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28

The big issue I see overall is a struggle to make contrast work but a hesitancy to actually push the contrast to a readable state. All the semi-transparent rectangles behind information make for a very unclear business card. Be very careful when you find yourself wanting to put outer glows and drop shadows on text. This is sure sign that there's a ...


20

That sounds like Spec-Work. http://www.no-spec.com/faq/ You should show them what you are capable of (i.e. your portfolio) but be wary about doing any work for them for free.


15

On the point of contests in general, on top of what Farray's said I'll just add, do the maths: $490 prize for one person out of 1,109 entrants? Assuming all designs took just two hours on average and people keep at it as long as it takes until they finally win something, that'd give the designers participating in this system an average wage of 22 cents an ...


14

You should have a portfolio - pieces that show examples of the type of work you are able to do, the styles you work in, etc. If they're asking for a "free sample" of the page make sure you have a legal document in place to protect your work (and copyright your work before you sent them the "free sample"). There are plenty of legit people that can't imagine ...


12

The Cons: you're working for pennies you're working for a 'client' who has committed next-to-nothing to the project you're not designing based on any real client or business objectives/requirements there is no proper feedback loop you're competing with people that are likely using unlicensed software and type you're wasting your time The Pros: ...


10

Consider the type of talent that will participate in online logo contest/crowd sourcing sites. These are people willing to spend hours upon hours designing logos based on weak or non-existent business requirements with nearly zero consultation with the clients to compete with 100 others in the same boat for the slim chance at winning $100? I usually say ...


7

You are asking graphic designers about this, and the general consensus is likely to be be: How can i earn money through online as a web designer? You can, in theory, but online only is extremely tricky. Only by working hard, creating and finding a client base, building a portfolio will you have a chance. And it is in fact extremely hard to do design ...


7

None. Please do not use them. They are all harmful to the graphic design industry and should be avoided at all costs. When participating in these logo contests, you are devaluing the design industry as a whole. Also it gives off the perception that logos can be "ready made", with the ability to simply change the name and have it work. There is a LOT of ...


6

I've joined several of them already You've joined several already and haven't made any money ... that should be your first giant "red flag" about the "contest" process as a source of income. I can tell that my designs are really good At the end of the day, if you're designing as a source of income, it doesn't matter if you think your designs are ...


6

The only pros are for the people who ask you to do spec work. You do the work, they get the work. They will be cherry picking meaning your work may be used and combined (sometimes without your knowledge). The thing I find is the worst property of spec work: no good and no direct interaction with the client and as such you're more into producing work on the ...


6

Yes. That's generally the accepted difference. Pro Bono, meaning "for public good" would be along the lines of designing posters for an anti-drug campaign in schools. Or Anti-smoking literature for non-profit groups like the American Outreach Association (which don't actually sell a product or service). Essentially, if the project is geared towards helping ...


6

If it's a stock photo available on the web, they'll find it eventually. Especially if they know it's merely a stock photo. If you can't resell it, then your choices are clear - give a link or tell them no. The bigger question is how important is the client? Especially compared to the value of the stock photo? Trying to hold on to clients with an iron grip ...


6

Sounds entirely like spec work to me. Anyone asking you to do anything other than show samples of your previous work, is asking for spec work. There is never a call for the "do this job and if we like it we'll hire you." And there is never a call for creating a "mock up" of something unless you've already been hired or signed a contract. No respectable ...


6

I would say that's spec work by any definition. It's definitely "speculative," and there's nothing whatsoever to prevent the recipient from saying "Thanks" and using it without further compensation to you unless you hedge it with Non-Disclosure and copyright legalities (which you'd definitely want to check with a lawyer, and even then isn't bulletproof). ...


6

Is it okay to offer services for such a low value? For who? For the people hiring? It's more than OK. It's ideal. They're getting work for next to nothing. For you? Can you live off of such a low wage? Likely not. Note that sites like 99designs are even worse in that you aren't even guaranteed any money for the work you do. General rule of thumb: ...


