New Graphic Design Competition Coming to Salt Lake City



(Courtesy of Jaqueline Tristan)

By Oakley Burt, Arts Editor

Creative agency ThoughtLab, has partnered with Salt Lake Design Week to bring designers the first Salt Lake City Graphic Design Olympics competition. ThoughtLab pitched the idea to SL Design Week to increase involvement in the local design community, connect designers with a creative agency and help designers build portfolios. This three-part competition is open to all designers in the Salt Lake City area and will take place during SL Design Week from Oct. 7-11.

The competitors will be asked to complete three graphic design tasks that will test their skills and creativity. The descriptions were released to competitors on Sept. 30, giving them a head start to complete the tasks. “We’re excited to see what people come up with and how they push the envelope,” said Jaqueline Tristan, Marketing Manager at ThoughtLab. “We tried to create tasks that would be interesting and exciting for designers to work on.”

The first task of the competition is creating a sticker for one of America’s National Parks. “Utah has a great outdoor culture and I love National Parks,” Tristan said. “I thought designing a sticker for National Parks would be fun.” The first task is due on Oct. 8.

Due on Oct. 9, the second task is a typefight of the letters “SLC.” The competitors will need to transform the letters into a unique, aesthetically pleasing and self-expressive design. “This seemed like a fun idea,” Tristan said. “I think it’s a great way for designers to flex their creative muscles and think outside of the box.”

The final task will have competitors design a new logo for Wild Wasatch Outdoor Gear. While the previous tasks do not have any guidelines for participants to follow, the final task does. The designers will need to incorporate Wild Wasatch Outdoor Gear’s core colors, but cannot include designs of mountain ranges or pine trees. “The logo design is the most difficult task in terms of constraints,” Tristan said. “Though, we tried to keep the tasks level to encourage authenticity and an open mind.” The final task is due on Oct. 11, the last day of Design Week.

ThoughtLab has acquired an impressive panel of judges for the competition, Matt Conver, Vice President of Entertainment at Disneyland Resort; Eric Comstock, President of AIGA Salt Lake, and Michael Harker, CEO of ThoughtLab. Each task will be submitted online to a Google Drive folder where the judges will score them on a scale of one to 10 in three categories — creativity, art and design versatility and adaptability. The scores will be combined for each area and the designer with the highest score will be crowned the winner and receive a cash prize.

Tristan anticipates the Salt Lake Graphic Design Olympics becoming an annual event. “We’ve generated a lot of interest and have received a good amount of submissions so far,” Tristan said. “We definitely would like to explore more opportunities to partner with a company next year.”

Registration for the Salt Lake Graphic Design Olympics is open until Oct. 8. Additional information about registration and the competition can be found here.


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