24 December 2009

[design] Another Thing Crowdsourcing Design Work Kills ...

2282. … actual creativity, as in at least trying to come up with something original.

As detailed by SpecWatch here, an icon from a site called Vecteezy was used in not only a "contest" on Crowdspring, but also on 99designs. The icon, a round design with graphic elements meant to suggest a tree and leaves, was entered on 99designs to be the idenfitying mark for a charter school. At least this one was worked on a bit; traces of the brush-strokes around the margin were eliminated for a cleaner appearance. It was used without change as the winning submission on Crowdspring for an energy company called Woodlands Solutions.

In the disclosure on Crowdspring, the designer … affirmed in their 'disclosure' that they had " created everything in [their] entry and [they] didn't copy anyone else's concept".

Did the designer fib a little? Read the evidence at SpecWatch and decide for yourself. Even if you think this doesn't cheapen the quality of design work in general, you've got to admit that submitting the same design that won for an energy company as a logo for a charter school is more than a bit of a disservice to the charter school – and could open them up for a lawsuit from the energy company, if they were ever interested in such.

Or … one could spend the extra money on hiring an actual designer who will strive to come up with an idea that isn't merely copied-and-pasted from somewhere else. A real designer will at least take some time to listen to your story, talk to you, get to know you, and try to tell your story as an effective logo.

Paying for pros, in the end, doesn't cost – it pays off with a truly original design that wasn't lifted from a vector icon download site, and a designer who actually gives a care about the work they do for you.

Or, put another way, you get what you pay for.

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