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99 designs

Discussion in 'Logo Design & Brand Identity Forum:' started by mrp2049, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    So lets talk about this site.

    It seems through contest winners they seem to favour 2.0 style, graphics over logo...

    Would anyone consider entering?

    I don't like the idea of doing work for free, or on a risk, well I say that I have been willing to take the odd risk, but then I'm only human. (I entered a shirt design for technics, but I had just done a a random set of doodles that were perfect for the brief, strange that I won...)

    I was flicking through the briefs, this was the first one that caught my attention as it suits what I do...

    99designs » Guaranteed Contest: Cover for Social Media Marketing Book

    Now this is a cover for a book, and dear god, all the entries look like low rent websites.

    I honestly have to wonder how many of those designs have even considered what counts towards good print design!

    This one as well! It's a shirt design competition, now I am not picking holes, but gradients on a tshirt?!?!?! There is one design that would be 9 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) colours! Excuse the exclamation, if you want an explanation of why that is frightening I will give it.

    So lets talk contests and such...
  2. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    I look at it this way

    In my view crowd source sites are not good for the business as it encourages low prices rather than necessarily good work, either that or we get beaten down by countries such as India doing the job for pennies due to the economic differences. Then people start expecting that sort of price, forgetting design isn't just making pretty pictures.

    Just look at how people assume that a forum will give them free work if they ask - another forum I'm on a person literally asked for a full corporate identity for FREE to be done for them. Now I'm all for helping out and pointing in the right direction but thats a little too much.

    99Designs works with ameican dollars too, meaning it's basically twice the UK value so a logo being advertised at $100 is about £50 quid or so (it's currently £62). Can you knock out a fully designed (and with revisions in some cases) logo in what is around 2-3 hours of paid work?

    Your bit about gradients fits perfectly with what I said about Mo's work last night, he's winning contests using one technique (filters), but he doesn't know alot of the basics behind the design process etc and the person doing gradients (could get away with the pop art style dots I suppose) on a t-shirt clearly has no idea how a t-shirt is printed.

    The books again have no real concept of layout (or taste in some cases) and the bloke writing the brief couldn't even get the measurements right at the beginning. Have you seen what was rated as 2-3 stars!! It's also changed in the time it's taken to write this message!

    Not sure if we would need to pay taxes etc on winnings either as we do it professionally so that could make the 'winnings' less again.

    Personally I'll stick with my CAD work, it pays better and I'm (usually) assured of payment for the work within 30 days of completion :)

    As to would I do work for free, it depends, I've done some very simple work before a meeting to ensure I get the work, I'd even consider doing a one off bit of cad (depending on size) if it can get me a retainer or larger project and of course we all do the little bit on here to help each other out when we have our mental blocks etc.
  3. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    I wonder how "degrading" it would be if some very talented designers used it and didn't get picked due to not using "pretty pictures" but producing something of a lot higher standard...

    lots of "air quotes" there apologies ;)
  4. glenwheeler

    glenwheeler Senior Member

    I totally agree with Renns to be honest. I have seen a lot of designs on that site where a really good logo has been eliminated from the competition because its not "a pretty picture" it must be quite frustrating for some of the better designers out there. I totally agree when you guys say the web 2.0 designs are favoured, I feel its been and gone. Did anyone see this? It was an interesting read for me;

    Web Design Trends For 2009 - Smashing Magazine
  5. Kevin

    Kevin Senior Member

    But to be fair, I've browsed the site before and there really are some nice entries to. Although I never really focused on whether or not they won.

    And Glen, almost all of the sites shown in that article (which is almost a year old by the way, expect a new one for 2010 soon) are designer sites. The briefs on 99designs are mainly for small businesses or self-employed entrepreneurs.
  6. tbwcf

    tbwcf Active Member

    I entered one of these a couple of weeks ago and wouldn't ever waste my time again. I was doing it for my own piece of mind really to see if there was anything in it or not... and I would never touch again.

    My biggest gripe is that once you submit a design (even though I entered a 'private' competition - i didn't realise that just meant all members can see) - all other 'designers' can see your design rip of your work / steal your concepts.

    On first submission I started getting a bit of conversation going with the project host and thought it could turn out to be decent if approached in a professional manner but communication became short lived once more and more entries started piling in.

    I think most the work submitted is of a very poor standard and that the people hosting the competitions have a shocking idea of what design is.

