Comments on: Are All Spec Work Sites Evil? Articles and Resources for Web Designers Tue, 20 Sep 2011 17:54:12 +0000 hourly 1 By: Bytes Land Wed, 16 Mar 2011 14:13:59 +0000 Awesome thoughts on the subject. It’s terribly difficult to “get out of the sandbox” for freelancers, and you’ve given good points as to how crowd sourcing can help them.

By: Bill Shadrach Wed, 15 Dec 2010 19:04:53 +0000 Crowdsourced Design is Awesome and My Clients Love It!

After reading lots of rant posts by designers about design crowdsourcing and how crowdsourcing is just a spec work ripoff, I started wondering what is driving the rage? I’ve seen it before…when Walmart moves into a new area, everyone starts raging about Walmart. When Boeing starts building plane parts in some other part of the world then Unions start ranting about exporting jobs. Want to see rant, then watch Cspan any day…someone is ranting about something. RANT, Rant, rant…seems as though it’s a common response. These are not crazy rants either, they are on point, fact filled (albeit one-sided) and generally lucid. In fact, I think the rants are really just an expression of designers righteous indignation. Yes, that’s right, let’s get righteous. How dare those rich so and so’s ask us poor designers to show them our work for free?!

So, when a design contest holder runs a design and gets hundreds of entries and then flakes out on the prize, the assumption is that they are stealing someones work to make their own logo. I agree, it probably does happen, but not in my contests! I’ve run almost 20 successful contests with hundreds of entries each and every one has paid the prize. I value the designers work and collaborate with each one to ensure that they are maximizing their chances of winning the prize money. I grade each entry and respond with direction and also treat them with respect. For a look at some of the results of our contests, check out the results here. Also, these designers are world citizens, embracing technology that brings clients from around the world into their design studio. Wow! Isn’t Al Gore amazing.

Let’s face it, the internet and design crowdsourcing is a game changer. The current big design studios who are getting paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to generate new logos like the new Gap logo or the new Tropicana package are one step closer to the grave. As their old paradigm of “pay alot to get alot” is challenged by the new crowdsourcing model. CMOs’, VP’s and Directors of Marketing, Brand Manaagers and Marketing managers are beginning to awaken to the new reality…hey, we can get alot and we don’t have to deal with a “suit” and pay tens of thousands of dollars to some snotty guy with round glasses (you know who you are). It all kind of reminds me of the Dr. Seuss book, The Sneetches. You remember; “Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches had bellies with stars. The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars. Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small. You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all… but to the Sneetches it was all about “stars.” To the big design companies, it’s all about maintaining their giant BS factory that creates logos for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What’s the connection? Well, what if you couldn’t tell the difference between a great logo from,, or any of the other contest sites…and big design? It’s coming…big design, watch out. Great design doesn’t have to cost alot and there are tens of thousands of designers all over the globe waiting to show you that new paradigm.


By: Bobba Wed, 29 Sep 2010 21:27:07 +0000 These “spec work” contest websites are inevitable. I say good on them for running a smart business model.

Look at it from the client’s perspective. Would you rather pay thousands of dollars for a “professional” to come up with a few concepts? Or would you prefer to pay hundreds of dollars to have dozens of designers come up with a boatload of concepts? If you’re a small business on a tight budget, your logo isn’t typically high on your list of priorities. That’s the sad but true reality.

If the quality of these contest logos were so horribly bad, then this wouldn’t even be an issue because it would be obvious even to clients. But I’ve checked out the winning logos on these sites and some of them are actually pretty good. Maybe not good enough for a large corporation where brand equity is so vital, but good enough for SMEs. In contrast, I don’t think any of us can say that we haven’t seen a formally trained professional designer churn out some pretty crappy logos. With that said, it’s HARD to find a good logo designer! There are plenty of hacks calling themselves professional freelance designers and portfolios can sometimes be deceiving (I know production designers that would put any project that they touched into their portfolio). If you end up getting tricked by one of these hacks, you’re on the hook to pay them for a poor job. The process of finding and contracting a good designer is a task in itself. Those contest websites makes things VERY EASY for clients. They get plenty of relatively diverse options and they don’t have to worry as much about missed deadlines.

The core reason professional designers hate spec work is it lowers the perceived value of their work. Of course, nobody likes it when the competition undercuts them. But what are you going to do about it? The internet has really changed the game and you can either cry about it or accept it and evolve accordingly. The market seeks itself and there’s nothing you can do to stop that. It’s not like designers are the only ones dealing with this. Ever use a travel agency website? Real estate websites? Used car website? Ecommerce websites? I’ve seen people complain endlessly in all industries because they refuse to embrace what the internet has to offer. You either evolve or you die.

By: vuitton Sun, 15 Aug 2010 06:36:51 +0000 good job