Why you shouldn't enter design 'contests'

Paul Murray

Ultimate Member
I'm sure the majority of us already know this, but I thought this might be a prime example of why design 'contest' sites are bad for your freelance business…


All those people who previously submitted designs (the client no doubt kept the ones they liked) received a bit fat zero amount of money for their time. Meanwhile the 'client' walks away with a design and all their budget.

Not only with a design - but also all the designs that were submitted, basically get a bunch of designs and concepts done for free.

Although - the reason for the refund is not disclosed, from what I can see - it could be that the designs were plagiarized and the client copped that and requested to be refunded?

Design contests are bad in general. FAQ about spec work | NO!SPEC
Possibly. Or it could be that they didn't get any designers submitting work that they were that confident in (I wonder why???).

From what I could tell the 'client' wanted 9 pages designing for the sake of the contest, with 35 pages in total. So that's 9 pages to be created with deposit and no guarantee of payment, plus a further 26 pages, all for $3100, and people STILL entered?

I'm starting to lose sympathy for designers who use such sites to be honest.
I see it's only at the qualifying round - so they didn't even select a finalist!

It's so sad that people take the profession as a contest! It makes me want to cry.

The worst is when someone say "Can you make a billion changes... oh I don't like it... what do you think... " - "Eh I think it was better the way I did it first time" - "Oh I don't know, play around with it"

I hate that phrase with a passion!