Crowd Sourcing My Banner Design

Update: I’ve now experimented with Specwork to better understand the issue, and will be sharing the good –and bad –on stage on SXSW, read more

Despite the fact that I hired a designer to redesign my blog, I’m wanting to experiment with social tools as I encounter them, I recently deployed an ad on twitter using Magpie, see the results.

Part of my role as an analyst is to experiment with the social tools that I cover. You all know me as a practitioner, and that’s how I learn best –by doing (and making mistakes). Although very controversial, I’ve decided to experiment with outsourcing the creation of my header for my blog, I’m using a vendor called CROWDspring, and offering an award of $250 to the single designer that I’ll choose to accept the banner (and I’ll send them some traffic). Not everyone agrees, and perhaps the most vocal is Andrew Hyde who says spec work is evil.

The system requires me to put the requirements of the design, plus links to some examples, and I uploaded a logo which will be used, and some other background information. Although I just launched a few days ago a few designs have started to come in (see gallery), some I like, and a few that I’m not so hot on. It’s going to run for 3 weeks, and I know that there will dozens of other submissions and I can choose the right one for me.

I encourage you to read my post why I think Spec Work (work being done before getting paid, or not at all) is here to stay. Designers: Why Spec Work Is Not Going Away –How You Should Respond. I’ll also be debating this topic at SXSW in one of the main halls, I encourage you to come (one of my panelists states why he’s grey). I’ll update this post as the project continues, to provide a perspective of what it’s like from the buyer side.

The internet is causing new business models to happen, and I’m a firm believer that this Groundswell example isn’t going away but will only increase.

I spoke to crowdspring, and they even have a corporate service for $1000, and they tell me that some large brands are starting to embrace this system, it’s a direct threat to large existing agencies.

Update: I need to mention that I’ll be doing a review of the experience, and will tell about the good –and bad of using crowdsourcing for design. This isn’t for everyone, more to come later.

Update: March 12 I’ve chosen a winner.