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How do I go about finding a graphic designer or artist to do my designs for my t-shirts. I need an artist who understands my market and can take the ideas I have in my head and bring them to life graphically. How do I find this person?
 

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If you want to deal with someone locally, you can always post a classified on Craigslist. The best way to attract people is to let them know what type of designs you need and what work you need them to do.
 

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"Group Sourcing" is the way to go.

I have been using eLogo Contest.Com

I posted my design contest 24 hours ago and have already recieved over twenty designs.

Check it out

Logo Design for We Believe Apparel, LLC - Logo Design Contests by eLogoContest - Custom Logo Design by Professional Designers

Contests last 10 days.

99 Designs is another good one but you are forced to prepay for your contests where as on e Logo contest you have the option of paying designers afterward, and only if you have reiceved quality submissions.

More people respond to prepaid contests however.
 

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As a professional artist I find these "Contests" to be repulsive. I can't believe some artists stoop so low as to work for free, taking the chance that they may not be compensated in any way for the time and effort it took to create the work of art. I suggest people use iFreelance.com or Guru.com to find their designers, and stop supporting the abuse of artists. It's hard enough making a living through art despite the fact that it is a skill and talent not just anyone can "learn" to wield. I wish doctors, mechanics, construction workers and the like did free work for me before I decided who I'm going to hire.
Sorry for the rant. I don't mean to offend anyone with it, it's just that I get so annoyed when I see fellow artists working for nothing. I know for a fact I am not the only one who thinks this way.
 

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Sorry Kam

But you just sold me further on why group sourcing via contests is a good idea - You only pay for quality.

You said it yourself . . .

I wish doctors, mechanics, construction workers and the like did free work for me before I decided who I'm going to hire
Unfortunately with doctors mechanics etc., this is not an option . . .but with graphic design, it is.

As an artist you don't need to participate, but the money is there if you want to take a stab at it.
 

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These forums and the like are a great place to find a designer that will understand your needs, not to mention, understand the apparel decorating industry. You could find an AWESOME graphic designer, but 9 times out of 10, they won't have a clue as to what is needed to do artwork for printing or embroidery.
I would stick close by to these resources to find what you're looking for.
Hope this helps!
 

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emptees.com

Thats were i found the person i am using right now. you can see all of the designs they have posted on there. You can then contact them. That way you can see if what they design is what your looking for.
 

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I have been using eLogo Contest.Com

I posted my design contest 24 hours ago and have already recieved over twenty designs.

don't pick the guy who spelled believe wrong...lol

kind of a cool site... but there are pro logo websites where you can get a killer logo for 39-199 bucks... the designs on the elogo site are decent but i think these are really great also
Affordable & Professional Company & Business Logo Design, 3D Logos & Web Page Templates, Stationery & Website Design - Pixellogo
I found this site on google when i was getting ideas for a 3d type logo for a friends website...
 

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Scott,

You can get great quality graphics by looking at an artist's portfolio and seeing what they are capable of. A professional artist/graphic designer will listen to your needs and will keep playing with a design until you are satisfied. You get what you pay for. Asking someone to work for free for you (designs can take anywhere from an hour to a few hours to complete) ... well.... in your own profession would you work those hours for free and find that acceptable?

Unfortunately too many artists (especially the younger ones) have gotten so used to being undervalued in this society that they start thinking this practice is O.K. I don't know how many times I've heard someone say "I don't have that much money so you'd be doing it for free, but you'll have the honor of being published in my magazine/book/etc." Basically it's not right. I hope that someday these lost artists will wake up and stop doing something no other profession would.
 

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Kam -

Don't get it twisted - Before I started my contest, I did hire a graphic artist DIRECTLY. She had an amazing portfolio and came highly recommended. Her designs ended up HORRIBLE (despite hours of guidance and instruction). So, after all the work I had put in finding, hiring, and guiding a graphic artist, I was back at square 1 and down $250.00.

So, rather than going through the "hire coach and fire" process again, I posted my design criteria to a contest site and prepaid a $250 prize.

I am at the halfway point and I have over 60 submissions, many of them exactly the style I am looking for. I will definitely choose the logo for my company from one of these designs.

Yes, as you said Kam, the artists who have submitted are probably young up-and-comers. But they never would have had the opportunity to work with me and my company based on their merits alone - Unestablished artists from around the world have now had the opportunity to introduce themselves and submit to me a resume of sorts.

The talented artist whose design I decide upon will not only get the $250 dollar prize money, but will also be my graphic artist for all my future needs, which will be many. I would say that by participating in, and winning my contest - This artist will easily realize over $5,000 p/yr from my company. A few more clients like me and this artist will eventually have the same luxuries you seem to enjoy.

Here is a direct quote from a private message sent to me by one of the artists who is participating in my contest. FYI her designs were GREAT and I am leaning toward her at this point.

