?

    Sovereign Court

    If I could draw, I'd probably try something that looks like a university three-letter-acronym logo: PFU

    Or play on the 'United' bit to create a football style crest, like Manchester United or Newcastle United

    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens Subscriber
    GeraintElberion wrote:

    Or play on the 'United' bit to create a football style crest, like Manchester United or Newcastle United


    A crest in the football team style would be classy and fitting.

    Sovereign Court

    yet another bump ... I would submit something, but I have a feeling it would be a conflict of interest type of thing ... Tim, let me know if I am wrong on this front.

    Sovereign Court

    Bump and YES, I will be submitting the idea that has been bouncing around in my noggin. I'll gladly give up my judge seat to submit it. Should get it Saturday (hopefully) Tim. :)

    Sovereign Court

    submitted with about 2 hours to spare. ;)

    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    So, I have EIGHT logos in the running now.

    I am still looking for more entries to make it an interesting competition!

    The deadline is TONIGHT 11:59 PM Pacific. If you are on the fence, hop off it, onto the competing side!

    Sovereign Court

    More than enough time to get another one knocked out, hopefully (got another concept which will take a bit of work, so we'll see if I can get it put together).

    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    UPDATE: Just as many need to file an extension for their taxes, it seems that tax day has seriously dampened our turnout for the Paizo Fans United Logo contest.

    Therefore, we are extending the contest until April 30, 2012, in hopes that you logo designers will have your taxes done, and will be able to send in an entry!

    Timitius wrote:
    ... we are extending the contest until April 30, 2012 ..

    I have to admit I didn't get a chance to work on my submission until this past weekend and I did feel the tax crunch, but I prioritized and made the deadline! :)

    What are the new dates for top 5 and final voting then?

    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    I think we'll make our top 5 choices rather quickly, and probably start voting by May 5th at the latest. Voting would still end on May 15th.

    Dark Archive

    well 2 weeks ago the top 5 would have been easy... don't know about now...

    Liberty's Edge

    Can you submit more than one design?

    Winterwalker wrote:
    Can you submit more than one design?

    I hope so, since I wasn't sure which color scheme I wanted to use and subsequently submitted several. I would think since the post didn't say you couldn't, multiple entries should be okay. I suspect the contest was about generating ideas, so it would be odd if the submissions were limited.

    Liberty's Edge

    x93edwards wrote:
    Winterwalker wrote:
    Can you submit more than one design?
    I hope so, since I wasn't sure which color scheme I wanted to use and subsequently submitted several. I would think since the post didn't say you couldn't, multiple entries should be okay. I suspect the contest was about generating ideas, so it would be odd if the submissions were limited.

    I got confirmation you can via email :)

    Sovereign Court

    5 day bump ;)

    Liberty's Edge

    submission sent! good luck to all of the other participants!

    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    So, in case you are wondering, yes the deadline has passed, and we can now finally start to judge the 17 entries we received by the end of April.

    Judging takes place this week, and when we have decided on our Top FIVE entries, I will be posting a survey/poll link to get the voting started.

    Thanks to all those that entered, and good luck to you all!


    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    Our judges have CHOSEN!!!

    Matt "fray" Widmann, Ted "Zuxius" Thompson, Andrew Vallas of Paizo, and myself all sat down and discussed the 17 entries in this contest. In an hour long conversation over Skype, we selected what we all agreed were the top five logos.

    Now, keep in mind, the judges had critical comments about each one of these logos, and whichever logo does claim the most votes will still require some modifications. But, we all agreed that each of these logos, with the necessary corrections and changes, would serve as a great logo for PFU.

    And now, you, the Paizo fans, get to vote on which of these excellent logos should become the OFFICIAL PFU symbol. This logo will adorn Wayfinders, Pathfinder Chroniclers Anthologies, and future PFU products.

    The Voting Survey can be reached VIA THIS LINK.

    The voting poll closes on May 15th, 11:59 PM Pacific.

    Good luck to each of our finalists!

    And also, feel free to continue this thread with discussion on which logo YOU like best! We'd like to hear your thoughts!

    Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

    I just comment-bombed your Facebook album, recommending various thoughts and feedback on each logo. I've got two favorites, but even they could use a bit of tweaking to punch them up a bit higher. Great work all around by the artists, though. There's some really creative stuff there and pretty much any of them could serve as the official logo.

