In the last few years, the trend of crowdsourcing for creative work has really taken off. Sites like 99Designs and crowdSPRING have made it possible for any company seeking simple creative services (like a logo or business card design) to post an assignment, receive hundreds of concepts to choose from, and then pay for only the design they decide to use (usually under $300). It sounds too good to be true, and from the perspective of many creatives, it is. The catch, at least according to them, is that designers are spending a great deal of time creating “spec work” with no promise of compensation, which devalues the work of talented designers. A movement (called the Anti-Spec Campaign) has even been started to spread awareness about the downfalls of crowdsourcing.
There are obvious advantages to crowdsourcing from the client’s perspective (less money, more options etc.), but crowdsourcing opponents claim that, in the end, crowdsourcing is problematic for clients as well. High quality creative requires extensive research and a relationship with the client that is difficult to forge when there are hundreds of creatives working on the same project. As a result, opponents believe that most crowdsourcing assignments result in many mediocre creations, but few great ones.
What’s your take? Do you think crowdsourcing for creative work should be getting such a bad rap from the design community?
Image via Cooltown Studios.