Secular Safe Zone Logo

Do you do graphic design skills?  Would you like to help a good cause?

The SSA is building a project called Secular Safe Zone that will emulate the successful LGBT Safe Zone campaign.  Originally designed for high schools, the program will include online training sessions every month for teachers and other educators who wish to participate.  Upon completion of training, these administrators will be sent Safe Zone materials such as posters or banners to hang in their classroom, announcing them as an ally to atheistic students.  The high school environment is often hostile to non-believers.  This program will give those students help.  In early 2012 we will launch the program for high schools and colleges across the United States.

I could not possibly exaggerate how excited I am about this project.  Everybody who reads my blog knows how passionate I am about making public schools a safer place for non-believers, and I think this is the most promising way to make it happen that has ever come along.

We’re now into the design phase, and the team working on the aesthetics for the project has decided that nothing produces unbridled creativity like crowdsourcing something.  If you have graphic design skills and want to submit a logo for this program, you would have my undying gratitude.  Your rewards would be the fluffy feelings of accomplishment that come with contributing to a good cause as well as credit for the logo’s design on the Safe Zone web site.

Now, here are the stipulations.

1.  Colors

The SSA has a new branding scheme that uses specific colors.  Check our web site to see how we use them.  Here are those colors.

And, of course, white.  These are the colors you may use.

2.  Keep It Simple

We’re looking for something fun, yet simple.  Try to keep busyness to a minimum.

3.  Shape

The dominant shape should be neither a box or a triangle.

4.  It’s Not String Theory

Keep it two-dimensional, please.

I don’t want to stifle creativity, but these are the parameters within which we need to work.

Submissions should be emailed to wwjtd21[at]gmail[dot]com.  Do not post your submission publicly!  Any submission that does get posted publicly will be unable to be considered.  We also reserve the right to alter a submitted image to be more in-line with our growing vision for the project.  If this occurs, credit will still be given to the original designer.  The deadline for submission is Dec. 31, 2011.  All submissions must be made in either .psd or .indd format.

That sounds cranky and picky, especially for somebody asking for free labor, but it’s what must be done.  If you’ve got the skills, please help with this project.  It would mean the world to me and it will help change things for the better for years to come.

About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.

  • Jen

    Dear god, who decided on those colors? I’m going blind T_T

  • Sithrazer

    “I find your lack of color coordination disturbing.” /Darth Vader

    “Christ JT, your color pallet could cause glaucoma at 20 paces.” /Faye Whitaker

    Paraphrased (I think that’s the right term?) for appropriate context.

    I’m sorry, I appreciate and approve of the cause, but I have to mirror Jens questioning of the color choices.

  • Pteryxx

    actually, those sound like pretty standard requirements for an organization’s control over its logo. Questions: I’m assuming y’all need a scale-able logo to go from sticker-size (about 5″ x 5″) up to poster-size, or down to keychain- or web-banner size? Any preference as to file format? Any estimated deadline?

    • JT Eberhard

      Scalable is a necessity, yes. Will need a big version for posters/banners.

      The file type should be either .psd or .indd, and the deadline for submission is Dec. 31 of this year. Good question. I have altered the post to contain answers to them.


      • Kate from Iowa

        After being exposed to the colors I read one of the file extensions as .ptsd! I’ll join in the chorus of “HAVE MERCY ON MY EYES!!!”

      • Robert Roxby

        If you want scalability and something *graphical,* you should be requesting a .ai, .svg, or .eps file. Photoshop files are designed for rasterized graphics— which aren’t inherently scalable. They pixelate when you enbiggen them.

        Yes, it’s possible to work in Illustrator (.ai) and paste it into a .psd as a vector smart object, or work with the rudimentary vector tools in Photoshop— but, it’s not the best choice. The same goes for .indd— you can paste vector graphics in, or use the program for a wordmark; but you’ve hobbled scalability. Or at the very least, you’ve neglected a very important, logical choice of file format!

        If this is a situation that “these are the programs I have to work with,” then you should be aware that those file formats aren’t what will be requested by any professionals you encounter down the road. a .psd isn’t automatically going to be useful, even with a vector smart object pasted in. (To be fair, Photoshop has WAY better effects— but trust me that won’t matter the first time you try to print a large banner or billboard.)

        Just some food for thought.

        • Pteryxx

          Um, you can generate vector graphics using InDesign (.indd) in the first place. No need to import. For the stated request of a SIMPLE logo, even Photoshop’s icky vector tools might be sufficient.

          • Thin-ice

            Agreed. Never use Photoshop if you’re going to scale UP. Use Illustrator or Coreldraw or even InDesign in a pinch, but not a raster-based program.

            Can we use “black”? That’s a color.

            “Embiggen”? I think the existing word “enlarge” will do nicely!

          • Zinc Avenger

            Nonsense. “Embiggen” is a perfectly cromulent word.

  • Gregory

    A few things NOT to do:

    Logo Designs Gone Wrong

  • Michaelyn

    I think the color scheme is happy :)

  • LadyDreamgirl

    I’m lacking the skills to contribute (most of the vector graphics talk went over my head), but I did some pondering to see if I could come up with any concepts, and it’s surprisingly difficult. Unlike the GLBT community there isn’t much agreement on appropriate symbols for secular identification. For example, the red A is out because the color palette lacks red and it’s too atheist specific. In any case I’m really looking forward to seeing the design that ya’ll choose, it’s going to take some serious creativity to come up with a clear and clever way to convey the message.

  • Danielle

    Those are the exact colors we used for painting our dorm hallway back in college. I think we were called the barf floor from then on.

    The school didn’t have many women, and unfortunately our women’s group had a logo of two stick figures with their arms up and a star between them. All the guys saw was a naked pregnant lady.

  • COE4514

    Rules 1. and 2. REALLY clash with each other! With those colors, “busyness” is bound to happen!

    • Ryan

      Who says you have to use all the colours?

  • Cypressgreen

    As long as the design doesn’t look like it’s saying “S.S.”

  • C Tran

    Is there any specific text that must be in the logo?

    • JT Eberhard

      Nope. But if you do use text, please use “Safe Zone”, “Secular Safe Zone”, or “SSZ”


  • C Tran

    Is the color black okay?

  • Beaux

    I asked my xtian friend who is a graphic designer, but she declined saying after she looked you up she didn’t think you would work well together. :(