    Here are my comments from the Facebook album for anyone who's interested:


    1) Four Hooded Figures - I'm confused by this one. I like the individual graphic of the hooded figure and the ioun stone kind of imagery. That might have been worth playing up with more ioun stones to indicate the "united" aspect of Paizo Fans United. I guess instead the artist wanted to illustrate that by giving us four hooded figures with each one a different color. But, I'd have a hard time imagining these four figures as one graphic meant to represent Paizo Fans United. Individually, one of them might have worked out better, but only if it was further tweaked to find some other representation for the "united" element. The multiple ioun stone idea is what leapt out at me the most. And, if you were going to go with one of these hooded figures over any of the others, I think the purple scheme is the best reflection of Paizo's purple golem icon. So, that's what I'd recommend. However, as produced, I have to say this one doesn't make my Top 2 favorites for the final logo.

    2) Crowned Tri-Face - I love the tri-face graphic on this logo. It immediately gives you the "united" element in a visual format. It's got a bit of a "mask of Razmir" thing going on, too, and I'm not sure if I like that element or not. The crown element is interesting, but the "20" doesn't really summon up a D20 connection for me. That's because the crown itself doesn't have a true D20 image worked into it anywhere. Lastly, I like the orange vs. blue contrast of the graphic vs. the title, but I'm not fully thrilled with the font used for Paizo Fans United. I think I'd favor something cleaner and more uniform. So, this one doesn't make my Top 2 favorites.

    3) One D20 to Rule Them All - This one is really cool. I love the vibrant red D20 and the color contrast between the words and the graphic. I'm not as enthusiastic about the ring of D20s surrounding the larger graphic. I guess that's supposed to indicate the "united" aspect of all the fans, but visually it feels too repetitive. My primary worry about this graphic is the long title which sticks out past the D20 image. It's good that it's outlined, but if this graphic is placed on a darker background, I'm not sure it'll pop as well as you'd want it to. This one is really close, but it doesn't make my Top 2 favorites.

    4) Rustic, Gold-Embossed Shield - I really like this one. It has the right mix of color contrast between the golden/yellow and rustic brown and I really like the shading effects. It's also got a nice, bold PF right in front of you which could instantly lead people to think of both Pathfinder and Paizo Fans at the same time. Smartly done. What I'd like to have seen punched up a bit more is all the word graphics around the edges. They're unreadable, but it would have been nice to come up with an actual motto for Paizo Fans United and then have it in the surrounding scrollwork. For instance, something involving "Creativity, Quality, and Unity" might play well for the underlying premise behind PFU. Regardless, this logo still makes my Top 2 favorites.

    5) Blue, Action-Themed D20 - I like this one a lot. It comes with its own outline so it'll stand out regardless of what background you have behind it. What it's missing for me is a more vibrant color. For instance, if the action graphic on the D20 were red...or the letters to "Paizo Fans United" were red...or even a vibrant Paizo golem purple or something, it'd give you one more color contrast to help offset it and draw the eye to it on any given product. This would be in my Top 2 favorites.

    So, given all that, I RECOMMEND #4 and #5 for consideration as the ultimate winner of the Paizo Fans United logo contest.

    But that's just my two (or five) cents,

    Vote cast for #5. Mostly, I like the simplicity of it. I also like the synergy, the shared characteristics that it has with the Paizo logo. Both are related cool colors. What Neil Spicer called the "action graphic" meshes nicely with and reminds me of the "action graphic" between the Paizo Golem's hands. They look like sibling logos.

    The other logos up for vote were too busy. I'd like to comment further on the others, but after casting my vote I can no longer view them at that site. Any chance they could be posted up on another site (perhaps on Pathfinder Chronicler.net)?


    Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

    For what it's worth, I voted for #5 as well. Even so, I'd like to see some purple woven into the image that would match the Paizo golem icon. That'll make it pop. And, it'll also tighten the connection between the two logos.

    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    I should point out that Logo #1 actually IS just the one hooded figure. The graphic display it in the 4 different color variants the designer sent us. So, NO, it is NOT a logo with 4 figures. Just the one. I have changed this in the voting poll. Now it just shows the Paizo Blue logo.
    (I was kind of afraid that people might get confused...but I was so excited to get the poll started, I overlooked that possibility. Leave it to Spicer to find it.....)