    I submitted 1 entry and amended it once prior to conversation stopping with the host + feel that LOTS of the other entries wouldn't have been there had people not been able to use my design as a jump point. I did decided I would spend no more than an hour 1/2 on it ( $310 ) prize and ended up spending a bit more (thought I would give it a go as I had a strong idea).

    I didn't win but I honestly don't believe my opinion of it all would be any different if I had. I found the whole experience pretty degrading for designers.

    My advice is give it a go if your curious but pick a project you have a good idea for consider the prize money then give yourself a time limit to spend on it so say 2 hours - that way you've not wasted loads of time on nothing. I'm pretty sure most of you on here will come to the same conclusion as me.
  7. glenwheeler

    glenwheeler Senior Member

    Yeh I recognised that buddy I just dropped it in to let people see what trends where running and how they measured up against 99 Designs
  8. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I'm totally inclined to agree with you Andy, I can see ripping being a massive problem!

    I don't think I will enter, we can all see what wins on there, and truth be told, that aint my style. We they need a typographic, vector mad, grungy, texture obsessed designer I'll enter!

    Also, look at this!!!

    still got the istock watermark....
  9. tbwcf

    tbwcf Active Member

    I guess the only way to avoid being ripped is to enter right at the last minute of the competition ending.

    Your right on the styles there does seem to be a particular 'style' they go for.
  10. tbwcf

    tbwcf Active Member

    Just been looking at the 99designs site again and they do have 'blind' contests too which is what I was initially after ( 99designs » Twitter background for Vumber ) - still don't I have any more time for that site though.
  11. *chloe

    *chloe Junior Member

    oh dear, ive taken a look at that website, and it is a joke.
    Really takes the piss out of designers in my eyes.
    seems like anyone with photoshop thinks they're Graphic designers these days. :/
  12. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    I am almost curious about some of them though, I almost want to enter to see what happens, if I do I will wait till the last 10minutes!!! There is that part of me that says, "I am better that most of this crap!" but then I also don't need the vindication/clarification, it's pure curiosity.

    As yet, I haven't even signed up, I don't know whether I will as I have 4 things coming up that need doing and are actual paying jobs and one exchange job, so I might put this experiment on the back burner till I have time.

    Mo, if you are reading this, Andy and myself have raised a valid point about trepidation of originality. This is something for you to think about, yes you seem to have the knack of creating work that does well on this site, but it is a risky situation to be in, if for arguements sake (nothing personal meant here) your winning designs are results of ideas/concepts other people have posted. This works the other way as well, if you have posted something and you are the first with the idea, and then the winner rips your idea/concept, then you have a problem.

    Ideas are the true diamonds of good design, and in the situation of a site like this, a great idea can be broken apart shared around and its value lost. So be careful.
  13. mrp2049

    mrp2049 Senior Member

    some of the entries are acceptable, but there is a lot of ****, and that is the idiots with photoshop thinking they can make a fast buck.

    personally, I am not a fan of spec work like this, but I almost want to enter to see what happens!
  14. *chloe

    *chloe Junior Member

    me too im intrigued, i would do it but i dont have time to do stuff like that for free.
  15. tim

    tim Senior Member

    i entered 99designs about 18 months ago...

    first hand evidence of people purely aiming for the prize, not for good design, and THEN the prize.

    sh*t website, sh*t foundations.
  16. *chloe

    *chloe Junior Member

    just a site taking advantage of people who cant get real clients who pay them a decent price.
  17. tim

    tim Senior Member

    i wouldnt even go that far.

    a site taking advantage of companies that are willing to screw their reputation up, at the same time as giving money mainly to people who dont deserve it
  18. Calvin_T

    Calvin_T Member

    The thing is though people see easy money and shoot for it.
    I have considered entering lately as well.

    The guys at work agreed it is a **** way to go about things but a lot of "civillians" couldn't give two ****s about what a "know it all designer" has to say with all our principles and foundations.

    As far as these people see it, "If i like it and it looks good, then that's the one"

    Everyone wants something for nothing since the 2009 modern recession and that isn't going to change now it's 2010.

    In all fairness 99% of these companies will survive and prob make a pofit without a top notch concept behind their logo that meets all the criteria and people know this.

    I was always surprised as a youngen when i saw the price large firms charged for logos, I still belive it is all down to good salemanship regardless of how """designfull"" the logo is, granted they wont become the next google or Virgin but Some people can just sell.
  19. davewill

    davewill Senior Member

  20. Renniks

    Renniks Senior Member

    The reason design principles are there is not due to looking pretty, that is what trends do. The reason they are there is to help with usability, versatility, and general effect

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