The night a designer found a four month old blog post about the Ontario 150 logo and proceeded to spectacularly melt down in a Facebook chat with yours truly about the affair.

It was a typical late night at Casa De Douglas, Sue napping on one couch, me watching The Daily Show on another while scrolling through Twitter for late breaking news. Around 11:20 my iPhone started to light up with notifications from our corporate Facebook page – usually a sign of trouble. At first blush I thought it was a pissed off client – we’d been dealing with a pre/post holiday crush causing some gigs to lag behind – and logged in to see what’s what.

Turns out it wasn’t a client at all, but a designer we’ll call Dave – because that’s his name – who was apparently very upset about a blog post I’d written back in September about a not-very-notable roll-out of a not-very-notable logo.

The Ontario 150 birthday logo.

This one:
A little background is probably necessary.

The Ontario 150 design was meant to celebrate Ontario’s 150 birthday (it also coincided with Canada’s 150 anniversary,) wasn’t terribly inspirational and the blog post I wrote about it was sarcastically titled “it’s fine” – a reference to the vanilla nature of the mark and the “meh” approach of the rollout. It was a lightweight article, written half-heartedly on a sunny afternoon – a low effort piece that once published I never thought of again.

Dave was apparently very angry about the entire thing, and wanted to tell me in no uncertain terms. In a spectacular meltdown, Dave informed me I was full of shit, a kid, drunk, probably not from Canada let alone Ontario, a mediocre designer and probably responsible for the design of the Ontario 150 logo in the first place. He then informed me I was being “tested” for design work from his boss, who’s apparently an asshole, and then wanted to be my Facebook friend with whom he could “butt heads” with once in a while. What follows is the dialogue from that conversation in full.

Dave’s comments in bold and mine in not bold.

The meltdown.

*Ping. Ping.* [You have notifications from Facebook]
Dave: To a certain extent, I appreciate how you block comments and opinions about certain blog posts – and apparently *this* is the only way I can communicate with you regarding your post about how “Ontario150’s logo is “fine”….

I appreciate the nuances, but REALLY? As a professional, it embarrasses me, because of its’ quality. As a professional that submitted a proposal, thinking I was over-judging my “entry fee” at $1000, and THAT won $30K???? I’m offended. Oh – I should mention, I’m a (and I HAVE to put it in quotes now) “professional” that lives in Ontario, pays Ontario taxes (personal and business), and had to see THAT logo as the “winner”. I know of 17 other submissions besides my own that were leaps and bounds better – so I’m sure I won’t be alone in asking why you (despite the nuances in your article about it) think it’s “good”. Perhaps we, as professionals, should start tapping into our inner 8-year-olds in order to win government contracts?

Yes – I’m angry about it – and it’s not directed at you – but maybe you see something in this that I or any other sane and logical professional doesn’t….?

Me: Not sure what you mean by block comments. Comments are put into moderation due to the sheer volume of useless comment spams we get. If you posted a comment sometime tonight, nobody is at the studio, I’m on my couch watching The Daily Show. I didn’t know anything about the 150 logo. It showed up on Twitter & I wrote a blog post that afternoon. Haven’t heard anything else about it until now. FWIW, we don’t block comments unless they’re spam, reveal personal info of someone else or too repetitive. Not sure why you’re angry with me/us – we had nothing to do with this logo at all.

Dave: I didn’t see any possible way to comment on that particular post…. and I’ve LOOKED! And, if it’s a post you put up with NO background. besides a Twitter post…? Wow….. now I’m embarrassed for you, speaking as a “professional”.No need to reply – you’ve answered the questions I had. And – I’d already said – I wasn’t angry with YOU… I was wondering if you saw something us REAL professionals missed.

Me: No offense, but scroll up, read down. In terms of background, I performed research based on the Twitter announcement and figured that would be explicit. No need to be embarrassed for me.

Dave: Trust me, as a *real* pro, I have read up/down/done the research. In fact , I was part of the process by submitting. I know 17 other professionals who were part of the process too – all of which were slammed for that “logo”. You call yourself a “pro” based “reserach performed based on the Twitter announcement”???? LMFAO- any pro couldn’t HELP but be embarrassed for you. No offense, of course.

Me: News flash: it’s a shit logo and a not very noteworthy one. If you paid $1K to enter a logo contest, you got the premise of “professional” backwards. They’re supposed to pay you. No offence of course.

Dave: No offense, but maybe YOU should scroll up and read down. I submitted my concept at $1000. That was my quote – MOST professionals would know that lingo (that’s why “entry fee” was in quotes)…… NEWS FLASH – you’re either a pretender, or drunk.

I’ll keep this between you and I but – you’ve proven just in this exchange that you’re not even qualified to comment on what is or isn’t a good logo, much less blog about it. Now I’ll have to check out YOUR work, and see if it’s pro or just something spewed out of a basement.

