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3 perils of crowdsourcing in logo design

November 7th, 2014

In the recent years, the amount of crowdsourcing companies that provide logo design services for a fraction of the price has skyrocketed, and more and more people are getting hooked on this sort of services. But is that really something to be happy about? After all, the saying goes that if something is too good to be true, it probably is. Crowdsourcing logo design is no exception – the tempting premise diverts a buyer’s attention away from several crucial flaws.

Let’s take a good, in-depth look at what it is exactly that crowdsourcing offers.

These companies claim to submit dozens of logo samples for the client to review, all for a price that can range from $200 to $1000 per logo project. But how much does the designer get? There are hundreds upon hundreds of designers trying to compete for the same project bid. Only one gets paid, and even then they get only a portion of the total bid. Because it is such an oversaturated market, a lot of designers must work for weeks or even months without getting a single dollar. This leads us to the first danger of crowdsourced logo design:

1)       High risk of not receiving original artwork.

Who exactly is behind those dozens or hundreds of logos a client receives? As noted above, crowdsourcing just cannot guarantee a steady income for any professional designer. However, hundreds of amateur designers around the world are trying their hand in the field. To earn a mere $5 from one project, they may have to submit dozens upon dozens of logo samples to outdo the hundreds of other designers competing for the same bid.

In order to fulfill these impossible demands, naturally many so-called “designers” resort to blatant fraud, including outright reusing or slightly modifying existing logos and submitting clipart as though it was their own work. This is hardly an unlikely scenario either – many times in the past, crowdsourcing logo design companies have been caught copying from other companies’ portfolios. Because many crowdsourcing designers are located overseas, companies have almost no way to keep track of their activities to prevent fraud.

Of course there might be some good designers among them, but the samples you are getting come from many uncontrollable sources, which brings me to point number two:

2)      You will not know whether the sample is professional enough.

We have established that working on crowdsourced projects is not a good source of income for designers. It is important to ponder, just who would be willing to go to such lengths to find work in the field? Keep in mind, crowdsourcing companies do not control who joins the project and submits the samples. There could be a lot of amateurs or simply people with no real talent for logo design trying out a new thing.

To pick a logo, you will have to rely on your own opinion and taste, as opposed to using a firm employing dedicated designers, one that guarantees all the designs come from a professional, monitored, and verified source. You will select a logo that seems to look good to you, but you may not know if it actually looks unprofessional to someone more design-savvy.

That’s not the only pitfall you may fall into when selecting your final logo, either. Here is another issue with crowdsourcing:

3)      It is almost impossible to choose just one logo.

“Unlimited samples... or 60 designs”. Sounds like a good deal, right? Only on paper! In reality, when you have 60 different designs to choose from, you literally get lost trying to pick one. For comparison’s sake, here are 6 professionally designed samples. They offer enough variation, and you can pick a favorite among them.


And here are 60 different samples. How quickly can you pick your favorite among those?

In conclusion: crowdsourcing may seem to be a good deal, but it turns out to be a completely unprofessional service. When choosing an attribute of your business as important as logo design, you should choose a professional company with verified, tested and knowledgeable designers and staff. If the first impression you give off is no good, people rarely give you a second chance.


Leave Your Comment

The last peril may be arguable by some people. One has to look at it from a perspective of too many choices - takes really long decisions. This collection may not give the right justice to the real thing that is happening. This collection has honestly 60 different samples, which is not the case with most projects from crowsorcing. You may get 10 -20 original samples and have 40 similar variations of the same.

by PavelNovember 14, 2014