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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard ShayneTilley's Avatar
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    Notice: This is a discussion thread for comments about the SitePoint article, Design Contests Made Me A Better Designer.
    __________

    Interesting read! I've always believed that design contests actually help stregnthen the design industry, as they place good design within reach for those who normally would steer clear.

  2. #2
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    Great read! Nice to hear from someone who has clearly got the right mentality towards these things.

  3. #3
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    Sheesh. You gotta be kiddin' me. If you want to be a better designer, the go and get some client work and do your very best at it. practice, practice, practice. You became a better designer, because you were designing. Contest or not.

    Hey I'm not a big no-spec zealot, but I do agree with the philosophies. Contests do exploit and devalue, and grandpa should go find a logo designer and pay his share. There is no free lunch in this world. You want something good in life? Earn it, or pay for it, don't exploit others for it.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard ryanhellyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jive View Post
    Sheesh. You gotta be kiddin' me. If you want to be a better designer, the go and get some client work and do your very best at it. practice, practice, practice. You became a better designer, because you were designing. Contest or not.
    I don't think he claimed otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by jive View Post
    ... Contests do exploit and devalue, and grandpa should go find a logo designer and pay his share. There is no free lunch in this world. You want something good in life? Earn it, or pay for it, don't exploit others for it.
    How on earth is running a contest in which the designer and contest holder are willing participants exploiting anyone? Designer gets paid an amount that they are happy with and the contest holder gets a design. Pretty simple really.

  5. #5
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jive View Post
    Hey I'm not a big no-spec zealot, but I do agree with the philosophies. Contests do exploit and devalue, and grandpa should go find a logo designer and pay his share. There is no free lunch in this world. You want something good in life? Earn it, or pay for it, don't exploit others for it.
    But grandpa goes and finds a logo designer (as part of the contest) and is paying (the contest winner, afaik multiple winners are also possible).

    Contests are just another way of finding a logo designer that fits your needs.

    And whoever enters a contest does so at their own discretion and knows that not winning the contract and thus not being paid for the work is a likely possibility.
    Dan G
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    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c2uk View Post
    Contests are just another way of finding a logo designer that fits your needs.
    Agreed. I'm not a big fan of contests, and wouldn't take part in one myself. However, if a designer willingly participates, that means he's happy with what he's getting into. You can't say it's exploiting. This is similar to how big software houses reacted in the face of globalism. But in the end you have to adapt and find a market that values your work and is willing to pay accordingly.

    Taking for e.g. the London 2012 Olympics logo, going with a contest would have got a much better result.
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
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  7. #7
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    Off Topic:


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post

    Taking for e.g. the London 2012 Olympics logo, going with a contest would have got a much better result.
    I think we'd all wholeheartedly agree with that !


  8. #8
    SitePoint Guru rageh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    Taking for e.g. the London 2012 Olympics logo, going with a contest would have got a much better result.
    Don't get me started. The London 2012 was the ugliest logo I had ever seen for a long while. Now as a result of the public outcry, they seem have changed it slightly. But I agree with you that competition would have resulted in a better logo in this case.

    For those who have not seen it, have a good look at it here. Sorry for being off topic slightly.
    ------------------

  9. #9
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic's Avatar
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    I think the whole point Jive is that the contests allow designers to challenge themselves, pushing further, and getting better. It's the perfect informal way to do so. And it's also fun to get involved.

    I happen to think that if 'Grandpa' just wants a decent logo without having to fork out a fortune then it's his right to want to find that.

    The article clearly points to the fact that the contests are at one end of the spectrum, whereas the 'big boys' are at the other end. A sensible view of the situation and one which I agree with.


  10. #10
    Trash Boat mkoenig's Avatar
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    You seem to be very competitive. I guess you can learn how you rank as well.

    Everything thinks they are good. Its just human nature. Contest let you verify that you are not.. lol then you can look at others work and learn what you need to learn.

    and yeah... contest are a way to get a good logo.

  11. #11
    www.logoraman.com electroskan.com's Avatar
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    Those with the talent survive.....it's as simple as that...Ah! so you were the designabot guy
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  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    It's pretty obvious from the onset that it's a marketing stint. But it's not all shameless promotion. I was pretty interested to find out about the relationship cultivation part too, and how he used contests as a stepping soon. But then again, how often would an organization want a new logo?
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
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  13. #13
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    It's pretty obvious from the onset that it's a marketing stint. But it's not all shameless promotion. I was pretty interested to find out about the relationship cultivation part too, and how he used contests as a stepping soon. But then again, how often would an organization want a new logo?
    How often does an organisation who needs a logo also need a website design (new or redesign), stationary, ... that fit the new logo?

    How many organisations have more than one website in their portfolio for which they might need a new logo, new website design,...

    Just have a look around the marketplace to see how many websites are bought and sold. Some of them are bought by big players who then might start a relaunch with a new design/layout.
    Dan G
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  14. #14
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    Couple thoughts on this:

    In general agree that spec-work is a bad idea. Many folks in the creative community get exploited due to their lack of business-sense. The old "let me see if I like it and if I do I'll pay you later" is BS. The designer should be saying that they'll give the client a deal in the future, not the other way around. Stand up for yourselves out there!

    Contests are slightly different. If you know the parameters up front, go for it. For some small businesses, it may be an efficient way to get what they need. For up-and-coming designers, a way to work on their game.

    For most businesses, they are willing to pay more to have a person/company they can consult and go back-and-forth with. A surprising amount of time and money is spent doing just that. The design itself is just a portion of the cost.

