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Against 99 Designs

Thread title: Against 99 Designs
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12-23-2011, 03:09 AM
JRayers is offline JRayers
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  Old  Against 99 Designs

Note: This is a follow-up to the TalkFreelance logo contest thread here.

Originally Posted by nomatch View Post

This is a good (old) vent. I can see the draw of running one of these contests but I have now seen it from both sides and it needs to be stopped.

As a designer I know that I will throw max 10 mins work into a logo and hope for the best. By the time I rack up 10 logos I have entries in 10 competitions for a couple of hours work, but I have no personal involvement or pride in any of the work.

As a contest holder you end up with 99 crappy logos to review, 96 of which you have to physically restrain yourself from telling the designer to get lost and find another job. You might hit on 1 or 2 interesting concepts which at the end is what you are looking for, but if you sit down with other stakeholders and dedicate a few hours of genuine thought to your brand, you could easily discover these yourself.

Ultimately moving forward I think TalkFreelance needs to take a stance against 99 Designs. We need to represent the feelings within the industry.

If we have a strong enough opinion and publish it well this could become a marketing asset. If we attract quality freelancers that hate 99 Designs, we are going a step in the right direction.

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12-23-2011, 04:28 AM
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tl/dr old guy hubristically complaining about his industry becoming flourished with people prepared to work for less than him.

The arithmetic of winning aside. Nobody has the right to tell you what your product is worth, that's your reserved liberty. If you don't like the business model, don't use it.

Believe it or not, their are people who actually appreciate design and aren't driven by money. Just because a circle-jerk proclaims the industry standard to be $500/hr doesn't make it so.

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12-23-2011, 06:53 AM
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However this somewhat works to our advantage here. Artashes does not have to select a winner, he can say they are all crap and not pay a thing. However, we have concepts. They want to make a crappy spec work market, lets use it like one.

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12-23-2011, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by JRayers View Post
As a contest holder you end up with 99 crappy logos to review, 96 of which you have to physically restrain yourself from telling the designer to get lost and find another job.

I couldn't help it and chuckled on this one. Unfortunately, a lot of the times it is true. As a contest holder you do have to go through some very primitive WordArt-like designs. However, I can either brush it off or I can offer constructive feedback and explain how the concept can be improved. I hate to discourage people who are trying to help me and who give their time, even if it's 10 minutes. I can find the same amount of time and give back, help them learn. It makes their day better and for many it is the only way they can improve as designers, which is why virtually all are thankful for feedback.

At the end of the day, it really is not hurting anyone. Contest holders do not have to guarantee payment. Designers participate at their own risk. If a client likes something and is ready to pay for a logo that matches his objectives then so much the better - the marketplace has produced a successful marriage.

Think of 99designs as a learning institution. I actually know high-end designers who went through 99designs and occasionally participate to this day.

James, I am ready to have a chat with you on your ideas on how we can attract such a pool of creative individuals to TF. I am the biggest cheerleader of the idea and if a tangible program exists, I will back it up. Let me know if you'd like to discuss this further either privately or publicly.


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