logo tournament

some time ago, i was mentioning to a friend how i needed to develop a couple logos, and he told me how his company had used logo tournament.

logo tournament is an online logo design website with a collective of designers from, literally, every corner of the globe. as a “contest holder”, you fill out a simple creative brief with easy-to-follow prompts (things like “what 3 things do you want this logo to communicate?”). there’s a set of sliding scales to move (masculine vs feminine, luxury vs every day, and a bunch more). eventually, you choose a dollar prize for the winning logo (there’s a $275 minimum). the site tells you how many submissions you can likely expect from various prize levels.

for my first try, i used logo tournament to design my logo for “The Youth Cartel”, my new brand for all the stuff i’m doing these days. i knew i wanted something a bit mysterious, even dark. i told designers i wanted something that felt like it would reside at the intersection of organized religion and organized crime.

each contest lasts a week. and my role, as a contest holder, is to frequent the site, ranking incoming entries and adding comments. this is critically important, because it gives the designers more input along the way. the first few days are a bit nail-biting, as nothing much comes in (either in quality or quantity). on both of my attempts, the early stuff was crap. but i used those to make comments about what i did and didn’t like.

eventually, in the last couple days, good stuff starts rolling in. i ended up giving focused feedback to about 5 or 6 designers who were each onto something possible. with each revision or variation they sent in, i ranked, eliminated and gave feedback and ideas.

when the contest times out, only the designer in the first-place ranking can submit further. that was important for me, as i needed a handful of tweaks at that point — all of which my first designer, who lives on the french island of reunion, off the east coast of africa, easily and promptly provided for me.

eventually, i choose a winner, and the funds i’ve pre-loaded are released to the winning designer. he uploads the final designs (i got two variations in black-on-white and white-on-black, with eps and jpgs of both). once i download and approve them, a contract is available that stipulates i own all rights to the logo (the designer only has rights for use in his or her portfolio). and the deal is done.

on my second logo competition, for the ‘Middle School Ministry Campference” logo, i was getting such slow traction, i spend an hour looking through the portfolios of the top 100 designers. those who had winning designs (in other contests) that had the feel i was looking for got a private message from me, inviting them to my contest and affirming their work. this resulted in a fantastic increase of quality and quantity.

again, i got near the end and had four or give strong possibilities, each of which i was refining and altering in a back-and-forth with the designers.

the designer for my 2nd logo lives in romania, and he was wonderful to work with (eventually sending me, via email, a large file with a huge variety of file sizes and formats).

i write all of this as a blog post because i think logo tournament has so much potential for churches and youth ministries. sure, not everyone can afford $275 or $400 (i offered $400 for my first logo, and $300 for my second); but it’s certainly a lot cheaper than many traditional ways of getting a great logo created. i had well over 100 submissions in each contest (129 in the first, and even more in the second). just browse through the current contests, and some of the prior winners — it’s really fun; and very, very cool.

hope this helps some of you!

43 thoughts on “logo tournament”

  1. I used a similar online “logo contest” site called Design Outpost (www.designoutpost.com) several years ago (at a different church) to develop a t-shirt design for a mission trip. D/O had a very similar setup: designers all over the place “compete” for your business by using your input and feedback to create a design that meets your approval and “wins” the prize you offer.

    Two significant differences from what I read here:
    1. No time limit. I can see both sides of the argument: the lack of time limit decreases the sense of urgency for the customer and potentially increases time for feedback and “team” decision making…but lack of urgency also decreases the…well…urgency for artists to respond.
    2. “Charity Cases.” That’s right…”charity.” While non-profits (including schools, sports teams and churches) are free to enter the high-priced, “big-time” design contests, the younger (or “newer”) artists compete in a lower-priced category…sometimes as low as $20. Depending on which artist picks up the contest, the work might not be quite as polished as some of the higher-priced artists…but it was still good enough for me.

  2. I don’t really want to get into a big thing about how horrid spec work is.. Just one thought. It was fun for you to be involved with this contest atmosphere, but how fun is it when you are one of the ducks clambering over each other for that $400 piece of bread that you need to be able to buy real bread this month?

    Can you imagine applying this format to other jobs?

    I don’t want to say anything else here. If you are interested you could do a search for “design spec work.” Please stop feeding these vulture design competitions.

  3. hi Mark,

    former youth director/Arts and Media director @an emerg-y church/div school grad here. Started following Group’s work about 10 years ago and came to know of you through that. congrats on your new projects.

    one question. is it just me, or does the cross image in youth cartel also sort of look like the barrel of a four chamber pistol? maybe the designer took the intersection of organized religion and organized crime (a great parameter, by the way) a little too literally?

    best,

    Chris

  4. @david — considering how many logotournament contests my two designers have won, i’m pretty sure they’re very happy with their involvement.

    @chris — for me, that icon has 3 subtle implications: a renaissance cross, four people in a huddle, and the barrel of a gun. i’m not taking the gun thing very literally, but i like the vibe! :)

  5. Some people are quite happy running their business this way. No question. I can’t speak for them. All I’m saying is there are certain shady ethics involved in these contests.

    In my own opinion crowd sourcing is great up to a point. But once someone’s early sketch is targeted as a good direction then that is where the crowd sourcing should end and a one on one contract should begin. You can see this sort of sourcing method used primarily in architectural design. The designer makes an early investment with some risk but the carrot isn’t being held in front of their nose all the way to the end.

    AIGA has a position written on the dangers of speculative work and its different forms. Please try to see it from the viewpoint of the majority of designers. We don’t mind if we don’t land your contract, but we would prefer to be treated like professionals, not pigeons.

    http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/position%2Dspec%2Dwork

  6. Catching up by way of scanning your blog. Logo contest process is legit! Great information and I love how the cartel turned out. Wicked cool. (My daughter woke up saying the word “car” with a Boston accent so I thought I’d use a adjective of the same vein.)

  7. I’m with David. Spec work, crowdsourcing, and logo competitions devalue design and make it difficult for designers trying to give due and proper process to design as a means of problem solving to find clients. And as David mentioned, many of these sites show the other logos that have been proposed…thus giving ideas and starting points for other designers to feed off of. Not all sites work this way – but it is a major problem. “Contests” like this devalue a whole profession.

    How would you like it if you were asked to come speak at a church on a specific topic and they offered you $400 (no idea what the going rate is. let’s say it’s a church down the street to eliminate travel/time costs or concerns). But when you got there, there are 5 other speakers. You had to sit there and listen while everyone else gave their talk. At the very end, the church picked the talk they liked best and felt would best connect with their audience. They pay the “winner” the $400, and send everyone else home empty handed. Pretty poor way of doing business if you ask me. Imagine if all businesses/professions were treated this way.

    Not trying to be mean, just pointing out why this system is wrong and how it hurts people. If the AIGA has an official position against it, then you know it is not something to be taken lightly.

    Here is another resource with tons of info: http://www.no-spec.com/faq/

  8. David, without getting too deep in the woods, what are some of the “shady aspects” you are referring to?

    I am having a hard time understanding why, in a free-market economy, this is something we should avoid? Obviously men and women who invested time and money to become professionally trained, who work for established design firms, etc. might feel threatened by the access to less expensive, quickly delivered design work. But it is that particular industry’s job to keep up and adjust so as not to become irrelevant.

    should consumers have refused to use Netflix because it wasn’t fair to the traditional manner in which entertainment was provided?

    should consumers have refused to purchase e-books because those in traditional publishing houses asked us to consider the fairness from their perspective?

    Here I am talking like I know something about any of this…I do not. I’m simply a youth pastor with limited funds who looks at something like this and thinks its awesome.

  9. @david and @jeff (especially @jeff, since i know you!), i find your positions fascinating; and i completely agree with kurt. as someone who spent the last dozen years in the book publishing and training event world, i know first-hand how technology (in the broadest sense of the word) has completely changed the playing field and put a lot of people out of work. of course, there’s a trade-off – and consumers are driving all of this with their preferences, expressed in open wallets and mouse clicks. a book publisher without a robust e-book strategy better be in some kind of strange little niche where no one reads e-books.

    and the same kinds of shifts can be seen hundreds, maybe thousands, of times over in just about every industry. and in every case, a few organizations find a way to evolve to shifting customer interests, and a handful of others start with new ways of doing things.

    let’s get granular, and use the actual experience with logo tournament. my 2nd logo was designed by a father of 2 children in romania. he has a design business outside of logo tournament also; but i’m sure he can put some good food on the table with the $300 he won from my contest, especially when combined with the more than 100 other contests he’s won. he would have NEVER, EVER had an opportunity to bid work for me or get paid for it were there not this kind of arrangement. he and all the others who submitted logos have the opportunity to withdraw submissions they don’t want seen by others once i’ve ranked them (so if they know it’s not a leading contender, many pull them quite quickly).

    i’ve used traditional logo design channels plenty of times in my life — dozens. and i don’t for a second buy the “devaluing the design process” line. the designs i got are fantastic (of course this is subjective, but it always has been), and the process was significantly easier for me.

    i can CERTAINLY understand why an American (read: expensive) designer using traditional approaches to the customer relationship would be extremely threatened by this shift. and, of course, you are more than welcome to opt-out, as i’m quite sure you have/will. but who gives a flying rip if design orgs issue position paper on how spec work is devaluing the field? certainly the customers don’t give a rip. certainly those winning (and apparently, those submitting, but not winning) the design contests don’t give a rip.

    learn from the record industry, dudes. most of them are completely irrelevant because they tried to fight the change in how their customers were approaching music, rather than changing with their customers.

  10. oh, and jeff — for your “speaking” scenario… really, i’d have two choices:
    1. say no
    2. go through the process and knock it out of the park

    in a very real sense, this is what happens for me as a speaker every day. people looking to book a speaker are listening for who did well and who didn’t, for someone else. there’s always an auditioning sense. and, particularly early on, i did lots of lots of speaking stuff free or super cheap — a version of spec work.

    if the world of booking a speaker moved in the direction you suggest, i would either need to evolve and get out of the way. really, at the end of the day, do you really think you can stop the way this is changing? you might not like it, but it just seems right on the verge of crazy to think declaring it bad and issuing position papers, all defending the service PROVIDER (not the customer!) is going to make any difference whatsoever.

  11. man, the more i think about this, the angrier i’m getting! as a writer, our whole world is spec work! i have a publisher that has given a tentative green light to a proposal i worked months on; but they’ve asked for a 2nd proposal (on another idea i mentioned to them), and will only go through the approval process with both proposals at once. the opportunity for me is a 2 book deal, which could be wonderful. but i’ll have to spend about 40 – 60 hours writing the 2nd proposal, including a couple sample chapters, with NO commitment of getting the book published. this is not new — this is how publishing works.

    welcome to the world, guys.

  12. The world of art and design is built on relationships. When crowd-sourcing is used to go 100% of the way through the process those relationships don’t become as crisp and as a result the work that is being done for the client suffers. Like Jeff said, it devalues the work that has been done. So this isn’t just about protecting the artist, but the client as well.

    And this isn’t analogous to other defensiveness that we have seen in cultural shifts. The record industry is trying to protect their place as middleman, purveyor of the goods of artists. In the design world we are standing up for the integrity and value of our work. I believe I am doing this not just to save my own neck (I’m a part-time designer at best) but to ensure that clients are being given everything they are paying for and deserve.

    You mention the personal connection that you have made with the designer who eventually won the contest. It is terrific that this method of crowd-sourcing has found a way to preserve something of a relationship between client and designer, but this is a fraction of the contact you would have with someone in a more traditional contract relationship and seems to be preserved as a sort of “feel good” hook to promote their brand.

