One of the things you will likely need to do when starting a company is create a web page, and for that, a logo. In the past, you would need to find a contract creative designer that hopefully would work cheaply. If you have some marketing friends in high tech companies, that may not be a problem. But if not, and even if you do, today you have some other really good options. And once again luckily you don’t need to leave the chair, at your desk, in your home office, at your house! (Though you really do need to get up and walk around once in while).
Websites have sprung up that offer outsourced creative work to be done on “spec” – sites like crowdSPRING, 99designs, and Designbay. CrowdSPRING is a good example of a web 2.0 company that is hitting on all cylinders. Started in just May 2008, today they have over 15,000 “creatives” registered with the site, and a buyer gets an average of 68 entries.
So let’s say you need a logo, or a website design, powerpoint template, etc. As a buyer you simply post a project, timeframe, and name a price you are willing to pay. Then the clock starts ticking, eBay style. By default you would allow a week for submissions. Along the way you would rate and comment on those submissions, until you find the perfect one. At the end of the week, you award the project to the best submission. Sound simple?
Spec work isn’t without it’s critics. Some would say that doing work this way commoditizes the efforts of designers. This may be true, as you can get really good logo designs for less than $400. But the benefits for the buyer are many, including lots of choice and different perspectives. Typically a contract creative designer might give you four or five choices if you are lucky, and that’s just from one creative person. With crowdSPRING you could easily have more than 100 choices from two dozen creatives.
The market will decide if there is a place for these types of companies, but so far the answer seems to be a resounding yes. For small businesses, this is an excellent new way to tackle what was once a difficult obstacle – creative help in branding your business.