This crowd-sourcing and work-on-spec thing is starting to make my hair hurt, and maybe yours too, but a serious conversation about this issue is critical to our industry and its viability, so here we go again.
Designers have revolted against CP+G for crowdsourcing a logo for Brammo the new electric motorcycle company, and fastcompany.com is all over it in a recent post. And again the simple lesson for all designers seems to be . . . Just Say No!
The post is interesting enough, but scroll down to the comment by John Chen. It is one of the most thoughtful, honest, and searing criticisms I have read on the subject of crowd-sourcing and spec work. And he pins the blame squarely on individual designers and what they have learned, or really haven’t learned, about professional practice.
A short excerpt,
“We all know this sorta stunt has been around forever. Group A knows Group B’s weaknesses, and takes advantage of them. Group B is dysfunctional enough to fall for it every time and whines about it. Lucy, Charlie Brown and her football, right? Kudos to CP+B for tapping an industry of suckers who think too much of themselves, yet cave at every slim chance to have their delicate egos affirmed. If someone were to crowdsource for a doctor to treat their stubbed toe for a chance to win $1,000, would +700 physicians respond and treat at no charge?”.
Ouch. Obviously he, and I, think the answer would be overwhelmingly no. Can you imagine a crowd-sourcing website for doctors, attorneys, accountants or even plumbers.
This is the kind of language the design industry needs to hear. Just Say No!