"WOW! I am so excited about your product. I know what I'm getting my boyfriend for Christmas this year! You are launching this fall correct? What stores will be distributing your jerseys? Are you planning to have an online store? I'm sorry to bombard you with questions but I am just so excited. I will be submitting a couple entries. What an honor it would be for one of us to win. Thank you for bringing your business here to elogocontest!!"

This doesn't sound like a suffering "Lost Artist". Hmm. Maybe she still finds joy in her work?

As for . . .
in your own profession would you work those hours for free and find that acceptable?
I don't know Kam . . . Maybe I would and maybe I wouldn't . . . but if it might have resulted in me landing a key account, it would have been nice to have the option.
 

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Kam -

Don't get it twisted - Before I started my contest, I did hire a graphic artist DIRECTLY. She had an amazing portfolio and came highly recommended. Her designs ended up HORRIBLE (despite hours of guidance and instruction). So, after all the work I had put in finding, hiring, and guiding a graphic artist, I was back at square 1 and down $250.00.

So, rather than going through the "hire coach and fire" process again, I posted my design criteria to a contest site and prepaid a $250 prize.

I am at the halfway point and I have over 60 submissions, many of them exactly the style I am looking for. I will definitely choose the logo for my company from one of these designs.

Yes, as you said Kam, the artists who have submitted are probably young up-and-comers. But they never would have had the opportunity to work with me and my company based on their merits alone - Unestablished artists from around the world have now had the opportunity to introduce themselves and submit to me a resume of sorts.

The talented artist whose design I decide upon will not only get the $250 dollar prize money, but will also be my graphic artist for all my future needs, which will be many. I would say that by participating in, and winning my contest - This artist will easily realize over $5,000 p/yr from my company. A few more clients like me and this artist will eventually have the same luxuries you seem to enjoy.

Here is a direct quote from a private message sent to me by one of the artists who is participating in my contest. FYI her designs were GREAT and I am leaning toward her at this point.

"WOW! I am so excited about your product. I know what I'm getting my boyfriend for Christmas this year! You are launching this fall correct? What stores will be distributing your jerseys? Are you planning to have an online store? I'm sorry to bombard you with questions but I am just so excited. I will be submitting a couple entries. What an honor it would be for one of us to win. Thank you for bringing your business here to elogocontest!!"

This doesn't sound like a suffering "Lost Artist". Hmm. Maybe she still finds joy in her work?

As for . . .

I don't know Kam . . . Maybe I would and maybe I wouldn't . . . but if it might have resulted in me landing a key account, it would have been nice to have the option.
about 90% off the people on that sight are cracks. Find yourself a try desgn. It will save you time and money in the long run. Trust me on this. when you go on those sites you get people who have a downloaded version of photoshop. They don't know anything about the business and don't care. They just want to crank out design. Would you work your hardest on something that you have the slimest change to win. You said you have over 60 entries halfway through. If i was up against 120 people and wasn't gaurentied any money i would put a half *** job in, wouldn't you? If they don't know anything about the business it could cost you money. If they don't give you a print ready design it will cost you money to fix.

250 for a design. I know people who are great and charge less. They will beable to take your ideas and put them into a design. plus they will work with you on redesign and fixing mistakes.

like i said go on to places like emptees.com and look through the designs profiles. You will beable to see work they have done. Find someone who does work that you like and that you can see your line looking like. then send them an email. Most of the people on there charge less than 250. I can almost get 2 design for 250. Plus the guy i am working with averages a day to complete a design. Which is great if i need work done fast. If you need work fast you still have to wait the 7-14 days for you "contest" to end and still might not get what you are looking for.

sorry for the long post and i hope it all makes sense(it is getting late).
 

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RE: Contest sites: I don't know what everybody is up in arms about...
Not only did I RUN a contest on one of said sites, but I participated in one as well. It just so happened that the contest I participated in, I won. I didn't do it because I was hoping I could win, I did it for fun. It just made it that much better to win. I had a little design "down-time" and after reading the brief, thought I had some likely winning ideas.

As for the majority of the participants, I believe, they are from outside of the United States. For them, if they receive $250, it could possibly make a big difference for them.

As long as you specify what type of file you need, and any changes that need to be made or fixed before the file is sent, there's no reason why you need to pay the prize amount until you receive what you want.
Just my 2 cents.
 

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"Group Sourcing" is the way to go.

I have been using eLogo Contest.Com

I posted my design contest 24 hours ago and have already recieved over twenty designs.

Check it out

Logo Design for We Believe Apparel, LLC - Logo Design Contests by eLogoContest - Custom Logo Design by Professional Designers

Contests last 10 days.

99 Designs is another good one but you are forced to prepay for your contests where as on e Logo contest you have the option of paying designers afterward, and only if you have reiceved quality submissions.

