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UNESCO launches logo competition for World Day for Audiovisual Heritage

27 October has been proclaimed as World Day for Audiovisual Heritage by UNESCO’s General Conference to raise awareness of the importance of audiovisual documents and to draw attention to the urgent need to protect them. In order to promote the activities associated with the Day, UNESCO and the Coordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA), are launching an international competition to design a logo that would give the celebration its own brand.

In 2005 UNESCO's General Conference proclaimed 27th October as World Day for Audiovisual Heritage to raise awareness of the importance of audiovisual documents as integral part of national identities and draw attention to the urgent need to protect them. Every year activities are organized around a theme agreed upon by CCAAA; this year’s theme will be "Fading heritage - we can save it".

Audiovisual heritage comprises all forms of moving images and recorded sounds, regardless of the means of creation, preservation or delivery. It also includes associated information, documents, objects, artifacts and technology, and graphical material selected in its own right. Such heritage expresses a nation as a place and people and considered to be most characteristic of the 20th and 21st centuries. Its cultural influence and informational content are immense, and rapidly increasing.

Transcending language and cultural boundaries, appealing immediately to the eye and the ear, to the literate and illiterate alike, audiovisual documents have transformed society by becoming a permanent complement to the traditional written record. Their content cannot be reduced to written form, and its integrity is closely tied to the format of its carrier – be it film, magnetic or optical media. Because of their fragility, many audiovisual documents have been lost and continue to be lost if no action is undertaken.

In order to promote the activities associated with the Day, UNESCO, in cooperation with CCAAA, is launching an international competition to design a logo to give the celebration its own identifiable brand.

Logo parameters

The logo should symbolize and represent the global audiovisual heritage and its permanent cultural value in the fullest sense. It may also suggest its fragility and vulnerability, the sense of urgency attached to its preservation and the importance of accessibility.

The design of the logo should be simple – the simpler the better, and monochrome. It must work:

  • independently of language (the logo itself must not contain any letters or text);
  • independently of time;
  • in different cultural settings;
  • in all anticipated usage environments (e.g. Internet sites, e-mailings, hard copy, projected image);
  • in different sizes, from miniscule to enlarged applications when reproduced through simple technical means (e.g. low resolution black and white photocopy).

The logo should also be suitable for systematic use (as a secondary logo) together with the UNESCO emblem or accompanied by the words “UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage”, or equivalent in other languages. The requirements for secondary logos can be found here (PDF).

The logo has to impart the message or the meaning of the symbols. It should be attractive, recognizable and memorable for audiences in the archival, library, museum and documentation profession, as well as for mass media and the general public. It should be distinctive from other popular logos of institutions and corporations using similar stylized audiovisual imagery: film strips, video screens, phonographs, projectors, sound waves, digital pixels, reel, discs, etc.

Submitted entries should consist of the following:

  • original artwork (softcopy), preferably in JPG format, of minimum resolution 300 dpi and of minimum width 800 pixels;

  • thumbnail version, in JPG format, resolution: 96 dpi, width: 300 pixels;

  • summary description or explanation of the logo symbolism.

A brief write-up on the logo designer will be expected as well.

Deadline for submission of entries is 15 August 2009.

Requests for information, along with entries in electronic and paper format, should be submitted to:

    Ms Joie Springer
    Senior Programme Specialist
    Information Society Division
    1, rue Miollis
    75732 Paris Cedex 15

Specific questions concerning the graphic charter of UNESCO should be sent to:

    Mr Philipp Müller-Wirth
    Chief, Promotion, Partnerships and Branding Unit
    Bureau of Public Information

The winning entry will be announced and presented on 27 October 2009 on the CCAAA and UNESCO websites, together with an explanation of the symbolism inherent in the design. The winner will receive from UNESCO a monetary reward of US $2,000 and will also be featured on the website.