Webmin Logo Contest!

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to bring Webmin’s branding into the modern Web 2.0 era, while still representing the respectability that IT guys demand of their tools. In return for your trouble, you’ll win some cool prizes, including $500 cash and a Virtualmin Professional Unlimited license. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that your work is being seen by millions of people every day for years to come.

Make a new logo for Webmin, and you could:

  • Impress the opposite sex!
  • Win the admiration and respect of your peers!
  • Win $500, a T-shirt with the logo you design, plus other fantastic prizes!

OK, so maybe only the final one is guaranteed to be true.

The Fine Print

OK, so it’s not fine print. But these are the rules for submission:

  • Original work only. No composites, borrowed clip art, etc. Webmin is legally clean and will remain that way.
  • Submissions must be submitted in SVG vector format. If you’re feeling adventurous, make a favicon.ico, as well. Entries in anything other than SVG will not be accepted.
  • Keep it simple enough for a T-shirt, coffee mug, or sticker. Fewer colors is better, because more colors costs more to print, and usually looks terrible. If it looks good in white on black and black on white, you get bonus points.
  • What colors you choose will, to some degree, dictate future themes for Webmin: choose wisely.
  • You may submit as many logo designs as you like.
  • You may, or may not, derive your logo ideas from the existing Webmin spider web logo. Go with your instincts.
  • We will solicit feedback from the Webmin community, but we’re the sole arbiters of the final winner.


The winner will be determined by the following judges:

Jamie Cameron – Creator of Webmin and primary developer, founder Virtualmin, Inc.
Kevin Hale – Renowned designer, Particle Tree blogger, Treehouse editor and writer, founder Wufoo.com.
Joe Cooper – Webmin developer, founder Virtualmin, Inc. (And brainiac who came up with the idea for this contest.)

So break out your Illustrator or your Inkscape, and get started! Webmin’s tenth birthday only happens once, and Webmin has only ever had two logos (by some definition of “logo”, since Jamie designed the first one).

Visit this contest at SitePoint to submit your entries, and to see the competition, so far.

7 Responses

  1. Patrick October 7, 2007 / 1:11 am

    Right now, there exists a trend in the business world whereby companies get it in their heads that it would be a good idea to run a contest for their design work. What they will do is announce that they need, say, a new logo. The intent is for designers to individually spend the time to develop designs and then submit them. The company then goes over the entries and selects a “winner.” Only the winner receives any compensation for the work.

    On the surface, and without applying any deeper thought to it, this might seem like a great idea. Rather than trust one designer to come up with a solution, a company can solicit the creative talent of dozens, or even hundreds of talented creatives.

    As with most things, however, the reality of the situation is rarely so simple.

    Advertising is a business, and working with a designer is a business relationship. Because of that, there are far more factors at work than just the final product. People will switch doctors because they don’t get along. They will refuse to shop at a certain store (despite really liking the products) because they can’t stand the employees. Conversely, people will go out of their way to do business with someone they like, even if doing so might be inconvenient or even a little more expensive. It is no different with a company’s relationship with its designer.

    It isn’t only important to find someone talented and who can get your projects done on time. The best relationships between companies and designers occur when they understand each other, when the designer “gets” what the company wants and needs to be successful.

    This kind of relationship is almost never possible in a contest.

    Design contests are obviously huge gambles for the designers. They have to commit to doing a significant amount of work, and they have to do so essentially blind. Without the benefit of meeting with those putting on the contest face-to-face and gaining some in-depth insight into the project, the designers have to guess at the tastes of those in charge and just hope they do something appealing.

    The thing that contest originators don’t understand, however, is that the contest model is just as much a lottery for them, too. Without meeting with the contest entrants, and seeing their past work and experiencing their personalities, the contest originators put themselves in the middle of a very risky gamble. Based simply on a submitted image, it is impossible to determine whether or not the designer has the knowledge and background to guide the project to an efficient (or even successful) conclusion.

    It really isn’t all that difficult for someone with some basic creative skills to put some shapes together into a pleasing arrangement. However, making sure that those shapes have the technical foundation to meet the needs of a company is a different matter, as is having the knowledge and skill to follow up the project with changes, modifications, or even application to future projects.

  2. Joe Cooper October 7, 2007 / 1:36 am

    Hey Patrick,

    Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I’m afraid I don’t wholly agree with you. Your premises, in general, are sound. But, they place an undue burden on the folks seeking a new logo.

