Where's a good community to find for graphic designers? Yaxay used to have a very busy contests forum and forum in general but they ran into some problems a while back and now their forums are not nearly as busy as before.
I've got some projects coming up I'd like to have done, vBulletin styles, logos, backgrounds, t-shirt designs, and website designs. Does anyone have any recommendations to find web designs like yaxay used to be?
There are plenty of designers doing non-webhosting work on this forum. I don't know of one designer who "specializes" in webhosting sites, that's just silly. Make a post and ask what their skills are and for a portfolio. If they are good enough pick them.
Design Outpost solicits designers to submit work on spec, which devalues the graphic design industry as a whole. It advertises that designers provide services and goods that they may not ever get paid for (and most who submit their work for their "contest", don't). Why should this matter to you? Once this practice becomes mainstream in one industry, others will follow. Also, you get what you pay for, and the tiny stipend they offer designers is pitiful. Sounds good to you? It shouldn't. There are risks attached with hiring desperate designers, and anyone who would submit work on spec, all for an $80 per logo "prize" is lacking in experience. This could end up making you, not them, suffer. Even if they provide a design that you feel looks pretty good. Too many risks to cover here. Still, there are some very affordable (almost too affordable) alternatives you can turn to with a clear conscience and some stability attached.
Pick a designer first, and have them create your products second. If budget is a concern, there are other bid board sites for graphic design projects that don't require designers to submit work on spec, but does let them publically compete for your project, as outlined by you. You can see samples of their work, which is all you really need to see to hire the right designer for you, and compare the quality with their proposed fees. That way, you can still get a good price, and see the qualifictions and design samples of your persepctive designers, without requiring any of the competitors to work for free. Also, when you do get down to designing your product, you can have more control over the imput and back and forth of the product edits. Just do a google search for "freelance graphic designers needed" and several freelance bid boards will come up. A few hints: don't necessarily go with the lowest bid if you can afford it. Compare bid prices with the quality of their work, and the experience they bring to the table.
If you want to focus on higher-end talent, go to the industry guild magazine, Communication Arts commarts.com and review the portfolios. Email the designers who fit the bill, and tell them what you ar looking for. If price is a big issue, say so, and don't be afraid to tell them what you can pay up front. You might be surprised that you can afford a higher-end designer without settling for questionable ways in which to do it. Good luck!
I teach graphic design at the college level, and am a high end graphic designer. (My work isn't posted on any of the sites mentioned, in case you were wondering.)
here are risks attached with hiring desperate designers, and anyone who would submit work on spec, all for an $80 per logo "prize" is lacking in experience. This could end up making you, not them, suffer. Even if they provide a design that you feel looks pretty good. Too many risks to cover here. Still, there are some very affordable (almost too affordable) alternatives you can turn to with a clear conscience and some stability attached.
Design Outpost is awesome . Your assumption that designers lack experience at DO is simply wrong.
Many work full time for high end design firms and participate in design Outpost on their time off for fun, companionship with other quality designers, more publicity for their freelance practice and to serve those who could not afford them at their firms.
I am an old Union organizer. I would not shop at a scab shop (unless the union involved was preventing minorities and women from entering the field) for many of the reasons you site.
The truth is there is no nationally recognized body that certifies designers and sets standards. There are various non profit groups with their own political agends in terms of this who hope to gain that sort of credibility and standardization of the industry.
Rather than merely asserting tht this is an ethical question..as a Professor of Ethics I would challenge you to provide reasons and evidence for your assertions.
So far, all I have seen from you is a claim that contests are a form of work for spec, that ll work for spec is unethical.and tht supporting or participating in these contests hurt designers and is dangerous for clients and ultimately for all working people
I have yet to have heard you advance any reasons for evidence for your claims.
And the only concrete claim you have mde about Design Outpost
(http://www.designoutpost.com) is that no designer with any experience would submit work at those prices.
Yet I have example after example of highly experienced designers doing just that!
