On Monday the winning entry of the EV100 competition was presented. The task was to create a proposal for a visual identity of Estonia’s 100-year jubilee in 2018 as well as a brand for the country’s upcoming European Union presidency next year. The winning proposal by Estonian agency Identity bears a striking resemblance to a Californian skateboard chain.
According to EV100 marketing and communications director, Anneli Ohvril, the entry conditions were very strict. While in the case of the copywriter used for the right message a lack of Estonian skills was still acceptable, the designers needed working proficiency.
Strict requirements for entrants
Looking at the requirements listed in the public tender documents of the competition, what entrants needed was a team of six, among them a creative director and a chief designer, each of which with a decade of experience in their field, and a whole portfolio of comparable projects successfully completed.
Also, the team needed to be represented by an Estonian business — hardly a surprising requirement, considering that the competition was about the national brand for the time of the EU presidency, and for the jubilee year.
According to EV100.ee, eight entries were submitted, five of which for the EU presidency’s visual identity, and three for the 100-year anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. A jury of ten consisting of representatives of Estonian advertising and marketing associations judged the entries (members listed at the end of this article).
Winning entry not the final logo
The winners were Meelis Opmann, Martin Tõnts, Ionel Lehari, and Ants Lusti of Tallinn agency Identity. They won first place in both categories. Their design can be seen in the gallery above. The size of the public contract is €250,000.
Asked about the winner, EV100’s Anneli Ohvril stated that the design presented on Monday was not the final visual identity, but that the real work for the agency was only starting now. As one of the reasons for their very strict requirements, Ohvril stressed that they weren’t looking for a logo, but for a reliable partner to work out the visual identities for the 100-year anniversary and the EU presidency in detail.
Revisiting a 1990s classic: EV100's visual overlap with Plan B Skateboards
Shortly after the presentation of the winner, comparisons began making rounds on social media with the logo of Californian skateboard producer Plan B (see below), in business with variations of the same visual theme since 1991. Speaking to ERR News on Tuesday, designer Ionel Lehari claimed that this kind of “visual overlap” was a very common phenomenon, as almost everything had been done already concerning the logo’s play with shapes.
1990s classic: Plan B skateboard
Commenting on the same issue, Ohvril said that though they hadn’t taken up this matter with the agency yet, EV100 were aware that the logo was “quite similar” to that of Plan B, and that they would discuss it. Again, there was no real problem here, as the project was subject to change still, Ohvril pointed out.
Also part of Identity’s entry, their proposal for the Estonian EU presidency’s visual appearance has not been made public yet, as it is customary to keep it under lock and key not to interfere with the current presidency’s appearance. The entry would be made public in April or May 2017, Ohvril confirmed.
ERR News contacted Plan B for comment, but due to different time zones was still waiting for a response at the time this article was published. Update to follow.
Jane Oblikas (Estonian Design Center), Ilona Gurjanova (Estonian Association of Designers), Jaanus Tamme (of the Estonian marketing communications agencies association), Alari Orav (Estonian design team, EAS), Aive Hiiepuu (Estonian Public Relations Association), Anu-Mall Naarits (Marketingi Instituut), Maria Alajõe (Chancellery of the Riigikogu), Anneli Ohvril (Government Office of Estonia, EV100), Tiina Urm (Government Office of Estonia, EU presidency) ja Sean Larkins (WPP Government and Public Sector Practice).
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn