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‘Free’ design work websites at their worst.

January 7, 2014 by Gav Grieves

After 3 winners in as many months submitting designs for designcrowd.com, you would expect a little bit of praise from the people behind the the scenes at the ‘free’ design website. After my third ‘competition’ winner the design team down under blocked my account and retracted more than 10 submitted designs  for briefs I had a decent chance of winning, on the decision that my work was not up to their standards. WTF?

I had went from #44000 into the top #1400 rated designers on the site, in three months. Their clients had chose my designs as the best from over 300 designs from the briefs I had won, yet they still insisted that my work was either not original, copied or not up to scratch. I agreed that 2 of the chosen designs would not have been my first choice either, but surely when the design wins, the paying client has surely decided that the chosen design is up to their own standard and what they wanted. Was the brief not hit? Yes it f’ing was.

They need to understand that designers submit hours worth of work to their sites, for FREE, following the briefs that are their for OUR guidance with the chance of winning a small cash prize, of which they gladly take 15%. It took me several weeks of emails, swearing and work examples to eventually get them to reopen my account, by this time I wished I hadn’t bothered. These sites are great when you have a few spare hours to submit some artwork, or if you find a brief to which you can submit an unused design but when you get booted out because some pokey idiot in Oz doesn’t really agree with your design style or technique its a bit of a slap in the face.

My point being, that folk who runs these sites should let the designers design to the briefs that are provided by the people who actually want the designs and who are paying the real money no matter how simple the design maybe. A brief is something to be followed in order to win the competition. By all means take your 15% from the fee for bringing together the designer and the brief but closing a winning design account because you question a few of  his/her designs is surely counterproductive to the site you created.

You either like a design or you don’t. If you don’t like it, that doesn’t make it poor or wrong. Someone else will like a design you detest, you will like a design that someone else does not. This is the beauty of design. Let the designers design, and if you do not like the work of the designer, do not select it.



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