    One thing I really can’t comprehend is why you would defend the loss of stronger connections between client and artist. Maybe some in the commercial world are moving toward these high-competition, extreme-risk, non-personal scenarios but why do we need to follow along? There are many more who are finding wonderful innovative solutions that uphold strong interpersonal values and commitments. I think there is still value in a contract that doesn’t string you along without guarantee.

    But, whatever. I’m excited by creativity in the marketplace. I just hope that in the process of finding the new we can see what is worth holding on to from previous forms. Wow… I’m suddenly a traditionalist, or something.

  13. publishing certainly is spec work and always has been. the difference, though, is that you (or I) will likely keep writing about the things we know about and have passion for regardless of if we’re being courted by a publisher during the actual process of writing. When a new novelist is working on manuscripts, she doesn’t have a relationship with an agent, must less a publisher, until the work is done, until she writes a good query, etc. This is different for nonfiction, but the work is still all spec, especially in the beginning. With pitches and nonfiction proposals, you’re doing less work on spec up front, of course. this is, as you say, how it works.

    but that does strike me as being different than the logo contest you described. I have to think more about that. I’ll be honest, though. The gun image bothers me. I wonder if you could say more, Mark, about why you went with the imagery of “cartel” for your brand?

  14. 2 more things:

    Slowing Down
    I know it flies in the face of how we live our lives, but the chance to sit down for coffee with a local designer and pour over scribbles and word art is good for your soul. Face to face, shaking hands, buying local. It is so old fashioned, but so rich.

    Opting Out of Scarcity
    The competition scheme is so frantic and tells a story of scarcity, of too many workers and not enough work to be done. I think this is a lie and creates an atmosphere of panic and frenetic pace. I think we can choose instead to live our lives in a story of abundance.

  15. Interesting discussion and I can see the logic on both sides. In my case about 7 years ago we decided to create a logo for the youth ministries of our diocese (Episcopal). I had no budget and no particular delusions about my own skills. I knew I had a couple of our graduated youth in design school and approached them. I could offer them a portfolio piece but not much else. I gave my parameters and the young man I worked with came back with a couple ideas. I chose the one I liked best asked for a couple small tweaks and voila! We use the logo on pretty much everything and I make sure that he gets credited.

    Not everyone can tap into that kind of ability but it may offer another option for folks just at the start of their lives as designers.
    Peace

  16. marko,

    i think what you did is not only appropriate, it’s the way our culture has shifted. keep up the great work and don’t let people who are stuck in the past and cannot change just stay where they are. if they cannot figure out that life is full of change and stop living under the rule “we’ve done it this way for 50 years, why change now” mentality, when they look back and wonder why they are out of work then maybe they will get the hint.

    david, obviously you are upset that you did not win the contest and not mature enough to accept defeat. grow up and realize that this is life and just because you think your idea was the best, others thought differently. deal with it, look at how you are living life, and move on.

    blessings marko, love the design, the idea, and the whole process. i will be using this in the future as well.

  17. Hey Marko, Thanks for posting the Blog, I do design work for my HUBBY pro-bono for our Youth Group. I’ve designed websites, Tshirts, Posters & Logos. My hubby keeps telling me I could make $$ for my talent while being a stay at home mom & I really hadn’t given in a thought until I saw your post. This is something I could do. My only snag is I work in Adobe PS which is not a image file they work with :( But thanks for the idea BOOST!

