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  • (Crowd sourced design sites)- Your thoughts?

    I have been reading up on this site and the debate around it. (For those unaware it's a site where a company posts a contest for a piece they need, logo, whatever. They work with the designers to come up with it and eventually the winner gets money, the rest do not. Basically, kind of, spec work, I guess).

    I am usually against sites like this, but my boyfriend defended it to the hilt. His explanation is that most jobs work like this, the ones that offer services. Engineers, prototype-rs, architects- they put a ton of effort and time into developing something for a chance at winning the bid. This is something most companies deal with and we are just one of the last industries to face this. I combated this by saying they are typically paid hourly anyways by the firm they work for regardless and get paid either way. His response was that if they lose enough bids, they lose their job. Even if you lose you get experience and something for your portfolio. Also, websites like this offer a chance for designers to prove themselves and have an equal playing field. You no longer have to be a part of a big firm to have a chance at getting recognized. Anyone who has talent can now compete. Those who are worthy will be recognized. My comeback was that this cheapens the field. Anyone can post their work, and even the winners only get a couple hundred dollars. This also cuts out the important relationship between designer and company typically necessary to develop a meaningful logo for that company. His response to this was that most start-up companies can't afford a high-end logo from the get-go. This type of website allows smaller/new companies get decent quality work for their budget. Also, larger companies that can afford high-end logos DO end up going to an actual design firm, developing a relationship with the designer, and paying a fair price for a logo.

    I am not sure what to think at this point. I see his points. But, I definitely see the graphic design perspective. I am very interested in hearing other people's opinions on this.

  • #2
    Trust me, we know what crowdsourcing is.
    Your boyfriend is slightly misinformed on how the whole Pitch for Work actually works.

    An architectural firm or an engineering firm has to earn their chops the slow way by putting out bids or "pitches" for incrementally larger jobs. You don't do the work on a pitch if you don't have the hours in your budget to pay the help to do the work. Nor do you do it if you don't have a chance of winning the job. The company I work for does 40-hour bids all the time. But we are almost always pre-qualified on large projects though. We don't lose our jobs if one bid doesn't come in and we already have more than enough jobs already on the docket to keep everyone employed. It isn't a pitch-and-hope-you-win or go-hungry situation.

    Also, most professions that do 'pitches', work on a pre-qualified system. Only a certain number of bidders are asked for responses. You have a far better chance of gaining the work if you are only competing against 5 or so other firms, most of whom you have pitched against before, as opposed to a whole world full of people connected by the internet. Very very few of the designers on crowdsource would pre-qualify as designers even if a professional system of qualification existed, which it doesn't, which also makes the design field different from those others your BF mentioned. When pitching it is important to know your qualifications, know your competition, and know your budget.

    The final thing I will offer is that most engineering, architectural, prototype firms are staffed by fully qualified professionals that know their industry and know exactly what the laws and rules of engagement are. With Crowdsourcing you are contending with the proverbial Nephew with a cracked version of photoshop that's lifting an existing logo or illustration from the internet, changing it a little bit and making a whiz-bang low resolution piece of crap out if it, while calling it a logo. You don't get a lot of that in the professional bid system.

    Any business that can't afford to properly start up in business needs to reconsider their priorities. Their logo is the face they present to the public. If they want to crowdsource it and take the chance they are going to receive a C&D from someone whose logo was copied by a hack on a crowdsource site...they won't be in business long. Being in the sign industry, I've seen it happen more than once where a C&D came down after all the planning and printing had gone into opening a small business due to problems with the logo.
    Last edited by PrintDriver; 05-10-2012, 12:53 PM.


    • #3
      I wholly agree with what PrintDriver said, and I've removed the name of the company from your subject line so they don't get any free publicity.
      This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
      "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."


      • #4
        Beautifully put PD, I think this should be a sticky.
        Design is not decoration.


        • #5
          For Architecture / Engineering there is usually a Monetary $$$ Honorarium for more involved design
          Request For Proposals prior pre-award of the project.

          Don't be confused by this pre-qualifying there is still a lot of work after the fact. Pre qualification is just a client exercising due diligence and from that you are selected for a short list from your experience methodology and references from previous work.

          NEVER EVER
          would any Architect work for free, they are not allowed to by the governing body of architects in there respective state of province. They would be sanctioned and lose their rights to practice. There are design competitions but they are for publicity and then the Arch. firms make it up by a larger percentage fee afterwards ... believe me they WILL recoup the significant cost of "free" design work

          That's why you see a lot of these "crowd sourced" or "competitions"... Just another way for unscrupulous clients to hose rip off and generally abuse the graphic design professionals.

          If clients were to pre-qualify graphics designers before awarding projects, there would be a lot of wanna-be's out of work. I wish clients would be more ethical in that way.
          Last edited by MikeHun; 05-10-2012, 02:37 PM.
          "After all is said and done, more is said than done."


          • #6
            Another consideration is that the potential returns those architects and engineers and such are vying for are in the tens or hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Your average crowdsource logo might garner a hundred bucks on a good day.


            • #7
              Might try crowdsource a house.


              House, 4 bedrooms, 4 ensuites. Large garden, patio decking area, hottub on patio, rotisserie chicken a plus.

              Houses I like

              Colour scheme
              Blue, Gold, Black

              Prize for best offer €150.
              Last edited by hank_scorpio; 05-10-2012, 03:30 PM.

              "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


              • #8
                ^ Oh, and you have to build it too.
                Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.



                • #9
                  ^ of course

                  "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


                  • #10
                    Frank Lloyd Wright never crowdsourced Hank, especially the "Falling Water House"
                    His client was happy to PAY!
                    "After all is said and done, more is said than done."


                    • #11
                      Boooo! I'll target some Architect Students and get 1000's of potential designs AND construction that I need for the price I asked for.

                      Paying for something as simple as a house, c'mon, houses date back to the time of cavemen, and interconnecting rooms date back as early as the 12th century. It's easily done and don't see why I should have to pay over the odds for something that man has been able to accomplish for centuries.

                      "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


                      • #12
                        I've got a house I'd be glad to sell you. (Just try not to mind the angry folks that will eventually show up using confusing legal mumbo-jumbo like "I own this already. It's not yours.")


                        • #13
                          Not to threadjack... but we went to Fallingwater a couple years ago. I never had an interest in architecture until then. If you ever get the chance, don't miss it...


                          • #14
                            "It's that easy!"



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cosmo View Post
                              Not to threadjack... but we went to Fallingwater a couple years ago. I never had an interest in architecture until then. If you ever get the chance, don't miss it...
                              Fallingwater is awesome. We have a couple FLW homes here in St. Louis, they're spectacular.

                              This is the first one Wright built in the area, for the Kraus family:
                              This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
                              "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."


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