    Regarding the article specifically, the guy has done some really nice work. Perhaps he can parlay it into some real money. However, it was a totally self-serving advertisement for the partner site on the part of SitePoint.

    That's my two cents.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict n0other's Avatar
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    Good read. I'm not sure I like the contest idea myself too much. Time after time I see people putting their time and energy into submitting an entry and not winning and not getting paid as a result, that just doesn't seem right to me. But hey, nobody forces them to do this.

  16. #16
    SitePoint Enthusiast
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    I have always hated the design contetsts on this website as they just allow people to take advantage of designers and get something for far less than its actually worse. All design contents should not have an end use but just for entertainment (unless its for a charity).

  17. #17
    SitePoint Addict RonnieFizz's Avatar
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    one thing i have to say..
    the contests makes u a better designer after a while.....
    "Luck is the residue of good design"
    -Some random dude!

  18. #18
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    Design contests are no good. You're just going to get amateurs who don't know any better.

    I really wish SitePoint would get rid of the Design Contest section of this site. Or at least put up a "CODING CONTEST". Why not?

    Contests devalue a skilled trade. Don't start one, don't participate in one.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    If "Design Contests" are so bad, then why start a "Coding Contest"?
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
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  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    If "Design Contests" are so bad, then why start a "Coding Contest"?
    To balance things out. It devalues creative design. Just because someone can code web apps doesn't mean they can make it look professional and be user-friendly.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Member myindya's Avatar
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    I take part in design contest sometimes when i have time, not just for the $$$ but to test myself to know where i stand and what my skills are...

    I participated in 4 design contests and won $500 in one, so thats not bad in my views...
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  22. #22
    SitePoint Wizard jimbo_dk's Avatar
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    So your solution for something that devalues design is to create a simillar one that devalues coding?
    Winners Respond. Losers React.
    Singapore Web Designer

  23. #23
    SitePoint Addict RonnieFizz's Avatar
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    ha....

    well it sound to me that some of you are totally confused about your career choice. Coding and designing are two different skillset totally...

    for instance...
    a CH would post a brief and a million designers can come in and get their mouses wet with different approach.. and get a million result.

    as for a million people who code..they all have to fall under the brief or they are totally off.

    I can understand that the contest idea disvalue somewhat because it basically put eveyone in the same category as for an amateur in the same contest as a professional and it really sux to see the amateur getting picked over a pro sometimes...
    However it only shows where improvement is needed.. and also skills are not everything and in the designing world ..talent+inspirations+skills are what really matters...

    so yeha to make it clear ...
    THERE'S NO WAY NO HOW YOU CAN EVER COMPARE THE TWO TO PUT IN THE SAME BASKET......



    -Ron
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    "Luck is the residue of good design"
    -Some random dude!

  24. #24
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    I'm still wondering why Richard himself hasn't come on here to comment on some of the criticism expressed.
    Dan G
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  25. #25
    SitePoint Guru mattymcg's Avatar
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    OK, thanks for clarifying, shadowbox. What you were saying wasn't clear to me, so thanks for elaborating. Perhaps interviewing someone from NO!SPEC and presenting that viewpoint in the same article might have provided balance. I guess I just jumped at an opportunity to tell Richard's story without more diligently researching the full picture. I had my reasons (see below). That said, no-one jumps on NO!SPEC articles suggesting that they should be presenting the other side of the story, so it didn't come to mind at the time, but point taken.

    it is clearly a piece of pure marketing hype, an attempt to simply justify Sitepoint's sister site 99designs.com against the no-spec brigade.
    The thing is, I wasn't attempting to justify anything, as I don't think I need to. Believe it or not, the article commissioning process didn't pan out as follows:

    1. Let's find a designer who is pro-contests, so we can give 99designs a plug
    2. Interview said designer and only ask questions that give a result we want to hear
    3. Publish


    It was more like:

    1. Richard met the 99designs guys because he happened to live in Melbourne and was runner-up in the 99designs logo contest
    2. I heard about it and arranged to have a chat with him to hear about his experiences, because it wasn't a conventional "designer success" story
    3. Record our lunchtime conversation verbatim
    4. Painfully transcribe every word and publish


    There really wasn't much more behind preparing this article than that. Of course we were delighted to have a passionate user voicing superlatives, but it didn't cross my mind to issue it as a press release because 1. I don't work for 99designs, and 2. We didn't orchestrate Richard's answers. My motivation to publish Richard's story was, to be completely honest, to bring some balance to the many articles that are already out there criticizing design contests, so rehashing that ground all over again didn't cross my mind. Instead, here was an alternative view point that I knew would generate discussion, and that's why I thought it worth pursuing. You'll note that I did link to the NO!SPEC site in the article, which will provide readers with plenty of reading material on the topic (you yourself referred to them as "a brigade", which suggests that you agree that there is in fact plenty of information about why "spec work" is wrong is out there). It was an interview, so the reason you didn't hear Richard waving the NO!SPEC flag because that's not what he believes in.

    Like I said, I'm more than happy to interview someone who is from NO!SPEC in a future article—I'm sure it would make for a good read. I just figured that had been done to death elsewhere, but if you think it would be worthwhile, I'll whack it on the list of things to commission. No really.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo_dk View Post
    No matter how many times you try to explain it, publishing an interview like that with a (cheesy) title like that would definitely lead people to believe its all marketing hype.
    What can I say? I didn't think it was cheesy (controversial maybe) but we have done some doozies in the past. Writing headlines that people will click on is an art form. I don't pretend to be any kind of guru, but obviously this one struck a chord.
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