Nerd Culture

Call for Artists: Help Design the T-Shirt for PBS Nerd Walk 2014

If you happen to be a geek with either artistic leanings or a flair for design (or both), the people at local PBS affiliate Eight, Arizona would like to tap some of your brain power.

Don't worry, they're not interested in plugging electrodes into your head as part of a weird experiment for one of their programs or anything of that sort. Instead, they're currently looking for someone to design the commemorative T-shirt for their PBS Nerd Walk in the fall and are hoping that some creative-minded local geeks might have some ideas.

See also: PBS Nerd Walk 2013 in Tempe (slideshow)

The gold-colored shirts are given out for free to those who participate in the annual event, which involves a couple hundred nerds (including many in costume) strolling along University Drive in Tempe as a part of ASU's homecoming parade on November 1.

Each year, a different design is used on the shirts and incorporates the circular "PBS Nerd" logo (pretty much a regular PBS logo with a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles). Colleen O'Donnell Pierce, a spokesperson for the station, says that while in-house designers at the station have created the artwork that appears on the shirts in year's past, this is the first year that they've sought entries from the general public.

"[Our] people have come up with some fun stuff," she says. "Last year, someone used the logo as a gear in a machine and the year before that as the nucleus of an atom."

Other finalists in recent years include designs where the logo is part of a DNA helix, binary code, or scientific formulas. Pierce says that they're open to any variety of geek- or science-themed design that would fit with the event and the sort of brainy programming on PBS.

However, there are a couple of provisos and rules. First, it must feature the "PBS Nerd" logo and (understandably) be family friendly. And while Piece says that they're open to a design that's inspired by any of PBS' television programs, past or present, you should avoid anything that's copyrighted or created by another network, like, say the BBC.

In other words, a Downtown Abby or Doctor Who design wouldn't fly.

Those interested in creating a T-shirt design can fill out an online form on the Eight, Arizona PBS website and will be sent a high-resolution version of the logo to use. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, July 15.

Entries will be judged by the Eight, Arizona staff along with employees of Bookmans Entertainment Exchange (which sponsors the Nerd Walk) and PBS itself. A total of eight finalists will be selected and posted online in September for a public vote. The winner will be announced on September 22.

"The shirts are one of the most popular parts of the Nerd Walk and are something that will be worn by Arizona nerds with pride at the walk and afterwards," Pierce says.

The PBS Nerd Walk 2014 takes place on Saturday, November 1, in Tempe.

Note: This blog has been updated since its original publication.

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