Ever wondered how the first Finnish citizens to experience full suffrage back in 1908 must have felt? Or how New Zealander women the first who could vote in history felt? Today, as a citizen with more rights than ever before in history, you have the opportunity to gain one new important right for the first time in history, the power to directly influence the design process through a direct, digital design democracy.
Bit of background here, back in September I started collaborating with Dave Hakkens (Phonebloks guy) on a new exciting project- Precious Plastic. Precious Plastic is a distributed, open-source network of machines that will enable anyone, anywhere to start recycling plastic waste with incredibly low barriers to entry in terms of price and prior technical knowledge.
First, we had to revamp the branding and visual identity to make the project truly global and understandable to an international community encompassing hundreds of diverse cultural backgrounds and semiotic understandings of colours, forms, iconography, typography and visual communication at large. Soon we realized we wanted to involve the proactive community behind Dave Hakkens to take direct part in the design of the logo, to create a “community-logo”.
We then developed a plan and have involved the community in three fundamental stages of the design process- research, development & final vote. In the first exploratory phase we’ve asked the community to help us gather some research and sketch out possible concepts, ideas and inspiration from around the world. We had more than 130 entries in total, giving us a comprehensive interpretation of what Precious Plastic meant to people around the world.
Next, we’ve organized and scrutinized all the entries from phase one and selected the most suitable concepts. We then opened up the first round of voting to the community to select five logo concepts we could develop further. We had a total of 225 people voting, and the five final options were chosen, by the community.
Out of the voted five logo concept, our team picked the three favourite and did all the necessary polishing & facelifting. We then presented the community with the three final logos to vote for.
The voting is open until January 31st, anyone can vote! The future Precious Plastic logo will be a fully democratic, open-source, community-led logo- the first in history, be part of it!
The three finalists:
Ok, back on planet earth after a brief moment of exhilarating writing euphoria.
I do understand that maybe this project is not as vital as the historical gains of the Finnish or New Zealanders, but today we’re honestly proud to have opened up the design process to the public in a creative and inclusive way.
If you haven’t done already, vote here.