The artist known as St. Francois County Presiding Commissioner Harold Gallaher has revealed an open contest to replace the now-Internet Famous design he created for the county seal in 2018.
That seal went viral last week,
as users on Reddit and Twitter united in joyfully mocking its dense collection of misaligned symbols, text and image types. It features a tilted bald eagle over a waving American flag, which also serves as a background for a crossed pickax and shovel, across from which Gallaher managed to find room to cram in a county map and a Bible and cross.
After his design went viral, Gallaher described his 2018 work on the piece as a "rushed deal" that is "proof positive that I am not artistically inclined."
While cluttered, Gallaher's design used the same elements as those that were on the county's previous seal. Even amidst the mockery online, one Reddit user made his own redesign showing how it could still feature the whole patriotic collection without looking like a clip art project.
During Tuesday night's meeting of the St. Francois County Commission, Gallaher unveiled the guidelines for the contest — and made it clear that entries would not be limited by the seals of the past.
Instead, an anonymous panel of seven judges will make the selection. The winner will receive a $100 Visa gift card, though the commissioners were quick to clarify that the money had been donated and was not from taxpayers.
As for Gallaher, he appears to have taken the whole thing in stride. During Tuesday's meeting, he said he's received emails about the seal from as far off as Australia and added that he'd spent an hour on Monday being interviewed by the Washington Post.
"She was asking me about, 'Why did you choose this on your seal?' and I was like, 'I don't know,'" he said, laughing. "I'm having fun with the emails. People are very polite and very kind. It's fun what's going on. I'm enjoying it."
As posted by the Daily Journal Online
, the contest rules
do not include any requirements to reuse the existing design's components. Entries must be accompanied by a signed legal release and the designs must be submitted in both color and black and white. The county "retains the right to make alterations as needed."
Still, with viral fame already in play, Gallaher did express some worry about the contents of the new designs. He emphasized that the seven judges would be instructed to "double-check and make sure there are no hidden messages," and advised, "They should get the magnifying glass out."
The contest is being hosted on the website of the Daily Journal. See more about entering your design at dailyjournalonline.com/contests and look for the St. Francois County Seal Design Contest.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at [email protected]
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