6

I'd start with 'lack of purpose'. Take a look at each element and try to determine the purpose of it. There should be reasoning behind each decision made here. Other issues: information design: what does this company do? A simple explanatory sentence may go a long way here decoration for the sake of decoration: why the shaded boxes? Why the color-glows? ...


5

Can you make money doing this? Yes, but it will not be easy work. It will be tough to make a living wage from it. Don't expect to end up ahead of where you'd be with a college education (even counting your student loan debt load). You will be competing with people from low wage countries (unless you're already in one yourself), and everyone and his dog think ...


5

Stand your ground. Don't do SPEC work. The client is interested in you (based on your portfolio, or word-of-mouth) - capitalize on that. Offer "X" comps for the job AFTER the contract has been signed. That way you're both protected. They get their comps, you get the work (and paid). And no one will feel cheated, or slighted in the exchange.


4

What every designer should understand about "clients" who use crowd-sourcing, or who get their logo designed by their step-sister's nephew who knows MS Paint: you are looking at someone who views design as an expense, not an asset. If you're a designer worthy of the name, these are never going to be your clients and you should not waste a moment on them. ...


4

I think Scott's answer is valid and one way to look at it. I'd use a slightly different explanation. Whether it's spec or pro-bono work, you're not getting paid, and someone is benefiting from your work (at least, there's a perceived benefit). The difference is that with pro-bono, the project is treated as a proper project. There's a schedule, there's a ...


3

I never care unless I have other commitments to keep. I'm willing, at least initially, to spend as much time as the client feels is needed for them to convey what they feel they need to convey. I do not bill for initial consultations. I look at that as merely a loss-leader. Most initial meeting are anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. I've had a few go a ...


3

I frequently use the first meeting with a client to actually understand exactly what they need, so I can send them the estimate and details. In my case, it almost always takes more than 30-45 minutes. I might not be that good at ending meetings, though! I think it definitely varies depending not only on the complexity of the project, but also on your ...


3

Turning my first comment into and answer and expanding upon a few points: The text on the first one is too difficult to read, especially the red text. The second one is better, but I think the text looks a bit cheesy on that one as well. I'm much more a fan of clean designs using minimal styles. For example, my drop shadows, strokes, glows, etc. are all ...


2

Most of my clients don't ask for a mockup and to my surprise a long time client this time asked for one because he's asking cost estimates to other suppliers and also the respective mockups... I don't really like the idea, because there is a chance of not getting the job, but even so, my advice is to make a mockup good enough for the preview but not good ...


2

99Designs is a racket. Their commission rates are 30-45%, and inversely proportional to the project price- i.e larger projects = higher rates. (Compare to Elance at 6.75-8.57%).


2

There are several good answers here that deal with the ills of spec work and mention that design contests pay a pittance. This is just a little deeper look into the numbers... I happened to come across a competition site today and was amazed at the numbers they advertise on their front page: They're trying to pump up the designs per project and the ...


2

I have no experience of any other crowd-sourcing sites, but currently I'm having some amazing designs developed on http://www.designcrowd.com. You can get really good designs at crowd sourcing sites, but the one thing to bear in mind is the time you will need to commit to a project. Even if you only have 4 or 5 really good designs developed during the ...


2

You can't sell the rights but you can certainly charge them a small finder's fee in exchange for the link. I would tell them it took you about X hours to try out different photos and search for the best fit and if that's all they want that's fine but you're going to charge them for X hours of labor as the finder's fee in exchange for the link. Then charge at ...


2

I missed this question when it was posted. Some good answers already! I'll try to add a short one: The reason design contests typically fail for both those commissioning it and those participating in it is because it's not real design. A real design project isn't about giving a client what they think they want, but rather it's about working with the ...


2

The only time that comparing actual products makes sense is when you are buying something that is essentially pre-fabricated, like a subway sandwich where they ask a few questions about what you want and drop a few swappable pieces into a pre-prepared formula. If this is your business model - if you bash out a lot of very similar designs quickly for people ...



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