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.

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