More people respond to prepaid contests however.
I understand the appeal of such contests from the consumer point of view. BUT, the model is antagonistic to the business model of professional design.

Pro designers get paid for generating good ideas that may not get used. It's this way because designers are people that have to eat and pay rent and stuff. A design contest most often is, in essence, asking designers to dedicate their time for free - a lottery is no substitute for payment.

This can be appropriate in a non profit context tho. The Obama campaign for example, has a tee shirt contest that is inoffensive due to a political context a designer could support.

Otherwise design contests exist to make graphic design a lesser paying career choice than panhandling, with less prestige than panhandling.

Sorry about the rant - it hits me personally the devaluing of designers. And people that are not designers don't often get it.

What should you do? Generally post an ad in craigslist soliciting image attachments and portfolio links online from designers will work. Choose an artist that has a style you really like and contact them to create your logo and or designs. Pay them for their time or per piece bought, pay fairly. You'll be working with a specific person you can build a business relationship with. Fair, Ethical - and you'll get the best quality and consistency in design.
 

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IMHO, contests and any kind of spec work are not acceptable for anyone who considers himself a professional designer. AIGA, the professional association for graphic designers, says:

"AIGA believes that doing speculative work seriously compromises the quality of work that clients are entitled to and also violates a tacit, long-standing ethical standard in the communication design profession worldwide. AIGA strongly discourages the practice of requesting that design work be produced and submitted on a speculative basis in order to be considered for acceptance on a project."
 

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I personally think it's up to the designer themselves to decide whether or not they want to participate and if it fits their personal business goals.

I don't think it's up to us or any other organization to say that a contest can't have value from the designer.

There *are* professional designers that do enter those contest sites, so it is working for some people.

I don't think we should discourage someone from using a service that is available to them that both people enter into with eyes open.

Because I myself would never enter a design contest doesn't mean that it's not a good idea for someone else based on their business needs or design schedule.

Yes, there are some people that don't like the contests, but I don't think that's really the issue for this thread. It's supposed to be about where to find designers. Freelance places like elance.com, guru.com are one way, and contest places like 99designs, elogocontent, designoutpost are another way. So is finding a designer by looking at their website or their portfolio site and working with them one on one. There are lots of valid ways to find a designer.
 

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A student designer may be being supported by Mom and Dad and their lack of portfolio and job history exists as motivation to enter a speculative design 'contest'. This is a real issue because their 'open eyed' decision is one that devalues an entire industry. It's not your industry of course, so no harm, no foul?

It's relevant to this thread because all ways of finding a designer are not the same. Getting a design from a 'contest' has a cost/benefit associated with it that is unique to it.

If you really feel all ways are equal and want maximum benefit with the worst karma - do this: set up a website, and promote a design contest. In the fine print near the bottom of the announcement, clarify that all submissions to the contest become your property, you assume all rights in perpetuity. After the one contest, you pay the 'winner' and have a catalog of all the 'losing' submissions to call your own and use at will. It's extra fun to sue the suckers that entered your 'contest' when they try to do anything with their own art - it's yours now!

Hey - it's just another 'valid' way to find a designer! no? The above scheme, by the way - is used by some of the most successful online t-shirt printers, top 5 on google. It must be legit!

Seriously, as a t-shirt printer you are part of an industry as well - one that has a mediocre reputation with freelance designers. One reason are these contests. They exist to take advantage of suckers, pure and simple. A sucker has his eyes wide open, s/he just doesn't know what they are really looking at. Printers can have a better reputation, but it's up to individuals like yourself.
 

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This is a very interesting thread to me. I have a personal interest in this subject as I am a Father to a "struggling" artist. His portfolio is growing and he has natural/trained skills strong enough to score a job with a major US yearbook company. He's getting the experience he needs to someday have a very strong career. But he also has built his own business on guru.com. He has been successful at getting some nice jobs there. I've talked with him about taking/making the low bid for the work. It's a tough dilemma. Go low and get the job and experience. Go higher and lose it. I guess that's just like any business proposal. However, what I'm starting to see happen is the tide is turning. As his skills and ranking get higher, his confidence grows and he makes more professional bids. He's able to be more selective in his bids and people are willing to pay him more because he has proven himself. I understand the comments professionals like KAM are saying, but these starving artists need a way to break in the business. Guru has been wonderful for my son. It's very much like the musicians who play the bar gigs for what seems like forever, to finally get the big break.

The neat thing for people on this forum; they can help be the person who gives the young ones a break. Give them a chance once in a while. You might actually be surprised at the quality and ethic you experience.

I would love to post the url for my son's website. I did in my introduction area, but it would go against forum rules to post it here. So to the point of this thread, perhaps a good thread in the "recommendations" section could be recommended graphic artists.

Later,

WWP (still investigating the whole t-shirt business thing - my son is pushing me to it)
 
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