Note to mods: Not sure what the best place for this discussion is, so please move it accordingly if necessary.
Just a quick note about an article from PRINT magazine's Sept/Oct issue. This brought our Contests forum to mind, but the point of the article applies to all areas of design business.
PRINT took gotlogos.com up on their $25 logo offer and ordered 4 logos for fictitous companies to see what $25 gets you. In a nutshell, they got 4 mediocre logos, non of which really met even the lowest of expectations. The company name is barely legible in one logo. Graphics get in the way of text in another. The "professional look and feel" promised by gotlogos.com? Non-existant. And in one case, the comical image of a cartoon-like starburst could be interpreted as insulting to the martial arts studio that the logo was designed for.
With all the discussion about contest pricing and fair prices for design in general around here lately, I thought this just really says alot on the issue. You get what you pay for. But even more than that, it sort of made me proud of what SitePoint users do around here. For no guarantee of any compensation in the Contests, and even with mediocre rewards for those who do win contests, SitePoint users always step up to the plate and show more professionalism that these $25 hack logo companies. Go look at any logo contest currently going on. In many cases, before any attempt at a logo is even made, our designers do something these chop shops will never do: ask questions. A genuine interest is taken in what the company does and what the contest holder hopes to get out of their design. Afterall, this is a forum first, and discussion is what drew us all here in the first place. Sure you can get logos cheaper elsewhere. But show me another place where you can get two dozen different designers working on your project, and taking as much interest and care in it as they do, all for $50.
If anything, I just think this shows the true value that clients get when they come to SitePoint with their design needs. The services provided are top-notch, and they're worth every penny and then some. I don't want to start another minimum pricing debate, but let me just say that $60 wasn't too much. $60 was a bargain. I won't even suggest that we should rally for a price increase, but I will say that I hope in the future, especially now that SP is turning a profit from the Marketplace, that they take into consideration the people that truly make the Marketplace so great.