Logo Design Contest Explainer

Design Contest Explainer

Thinking of running a design contest for your new logo? You should probably read this primer first. Free 15 page PDF ebook.

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Design Contests: Spec Work, Crowdsourcing & Free Pitching

Design contests are all the rage, having been sold as an economical and efficient way to get design done. Clients aren’t aware that is just spec work with a fancy wrap and designers – eager to get their feet in the door – embrace it without knowing the hazards.

Design contest eBook & infographic downloads

A Design Contest Explainer

Thinking about running a design contest for your new logo? You should probably read this contest primer first..

Design Contests Explained

Graphic flow chart walks you through the decision making process on whether to launch a contest for your new logo..

The Design Contest Pyramid

Infographic chart demonstrates the decreasing value of spec work as more contributors submit work. In PDF format..

Design contest features for buyers

The Boat Logo Saga

If there is one case study that illustrates everything that is wrong with design contest platforms, it is this one..

Plagiarism in Design Contests

Think all logos submitted to logo design contests are original? Nope. Think the site will monitor your contest? No again..

Logo Design Contests

Are logo design contests an effective way to brand a company or an exploitative process that’s a haven for copyright infringement?

Thanks But No Thanks

While we’re flattered you thought enough of us to invite to your design contest, we have to decline. Here’s why..

The Truth About Crowdsourcing

We take a partially impartial look at spec work, design contests and design crowdsourcing from a buyer’s POV.

Dear Contest Holder

While we’re flattered you thought enough of us to invite to your design contest, we have to decline. Here’s why..

Design contest features for designers

The Logo Design Contest Game

Download this retro board game infographic. Designing free logos on contest sites for fame & fortune. Theirs..


Turns out design contests aren’t really contests at all, but design free-for-alls with a fancy CMS wrap..

Jumping Through Hoops

Remember back when the guys launching design contest platforms told us it was all about the “democratization of design?”..

How To Win A Design Contest

Humor: A top 18 listicle on how designers can max out their chances of winning that illusive design contest prize!

28 Points of Spec Work

You know everything they tell you about spec work, design contests and crowdsourcing? Yeah, it’s all bullshit..

The Factory Does Contests

Humorous April Fools’ prank looks at how things would be if The Logo Factory decided to offer up design contests..

More Logo Design News & Opinion

For the latest in branding articles, news & views and general mirth & mayhem, check out our design blog.

Design Contests

Over the years we’ve written a lot of blog posts, opinion pieces and articles about logo design contests, spec work & crowdsourcing. We’ve changed our site a few times over that period, and rather than leaving this information scattered all over the place, we figured it would be better to link them up from a central location. Regardless of whether you’re pro design contest, or anti, a designer or a buyer, the features on this gateway make for some interesting reading about this always controversial subject.


Showcased articles on spec work & design contests:

“A no-holds-barred look at spec work, design contests & crowdsourcing. Designer edition. While it may be true that businesses are ‘ignoring the debate’ about crowdsourcing and spec work, designers – those who stand to be displaced by it – aren’t. In this second of a two part series, we take a definitive look at crowdsourcing and design contests from a designer’s point of view, while tackling the most often used, pro-spec talking points…”

28 Talking Points of Spec Work

Designer edition.

“Most crowdsourcing and design contest sites claim you can “set your own budget.” Not entirely true (they offer several packages you can choose from, but you can choose to pay more if you’re so inclined.) They’re all very cagey about revealing how these charges break down, how much they take in “commissions and fees,” and how much the winning designer gets in “prize” money. So how much we talking? Anywhere from just over 30% of your dough to almost 50%..”

The Truth About Crowdsourcing

Commercialized design contests & your new logo

“There’s also the real risk of copyright infringement (or worse), should you decide to host a so-called ‘logo design contest.’ Contest sites do barrel rolls to hide this from you and they don’t like when I point it out, but here it is.. the amount of copying & plagiarism in logo design contests is astonishing. Our copyrighted work (and that of designers we know) show up as purloined entries on a fairly regular basis.”

Logo Design Contests

Behind the hype

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