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the site 99designs is really nice. just heard of it a week or so ago and wondering if there are other sites like it.

{for those unfimiliar with this site: basically, designs are requested by people in the form of a contest. the design that wins gets the prize (cash)}
 

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There are a couple different design sites. another one like 99 designs is designoutpost.com, then there is also guru.com which people bid for your job. Hope this helps :)
 

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I havent seen other sites like 99designs but I have seen sites like shirtwoot, design by humans, and threadless, design submit and win some cash.
 

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I completely agree with Unik. Its almost like having 5 different companies print your shirt, and only paying for the one you think did the best job. And I am not really a designer, just my opinion on the whole "crowd sourcing" phenominon.
 

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I'm neutral to the issue either way. On the one hand, I understand the truly professional artists trying to maintain their business relationships & income stream. On the other hand, the contests do create a tremendous amount of exposure for the artists, even those who don't win the contest. I've hired artists directly whose work I liked from these sites, even though they may not have won that particular contest.

The internet has changed the game for everyone and everything. Resistance is futile. Adapt or perish.
 

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creativeallies.com very similar and while I don't like contests like this either, I have sent a couple things in to get a feeling? Seems like we did something similar here recently?
dlac
 

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There is a difference between participating in a contest like Threadless or the T-Shirt Forums contest than these spec-design mills like 99designs.

When you submit a design to Threadless you are designing/illustrating what YOU want for FUN and the chance at some dough. When you submit to the T-Shirt Forums contest your participation is an affirmation of/contribution to a community experience and service that you value. Either way, it's not something you're doing professionally. It's not what you do to support yourself.

When you participate in a blatant spec-mill like 99designs you are DOING PROFESSIONAL WORK that you will, in all likelihood, not be compensated for, and if you do happen to be compensated for your work it will likely not be up to market standards. There is almost nothing in it for a professional designer whose skills, experience, and tools deserve to command commensurate compensation.

Also, the argument that one gains tremendous exposure from their wasted efforts is absurd. No one gains worthwhile exposure from participating in something like 99designs, especially considering that the sort of clients likely to see anything there are exactly the sort of cheap, short-sighted clients you don't want. Even with something as popular and prolific as threadless the exposure is limited. I've had 9 designs chosen on Threadless. I have certainly received some exposure from it, but I assure you, it is not overwhelming.

People really should read the arguments put forth at NO!SPEC... It really explains how the practice is usually negative for everyone involved, including the client who imagines that the quality of the work will improve through "crowd-sourcing" only to find the opposite.

It's almost always best to simply research some designers whose work demonstrates their competence and HIRE them to WORK WITH YOU to achieve the best solutions than to sick a bunch of poorly-guided (often amateur) designers on a particular problem and hope something sticks.

Sorry for the rant :)
 

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Here are a few articles that everyone should read before participating in 99designs or similar sites as a customer or a designer. As a designer, I find these sites appalling, and a slap in the face of professional designers.

NO!SPEC » Design Contests
AIGA position on spec work — AIGA | the professional association for design

I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like this.... when you're a teenager it sounds nice because you don't know any better and "it's a good way to get exposure!!!"... but after a good ten+ years after you've spent as much money as some of you spend on your machines, inks, establishments, etc.... it starts to become an insult... as a seasoned artist I've learned that a lot of people who go about finding designs in this manner usually don't know what they want and have no deeper understanding for what works and HOW it works... if they did they wouldn't be open to whatever they think is cool.... what usually happens is you get a ton of excellent artists who do great designs and they still can't decide... so the bidding begins and it goes from some money to a little money to free plus extra stuff because those artists are just that desperate to "get exposure"..... so I don't partake in that.... good work that's gonna be successful takes a good understanding of your market and some degree of research.... most artists who make successful designs are also natural psychologists..... I've never been to one so I don't know how much they charge... but from what I can tell they make a decent living..... so why should artists always be put against each other?.... it should be called a pokemon tournament rather than design contest because that's just how it is.... but that's just my opinion..
 

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Here are a few articles that everyone should read before participating in 99designs or similar sites as a customer or a designer. As a designer, I find these sites appalling, and a slap in the face of professional designers.

NO!SPEC » Design Contests
AIGA position on spec work — AIGA | the professional association for design
Good designers wont do Spec work period... We just don't do it. Its the equivalent to going to a fine restaurant and taking a bite from 4 different dishes and asking to only pay for 1.

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2a8TRSgzZY[/media]

No one that knows how to do a good job will spend the many many hours designing something if there is no guarantee of getting paid. If you are looking for something, there is a portion of this forum where you can look for designers.

Plus as an artist that works with other printers, I charge out the ying-yang to fix some mediocre art or get it ready for print. While that design may look awesome, it may not be high resolution, it may use a bunch of effects that will need to be recreated by your print artist.

In specific, we just recreated someone's art for $XXX when the design itself would have only cost us $25 more to do from scratch. So the client paid double to get a design done by 2 different artists.
 

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this isn't the first thread devoted to this topic and anyone who has seen the other posts i've made concerning this know where i stand. i was, at first, appalled like many others here and would go on a 5 paragraph tirade about the ill affects these sites have on our industry. but now i figure if these people want to do free work let them. that means they're spending their time doing that while the real money is out there and they are out of the game. so it doesn't concern me and i try to ignore it (until i see a thread on this forum, that is).

i just spent two days doing work for another designer, who is a friend, that needed me to fix her files in order to be cut for signs and banners. she is an awesome designer and people pay great money for her stuff. unfortunately for her she is not much of a production artist and only knows enough of illustrator to get by. needless to say every one of her files had intersecting lines all over the place, strokes weren't outlined etc. (anyone setting up designs for vinyl cutting know what i'm talking about). so i basically had to do her work over again from scratch.

well my point is, these so-called designers keep designing. then you or your client can pay the rest of us to clean up your crap.

and for those of you say "change or die". why should we if we don't have to?
 

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The thing about these sites is that they are bad for both the designers and clients (if you can even call them this). First, good design and successful branding are achieved by the designer interviewing the client, doing market research, and coming up with the best possible solution for the given client. Reading a paragraph long brief and coming up with a design as fast as possible will not achieve the goal. Second, even if the designer does contact the "contest holder" and does treat the project like a paying job, they are still investing lots of time and energy into a project that they are likely to be paid for less than 5% of the time. The winningest designers on 99designs have a 5-10% win percentage. Third, the "prizes" are almost always well below fair market value for design work. This combined with the likelihood that you almost never win the contest, puts most of the designers on 99designs hourly wage for all work submitted to 99designs well below minimum wage. I'm talking like $2-$3/hr. If the contest is not guaranteed, then the "contest holder" does not have to pay a dime for the hundreds of hours that people spent on the project. The only designers that I see making a viable income on sites like these, are those from third world countries. I see tons of designers from Indonesia and Philippines where the average income is less than $1,000/yr thrive at sites like these. They enter several hundred contest a year, and make a few thousand dollars/yr for their work. The design work itself is all created very fast, has no consideration of company branding, and is only made to win the contest. It may be a nice design, but it does not strengthen the customer's brand. All in all, crowdsource and other spec work design sites only devalue designers and design, and make it harder for professional designers to make a living. It is also polluting the world with bad design.
 
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