December 16, 2019
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This proposal for a new Portland flag breaks some key design rules. But it’s still great

Tim Masterson | BDN
Tim Masterson | BDN
Breaks a design rule or two, is still awesome.

It’s just two days into our month-long search for a better Portland flag, and we already have several great entries.

But this one, designed by Tim Masterson, caught our eye, so we had to share it.

It captures a pretty common conversation that people who live in Portland (this one) often have with people from away.

“I live in Portland.”

“Oh! I love the Pacific Northwest.”

“Oh, no. Sorry — it’s the other Portland.”

“What, with the lighthouses and stuff?”

“Yeah. Yeah, that one.”

He includes the thinking behind his design: “The green represents the wild forests of Maine.”

Good enough.

Masterson’s flag nails a particular part of Portland life. And for that reason, it’s great. But here’s the thing: Our flag contest has a few parameters by which the judges will weigh each entry. And a key principle of good flag design — which these guys take pretty seriously — is the absence of any letters.

[MORE: Enter our contest to design a better Portland flag]

Here are the guidelines for contestants:

The flag should be:
— Rectangular, with 3:5 dimensions
— A standard JPEG image
— No more than 4 colors, with fewer colors likely to be favored by the judges
— Contain no seals or lettering
— Have meaningful symbolism
— Be easy to identify from a distance

Anyway. Good job, Tim.

[MORE: This Portland high school student is on a mission to change the city’s flag] 


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