Hugo Awards Logo Contest Submission Guidelines


The purpose of the Hugo Awards Logo Contest is to design a logo for the Hugo Awards. The logo will be used online, in print, on merchandise and to create “winner” stickers that can be placed on books, DVDs, etc. Flexibility is a key requirement, including the need to resize easily and to look good in black and white as well as color. The final version of the logo will need to be suitable for high quality printing.

While the logo needs to look good at relatively small sizes, it will not need to be shrunk for use as a Favicon.

Service Marks and Copyrighted Matter

Because of the requirement to register the logo as a Service Mark, Entrants should take care to ensure that their Entries are not in any way similar to existing logos or other copyrighted images. A logo that cannot be registered as a Service Mark, no matter how well crafted, cannot win the Contest.

Required Elements

The logo must contain the image of the four-finned Hugo Award rocket (which WSFS claims as a Service Mark). This image should not be photographic (see below for information on graphic formats), but must be recognizable as the Hugo Rocket. All Hugo Award bases are specific to individual Worldcons and should not be included in the logo design. See the specification for the rocket trophy for details of the trophy design and a picture of the rocket. Images of the rocket in these designs do not need to follow these specifications exactly but must be recognizably similar.

The logo must also contain the words “Hugo Award”.

A variant of the logo using the same basic design but with the addition of the word “winner” is also required.

The logo must not contain any other text besides that required above.

Graphic Format

Due to the requirements for high quality printing and re-sizing Entries must submitted in scalable vector graphic format (EPS). We advise against the use of halftones and gradients unless created inside a vector graphics program. Color in this version must be CMYK, no spot colors.

JPGs 1000 pixels square of the logo and “winner” variant are also requested so that entries can be posted to WSFS web sites without the need for conversion.

Submit entries by email to

The limit on attachment sizes for our email is 5Mb. If your submission exceeds this size, even after compression, please send the images individually and note clearly in your emails that you are doing so. If it is not possible to compress your submission smaller than 5Mb, please contact us and we will attempt to make alternative arrangements.

Note: our originally announced attachment limit was 10 Mb, but it appears our ISP was being optimistic, so we ask that submissions exceeding 5 Mb be split into separate files.


To recap, entry will consist of 4 files: the basic logo, and the “winner” variant, each in EPS and JPG format. We are able to handle many common file compression formats; however, we prefer ZIP files.

17 thoughts on “Hugo Awards Logo Contest Submission Guidelines

  1. Geoff B:

    We’ve asked for the formats that our jury recommended we ask for. We are trying not to put entrants through too much work. So no, you don’t need to supply anything extra.

  2. Sorry, please explain “winner” variant. I am not sure what this means. Thanks

  3. Ryan: We want a version of the logo that includes the word “winner,” so that there is a basic “Hugo Award” logo and also a “Hugo Award Winner” logo.

  4. What happens to work that does NOT win? Does the copyright for such work remain property of the creator? Who bears liability for work that is infringed or in violation of another trademark?

  5. Copyright and trademark are different things. Because all submitted entries will, by definition, include the registered service mark “Hugo Award,” they are effectively unusable in their submitted form. Entrants could, of course, make similar designs that did not include the service mark “Hugo Award.”

  6. Do you only want “Hugo Award” or is “Hugo Awards” with an “s” also acceptable? Hope that’s not too nitpicky a question.

  7. “What happens to work that does NOT win?”

    Here’s what their rules say:
    2. All Entries will become the sole property of WSFS and may be displayed publicly on WSFS web sites.

    If you’re not comfortable with these terms (or the general premise of design contests to begin with) you should probably not enter, and perhaps think twice about the likely possibility of throwing your hard work away.

    Contrary to real intellectual copyright law, work you submit to any design contest claiming “it owns the work it’s freely gifted” (and 99% of them say that) still retains ownership by the designer. Just because the rules stipulate that, it doesn’t make it so.

  8. Liz:

    Our service mark is on the words “Hugo Award” so we’d prefer that to “Hugo Awards”. However, the plural should still be legally protected so if you have a good artistic reason for using it that should be OK.

  9. Yes, we mean a 1000 x 1000 canvas; however, keep in mind that we expect the logo to take up a significant amount of the space, not just a tiny 100×100 square in the center.

  10. Perhaps the submission guidelines ought to include to whom one is supposed to submit an entry? Perhaps an email address or such?

    Oh, and yes, I know that the “Official Rules” contains the submission address. I’m just suggesting that it ought to be here as well.

    [Two related entries edited into one. — Editors]

  11. Dave:

    Okay, fair enough. The submission address was on the main logo contest page as well as the official rules, but, per your suggestion, I added it to the submission guidelines page as well. Now it’s on all three pages related to the contest, which I hope means nobody will miss it.

  12. Do you want us to specify color(s)? I’ve designed some stuff in black and white that could work in a lot of different colors. But I was thinking of just submitting them in black. I was going to show a black and color version of each, but I can only enter 3.

    What do you think?

  13. Shawn:

    While it’s okay to simply submit the black and white version, if you’d like to include the color and B&W variations together as a single entry, we’ll accept that.

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