You should grow a thicker skin, kid – ESPECIALLY if you’re going to comment on work that REAL professionals have bid on. And if you’re going to try the “you got the premise of professional wrong” card, you should probably know what you’re talking about. Have a good night, KID.

Me: I have an exceptionally thick skin and you won’t see me ever losing my mind in a Facebook comment section over a four month old blog post because I can’t figure out how to submit a fucking WordPress comment.

This kid was cutting logos in Rubylith and Bainbridge Board when Macintosh & Illustrator were art school science-fiction but you have yourself a good night too.

Dave: Yeah, so…… you’re drunk and think you’re ten feet tall and bullet-proof. Ummm – the ONT150 logo was released today, not four months ago, we’re in private messaging not a Facebook comment section, and your comment about “Macintosh and Illustrator were art school science-fiction”…..? And NO ONE said anything about WordPress….. UGH. As a PRO, I aspire to getting an Apple, and Illustrator is THE utility every sort of media uses (print, video, merchandise, etc)

Who are you trying to fool here? Me, or you? Dude – don’t care who you are, or why you are doing this – but if you’re going to be “authoritarian” about it, know your shit, or be prepared to be called out on it. Fair?

Me: Don’t drink but thanks for your concern. You wandered in here, decided to shit all over the place with your insults, accusations and ranting while accusing me of being “ten foot tall & bullet proof”?

Blog post publication date that YOU read?

Sept 18/2016

FWIW – if you actually read the post I wrote on a Friday afternoon last September, you’ll see that I took this design apart piece by piece. It is an extraordinarily stupid logo and the “It’s Fine” was extreme sarcasm about the entire rollout.

I graduated art school in 1980. Macintosh wasn’t a thing yet.

Also “entry fee” is what you pay to “enter” something. What you seem to be trying to explain is that you designed the logo first, submitted it and hoped you’d get paid $1000. That is not “bidding.” That is spec work. It’s why groups who represent what you refer to as “real professionals” frown upon it. Is that what you’re trying to say? Between your insults, ellipses, caps lock and exclamation marks, it’s really hard to tell. I don’t exactly know what your issue might be, but I suggest if you’re upset about the outcome of this nonsensical logo process, take it up with the people who are responsible for not picking yours.

That isn’t me.

Ironically, if you had’ve been even remotely reasonable, this issue might have been an interesting follow up post on the flaccid September post. I happen to hate spec work and rant about it often. I could’ve tied it in with the 150th Canada logo which was a clusterfuck of Biblical proportions.

Dave: Wow – you sobered up real quick! LMFAO And making me write a retraction very quickly.

No – “entry fee” among real pros is the quote given. I abhor “spec work” – why would I do work without getting paid for it? I submitted a quote, and I HAVE logos designed (as do others) , but was never given the courtesy of a response. That logo was released today as “official”, and yeah, maybe I misdirected my anger. I couldn’t answer directly on the post, or any other venue, and was offended that submissions which were given were VASTLY BETTER than what was settled on, and was paid 30x the quote – and again, not just mine.

Truth be told, I’m “okay” with the Canada logo – I know the gal who won that one, and know where she was going with it…..

I’ll admit – I was angry about the Ontario logo and may have lashed out where I probably shouldn’t have. Much of my anger was because IT’S A BAD LOGO!

Truth be told, when I read the article, I was at my sister’s where things are anxious as it is so I was already amped up – then I re-read this when I got home. I’ll stand by what I said, but I’m willing to revisit every part of it. And I’ll take back calling you a “kid” – that was uncalled for.

(sigh) Give me a chance to settle down from my personal anger about the O150, the stuff thrown at me earlier tonight about it, and this interaction….? I’ll bet we’ll still butt heads, but agree at the same time. Fair?

Me: If the logo was released “officially X2” today, I am unaware – it was quietly released last September via Twitter & their website. Friday afternoons are “dead zones” politically, so nobody talked about it anywhere.

As I told you before I have an exceptionally thick skin so no foul. I will give you some advice though – go off like this on 90% of Facebook page DMs and you’ll simply get banned. Unless you’re paying somebody, they don’t have to put up with abuse or play nice.

As it was this cost me the last ten minutes of The Daily Show. I really like The Daily Show.

“Entry Fee” is NOT the term for “real professionals.” If you are responding to an RFP (Request For Proposal) your submission is referred to as a “Proposal.” If there is anything about an “Entry Fee” it is a “fee” you pay to “enter” your logo into some form of judging or selection. There is no other way this phrase is used in terms of designing stuff for other people.

