BarCamp Saigon Logo


Thanks to Michael Pham, an 11th grader from the American International School, BarCamp Saigon now has a logo.  I asked Michael if he could do it with my requirements being the colors should represent Vietnam.  I told him I wanted a cone hat but in the end, he refused.

Michael is an aspiring graphics designer (though he may not know it) who has a huge potential in IT in the near future.  Thanks Michael for designing the logo:

BarCamp Saigon logo

The first BarCamp Saigon is scheduled for November 15th, 2008, about a week and a half after the Google hackathon.  If things work out right, we hope this event could be hosted at the University of Technologies, the host of the Google event.


  1. Okay, it’s a logo. But I can’t for the life of me figure out what the design is trying to communicate. Sure for an 11th grader the technical aspects are quite fine but what does it mean? Did he do a number of designs and explain the logic behind each one? Is there an “idea” here that I’m not seeing? It’s sort of a fiery thing. I find it confusing.

    In its best form Graphic Design helps illuminate and communicate a specific idea. He did well to refuse the conical hat idea just because it’s trite and overused, but where did he end up after that? In Creative Direction the idea is to help people find the idea without telling them “how” to do it.

    To sell an idea to a client, and eventually to the public, a design needs to communicate an “idea”. Many times it needs verbal accompaniment ie: BarCamp Saigon: “Freedom by Design.” Now, I wouldn’t claim that to be the world’s greatest tagline but it helps the “open source” nature of the organization and event.

    Right now the design and words are just disparate elements looking for a direction.

  2. @ David: hey man, I’m the designer. You know, this logo is open for everyone. BarCamp Amsterdam, and a most places kept the same design but changed the color. What’s wrong about that? Why do I have to explain about all the features and detail. If you was me, you’d do the same thing man. Period!!!

  3. Kevin, I visited the Saigon site and other BarCamp sites before I wrote anything and then, at your suggestion, visited the Saigon site again to see if I could figure out what you were talking about.

    Unless a “needle in a haystack” theory is what was used to display the logo requirements, I couldn’t find a thing. But considering what the final design communicated to me, a possible target, I can’t imagine the brief was properly formed.

    Considering that I’ve spent my career with some of the world’s top design, advertising and communication firms, have a degree in graphic design and have won more significant creative awards than anyone in this town, I don’t need to see much to know a good design, nor consult with anyone before forming an opinion. You can check my LinkedIn page from the button on my blog for my background.

    All I know is that the design doesn’t communicate the nature of the idea at all, to an uninitiated target. But it is fiery.

  4. I like this logo. Hot colors: yellow and red just like in Vietnamese flag come with a ball of fire.
    You’re not going to Barcamp Phnom Penh this weekend? I’m happy about that ‘cos I’m not the only one who can’t come =.=

  5. Kevin, I know this conference, it’s just less than 3 minutes walking from my home – and Sai Gon Times is the newspaper I write for. I hope that I can join but I’d better save my money.
    You know what, Friday is my birthday, and I also have a class. Is that enough for an excuse 🙁

  6. @Chip: Well, happy birthday! You will turn, what 20, then? Save some birthday cake 🙂

    The seminar is for the business community. I am very nervous since I have a fear of public speaking, really 🙂 Save your money on this one. You can get the presentations from us later if you want.

    @Anh Hung: Nope, meeting Saturday morning too. I just have too many commitments. Plus I am still sick. I should be sleeping now, not surfing online 🙁

  7. Hey Mike;

    Fear not. All design gets critiqued and over time it will become your job to anticipate questions and come up with answers that will placate the critics. It’s part of the biz. If you ever want to sell anything to anybody, get used to it.

    I recall a high school art teacher proudly trashing one of my designs one day to the entire class and proclaiming, “David, you have no taste”!

    I recovered.

    For my money, take a look at the design for BarCamp San Antonio.

    It not only remains faithful to the original identity but manages to imagine the city and takes the three semicircle lines outside the shape to create a “broadcasting” idea, suggesting what happens at a BarCamp.

    In design, the best ideas win. Nobody cares if you use a hammer and chisel or the entire Adobe Creative Suite to execute them!

    Just keep that in mind…and keep at it.

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