Design Competition - Design Off

Submitted Article
Are you a graphic designer who wants more attention and visibility for your work?  
Do you want to hang out with other designers at one of the top museums in Minnesota and show off your mad designing skills?
Join in the competition at the Stearns History Museum “Design Off” Monday, February 10, 2014.  The museum is looking for artists and designers who want to participate in a competition to create a concept design of a front porch to represent the museum’s new vision.  
What does that mean?
In October of 2013, Executive Director Tim Hoheisel presented a new vision to the museum board of directors.  Hoheisel proposed the Stearns History Museum become the “Front Porch” of the community.  
Many people fondly remember growing up in a house with a front porch.  The front porch was a place that was welcoming to everyone, it was a place that stimulated conversation from all who were sitting around on the porch about all things relevant to the family and community.   Conversations were about history, politics, religion, family, food, parenting, sports—virtually anything.  A front porch was a place for friendly fellowship where people were comfortable talking about anything.  It was a place where people who gathered there felt relaxed and happy.  
Stearns History Museum staff are beginning the work to make the Museum even more of a place where everyone feels welcome and where we push the traditional boundaries of what a museum can be.  We want the museum to serve a similar unifying and comforting purpose as a front porch.  We hope to become a place where everyone feels welcome to not just look at exhibits, but participate in programs, and engage in conversations about anything.   
Unlike a front porch on a house that only serves a single family or small neighborhood, the Stearns History Museum wants to be the Front Porch of St. Cloud, Stearns County, and Central Minnesota.  
To publicize the new vision of the museum, we are holding a one night design competition, a “design off.”  
Who: Designers and artists, professionals and students
What: “Design Off” competition—create a concept design, a graphical representation of a “front porch” for the Stearns History Museum to use in its marketing
When: Mon, Feb 10 Set up: 4 to 5 p.m.
Work: 5 to 7 p.m.
Gallery walk at 7 p.m. judging at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Stearns History Museum, 235 33rd Ave. S., St. Cloud (in Heritage Park) or www.facebook. com/StearnsHistoryMuseum
Why: The winning design will receive a $500 cash prize from the museum and the winning design will be used in museum marketing.  
To join the competition please RSVP by 5 p.m. Feb. 7 and contact executive director Tim Hoheisel, 320.253.8424 or by email    
Food and beverages will be available for designers and the public.  
Free Wi-Fi is available for designers to use.   
Details, Details, Details:
Museum overview:
The museum’s mission is to “engage people in the exploration of the County’s diverse heritage by providing connections to the past, perspective on the present, and inspiration for the future.”
The Museum collects, preserves, and interprets local history through exhibits, programs, and an archives that educate, entertain, and inspire visitors.  The Stearns History Museum is part of a 100-acre nature park with walking trails, abundant wildlife, and a skateboard park.  
The Stearns History Museum is nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, one of only 6 of 562 museums in Minnesota to have accreditation.  In 2013, the Museum also became an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and is the only museum in Minnesota to have such a partnership.  
We want designers and artists to create a concept design of a front porch to be the graphical representation of our vision.  It can be traditional, abstract, futuristic, minimalist—whatever.  We welcome creative ideas!  The winning design must be able to be delivered to the museum as a vector file.  For example, if a hand-drawn sketch is submitted and wins, it needs to be able to be recreated and delivered as a vector file.  
We are not looking for a new logo design for the museum.  The Front Porch image will be used to promote our new vision.  We want a concept design that we can use for our Front Porch branding.  The concept design would be used in addition to our logo.  
The concept design will accompany our name on our website, letterhead, and history magazine Cross-ings.  It needs to be able to be used in small and large formats from a thumbnail on stationary to the entire cover of the magazine to possibly billboards, etc.  
Specifics for the design:
1. Effective without color; looks good in black & white 
2. Scalable. Works at 1 inch and 100 feet. 
3. Versatile & multi-purpose.  Has to reproduce well on business cards, pens, letterhead, mugs, tradeshow booths, etc. 
Judging will be done by a panel of museum staff and board members.  Designs that are inappropriate or completely off topic will be eliminated.  
All concept designs will be on display in an exhibit at the museum for visitors to see
Work is to be completed and displayed by 7 p.m.  The museum has a printer on site that is capable of printing 13” x 19”.  A gallery walk for the public and competitors will be held from 7 to 7:30 and visitors will be able to see the completed designs.  At 7:30 the winner will be announced.  



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