There seems to be a new craze in the design world. Crowdsourcing has become a new and innovative way to have companies to find a new logo or a new webpage (basically anything that needs designing). There are many new crowdsourcing sites popping up including: Kluster, FellowForce, Cambrian House and more recently CrowdSpring. The first three operate a little bit differently than the new CrowdSpring. They offer designers a place to collaborate on projects that are posted on the site. This creates a pool of ideas that everyone can work with to create the best solution to a posted problem or challenge. CrowdSpring offers a place for companies to post competitions to design logos and websites, or anything else that needs to be designed. The main difference is that instead of being a collaborative effort, designers must post their completed projects, not just ideas and sketches. To promote their site, CrowdSpring has a competition going to see who can come up with the best design for their home page (with the winner receiving $5,000). They also held a competition for their logo design, and it turns out that a 28-year-old janitor was the winning designer.
Professional design firms may be asking themselves why they should be happy about something that is allowing amateur designers and freelancers to compete with them on a huge scale. I’ll tell you why. Giving everyone a chance allows for greater creativity and diversity on a given project. Now that everyone is competing with each other it raises the standards of the winning design. Now it is not just one or two firms competing for the job and then taking over. When you increase the amount of players, you increase the odds of coming up with a great design.
Companies looking for design work should be super happy about his new process too. Now instead of going out and hiring a design or marketing firm to come up with their branding they can post a competition. It is much, much cheaper, and it also gives them a wider array of designs to chose from. A great example of this is DataPortability’s competition for the redesign of their logo (See the designs on Flickr). I know I’ll be keeping an eye on how it works out. Let me know what you think about the process.