    P.S. When I first saw it I thought Gun Chamber too :) The first Tshirt I designed for our youth group I had little stick figures that stood for different words. The GROWTH one had 3 stick figures on each others shoulders, the middle one was looking up…they had noses…I didn’t see anything wrong with it, but of course some annoying kid at school noticed. EVERYONE HAS A CRITIC….. Oops! ;)

  18. the youth cartel:

    why “cartel”? really, i was just looking for a fun and unique synonym for “group” or “association” or “company”. it was just a thesaurus search. and as i wrote in the blog post about the new name and logo, i almost went with “the youth syndicate” until i realized that would be YS, which would have been a highly unfortunate oversight! :) both “syndicate” and “cartel” have the slightly edgy vibe i wanted (let’s be honest, most people see me as a tiny bit risky), but really just communicate “collective”.

    why the icon: primarily, it’s a cross (as lisa, above, mentions). i’d specifically asked designers NOT to give me overtly christian images (it’s amazing how many think they need to add a cross to every logo submission); but this one really caught my eye since it was so unique. i’d also gone down the road a ways with another logo that had a stained-glass cross made out of four of the C’s the designer had used for “cartel”.

    but the “four people in a group” or huddle imagery was strong for me also. and that’s very representative of what i want my organization to be about.

    the gun barrel thing was an afterthought — whether the designer meant that or not. of course, it would have to be more round, rather than cross-shaped, to really be a gun barrel. but i do see that inference; and i just thought it was a fun, slightly menacing vibe that i like. a bit of mystery and tongue-in-cheek bad-assedness.

    hey, if the name and logo are stirring it up this much (and for every “i’m not sure i like that” comment on here, i’ve received 25 “the new name and logo rocks!” emails and texts and facebook messages), it must be doing something right! stickiness, baby. :)

  19. LaDonna,
    I have a friend who is was a stay-at-home mom who also worked/works as a for-hire graphic designer.

    Her website is here. http://makeesha.com/

    I would recommend talking with Mak about her experiences with making something of a living in the design world while raising children.

  20. @david and @josh — i have to side with david on this one. josh — while i don’t agree with david, he has been respectful in his tone. and he wasn’t a part of my logo contest, so this has nothing to do with “his entry not being chosen.”

  21. well then my apology goes out to david on this one. blessings to you brother, grace and peace to you as well. please accept my apology for reading into your post further than i needed to. i am sorry and i hope you can accept my apology.

  22. Marko,
    I question your salvation for using logos. Clearly Leviticus and Deuteronomy states the severity of this act. You might be stoned through bluetooth. Be aware!

    Frank

  23. I’m not sure how seriously my view on this will be taken since i’m only 18, but i figured i’d throw my opinion in there, so here it goes:

    I can understand both sides of this discussion. Being a Graphic Design student, I would be absolutely ecstatic if i won one of these competitions. Not only does it give a small sense or pride/confidence to the person that does win, but it also reassures them that they are in fact good at what they do. If you can get one person to like your work, you can get other people to like it, too. However, that doesn’t mean everyone will. I would see these tournaments as “getting your foot in the door” for students or amateur designers. I know that a lot of companies require “x” amount of years in design experience and a BS of BFA in that concentration. A degree is a lot easier to come by in comparison to experience in my opinion. Once a person/student/amateur designer/etc. gains validity in the design world, i believe they have a better chance of breaking out into the actual design industry. (Side note, i like how there is a $275 minimum, and i appreciate that you went above and beyond that for prize money. It’s amazing that people want custom logos for <$100)

    As for the other side of it, i look at it as a relationship where one person is leading the other person on. You spend time and energy trying to make it work, and you think everything is going well, then you receive the news that the person is leaving the other for someone else. Is the new person better? Not necessarily, however, maybe one is just not the type of the other. The good news is, the one can start showing their "type" to others and see if someone else likes it.

    My personal opinion is this as far as designing goes: do what you're good at. There are soooo many areas that a person can get involved in with graphic design. You're not limited to just logos, or typography, or web design.

    Btw, marko, i like the youth cartel logo. I mean, i enjoy them both, but i like that one better. The simplicity of it is nice and refreshing. When i looked at it, i got community right away.

    I feel like billy madison comparing the industrial revolution to a lost puppy…

  24. I can see this both ways. But some of the reasoning here concerns me.

    Marko, “certainly the customers don’t give a rip” isn’t much evidence of anything to me. Customers have shown over and over again that they often don’t care what effects their purchases have as long as they’re saving money.

