Logo Design Love: SpecWatch on Design Contests

Do you twitter?

If you don’t have a twitter account, then you are missing out on the latest spec happening in the design industry.

Logo Design Love: It’s interesting to see the recent appearance of Spec Watch, a venture that educates about the very real risks of design contest websites and their so-called ‘communities’.

Spec Watch has been cataloging unpaid and refunded projects, and those terminated due to copyright violation.

Right now Spec Watch is mainly targeting the design contests at Crowdspring and 99designs, but who knows how their campaign will evolve.

To see what all the fuss is about, follow Spec Watch (SpecWatch) on Twitter.

(Thanks David!)

Aquent, 99Designs and the Design Industry

Mark Rushworth just contacted us about a post he’s written, Aquent Vs the Design Industry.

Seems Aquent thought it was a good idea to post a contest at 99Designs. Hmmm…

How could a company such as Aquent (connected to the AIGA), be so out of touch with the design industry? If they didn’t want to take on board what AIGA had to say (and seems they didn’t), then all they had to do was google 99Designs and read a few of the opinions out there from established designers. Right?

Please check it out as it is interesting reading…

Qbn: aquent site redesign-spec work
Aquents blog: Design Contests: Betrayal of Everything We Stand For?
Aquents Facebook: Redesign Aquent’s Homepage

From Aquent: First of all, I view this as an experiment. What can we get if we take this approach? We could get a bunch of junk, which would reinforce the idea that you can’t get good design this way. Maybe we’ll get something good. Maybe someone who wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to show their stuff will get noticed. Who knows?

Well, I guess they know now.

Positive Space: 99Designs Stoops to a New Low

Tony of Positive Space has a decent conversation going in his post: 99Designs Stoops to a New Low and Attempts Propaganda.

If you have been following Positive Space for a while, then you undoubtedly know that I have a problem with both spec work and 99designs (previously sitepoint contests). However most recently the minds behind sitepoint have stooped to a new low. I say this because the article Design Contests Made Me A Better Designer that was recently published is nothing more than a piece of propaganda literature.

It’s an interesting read so check it out when you have the time.

99designs: Bullshit 2.0 | I’m a Proud Weenie! | Blowing Competitions Up, and Other Acts of Good Citizenship

Spec Conversation Roundup:

graphicPUSH: 99designs: Bullshit 2.0

Kevin: “99designs was started by designers for designers”. I am struggling to form the intensely negative, logic-dismantling superlatives I need to accurately convey the sheer depth of absolute bullshit this clump of words was pulled from. This is one of the most hollow and forced statement I have ever seen. It insults everything about the real-world graphic design industry and the hard-working professionals that make a living building long-term client relationships, crafting deep and varied portfolios, and routinely putting their blood, sweat and tears into their work.

Freelance Switch: Freelance Radio, Episode 12: I’m a Proud Weenie!

FS: This episod’s theme is spec work. We talk about our own opinions on the controversial issue, and also refer repeatedly to the No Spec project.

Design Altruism Project: Blowing Competitions Up, and Other Acts of Good Citizenship

David Stairs: From the last weeks of summer onward I am bombarded with e-mail urging me to involve students in ‘œreal world’ design situations. Without sounding too cynical about the practice, it seems to me that the outside solicitations of my students’ involvement are a means for organizations and/or corporations to garner spec work and public relations kudos under the guise of being good neighbors.

Separate conversations. Various takes. All worthwhile.