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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
    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.


  6. #6
    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
    Marketing Strategist & Consultant

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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.
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  8. #8
    Jewish Juggernaut 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.

  9. #9
    whagwan? silver trophybronze trophy akritic'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.
    I think we'd all wholeheartedly agree with that !


  10. #10
    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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  11. #11
    Design Addict helix7's Avatar
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    The interview kind of reads like a glorified cheer for contests. I'm not sure where I stand on them ethically, and I sort of lean towards the idea that people should just do what feels right to them. But this interview just seems artificial and contrived. "Life is on my terms now." - Really? He actually said that? And design contests really changed his life?

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard cranial-bore's Avatar
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    Yeah, the question/answer style here does have a bit of an infomercial feel about it, but it is interesting to read that relationships can be cultivated from contests.

  13. #13
    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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  14. #14
    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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  15. #15
    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.
    ------------------

  16. #16
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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.

  17. #17
    SitePoint Guru mattymcg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helix7 View Post
    But this interview just seems artificial and contrived. "Life is on my terms now." - Really? He actually said that? And design contests really changed his life?
    The transcript is largely word-for-word (with Richard's permission, I recorded our chat with my MP3 digital recorder). So yes, Richard really said that. In fact, there were a few comments that he made about 99designs that I actually omitted because I feared it might have sounded (even more) like we were paying him to promote us or something -- in truth, what you're reading is actually toned down somewhat. He's obviously a fan, and given how it has impacted his business, who can blame him? I could post a sound bite or something, but that seems kind of petty. See full disclosure, with a link, at the start of the article.

    The only other edits I made to our conversation were to ensure that the discussion flowed more logically -- i.e. getting rid of the ums and laughs, the sentences that get cut off half way when you speak naturally, and the waitress interrupting our chat to deliver our sandwiches.
    I design beautiful, usable interfaces. Oh, and I wrote a kids' book.
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  18. #18
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    Hmmm the article is really one sided.. offcourse there are positive points about a contest, but luckily the negative influence they can have can be pointed out in the comments..
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  19. #19
    doing my best to help c2uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelsoul View Post
    Hmmm the article is really one sided.. offcourse there are positive points about a contest, but luckily the negative influence they can have can be pointed out in the comments..
    Almost everything in life has positives and negatives, pros and cons.

    And I can't find too many negatives that haven't been countered with very valid points. Rather, I find it really telling that none of those who have posted those negative aspects have come back and re-join the discussion.

    However, it's a pity that the interviewee didn't counter those negatives, hope he'll join the discussion at one point.
    Dan G
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  20. #20
    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.

  21. #21
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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).

  22. #22
    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!

  23. #23
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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.

  24. #24
    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.
    Singapore Web Designer

  25. #25
    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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