Contact News
  Is crowdsourcing evil?


A crack down on crowdsourcing and spec work is a waste of energy. There's no need for graphic designers to panic either. A good long hard look at the value of graphic design services might make more sense. Let's face it, design is a commodity.

Graphic design is highly commoditised, the market is saturated and the barriers to entry are low. Everyone with a pencil or a computer is a graphic designer. Even the casual designer knows to avoid Comic Sans. On balance we all benefit from graphic design literacy. The market grows and as a result tools improve and client expectations become more sophisticated.

Graphic design tools are being thoroughly democratised. Cost is dropping and the onward march of good free cloudware is unstoppable. It won't be long before services such as Raven, Sumo Paint and Fonstruct are as good as Illustrator, Photoshop and Fontlab. Bring them on I say.

Hats off to Crowdspring and 99Designs, they've capitalised on a commoditised market. They've highlighted the actual value of what gets traded.

If you buy logo design services you will get a logo. The quality of which is measurable against the ambitions of the business strategy. If the only manifestation of the business strategy is a logo then there is not much of a brand identity to speak of. The success of the brand is then likely to be very limited and the logo won't be worth much.

Professional graphic designers need to be specialists. They need to develop proprietary methodologies in service of business strategy. Business strategy requires marketing knowledge best bought from specialists. These specialists are unlikely to be found by crowdsourcing. Designers who work in this manner are also unlikely to feel threatened by crowdsourcing.

As for spec work, that is the prerogative of the graphic design service provider. A client who is not prepared to pay for a taste of the process is probably a client not worth having.


View original post on Wired's Epicenter blog