• Peter Richards

Time of Their Lives: GMRRFFA’s Sweetest Couple Tackle Team Fantasy Football Logos

In a world of unsolicited content to be found anywhere on the internet, and Riff Raff Fantasy Football is no exception - for weeks, your esteemed Commish received numerous teasers from GMRRFFA’s most likely owners to spoon, Smeet and Mark Hutchinson, who spend 6,000 words tackling the need for individual fantasy football logos. Wait, you didn’t think there was a need? Join the club.

Your logo sucks. It’s okay. The GMRRFFA league logo used to as well. What did we do? We committed to the dream of having a logo that doesn’t suck and ventured onto Fiverr. Fiverr? I barely even know her.

Actually, Fiverr is an online marketplace that puts people offering freelance services in touch with you. Ultimately, we tried two artists. One that did a logo for $5 and one for $20. Was the $5 any good? Was the $20 worth the upgrade? Well we’ll take you along for the ride and hand out some advice that will help you stand out from all the rest.

Mark: So Smeet, this was the most fun I’ve had with my clothes on in a while. The build up, reveals, the following anguish, REVISIONS! All of those things were worth the price of admission in and of themselves, but I think my favorite part was the build up. Our initial artist had a five-day waiting period, which felt like buying a powerball ticket then daydreaming all week about how I was going to spend that money. What was your favorite part of the ordeal?

Smeet: First, you are being modest, this WAS YOUR IDEA (Commissioner’s note: Good to know who to pin the blame when this column veers off a cliff)! When you first said what you were up to, I thought “This guy made baller money playing poker and he is spending on a graphic artist, what a boss!” And I was jealous. Then, you told me it was $5, I was still jealous but also immediately ready, in my typical fashion, to copy you (Side note: I once bought the same car as the Sausage King because I liked it so much, different color though because I am not a crazy person).

Fun nerd fact: Fredo worked at that hardware store in the background

So my initial favorite part was the idea of having our own team logos, because nothing says you take fantasy football seriously more than hiring someone to design your logo (Commissioner’s note: False. Creating a league website and devoting 5,000 words per week to said league is a greater indicator.). Next, similar to you, my favorite part was the build up. Once I ordered the $5 logo, it was like I looked at the calendar and realized that Christmas was a week away. I wanted to see where the present was hiding and look at it. What did it feel like for you when you saw the notice your logo was actually ready?

Mark: I won’t even order the same thing as someone I’m at a table with (ed: Knowing this, I would love to hear Mark’s position on eskimo brothers). It’s a psycho move to buy the same car as your buddy. That said, you picked a better color. The SK must’ve gotten his from fleet sales.

But enough about that, this column is about custom fantasy football logos, not generic Mazdas. The moment of truth on Fiverr is magic. When I got the notification that my order was delivered I shot through the ceiling. I think my excitement was only amplified by the insane order I submitted to the artist. I gave this guy basically a rambling biography of myself and our league. I guess the idea was to provide him with some kind of inspiration and free reign to play around with it. It was a terrible idea that led me to come face-to-face with derpy donk.

What was your first thought when you saw mine and do you agree that giving the artists a clear and defined description of what you want is the best ordering practice?

Smeet: Hey, nothing wrong with copying people at a restaurant (ed: Same eskimo brothers question for Smeet). As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. It’s a shame I can’t copy the SK’s fantasy football strategy and actually win a championship. Back to your derpy donk...when you sent me a message that yours was done I think I smiled like an emoji, I couldn't wait to see it until I saw it. I believe my first comment was that it reminded me of Mr. Ed with a CPA. It just looked off. But I guess you get what you pay for and $5 gets you artistic mediocrity. I just wish he didn’t use the generic calculator in the logo. As I said, it should have AT LEAST been a TI-83.

As disappointed as we were in your logo I was still pretty stoked about mine. Because unlike your fantasy football autobiography, I was pretty clear on what I wanted. I even linked to the article that inspired my team name and painted a pretty specific picture of what I wanted. But what I got...was...horrible. My logo looked like he suffered facial paralysis or just had a very awkward O face.

Luckily, the terrible design and our league name inspired me to use my one available revision to make a pretty substantial difference. I love though that before I even got mine delivered, we already decided on sourcing a $20. That was a fun exercise in deciding who to go with on Fiverr. What were your first thoughts on “I’m Having a Stroke” Bagel Boys logo? And walk us through your thoughts on choosing America’s Next Top Fantasy Football Logo Artist? And tell the world on what revision you decided to make Derpy Donk have a derperectomy?

