Innovation That Matters

More crowdsourced graphic design

Fashion & Beauty

There are numerous sites out there for crowdsourcing graphic design, including SitePoint, which we featured last year. A new entrant into the space, however, is adding a slightly different twist by having bidding designers submit completed concepts rather than just proposals in the competitive process. Launched earlier this year, Chicago-based crowdSPRING is an online marketplace for buyers and sellers of all creative services. Buyers that need a new logo, website, marketing materials or other creative content post what they need, when they need it and how much they’d like to pay. They also deposit their payment up front into an escrow account with crowdSPRING, where it will remain until an artist is chosen. Designers, illustrators, writers or photographers around the world can then work on the project and submit their creations for review. Buyers can sort, rate and give feedback on the designs they like until they find the right one. Once that happens, rights to the work are transferred, crowdSPRING takes a 15 percent fee and payment is made. crowdSPRING offers a money-back guarantee so that if buyers don’t get at least 25 entries, they can walk away with a full refund; creatives, meanwhile, are assured that their projects won’t get cancelled or abandoned for no good reason. Every transaction is protected by a free, customized legal contract with digital watermarking, as well as being automatically filed away in an intellectual property vault with IP Registry at no extra cost. Community tools available on the site include public profiles with feedback, ratings and stats; private messaging; portfolios; and creative community forums. Some designers may balk at the idea of creating a full-fledged work before having a guaranteed buyer. On the other hand, by allowing both established creative professionals and talented newcomers to compete based solely on their creativity and the quality of their ideas—rather than bids, proposals or portfolios—crowdSPRING could also level the competitive playing field for creative people worldwide. To wit: when the site launched into beta in March, it posted just a stark website and asked the crowd to redesign it for a winning prize of USD 5,000. A few weeks later, a student in the Netherlands beat out 80 creatives and 337 other entries with a winning design. Lesson: never underestimate the power of the crowds! Spotted by: Pete Burgeson



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