Opinions & Ramblings

Rambling opinions and think pieces about logos, design & our studio and the graphic industry itself. Often profound, sometimes snarky, always interesting for designers & buyers alike. From The Logo! Factor design blog.

99designs & the grey people

Taking a look at 99designs’ recent (and startling) announcements about prize money payouts and ‘design community’ size. It involves 850,000 designers, $80 million bucks & a whole bunch of grey people.

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Fiverr continues to be awful. Doubles down.

Disruption is supposed to be an upending of the old guard by introducing a different method of doing things via revolutionary change, as opposed to evolutionary change – faster, cheaper with less headaches. No industry is immune and the disruption of the design world started some time ago, bringing us finally and ultimately to Fiverr and the so-called “gig economy.”

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The arrogance of crowdsourcing

If nothing else, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban’s recent foray into design crowdsourcing illustrates its inherent arrogance as well as the power imbalance between designers and those that hope to exploit the current trend of design contests.

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A $700,000 update

Anyone remember the curious case of Jon Engle vs. Stockart from a few years back? What turned out to be an anti-spec work parable has become even more so, with an initial $660,000 judgment against the hapless designer.

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Dumb logo

From the “it ain’t the Nike swoosh” department: A rather odd shoe logo that looks like, well, you know exactly what it looks like. Sperm. It’s supposed to.

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I really ain’t Guy’s Enchanted book cover..

We’re often told that crowdsourcing and design contests aren’t about the money. It’s all about the glory of the ‘little guy’ designing stuff for high profile companies and people that they otherwise wouldn’t have the ‘opportunity’. Hard sentiment to argue against. If it’s true.

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I am not Guy’s book cover

As is usual with any high-profile spec work or crowdsourcing ‘event,’ Guy Kawasaki’s recent contest for the cover design of his upcoming book Enchanted raised an internet firestorm with graphic designers claiming that he was “selling out” the design profession. Kawasaki pushed back, claiming that Crowsourcing was the route to go for creativity and choice, gave unknown designers an opportunity, and that designers opposed to crowdsourcing best ‘deal with it’.

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The plain truth about logo design contests

Logo design contests and their host sites are marketed to clients as presenting ‘lots of choice’ from their huge ‘communities’. Trouble is, many of the design ‘choices’ are toxic, and many of the ‘community’ members are unrepentant plagiarists. Sadly, sometimes they even win.

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The crowdsourcing dilemma on NPR

As evidenced by features on NPR and in Forbes, spec work, crowdsourcing and design contests remain the darlings of the business media. Sadly, many of the inflated claims made are left unchallenged and become the accepted truth, when often times, they’re not really true at all.

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Should professional designers take a zero tolerance position with design contests, crowdsourcing, and spec work? Or is there some ‘wiggle room’ that allows us all to co-exist peacefully in in the design industry? Turns out, it may all come down to intent. And how we define the issue itself.

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Dear Nora..

Nora Reed over at Logoblog.org took a whole bunch of offense at one of our recent articles and ripped off hit pieces called ‘Changing colors of logo design SEO’ and ‘Google challenged by top designers.’ Let’s find out why Nora took everything so personally & and why they’re striking back on behalf of Google.

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The Logo Factory Lexicon

Pretty much a design blog decoder ring. A dictionary of our trademark terms & special phrases to help you better understand what the hell the writers around here are trying to say. Which half the time, doesn’t make any sense..

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Famous logos & design contests?

We take up Charlie B (uh-huh) over at Graphic Design Blog’s (uh-huh) challenge to answer the question “Do famous companies prefer Logo Design Contests?” Google, Toyota, EU Organic, Olympic Airlines & Mycroburst. Totally nothing to do with pimping a design contest site at all.

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Logo Raiding

In the cut-throat game of design marketing, some companies are using logo raiding, a tactic that creeps closer & closer to the boundaries of ethics, and perhaps treads over copyright itself.

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The Logo! Factor is the official design blog of The Logo Factory, offering features for business owners and designers alike. To receive notifications of new releases, subscribe to our Design Dispatches mailing list.

Opinions & Ramblings

Blog pieces and articles by TLF creative director Steve Douglas that just don’t fit anywhere else. Often profound, sometimes snarky, always interesting for designers & buyers alike. From The Logo! Factor design blog.

Steve Douglas logo


Currently hot in Opinions & Ramblings:

“As designers that specialize in logos and branding, we’re often brought in on the ground floor of our client’s dreams and aspirations. That’s an awesome responsibility we should never take lightly…”

Of logos, clients and pipe dreams

The importance of getting things right

“Which will you be – passive observer, collaborator or art director? Using some everyday life examples as a starting point, we explore the various roles designers and clients can take when creating a logo together. We also talk about light bulbs and kittens…”

Working together

The varying roles of designers & clients in design

“Why copying logos happens, how it happens and why copying someone else’s logo design is a very, very bad idea indeed. Plagiarism may seem like a ‘quick and dirty’ fix but it’s not. Even if it’s just a pizza logo, knocked off from some website…”

Dear Sam

An open letter about copying logos


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