I lso am not as sold as you are on the idea that a less expereinced designer is always less desireable or a risk
(especilly when they are in a place where the community looks at and gives feedback on their work and more experienced designers OK work before it is pssed to the clients as it is at Design Outpost)
I also have never seen you t Design outpost..so I have to wonder where your information has come from nd what makes it such a passion for you
I agree, many of the designers on Design Outpost are very talented. While the main point I was making was the damage to the industry itself, I am more than happy to cop to the fact that there is very good talent at such sources. The risks I spoke of were regarding very seperate issues: the first, the fact that at $80 a pop, no designer will run a trademark search. So if a company buys the logo, and it looks too much like another logo design (brochure design, etc.) for a company in a similiar industry, they could possibly get hit hard with an injunction or lawsuit. Very pricey. An experienced brand designer would not only make sure this wouldn't happen, but also pay the same exact talent the wages they deserve. There are other risks too, real risks, but the level of illustrative talent or creativity of ideas of many of the contributing designers is not an inference I mean to make.
My main concern, as it is for all of us older, veteran designers, is that for every one lovely designs "sold" on spec for that mere $80, there are 20 others who worked hard, providing a service worthy of compensation, and received no money for. It may sound innocent enough, and you may claim, and accurately so, that many of these designers are having fun doing this in their free time. But as this trend continues, these same designers, 10 years from now, may have helped facilitate this practice as mainstream. In the future, giving away your wares for free, or next to nothing, might be the only thing designers can do to be even considered for a job. This isn't acceptable in most fields, and many unions basically outlaw devaluing their own industries by setting minumum fees. Why are graphic designers taught to think that their own work is not worthy of compensation?
Graphic Designers have no union. The closest thing to it is the AIGA which is the National Guild Association. They have clearly outlined the risks involved with doing work on spec., and how it devalues the industry. It was a non-issue, and basically unheard of many years ago. Now it is a dangerously gowing trend. As for my association with this forum, which seems to be important to others, I have never contributed to a forum before today. Maybe I never will again. I am a veteran designer, and a college instructor of graphic design at a reputable art institute.
While you would never contribute to a scab organization, consider the many who provide a decent service and don't get paid for it, and the fact that over the next few years (and even today in some environments) everyone may be doing it because they have to, not because they want to. Please don't take my word for it, but investigate the many "work on spec" articles published in any reputable design guild magazine you deem appropriate.
I am passionate about this, but not for my sake. My clients would never use DO, nor would any of my potential cleint base. But my students, I fear will be facing an industry where they are forced to design 20 projects for every one they get paid for.
My clients would never use DO, nor would any of my potential cleint base.
are you so sure of this?
Just wanted to point out that sending emails to people regarding design outpost with blatant lies regarding the users, clients, employees of DO is ruthless and outright unprofessional. You claim to service fortune 500 companies on your website, but you do not act like it.
So let's go to the main issue. We hold a contest and have say 5-7 entries (more realistic than 20 for most contests at Design Outpost except those that take little time) and we choose only one among these.
Then yes that means 4-6 designers posted an entry and do not get financial compensation for that entry.
Does that mean they get NO compensation?
I do not merely mean the ability to put the work in their portfolio. This ability is a great thing for young start up designers but does not really add much value to those at design Outpost who are professionals and already have way more than they have time or reason to add to their portfolio.
The fact is almost every designer I have talked to about this at Design Outpost has talked about what they get. You can check out the thread I posted asking designers why they are there..and why they do the work for less than they could get elsewhere.
Some of the benefits that were suggested included:
No overhead costs. Sure they may get only 100 or 150 for a logo design...however they spend no time at all developing the client base, doing the required paperwork, being responsible to build an ongoing relationship with their clients, putting funds and time into advertising and so forth
If you add in the cost of these normal business expenditures of time and funds.. the actual value of the funds received by contest winner are much greater and rather compatible to their value.
Another way to look at the business model at design Outpost is that the times they do not win is simply time that would be spent differently in a company. It would not necessarily be less time for the designer..just less work time actually designing!
All sorts of companies from engineers, to consultants to yes designers put in a good amount of time to write proposals and submit bids many if not most of which will not be accepted.
It is true that we live in a society which undervalues creative talent. That is not all it undervalues Teaching College is not a high paid profession as we both know ;-)
What I object to however are the young just out of grad school folks who feel they should be able to teach without having in anyway to be responsible for the business of running and maintaining a college!..AND are/or are not willing for that difference to be reflected in their paycheck.
I also take exception to designers who feel they are so valuable that they should never have to stoop so low as to do the boring normal stuff to keep a real world business afloat and perhaps growing.
Some artists seem to feel this is below them.
