Maker Faire Africa logo winner:
The final logo was chosen because of how versatile it was for MFA. Maker Faire Africa represents a lot of different types of people, pastimes and projects. Having the imagery be more than just one type of gadget or practice seemed like a better fit. The four different colored icons could be used for multiple types of branding purposes.
We almost chose the windmill because of the story it tells. What it really is is a silhouette of William’s Windmill, a story that has garnered a lot of attention due to the youth and ingenuity of William Kamkwamba. It’s a little rough around the edges, just like the windmill – but it works, has meaning and tells the story of so many other inventors, tinkerers and micro-entrepreneurs across a vast and complicated continent.
This last week we’ve been running a competition to create the Maker Faire Africa logo over at 99designs. It’s been a lot of fun, with a lot of great entries. Here are just the top rated ones, the 3 with check marks are the finalists.
Maker Faire Africa is an event happening next summer in Ghana. It needs a logo though, and for the designers who read this, it’s your chance to win a quick $250. Jump on over to THE CONTEST to get started.
(Not a designer? Pass this on to someone who is, and feel free to leave your comments on which designs you like/don’t like.)
What is Maker Faire Africa?
As Emeka puts it:
The aim of a Maker Faire-like event is to create a space on the continent where Afrigadget-type innovations, inventions and initiatives can be sought, identified, brought to life, supported, amplified, propagated, etc. Maker Faire Africa asks the question, “What happens when you put the drivers of ingenious concepts from Mali with those from Ghana and Kenya, and add resources to the mix?”
This logo will be used on the redesigned website, print materials and t-shirts.
How it Works
A couple months back I tested out 99designs.com for logo creation, and was incredibly impressed with how easy it was to get going and for designers to take part in quick project work. The contest is open for 7 days (Dec 25th – Christmas), and anyone can go register as a designer to submit an entry.
Once you’ve registered and submitted a design, we’ll be leaving feedback on what direction to take it, and we’ll rate them using their 5-star system. You can submit as many entries as you like. Make sure you read the creative brief before you go too far. We realize that one of the main problems with any contest like this is Africa is payment to the winner. We’ll be creative in making sure that if the winner does come from anywhere in Africa, you’ll get paid.
Who is behind it?
The organizing team is made up of Emeka (Timbuktu Chronicles), Mark (Ned.com), Amy Smith (MIT IDDS), Lars (MIT), Nii (Nubian Cheetah), Erik (AfriGadget), and Juliana (Afromusing). It is in the very early stages of organization, and we’ve each contributed some money to get the logo created.
O’Reilly, along with the guys at Maker Faire have given us their blessing to use the name.
No, it’s not scheduled to happen yet, or anywhere near it, but we’re heartened by this discussion on Afrigadget and Ned forums about the possibility of holding a Maker Faire in Africa next year. The amount of clever, locally appropriate innovation that gets profiled on blogs like Afrigadget leave us continually impressed, and also frustrated that more attention isn’t paid, or more capital and distribution channels made available.
The domestic Maker Faires that have been going on in the US for the past few years have featured a combination of whimsy, hi-tech, development, and hobbyist work. An African Maker Faire though, according to the post, would focus on fabrication, asking, “What happens when you put the drivers of ingenious concepts from Mali with those from Ghana and Kenya, and add resources to the mix?”
Although specifics are lacking, interest appears high, and an organizing team for the effort will be meeting next summer at Nkrumah University in Ghana as part of the International Development Design Summit. Best of luck, guys — we’re fascinated.
I’ve been thinking for a while now how great it would be to have a Maker-Faire-type event in South Africa when Jess Hemerly from the Institute for the Study of the Future sent me a link to an AfriGadget post by Erik Hersman on the idea (original post by Emeka Okafor is here). I always wanted the iSummit to be more about really making stuff: making, building, working together on concrete, real things that you can touch, test and experiment with (Maker-Faire’s strapline encapsulates my favorite things in the world: build, craft, hack, play). I think it’s one of the best ways to learn and one of the most important ways to show how innovation can work in the digital space after the event (where there isn’t the awesome opportunity for people to get together physically).
According to AfriGadget, the organising team of the Ghana event ‘will collaborate with the organizers of the International Development Design Summit (IDDS), which will be held at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in mid/late Summer 2009?. There are so many potential partners for an SA event, but I’m particularly interested in the intersection of music and the arts (thinking of Dean Henning’s awesome musical toys ‘basic circuit bending’ experiments at LiquidFridge in 2007).
Pic by Nortis on Flickr CC BY NC SA