I am not creating the logo for Spring 2013. And so glad I didn’t.


This week’s guest post comes from our own Josh Bailey, an organizer for Spring 2013 and former logo-maker for #PDXSW.

I quit!

I am not a professional graphic designer.  I play one at work, my hobby is drawing, and with my son we fill out more sketchbooks and buy new ones more often than the seasons change.  For the last two PDXSW events I have been the logo maker-collateral wrangler- aesthetic pleasing volunteer.  I knew it was time to quit.

I was not quitting the team, but I could not do the logo any more.  I was not creating anything new and I was not capturing the excitement of the event.  My logo could not fill the seats and could not compel attendees to sign up.  I could tell you why in a hundred different ways, but I could not fix the why artistically into a logo.

Problem = whine = fix

Where I work you can moan and complain about everything, but the caveat is that you must offer a sound fix or suggestion to the problem.  I try to bring that to my everyday life and before I complain I figure out the root of the problem and the repercussions to mend the issue.  I could not make a logo that I believed was any good, but I knew just walking away from it without fixing the problem would not work either.


Portland Youth Builders

To solve the problem I looked to Portland Youth Builders. The art they created was inspiring not only to Startup Weekend, but also to my way of thinking about art and life.  A local student named Brianna created a logo that I loved.  It encompassed everything that the PDXSW is in a simple graphic.  The “Beaker Head”, as we quickly titled it, was how we think, feel and move through the world after a Portland Startup Weekend was over.

Everyone who attends PDXSW is looking for something in his or her idea, abilities or mindset.  As a team and as an event the level of camaraderie catapults above each individual goal in a way that is hard to explain – until I saw Brianna’s logo.  We are all beaker heads.  We all think differently.  We all work in multiple fields, but together as a team, we bring the best of what we have and create something that was simply an idea 54 hours ago.

The beaker head is complete and as I create the postcards, sticker and random designs I am excited again not only for PDXSW Spring 2013, but I am inspired by what will be accomplished in such a short time by beaker heads – who don’t even know their beaker heads yet.