Two Rhinos Walk into a Poll
Minted’s latest art competition just wrapped, the Make a Statement Large Format Art Challenge. In addition to submitting seven prints I enlisted the help of Minted’s polling feature for the first time.
The premise is simple, the community answers the question—which design do you prefer? In my case, the choice was between these two white rhinos.
My poll resulted in a emphatic preference for (A), which should have cleared up any indecision on my part. But it left me with some interesting questions to ponder.
Would context make a difference?
I imagine (B), the black and white print, was taken in the early 1900’s by a traveled man. It’s been passed down and faded over the years, and now hangs in a collected room. I developed the print for this customer.
(A) wasn’t really developed along with a story, it’s just the color version of (B), in my mind. It hangs in a modern, fashionable space. I can appreciate its appeal, I do like it.
I can’t communicate my intent when I submit a design, there’s no form field for context. And there shouldn’t be, the work should stand on its own four legs, so to speak. I’m okay with that, it just makes me think.
Which version of Weit should I submit?
A whopping 82 of 100 respondents prefer (A). These people are part of a larger crowd that will ultimately choose winners by popular vote. I should submit the rhino in color—logically.
But I prefer (B) and I’m the artist. I had a vision for this print and I’ve seen it through. And historically my wins are picked by the jury, the editors, not the voters. I should trust my hand and submit the rhino in black and white.
In the end I’ve submitted (A) because I cannot unsee the results of the poll. I want to give myself the best chance of winning, it is a competition after all. I’ll have the opportunity to present (B) as a colorway, for myself and the 18%.
Will I poll again?
I don’t think so. Had I not put it to a vote, I would have submitted (B) because it’s the print I prefer. As the artist, it’s better that way I think, more romantic.
That being said, I think polling makes a lot of sense for stationery design because there are less subjective questions to be answered. Which font is more legible? Which is more Art Deco? Sourcing the crowd should provide clear direction.
Thank you to everyone who responded to the poll and a special thanks to those of you who took the time to provide some written feedback. What a great community! Good luck to you all, looking forward to the next challenge.