Crowdsink on Twitter: CrowdSpring, Do What’s Right!

CrowdSpring sinks to even lower lows…

This weekend, while Jay and I were busy updating, twitter continued to be all aflutter over the latest from CrowdSpring: CrowdSpring, Do What’s Right!

Background: Seems a CrowdSpring designer ripped off the work of Mike Erickson of Logo Motive Design (LogomotiveMike on twitter).

And while this is shocking enough – ok, not shocking as rips happen all the time on crowdsourcing sites – what has upset designers is CrowdSpring’s three strikes policy.

That’s right. A CrowdSpring designer gets to submit various ripped designs a total of three times before getting banned.

To follow the event yourself, here are the top searches on twitter:

CrowdSpring: Where have all the cheerleaders gone?

Ross Kimbarovsky: The voice of CrowdSpring on twitter.

Crowdsink: The twitter tag designers are using to publicise the problem.

And of course, make sure to read down through the original article: CrowdSpring, Do What’s Right!

Apparently this has been going on for about three weeks, but the designer in question is still submitting work at CrowdSpring. Amazing.

Btw – if you haven’t noticed, is now on twitter too: nospec.

So if you do twitter, go ahead and give us a shout…

420 Design Blog on Design Contests

Design contests don’t bring the best of anything.

From Angie: Just under a week ago I received an email from an employee from what I presume is Lord & Taylor’s PR firm telling me (albeit not personally as it was clearly a mass email) all about Lord & Taylor’s contest and that I might be interested The terms go on and in fact, strip away any copyrights from not only the winning entrant, but ALL entrants:

From Lord & Taylor’s: All submissions of photos, artists’ entries and other materials and elements of this contest are the property of Lord & Taylor and its affiliates and will not be returned to the participants.

From Angie: If for some awful reason you enter the contest, the artwork doesn’t even belong to you anymore – even if you don’t win! This is WRONG. In a real world situation where a company has sought out a design firm, only the finished work is what the company ends up owning. The sketches and thrown out ideas are still the property of the designers. This is the way it should always be.

She has a good point there. And more. For the full story, go to Angie’s Design contests don’t bring the best of anything.

The Spec Trap: Sitepoint

The Spec Trap
by Terri Stone

Last week, Eric Adams wrote about his experiences using Sitepoint to solicit logo designs for a fledgling non-profit focused on suicide prevention. As I expected, there were some negative reactions from readers who are against work done on spec; that is, with no guarantee of pay.

I understand where these readers are coming from. Spec work may seem seductive when you’re having a slow month, but it’s important to understand its downsides. Even for people just starting out in design, spec work can be detrimental. Not only might you learn bad habits, but the clients you “win” will continue to expect you to work for little compensation after you’ve built up your portfolio. This same pitfall of diminished paycheck expectations applies to established designers, as well.

The drawbacks for clients may not be so obvious, but they do exist. The best resolutions of design challenges come from in-depth client-designer communication and research. Competition sites like Sitepoint don’t foster that approach.

Had I been in a similar situation, I would have looked for a designer whose work I respected and whose style meshed with the project’s creative brief. I then would have asked that designer if he or she would be willing to do the project pro bono. If the answer was no, I would have kept looking.

To take part in this spec/no-spec dialog, go to the voxbox.

Terri Stone, editor in chief Fossil Holds Design Contest reviews the Fossil design contest – “Great exposure or simply spec work?”

  • With the case of the Fossil contest you lose all rights to your designs when you enter the contest.
  • Submissions will not be returned. Submissions become the property of Sponsor upon submission.
  • Additionally, Fossil may use any of the entries in future promotions.

Quoting Jeff Fisher of Fossil Holds Design Contest- Great Exposure or Simply Spec Work?

To decide for yourself, go to Design Fossil’s Design Your Own Tin Contest

So, what say you?

Boxes and Arrows – Getting there

Are We There Yet? – Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design

Back when we decided B&A needed an overhaul, we held a contest for a new design of Boxes and Arrows. Boy, was that a mistake.

Although the designs were “terrific, beautiful, clear, and innovative” not one was what we needed.

… for a design to be successful, the designers need to work hand-in-hand with the client so they understand the client’s vision, and so the client understands the choices made by the designer. Collaborative iteration is the secret to getting to the right design solution.

It’s embarrassing that we tripped up this way … We should have realized a contest was the very opposite of good collaboration.

To read the rest, go to: Are We There Yet? – Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design

Via: Design View : Andy Rutledge

Barenaked Exploitation by Robert Wurth

So, what do you do when you’re an internationally recognized, successful band with millions of dollars in CD and concert ticket sales? If you’re the Barenaked Ladies, you slap an industry in the face by running an unethical, exploitive contest, that’s what.

Over at the web site Deviant Art, a recent contest was posted for the development of a t-shirt design to promote a new Barenaked Ladies tour.

The details of this contest are glaring examples of the problems this trend creates within the design community. The fact that it comes from a representative of the music industry, an industry very vocal in the protection of artist’s rights, makes it all the more disturbing.

Thanks Robert!

Watchtan on NO!SPEC

Finding the Con in Contests

Fame and fortune await thee! BBC would like someone to help reboot the site design and focus. For your efforts, you would receive an Apple laptop. Slashdot is wanting a new look as well. If you win that redesign contest, a new laptop is your prize. Possibly the instigator of this design contest fever, The Big Noob is holding a t-shirt design contest, offering $150 to designers that get chosen.

Is something in the water? Are there some cosmic rays or sunspots appearing that make websites do design contests in late April?

The Con

I think these contests are a total joke …

To continue reading what Brian Warren of Watchtan has to say on the subject, go to Finding the Con in Contests.

Why Spec Projects and Logo Design Contests Suck

Steve Douglas from the LogoFactory has written an article on LogoPalooza: Why spec projects and logo design contests suck.

Steve writes: If I had a nickel for every time I heard this – “if you show me what you’re proposing for my logo design, and if I like it, I’ll pay for it”, I’d be a rich man. Or at least the proud owner of a lot of nickels. My answer is and has been always the same – “No thanks”.

Firstly, a design studio is like any other business. Overhead. Salaries. Day-to-day expenses. It’s downright impractical and illogical to give our product away for free (that part should be obvious). Running The Logo Factory studio with ‘hope to get paid’ projects, while my designers are of the “definitely getting paid” variety is a formula that any first year business student would see as fundamentally flawed.

Read further into the article for real life samples on how these logo competitions mangle the idea when…

Some of our logos – swiped from our web site or our clients – have shown up as entries in online ‘logo design contests’ – a variation of ‘spec’ design work – submitted by other, ahm, ‘designers’. In this case, the ‘designer’ was outed by fellow contestants shortly after the ‘client’ had selected the ripped-off design as the ‘finalist’. This ‘penny wise, pound foolish’ method of logo selection has some severe risks and serious flaws.

This article is well worth the read for designers, as well as a warning to clients contemplating a logo contest to solve logo needs.