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Dana Point Times staff

The Festival of Whales Foundation will kick off a golden anniversary logo design contest on November 27 for the upcoming 50th annual 2021 Dana Point Festival of Whales. The contest is open to the public and entries will be accepted through midnight, January 10, 2021.

The golden anniversary Festival is set for March 6 and 7, 2021, a departure from the traditional two-weekend format, due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Mika Denny designed the logo selected for the 49th Festival of Whales earlier this year. For 2021, the Festival of Whales Foundation is opening a logo design contest to the public. Graphic: Mika Denny

“Whether we are allowed to proceed with some of our traditional events in person or switch to a hybrid in-person/virtual model, we will not miss the opportunity to celebrate this long-standing and iconic Dana Point celebration,” said Donna Kalez, Festival of Whales Foundation President. “Whether COVID restrictions persist or ease, the whales don’t mind and will, as always, grace our coast with their awe-inspiring presence during their annual migration.”

Whale-watching excursions have been, and are expected to continue, operating out of Dana Point with COVID protocols in place to provide viewing in a safe and socially distanced manner. Other Festival events will be tailored to adhere to restrictions, and a schedule will be forthcoming shortly.

Past event logo designers have included local amateur artists, high school art students and internationally known professional artists including John Van Hamersveld and Wyland.

For more information on the history of the Festival’s logo and to see some of the past winning designs, visit

Entries must be emailed to by midnight January 10, 2021.

Text/font style, placement and arrangement are artists’ choice. Designs may be frameless/borderless or reside completely inside of any shape of a frame. However, the design must include text referencing the 2021 50th Annual Dana Point Festival of Whales, March 6 and 7, 2021. The required text may reside anywhere on, in, above or below design elements.

Artwork must include a dominant graphic representation of the California gray whale—tail/s, entire whale/s, mother and calf, etc. Representations of other object/s relevant to the logo—such as the ocean, sun, boats, Dana Point Headlands and other wildlife—may be included but are not mandatory.

Final artwork should be a full-scale Vector file. Illustrator .eps, Illustrator .ia, Photoshop .psd and Corel Draw .cdr files are acceptable. Designs should be created in layers where applicable.

A maximum of four colors may be used in the final design. For graphics, Pantone solid coated colors are preferred; however, other colors used will be matched as closely as possible. All artwork must be original creations of the contestant.

By entering the contest, the artist agrees to allow necessary changes (not affecting the integrity of the design) that may be necessary to ensure the best presentation of the logo on merchandise, advertising, in print and online media. The artist also agrees to grant exclusive use of the design to the Festival of Whales Foundation, to participate in media coverage of the contest (interviews and photos), and (if possible) to attend appearances/autograph signings/virtual events (no more than two) during the Festival.

Designs will be posted to social media for public voting from January 11-17. The Festival of Whales Foundation Board and Logo Selection Committee will choose the winning logo from among the top four designs chosen by the public.

The winning logo will appear on Festival of Whales 2021 promotional material (as applicable), which could include: clothing, decals, posters, flyers, tote bags, buttons, print and digital media advertising, the official event program, event signage and news media.

All four finalists and their artwork will be recognized at the conclusion of the social media public vote and their name/work could be published in the Dana Point Times.

The first-prize winner will receive $500, two whale watching tickets, and choice of four pieces of event merchandise.

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