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Feeling a bit cheap

November 3, 2009


…and then i woke up. And there she lay, snoring on the pillow. And i remembered how intoxicated i was yesterday. How beautiful i thought she was at first. How fun it was dancing with her. How, at first, i didn’t mind all her other lovers. How i thought that i was special. Now i have a bad taste in my mouth. What was her name again? Oh, yeah. Crowdsourcing.

Evan Fry, who used to work for CP+B has started an agency that goes under the name Victors & Spoils. V&S is going to be a revolutionary new agency based on crowdsourcing. Basically, they are proposing to use crowdsourcing for everything creative and the agency itself is the interfact to the client. V&S writes the creative brief and ‘vets’ the crowdsourced creative content. Supposedly, it will be a win-win-win kind of situation.

Well, what can i say. They dazzled me with a real nice creative brief. And hey, I’m really starving, here. Been on a seven-month hiatus working as a full time dad and I’m really hurting for some creative challenge. The reward, a cool thousand bucks, was just a cherry topping my lovely logotype-creating sundae. So I dug in. Got some ideas in when submissions were in their thirties. Boy, did those submissions ever come in. It was like an avalanche. Mr Fry had his hands full giving feedback on the logos. The feedback was always positive, constructive when possible, and always, always ended with a ‘Thank you.’ It did not sound overly sincere though. But there was a good reason for that.

In a day, V&S had a hundred logos to choose from. In another few hours, 200. And still they kept coming. When i last checked the submissions at there were over 700 logos. Most of them utter crap. A few of them really good. Some of them heartbreaking in their ambition and earnestness. One guy had hand-drawn a beautiful crest, with incredible attention to detail, using his family members as models for details in the heraldry. It was around this time i started detecting a sour taste in my mouth. Here was a lot of talented people pouring their creative hearts out for the mere chance of being chosen to receive one thousand dollars. A thousand bucks? That’s not a lot of money when you factor in that there is absolutely no guarantee you’ll get paid a cent for the work you put in.

There’s no question V&S are on to something that will make them very rich. They’ll get there on the backs of a lot of nameless creatives who will toil ceaselessly on hope alone. Any enterprise that lives off the futile dreams of others is something I would stay well clear off. In the words of Justin Timberlake, Where’s the love y’all?

caesarAnd what about my logos, you might ask? I guess I need to swallow my shame and show one of my slightly less pathetic efforts. Mr Fry got all huffy about me changing the name of the company and all, but he didn’t forget to thank me cordially for effort.

I went and withdrew all my submitted entries from crowdspring. For a reason, i put down ‘came to my senses’. Sorry, but crowdsourcing is not my cup of tea.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 3, 2009 11:50 pm

    Sometimes I get the feeling that design is a bit like a dancing competition. You can’t win unless you’ve already made a name for yourself in other, often lesser, competitions. Crowdsourcing might be some kind of test to see if it really works that way.

  2. November 5, 2009 10:01 pm

    The guy who designed the twitter bird got $6.

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