Mark: Oh man that face! It looked like your guy was having a stroke during a climax. Plus that tray had way too many bagels on it. I just thought the whole thing was hilarious. I had a certain amount of satisfaction as well that I wasn't the only one being disappointed by this. Even though the second logo wound up being my favorite, I would easily rock this donkey in his final form.

Also, I was very impressed with Fiverr’s modification process - you type what you want and they revise the image. Our two artists both tried to do exactly what we wanted and were willing to keep going until it was right. I only made one revision on my first logo but he was definitely willing to keep going. When I initially got the logo I absolutely hated it. The donkey was off center and had a calculator to represent that I’m a financial advisor. It was a mess. At that point you made your TI-83 joke and then sent me a photo of one because I obviously needed an explanation after I didn’t jump in to tell you how great it was within two minutes. Look, It was a good joke but I was lost in the eyes of this fucking donkey! That’s when the gaze of this donkey punched me with a dose of reality. I kinda dig him. Once I asked our guy to remove that weird calculator, we were straight.

Even though we both liked our $5 logos, I think we were both wondering what would happen if we brought Mr. Jefferson into this and made it rain. We compared all the artists who fit our budget and decided on one that we both liked the sampling images. You helped me come up with better instructions for my new logo. What kind of changes did you make to your order this time? Did the artist deliver on the new points and were you happy with what was delivered?

Smeet: I get the elation over my logo sucking. It’s like finding out your arch nemesis also works a shitty job. Also, when I tell a joke, I expect immediate laughing emojis, i don’t have the emotional fortitude to wait two minutes...that’s an eternity to think of all the ways I have failed in life including that joke...i’m kidding...I swear. Back to the logo, your simple revision of 86ing that calculator made a huge difference. He still looked derpy AF but he grew on me as we waited for the Ad Exec of Nike to take our case.

That being said, yes my Bagel Boy looked like a climaxing stroke victim but our league inspired me to do the next best thing to make him look better, put a gas mask over his face! The artist did come through really quick and did an admirable job with my revision request. He still looks...like a $5 figure but definitely something I would rock on a budget but I am more than willing to throw away $20 (right, Toby?) to see what else is out there. The one thing this exercise taught me was that even your vision of what you want can change just by talking about it with someone.

When we were collaborating on how to write up your requirements and going through sample images I decided on changing my ask up a bit. For example, instead of the gas mask being a way to hide the face, I decided to play with the gas mask as a theme which inspired me to make the Bagel Boy as much Mad Scientist as much as a baker. I basically said that I want an edgy Mad Scientist wearing a gas mask and carrying a tray of six bagels, not 12, not 10, not five, SIX BAGELS! And after our Sri Lankan had the audacity to make me wait an extra day because it was the weekend, HE DELIVERED!I

I guess picking the right artist and putting together a clear ask of my new vision worked. I didn't even need a revision, it was just *tearing up* perfect. Mark after cleaning up your requirements and going to the Mr. Jefferson level, what was your level of excitement? How about after seeing my logo? What was your reaction when you finally got your new and improved DireDonkey?

Mark: The gas mask was such an inspired choice and I’m still amazed at how just a few simple corrections to both our logos morphed them from pieces that we both hated into completely legit logos. So naturally I was hyped to order another. Imagine what we could get if we started with a kick ass first rendering! So I loaded up a more focused order that would give me a kickass battle donkey that would let everyone know I mean business this year. Then your order came in first. HOLY SHIT!!!! That’s was the coolest logo I’ve ever seen. The guy nailed it in every conceivable way. I was at least 11/10 on the excitement scale. I didn’t think I would be able to go to sleep. Luckily I only had to wait about five minutes. It was...A FUCKING ATROCITY! I hated every single aspect of the thing what a piece of shit. It was basically the donkey from shrek but way worse. He had horrible alien eyes for his nostrils, a horrible unitooth gnawing on “GMRRFFA”, and the worst combination of font I’ve ever seen.

Smeet, what was your reaction to my logo?

