I WILL GUARANTEE THIS CONTEST AS SOON AS I SEE A DESIGN THAT I AM COMFORTABLE WITH!
About the website:
The website will be called “Reading Bear” and will be at readingbear.org. (The URL above points to the demo/development site, which may be buggy.) It is affiliated with watchknowlearn.org, funded by the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi, and organized by Larry Sanger (me). We recently concluded a 99designs logo design contest (the logo is attached). We plan to name designers in our About page.
One previous website that I started, Wikipedia, has become a top 10 website. We expect and hope this will be a high-profile website, so your work should get significant exposure.
I will not award the design to anyone who I know or strongly suspect to have copied the work from elsewhere. Please do NOT copy your work from elsewhere. I consider this to be fraud. We are paying for an ORIGINAL design, not for a shameless copy of someone else’s design. Before awarding a winner, I will invite participants to identify designs that are copied from elsewhere. People have been very good at identifying the copy-cats, so don’t waste your time.
Our audience is 0-6 year olds and their teachers and parents. We expect the site to be most heavily used by early elementary grades and preschools, so it should be appealing to the little kids but not too babyish. Generally, we want something that is warm and welcoming to little kids. Not “edgy” like for older kids, but also not all plush stuff, pink bows, and baby blue. It should make kindergartners feel comfortable, inspire them with confidence, and feel like they’re in for some fun.
Please note, there is a special technical consideration! Do not fiddle too much with the current dimensions or placement of stuff either on the home page or the presentation, quiz, and review pages. Most importantly, we cannot resize the presentations to fit your design, which are 800x600 in the 100% version, and correspondingly bigger in the 125% and 150% versions (see the three different-sized As on the top right of the presentation window). Your design should scale up with no trouble--this is crucial.
Did you see the previous point about your design being able to scale up to 125% and 150%? This is important!
The content is the main focus of this site. We aren’t trying to sell anything (no ads), we’re simply trying to get people to go as efficiently as possible to the presentations. (We also want them to sign up, so they can track their progress.) Although the logo is somewhat complex, we’re really aiming at a fairly simple page design, something that puts the content in its best possible light. It should be undistracting, and it should not use any “gimmicks” that will get old, since people will be coming back again and again to the website.
Any artwork and hand-rendered lines should be very competent, and consistent in style and mood with the logo. I will give low ratings to any sub-par artwork.
The colors, too, should be complementary to the shades of green and blue in the logo, i.e.:
Blue – 0,172,225 (Pantone=#00ACE1)
Green – 90,135,40 (Pantone=#5A8728)
You do not have to use these colors as your main colors, but they should not clash, and it would be nice to include them at least a little. I do not like bright or garish colors, but as this is a children’s site, of course it should not have a lot of blacks and browns either. It should be cheerful.
As to “themes” to pursue, the obvious ones are the contexts in which one might find a bear that is reading. This might involve books, letters or the alphabet, a library, and other “literacy” themes, but also “bear-y” themes such as a forest and playing cubs. If you draw any pictures of bears, they had better look very close to the one in the logo (same or similar bears in the same artistic style, but in different poses, cubs playing, etc.). Theoretically we could ask the logo designer to draw more bears to include (I’m pursuing that question). My guess is that almost no one will be able to pull that off credibly other than the logo designer, so you probably shouldn’t even try.
The Copyright notice text = “Copyright 2011 Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi”. h
ANY QUESTIONS? Please ask in this contest’s public discussion area! I will answer ASAP. You might want to check that discussion before you get to work.