    And, “hey, if the name and logo are stirring it up this much… it must be doing something right!” Maybe. But we can stir up many things, but that doesn’t mean what we’re doing is right, right?

    Again, this isn’t to say I’m convinced such spec work is “bad”. But arguing whether or not customers “give a rip” seems to miss the point.

  25. Jeff and David – you guys seem both very sincere and passionate about your work and ideals. I like that, but I agree with Marko.

    I’m a youth director and musician, but I’ve spent most of my career as a commercial banker or as a contractor to government/municipalities. If a customer submits a request for proposal, we would take weeks, months, even a year or more (depending on the loan or project size) to prepare our bid and build client relationships. In the end, rarely does a bid stand alone. All of the bidders are just unpaid consultants, because when the bids became public, the winner is the one who is willing to take all the best parts of each competitor’s bid and rewrite them into a new proposal. That’s the way business gets done.

    All the bidders value relational connections and customer accountability as much as they believe in their product. But at the end of the day, it’s all about them getting the best products & services, at the best price, in the most convenient manner. That is why more albums are downloaded from iTunes than puchased as CDs, more books are downloaded to Kindle devices than bought as hard copies, and more shopping is done online than in stores. It’s a consumer driven market and there is nothing unethical about that. Whether it’s bank lender, or an artist, you have to respect your customer as well as process.

  26. Having done decades of design, I can certainly see where David is coming from. That being said, I can also understand the need to change with the times and tech in a given industry. But – That same technology, and the ability to do work like this in a near anonymous way, can easily foster abuse. David’s point about initial designs being shared with others is a make-or-break for me. That is just wrong, sorry, but it is. Logos are about ideas, no matter how polished they are. Showing your ideas to a client, even one on spec – fine. Having those same ideas shown to other designers – no way.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with a logo tournament type of site in general. If a designer wants to risk their time in this fashion, so be it. But there needs to be incredibly strict restriction (even on the client side) of proprietary ideas. This is NOT just about the client, and the best thing for them.

  27. Rob,
    Your bid on the RFP is still just the bidding stage, even if it takes a year. You are not going to build the structure still not knowing if you will be paid. The issue is that a spec contest asks the designer to follow through right to the end with little assurance that they will see a dime. A contractor may have to wait a long time to find out if they will receive any compensation for their proposal (I have been in this position in doing web design) absolutely, but there will come a point when you are given a contract decision and then you get down to actually doing the work that you bid on. This is the way that respectable business works.

    Eric, you misunderstand me. I’m not in favour of concepts being shared among other designers without their consent. I was suggesting that a client can look at the concepts of multiple designers before committing to a contract with any one of them, and that this could possibly be a suitably respectable practice.

    Anthony, thanks for your input! All the best as you pursue your passion for the arts.

    Oh, and Marko, sorry for blathering so much here. This is the most I’ve commented on someone’s blog in years. I appreciate the level of discussion here.

    And I hadn’t said it earlier, but the cartel logo is quite nice. Although I don’t understand the choice of typography. To me it doesn’t seem to match well with the great graphic mark.

  28. thanks, david — we went ’round and ’round on the font. the designer was using font options that were either more goofy (which didn’t fit), or really plain. a designer friend of mine suggested something with an art deco vibe to it (both for weighting and feel), and we tried a few. this was just the one that i felt worked the best (and i got input from a handful of peeps).

  29. marko:

    Yes – I will admit I don’t know enough about the publishing and recording industries…but it sounds to me like this is an issue of the middle man. As David said, these scenarios are far from analogous. You argument is that you have an author has had to deal with the middleman…but with the internet, the middleman is now being challenged. Well what these crowdsourcing sites are doing is ADDING the very middleman that you are complaining about.

    That said…the MAIN issue I have on these types of sites is that other people’s entries will give inspiration and starting points for other designers to jump off of.

    Designers may spend hours and hours creating logos that they will never earn any money for – and on top of that, their ideas and intellectual property is available for anyone to use in the process of creating the logo for the client.