Smeet: Hahahahahahah was my first reaction followed by “that’s Donkey from Shrek.” Followed by, “there is NO WAY that's the same dude that made my logo.” I mean the style was completely different. The way he used the same font for Dorne and GMRRFFA but not DireDonkeys made no sense at all. And those alien eye nostrils. It wasn't even my logo and I was so disappointed because there was so much potential with the way you wrote your specifications. I could not wait to see this fierce-ass donkey taking a bite out of crime. By crime I mean those criminal trade proposals from our illustrious Commish or the league acronym. This logo was supposed to be Ghost in donkey form kicking ass and taking names, but what you got was Donkey obsessed with onion metaphors.

Which reminds me that my other immediate thought was “UNLIMITED REVISIONS!!” And I had some other thoughts on the logo just so the artist knew we needed something less G and more P to the G-13 rated and that meant adding blood. So what did you think of my reaction and my seemingly constant ideas of how the diredonkey should look? Was it annoying? Helpful? When you went through the revisions, how was the artist handling it when you said “revision, A WHOLE NEW LOGO, THIS ONE IS TERRIBLE?” And were you pleased with your final rendition or do we need to go up a few Jeffersons for you?

Mark: Great point about the trade crimes! That donkey was the Tyler Boyd of logos, no way could I hit accept on that. The chat session we had trashing that logo really cheered me up, but my excitement flatlined once I saw it. Your constant stream of ideas was both a little terrifying (seriously, get some help) and helpful in that it got me rethinking how to communicate my vision to the artist. I decided to just go straight at the guy and writing “I don’t like the logo.” I also told him that I really like his work and that I just saw the bagel guy and it was great. Then I just gave him the rundown, ditch the shrek donkey and go more sinister, I need a more structured font, and of course blood. I quickly got a response asking which of the preview logos I liked the most and could I find an image that gave him an idea of what I was looking for this time. I gave it to him and had to wait a day. What would the next effort bring? It was GOOD...ish. This new one was vanilla but had good bones and potential. So the artist went on, five revisions in all with only one being major. Ultimately, I am pleased to report that I am ridiculously happy with the final version!

The donkey is cool, love the bite out of GMRRFFA, and of course all that blood! How do you like my final Pete? Also, do you have any parting advice to pass along to others that could help them with their orders? One more, if you had to pick one team in GMRRFFA to design a logo for, which team and what would that logo look like?

Smeet: Dude if there is anything I am good at, it’s offering tons of unsolicited advice! I don’t need help...I do think that my ideas can be seen in the final version because the final rendition is superb. It looks menacing, fun, clever, and most definitely is what I picture a Dorne Diredonkey to embody. At one point I thought you might give up asking for revisions because you were getting frustrated but I am glad you pushed through, like Jon pestering people with RoJo trades, your persistence and patience paid off.

So that would be my parting advice, be clear with what you want but be prepared to have some constructive conversations with the artist about what you like and dislike to make sure you get what you want in the end. The one team in the league I want to design a logo for is Nuke the Cane. In my head I see this fantastic logo of whirling winds with a redneck flying a plane dropping an atomic bomb in the middle. It would need some revisions but there is so much to work with. On the flipside, I think we can agree on the team that doesn’t deserve a logo: Team Motley. Seriously man, come up with something. I think we are close (ed: thank god for small miracles) to wrapping up this surprisingly fun experience. Do you have any final words of advice or tips to share, especially since you had to work more with the artists than I did?

Mark: At this point, I should pause and say that the only reason i'm ok with trashing the first logo from the second artist so bad is because the guy really was good to work with the whole time. Don’t get down or angry if the first iteration is not great, just talk to the person, he really wanted to deliver a great logo. Also, providing a picture is a great way to get them started on a particular style if you have one in mind. If I did another one, I would try giving them a rough sketch. I would love to see that hurricane logo! Completely agree on Makese. In case he decides to read this: Pick something already or just look ahead to your end of year roster and call your team the Eagles. The logo I’d go with would be for the Purveyor of Death owner of the Carnival of Chaos. I’d have the IT clown dressed in Thanos armor. CoC would have to be below the knees because you know we have to see that ass. The clown would be holding up the gauntlet, ready to snap himself to the championship. Thanks for going along with me on this Smeet. I had a blast. To everyone else, what are you waiting for? Talented people are ready to offer you their services at an incredibly attractive price. “LET’S GO BOYS!!!”

Commissioner's note: A very special thanks to Smeet and Mark Hutchinson, and an even greater thanks to our editors here at GMRRFFA and, especially, to you, the reader.

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