SOURCE: Simple Shoes

Simple Shoes

October 13, 2010 08:00 ET

Simple Shoes Launches New Model of Community-Driven Design Competition, Challenging Freelance Creative Professionals to Outperform a Creative Agency

Santa Barbara Sneaker Company Taps Creative Community on to Refresh Brand Identity for 20th Anniversary

SANTA BARBARA, CA--(Marketwire - October 13, 2010) -  Simple® Shoes (a division of Deckers Outdoor Corporation (NASDAQ: DECK)), a Santa Barbara sneaker company, has launched 'Simple Shoes Identity Design Showdown: You vs. Our Agency,' a community-driven competition through, the world's leading platform for creative professionals. The competition challenges the design community at-large to take on a full-service creative agency in the creation of a new brand identity for Simple. Founded in 1991, Simple Shoes will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2011.

"Simple has never really done things according to the status quo, so when we started thinking about giving our brand identity a facelift for our 20th anniversary, we wanted to shake things up a bit," said Will Pennartz, Simple's marketing manager. "We also want to see what the people who wear our shoes would come up with."

"We kicked around a lot of ideas, but we always came back to the same question: is the agency model the only way?" continued Pennartz. "Back when Simple first started, the options for creative services were limited -- you either hired an agency or used in-house talent. We wanted to see what designers outside of our immediate circle would come up with to refresh our brand, but we respect the creative community and didn't want to encourage unpaid spec work."

The Showdown: How it Works

  • Step 1: Designers submit projects from their portfolios that exemplify excellence in identity design (past work) to by Monday, Oct. 25.
  • Step 2: Simple's esteemed panel of judges, including notable graphic designer David Carson, will select their "top 5" favorite designers based on the quality of their past identity work.
  • Step 3: After signing a consulting agreement, the five designers are invited to join Simple's "Design Roster" and create a new brand identity for Simple, with a $2500 guaranteed payment for responding to the brief. (10/28/10 - 11/15/10)
  • Step 4: The five finalists will individually compete against the agency, One Trick Pony, with their submissions. The winning brand identity -- either designer or agency -- will receive an additional $5,000 and their work will become the new official Simple Shoes brand identity.
  • Step 5: Simple Shoes unveils its new brand identity in January 2011 to kick off its year-long 20th anniversary celebration.

Simple approached Behance, an online network where designers can share their portfolios, as its creative platform partner because of its reputation and respect in the industry.

"Amidst the world of spec contests that seek free labor, Simple is looking for the best talent and is willing to pay for it," says Alex Krug, Vice President - platform for Behance. "Most crowd sourcing and spec contest initiatives take advantage of creative talent and fail to incent participants to do their best work. Simple's design competition is changing that. It's refreshing that a brand like Simple is thinking beyond the traditional model and is hiring talent based on the merit of someone's work. This model fosters collaboration in the design community and forces both the agency and designers to produce their best work."

Simple has commissioned an expert panel to judge the creative entries:

  • David Carson, one of the most well-known graphic designers in the U.S. and author of "The End of Print: The Grafik Design of David Carson"
  • New York-based photographer Michael Halsband, once a tour photographer for the Rolling Stones and known for a number of iconic images, including the portrait of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat
  • Clive Piercy, faculty member at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and founder of Air Conditioned, a design studio in Santa Monica
  • Members of the Simple Shoes team including Joel Heath, global marketing director, and Angel Martinez, president and CEO of Deckers Outdoor Corp.

Long time fans of Simple and full-service creative agency, One Trick Pony didn't hesitate when approached to participate in the competition as the 'Agency.'

"By putting us on an equal playing field against the creative community at-large, even if we lose we'll still feel good about being part of this brilliant new concept. Our designers compete internally every day to have their concepts chosen by the client, so this showdown is a perfect fit for our agency," added Keith Pizer, a partner at One Trick Pony. "Companies have asked us to take part in crowd sourcing projects in the past, but Simple's competition is different in that it respects the creative process and designers working to make a living through their art."

Simple will announce the five finalists on Oct. 28 at a gathering in its exhibition space in New York, located at 24 West 57th Street, Suite 601. The event will showcase the work of Greg Lamarche, Tyler Warren, Andy Holder, Scott Massey, Alex Weinstein and judges David Carson and Michael Halsband. The event is open exclusively to select community members, industry professionals and media. For additional information or to RVSP, please contact Alison Fisker at 503-223-5443 x113 or

About Simple Shoes
Simple® Shoes is a Santa Barbara-based sneaker company owned by Deckers Outdoor Corp. Simple introduced its iconic shoe, the O.S. Sneaker, in 1991 and has grown to an internationally-distributed shoe brand for men, women and kids. Not your typical sneaker, Simple Shoes are made with sustainable materials such as recycled car tires and organic cotton. For more information, visit Simple on Facebook, Twitter and

About Deckers Outdoor Corporation
Deckers Outdoor Corporation strives to be a premier lifestyle marketer that builds niche brands into global market leaders by designing and marketing innovative, functional and fashion-oriented footwear developed for both high performance outdoor activities and everyday casual lifestyle use. Teva®, Simple® Shoes, UGG® Australia, TSUBO®, and Ahnu® are registered trademarks of Deckers Outdoor Corporation.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Alison Fisker
    R/West PR
    503-223-5443 x113
    Email Contact