    For the speaking scenario – yes, you’d have the option to say no, but what happens if the industry kept moving this way to where this became the norm. Obviously, publishing position papers isn’t enough to stop it, but discouraging these methods from being used can make a small difference. Maybe I’m an idealist.

    But there are so many crowdsourcing sites out there now that it is really starting to devalue the creative process. And let’s say you did option #2, and you went through the process and “knocked” it out of the park…but it just wasn’t what the church was looking for…the other speakers could choose bits and pieces of your speaking audition they liked and use them. Blatant plagiarism…which is what some (but not all) of these logo sites foster.

    The AIGA makes it clear that there is a difference between Spec work and volunteer or work for little pay to gain experience. In starting my career, I for sure worked for far less than I should have just to get my foot in the door. I even did volunteer design work and internships without pay so I could pad my portfolio and gain experience. But in this case, the “clients” knew the work they were getting was coming from an inexperienced designer trying to get his foot in the door. They didn’t dangle money in front of my face and then not pay me if someone else came up with something better.

    Here is an example of how the process should work. Here is a designer who was paid to do exploratory work. Their logos were not picked for the final design that ended up being used, but they were still compensated for their creative work: http://www.underconsideration.com/quipsologies/archives/february_2011/arminvit_59.php

    Relegating design work to a “contest” or a “tournament” doesn’t give the design process due judgement and devalues design as a legitimate profession.

    I guess we will have to agree to disagree.

    BTW – I like the cartel logo…but there are some kerning issues with the typography. Very easy to spot, and I can fix if you would like. Free of charge. :)

  30. Again, I’m undecided at this point… but could it be that the contests devalue the market because the market is overvalued/overpriced?

  31. Marko, you need to quit blogging about trivial things like youth ministry and stick to hot button topics like logo tournaments! Lots of passion.

    I think the argument that is making me crazy is that spec work produces a lower quality of work…that the consumer suffers…that the designers only care about the concerns of the client, etc.

    Marko seems happy with what he got. I doubt he wanted to take half a day to drive to coffee, meet with David, watch David sketch on some napkins, then do the same thing several more times while enjoying a slow, rewarding, rich, fullfilling relationship with David! We don’t do that with the dude who sells us shoes. We probably don’t do that with the lady who sold us our house (the biggest investment of our lives). Heck, most people have a hard time doing that with their spouse!

    Now…If I were interested in that sort of relationship with my designer, I would be thrilled to use you David, because it is obvious you are caring, passionate and would have my best interest in mind (although, I do need to say that I have worked with several designers in the manner you suggest…and they have never truly had my best interest in mind. Each time, their agenda was to convince me that they knew what was best. Of course, they would say that they know better than me which is why, even though I was too dense to recognize it, they really did have my best interest in mind).

    Is consumerism eating away our souls? Partly, and I’m all for taking an honest look at the topic. But at the end of the day, sometimes you just want the best deal on a decent logo in a hurry to launch your new ministry!

  32. Let’s combine the two topics in this thread and create a new organization called The Design Cartel. Nevermind, I am thinking it already exists!

  33. Wow! I never thought this much dialogue could have happened from a free market system. Can I just call bs on all of this? Maybe it’s just because I watched Art & Copy last night, but I don’t see how a free market limits design. If anything, the closed market limits design by relying on connections.

    Show me your cards. Can anyone substantiate a reasonable argument for closed systems and their benefit for the artist?

  34. This reminds me of a thread on Church Marketing Sucks a few years ago. It got so heated and ugly that they had to shut it down… all the while people missed the über point that one side was saying, “This is why CHURCH MARKETING SUCKS!”

    I’ve used logo tournaments for the last several years. It’s the only way to go IMO.

    And for designers who don’t like it? Why do you care? Just don’t enter the contest.

  35. Ryan,
    Jesus healed the sick, multiplied loafs and fishes, rose from the dead, etc. Today? well….ummmm….shoot, i guess today we use logos.

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