This tendency is particularly strong among those who choose an "alternative field". It is IMNSHO immature
However Design Outpost did something very interesting. They created a space which allowed designers to just design with almost no other work required.
The work is carried by the administration and owners.
This piqued the interest of young and upcoming designers who wanted a way to get established as well as well established designers who participate in these as they choose.
It is new. It is a new business model. It is not just freebee give away designs...not by far....Nor is it the typical design firm approach.
And certainly when new forms arise it makes sense that the old guard get a little shaken. Sometimes there is reason/..change is coming and the old way will die out. At such times doom and gloom predictions like your own are rather popular
Sometimes ..and infact more often though that change opens new markets and does not detract from those who go to the regular firms.
Your campaign is not about ethics or the future of paid labor. It is about change and the fact that we are in a time when the internet has enabled new forms of business to develop...and the truth is ..while any nof us can speculate..none of us know the full shape of things to come.
I know that this forum happens to have some very close ties with DO, so I guess I should have expected the can of worms I have opened. While you, Renee, have wonderful points, I will no longer belabor an issue we could go back and forth on all day. I will end my part of this spirited debate with just a few more comments.
First, it was never an intention to start a war with DO. I only got wind of them yesterday when a group of students came to me with their own plans regarding waging a war on spec work and all who solicit it. I have no war with ANY organization, but will speak about work on spec and my opinions on it.
All of the points you make are very relevent, which is why work on spec is such an easy indulgence. I have already tried to make my points as to why, so I won't reiterate in other terms how it could be so bad for the industry I love so much. I will refer to some of the many articles published on the topic and just ask that you keep and open mind.
Aside from these, If you do a google search on the term "Work on Spec" you will find thousands of others, almost all of which come down clearly on the side of it being a bad idea. So if I am being overly pessimistic on the issue, I guess I am in good company.
As for DO, I know you have strong alliance with them, and I don't wish to disparage a company that has brought you success. However, this same company could provide the EXACT same benefits and positive work experiences you describe to both its clientele and its designers without soliciting spec work for clients who could, and should be paying for such services, and still be a huge success.
(Moreover, such a change could bring DO much positive press in some very relevant targeted areas.)
I do hope its something your friends at DO will at some point consider. I love the changes in the industry, and in fact owe my success to them. I just wouldn't think of bringing in several maids to clean my house, pay the one who does the best job a day's minimum wage, and expect the rest to chalk the effort up to a positive experience.
Thus ends my forum experience. Feel free to insert your "good-riddance" replies now. I appreciate your thoughts, and while my opinion on spec work remains as it was taught to me over 20 years ago, I do enjoy the back and forth.
I have no strong alliance with DO beyond being a satisfied customer
Nor have they brought me success;-) That is pretty funny assumption..but then you have made various assumptions which are simply false about DO ..so no surprises there;
There is no "good riddance" reply..just an observation
I enganged you in the content of your comment. If you were interested in discussing work on spec and the changes in the industry and where Design Outpost fits in..you would probably have begun interesting discussion here with people on both "sides" of the issue participating.
But regardless of your "intent" here are the facts
1. You wrote to every partner of DO telling them you would not patronize them or their sites if they did not disassociate with Design Outpost
2. You came here and made 4 posts all against Design Outpost
3. When I provided well reasoned commentary on the Design Outpost business model based on my own experience in web development work and consulting you did not respond to the arguments I made..but rather implied a "close relationship" to Design Outpost
In fact when another member took offense at your approach and questioned your credentials..you might have noticed that I spoke against his attacks on _you_as well.
Had you then really engaged in the issue instead of seeking more publicity for your "cause" you could well have gained a good deal of respect in this community from both those who agree and who disagree.
This is not 20 years ago. Problems with spec work from that time may or may not apply to the current situation in general..or to Design Outpost
My post suggests that infact Design Outpost presents a very different business model than either the traditional freelance, on spec or design firm models. And it gives some reasons for
I am not surpised that you had no interest in engaging in a dialogue about the future design. As you state you really had no interest in this particular community except to air your view
So sorry we did not give you the response you hoped to receive and forgive me for not seeing that your credentials put you in a better position to assess trends than those credentials and years of experience others here my have.
So Yes, by all means wipe the sand from your sandles and find another audience
Unless your willing to sit down here withthe rest of us non divine beings and have a real conversation ;-)