    Our gallery of the finalists is available on the Wayfinder Facebook site, so if you are on Facebook, and you have "Liked" Wayfinder (why wouldn't you??), then you can view the finalist logos and comment on them there.

    If you are NOT, then I will be setting up an Album in Google Docs this morning for you. Link to come shortly.

    Sovereign Court Contributor

    Voted for #4. Almost voted for #5, but I liked how it looked like something that might come from Golarion; the die reminded me too much of the old Polyhedron symbol.

    Contributor, RPG Superstar 2009, RPG Superstar Judgernaut

    Timitius wrote:
    I should point out that Logo #1 actually IS just the one hooded figure. The graphic display it in the 4 different color variants the designer sent us. So, NO, it is NOT a logo with 4 figures. Just the one. I have changed this in the voting poll. Now it just shows the Paizo Blue logo.

    That makes much more sense, but I'm still not as big a fan of the hooded figure. Shifting the ioun stone makes sense, but I'm uncertain how the letters will look once a "U" is added to the mix. I definitely like the color scheme using the Paizo golem as inspiration, but I think the same thing can be achieved with logo #5 and I like it better with a generic D20 vs. a hooded face. But that's just my two cents.

    That said, I suppose the color variants on the hooded figure could be nice if you wanted them to denote slightly different product lines. But, I don't get the sense Wayfinder or Pathfinder Chronicler Anthology will be producing additional stuff? So, one graphic and one color scheme makes the most sense to me.

    I'd still like to see #5 done up with the same color scheme as the hooded figure and then have a run-off vote on them or something (provided they come out fairly close in the initial voting, of course).

    Sovereign Court

    I ran with #4 as well. While I do like all the top 5, the heraldry concept just struck a chord... The font choice may need to be tweaked for legibility, but other than that a really strong entry.

    Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

    So, some insight from the judges' panel, to follow up on the comments of "Ultimate Judge Spicer":

    1. The judges like that this logo captured the Paizo feel, much like the golem does, but without copying the golem whatsoever. The "P" and "F" have a font type very similar to the Paizo font logo, which is a nice touch. We thought that the ioun stone (which looks like the golem spark!) needed to be shifted to the right slightly to break the edge, and the logo needs a "U" inserted with the "P" and "F" because the clasp symbol below doesn't say "united" strongly enough.

    2. The judges' comments were pretty much in line with Neil's comments. We would probably replace the "20" with a "PFU" or a gem image. And we were not fond of the font type at the bottom, either. We'd ask for that to be replaced with a bolder, cleaner font.

    3. The judges loved the font in this one, and the red d20 was bold, clean, and prominent. We also found the little d20 ring a bit too much, and when reduced in size, these were little more than stars. We sort of thought it needed some kind of shading or shadow image behind it, tying it together, but couldn't put our collective finger on what that should be.

    4. All the judges agreed one this one. At first, there was a bit of confusion on why there was no "U", until it was pointed out that it is the most prominent part of the logo...then, it was hard to NOT see! We agree with Neil that the text for the "Paizo Fans United" is not clear enough....it's like it's an impartial stamping. We'd like the text to be bolder and cleaner. Also, the outer ring needs to be a shade lighter, with possibly a thin outline for contrast on darker backgrounds. We were also concerned that the "runes" in the ring actually mean something (like an easter egg). I like Neil's idea that this should be a motto. I would suggest "By fans, for fans", maybe in latin....or perhaps some Thassilon Runes (the positive ones, of course!) to tie in our fan-geekness for Pathfinder.

    5. There was a sister entry to this one, with the text encircling the d20, and a "PFU" on the die, instead of the spark, but the judges ultimately chose this one for the bold, clean font and the outline on this entry. It's simple. It's sharp. It's eye-catching. Criticisms were that it looked too much like a sports logo, and that it was too generic, not suggesting a Paizo/Pathfinder connection very strongly. The logo works equally as well in grey, and B/W, so it shows great versatility in usage! I don't think we discussed what it would look like in golem purple, but I am intrigued by that idea!

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