Why would you want to crowd source your projects? It’s cheap, it’s quick and you get to see a lot of designs before handing over any money. But, we know what they say “you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”. Getting cheap design is easy, but getting cheap design that works is almost impossible.
So, what is crowdsourcing? Crowdsourcing a design project involves the client posting a brief to a website alongside their budget, and getting “designers” from all over the world to respond to it. The client then picks the design they like best and awards the money to the winner.
What’s the problem then? Let’s take a look.
1. You’re Condoning People Working for Free
Only the winner of these so called “competitions” gets paid, meaning the other 99 entrants don’t get a penny for the time they’ve spent on your project. That’s not fair.
If you were a window fitter, you wouldn’t fit one window in someone’s house, along with 10 other window fitters, then, only accept payment if your window was deemed to be the best by the homeowner. People that give up their time to provide a service deserve paying.
2. Anybody Can Enter
The problem with a lot of these crowdsourcing sites is that anybody can enter. No qualifications necessary, not even a portfolio of work. People that call themselves designers and have just bought a copy of Adobe Photoshop (that’s right, Photoshop, not Illustrator) and have decided to “have a go at making logos” can enter. You wouldn’t hire a man to paint your house just because he owns a brush, you’d hire a decorator. So, why hire any old soul when you can hire a dedicated professional?
3. Work Shouldn’t be a Competition.
You wouldn’t work a telesales job where you only get paid if you sell more products than anyone else, so you shouldn’t expect others to do it for you.
A lot of people try and pass crowdsourcing off as “a great way to build your portfolio”. It’s not. A great way to build your portfolio is to either a) get paid to create fantastic work or b) create self-initiated projects that you really want to work on and that will help improve your skills.
4. If You’ve Got the Money to Invest, Don’t be Greedy
With crowdsourcing, you have to set a budget. A lot of people set ridiculous budgets, such as £100 for a logo design, but then you get some people who are actually realistic with their figures.
If you’ve got the money to spend, hire a professional. By crowdsourcing, you’re being greedy, trying to have your cake and eat it. Which leads us nicely on to…
5. A Professional Designer will Add to your Brand
Like I said, if you’ve got the money, get in touch with a few professional designers or design studios, and see what they can do for you.
Hiring a professional designer will be one of the best business decisions you ever make. Bringing someone onboard your project to work with you and advise you along the way will pay off.
At Canny Creative, we build lasting relationships with our clients and not only do we help them with design work, but with printing and other business issues we can help solve. Having someone on your side, with a genuine interest in your business, and advising you with decisions when you need it can be a godsend, and that’s something you don’t get from a crowdsourced project.
Like I mentioned in my post, 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Low Cost Print Suppliers, sometimes, you really do get what you pay for. Sure, Nike got their logo for $35. However, that $35 didn’t get them the global recognition that they have today, that cost millions of dollars, and millions of hours, with a lot of handwork and dedication.
In this post I haven’t even touched on the poor quality of design work that stems from crowdsourcing sites, but, this comment from a Mashable blog reader pretty much sums everything up;
“Throwing random designs at a 100 word brief and hoping they stick is not the basis of a successful result for either the client or the designer. This commonly results in poor feedback due the posters inability to focus on individual designs and rushed work due to the nature of the sites business model. In order to earn even a meagre wage a designer must produce as many designs as possible for as many contests as possible meaning that both quality and originality suffers.”
Have you had any experiences with crowdsourcing? Have you designed for a crowdsourcing website? Let us know in the comments below.