Dave: Dude, I’ve seen your work – you can afford to miss The Faily Show here and there…. Like I said – I had a problem with the blog post having zero background, and yeah – Fridays are “dead zones”, especially for this government. I’m guessing you don’t live in Ontario (haven’t tried to “dig into your history” because I’m just exhausted from the night I’ve had, but if you have the “thick skin” you claim you do, we’ll talk again.

And from your last response – you’re DEFINITELY not a Canadian pro. I’m literally exhausted from dealing with four different problems tonight – will you extend me the courtesy of berating each other tomorrow after we’ve both gotten a little bit of rest and I (at least) could shake some of this sawdust off?

Me: Dude, what is your fucking problem? I live in Ontario, just north of Toronto. The blog post was written OVER four months ago when there was NO background other than a few loosely written PR releases. I talked to the feds via Twitter. I even had to vectorize the stupid thing because they didn’t have a high-rez version available. I have been a magazine art director for 11 years, a studio director for 3, a freelance designer for I don’t know how many, and the company who’s Facebook page you’re currently shitting over has been around since 1996. I’ll thrown down my CV with yours anytime you feel like it.

I realize that this stupid logo is the most important thing in your life right now. It wasn’t mine even when it was released last September because it simply wasn’t important or interesting. That’s it. The fact that I was among the only people on the planet to write about it when it WAS announced shows how utterly irrelevant it is. Move on.

Dave: Ok, so I’m talking to more than just one person, and the one responsible for that horrific O150 logo just replied. Amazing…..

Funny thing, though – I’m not “shitting all over” your page…. I kept my comments right here, in private. If someone is “shitting all over your page”, it ain’t me…… that I can guarantee, BUT I’ll be happy to make sure I deserve your accusations. LMFAO Seriously?????

Let me know when I can talk to someone *sane* – preferably the person I was talking to before this last comment. I just want to talk to ONE personality, if you guys can manage that. And preferably not the asshole that sent the last reply – that was nt professional at all.

Me: Same asshole dude. One and the same. And no, I didn’t design that logo. Nor did anyone that works for me. Talk to the people who you sent your proposal to. They will tell you who designed the logo. It really is that simple.

Dave: I had an “issue” with a blog post, and it’s inaccuracies, and did so *privately* – never once put it outside this realm, so calm your v-jay. You’ve been combattive, when I was just “testing”. I even offered a “cooling off period”…. I’ll advise my superiors that we should look for another company to deal with. Have a good evening. Sorry it didn’t work out.

Me: Damn. Working with you would’ve been such a joy.

Dave: Oh trust me – it wouldn’t have been “working with me”. I’m a sweetheart compared to who you would have been reporting to. I’m just the asshole that has to act like an asshole to figure out who could deal with the asshole I work for. I’d advance that “cooling off period”, but I’m guessing you’re as much as an asshole as I am. And *I* personally like that – but the guy I’m hiring for hates my guts, and will fire me if I bring him someone like me.

Me: Your job’s safe then. Perfect.

Dave: LMFAO You’re an asshole, and so am I – care to butt heads again in a day or two? Been a while since I’ve been able to just talk shop like an asshole. Fuck it – don’t even have time for a reply – got an asshole to report to in the morning. I’ll see how big your balls are after my first cup of coffee. G’night, snowflake.

Me: Sorry Dave. My dance card is full. You’re gonna have..
[clicks on Facebook button to figure out what it does. It sends the unfinished comment.]
So that’s what that button does. I’ll have to remember that.

Dave: Yeah – you SURE you don’t drink? And/or are a “pro”….. LMFAO Yeah, well, my card’s full too, but there’s ALWAYS flakes….. never hurts to have an asshole on your side. Something I’ve learned after 30 years in the business…. jussayin’. G’night.

Me: No dude. I don’t do Facebook – I pay others to do that. My iphone lit up tonight because some guy wanted to Facebook fight about some 4 month blog post about a logo that I have SFA to do with. It was weird. Then he got all ranty, insulty, seemed to calm down, then went on a tear again. Then he claimed his boss was going to hire us but I didn’t handle his crazy in the appropriate manner. Then he wanted to be Facebook pals. It was really bizarre.

Dave: Never claimed my boss was gonna hire you – merely said I was trying to find a company that could handle his crazy. Never said I wanted to be “facebook pals” – just that it’s good to know an asshole is out there if I needed one. For a guy who “doesn’t do facebook” – well…… this whole convo says differently, AND you’ve injected quite a few “alternative facts” along the way. So I don’t have an asshole I can touch base with when I need a job done for sane clients. Good to know.

See – this is where you should probably stop, take the night, and re-read this in the morning. You *really* don’t know an olive branch when it’s in your face, do you….? Guess I’ll have to look at other companies when I need quick mediocre-quality work. Too bad- I was starting to like you…. Ciao.

Me: Like I said. Really bizarre.

Dave: Olive-branch given, answer taken. Nice talking to you…..

Me: Night Dave.