    Here’s why:

    As a non-designer (or close enough), I’m not terribly well-equipped to find a good designer. One that I can trust to produce work that is both professional and meets my needs and wants. Such a search would make it entirely possible, and in fact likelier than not, to produce an endless string of useless and expensive logo ideas. It was that very experience with our Virtualmin, Inc. logo that led to choosing a contest path this time around.

    When we needed a logo for Virtualmin, we first asked a number of designers, icon designers to be specific, we’d worked with on other projects because we knew they were the absolute tops in their field. However, we soon found that being a great icon designer is a very different set of skills than being a great logo designer. That avenue failed to generate good results for us. We then attempted to use a logo shop (LogoWorks, specifically), which also failed to product usable results. In the end, I gave up and designed the logo myself. I’m not happy about that, but it turned out better than anything anyone else gave us (I’m not lacking humility here, it was a unanimous decision, involving many more eyes than my own). We won’t be keeping that logo forever, as it was a distinct lack of other ideas that led to me designing the Virtualmin logo. But it’ll do for now.

    So, when it came time to make a new logo for Webmin, which has been long overdue for a fresh face…I began to think back on all of the pains we had getting a logo for Virtualmin. I figured we’d try a different route. Contests have a lot of positive aspects, particularly for an Open Source project like Webmin: We can accept entries from our users (we had several entries from Webmin users, and many were even good…that was fun to see), we get to find a designer that we like in a low-pressure situation, and a get to see a lot (over 300) design ideas over the span of 10 days.

    I understand your desire to see designers well-paid for their work. I like being well-paid, too. But, I hope you can see that from my perspective, a contest pretty much just kicks infinite ass. We have no desire to screw anyone, and we have every intention of having the designer of the winning logo involved in several of our ongoing design projects, if he or she is interested. It would make no sense for us to find a designer we absolutely love, and then not work with them again. The problem coming into the contest is that we didn’t have a logo and branding designer that we absolutely loved (we know and love Kevin, but he doesn’t do freelance work…we were lucky to convince him to be our guest judge).

    So, in short, I think you’ve got the wrong end of the stick here. Consumers love choice, and a logo contest gives us a very high level of choice. I believe you’re also being quite insulting to the designers involved in the contest, though that may not be your intent. We set out to make the contest fun for everyone, a learning experience for both sides, and a great way for us to meet some great designers. We’ve succeeded beyond our expectations on all counts, and we also find that we’re having to narrow the field from at least four or five logos that we love rather than try to cajole a single designer into getting us one that we can live with. The designers have proven to be very receptive to our wishes and we’re looking forward to a long relationship with more than one of them.

    We’re also looking forward to running more contests. We have a lot of design work ahead of us, and this has proven to be a great way to meet a lot of designers, and get a lot of great ideas in an affordable and enjoyable way. I hope that the designers have also enjoyed our contest and will be back for future ones (many expressed appreciation for the contest and seemed to really be enjoying it, so I think we succeeded there).

    Maybe next time we can convince you to join in the fun, Patrick. Or would that be hoping for too much?

  3. butz007 October 8, 2007 / 11:25 pm

    Hi, my name is Butch, one of the few contestant in the Webmin making logo contest at Sitepoint.com As per my personal point view, Being a professional designer for almost 8 years, I know for the fact entering on this contest was a huge risk prior on its technicality and sometimes even prone from some copycats. but honestly we do accept the risk involve and we will never regret it no matter what might happen. We’re taking our chances, spending our time and effort in order for us to come-up a desirable entry. and Why on earth we would like to do this crazy stuff! it is not about Money, though I have to admit WEBMIN is one of the Contest Holder at the Sitepoint.com who come-up with the biggest stake for a logo making contest ever! and its really quite indeed tempting. But the truth of matter is, it has never been our main objective and priority. As “Professional Designer” I eat, lived, sleep and even f*** up by this profession. and it never been bothered me in the past coz I love my work so much that sometimes I do some bargaining agreements for cheap labor just in order express my artistic inclination, which was the main core of our entity as a designer. Joining the contest give us an immensely competition among designers, which give us the opportunity to enhance more on our skills and talent. and last for certain designer like us its always an EGO thing that matter most. cheers!!!!!

  4. Joe Cooper October 8, 2007 / 11:42 pm

    Thanks for your comment Butch. You’re spot on. I think the competition leads to better designs from the designers–which is good for designers like Butch as well as the client (me and Jamie, in this case).

Comments are closed.