The ‘what is spec work?’, Rolling Stones’ anniversary logo and a wicked case of deja vu edition..

snippets-note-left-SMWhen dealing with the rise of spec-work-fueled crowdsourcing and design contest sites, many designers instinctively know that spec-work is bad news for everybody involved (except, perhaps, the companies who skim a percentage of the design contest ‘winnings’). Despite that gut ‘feeling’, many designers grapple with explaining the pitfalls of spec-work to their clients, often having a hard time defining the term in a way that makes sense to the layperson (who might see 58 cents a concept as a nifty bargoon). To that end, Topic Simple created this cool little vid to explain what spec-work is, and why it’s bad for both the client and designer. Definitely worth a click and a few minutes of your time if you’re a designer or a prospective design contest holder. [YouTube]

While we’re on the topic of spec work and the rise of same, when the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority decided they wanted a new logo, they opted for what so many others have done – a logo design contest. And when the winner was announced, everyone was tickled pink by the choice, including winning designer Paul Miller of San Francisco-based design company Method.

Well, everyone that is, except John Roa, founder of Chicago-based design studio AKTA, who saw an eerie similarity to his company’s logo. Ros was quick to point out on his blog that he didn’t think Method had lifted his logo, more of a great minds think alike kinda thing. “There was no doubt in our mind it was an honest mistake. It was flattering to be honest,” said Roa adding that he was a fan of Miller and Method’s work. Apparently the two studios are now in talks to tweak one of the marks. Not sure what lesson there is to be learned from all this, other than it’s another example of why designers should (at the very least) run their logos through Google image search before handing off to the client. [The Bay Citizen]

rolling-stones-50th-anniversary-logoSpeaking about new logos, the Rolling Stones announced the creation of a 50th Anniversary logo to celebrate, well, their 50th Anniversary. Nothing terribly fascinating about the logo (other than the fact that the Stones are still at it fifty years later), just some type added to the legendary lips motif. twitter-batman-logoWhat is interesting about the logo is that it was designed by Shepard Fairey, he of the Obama ‘Hope and Change’ posters. For what it’s worth, here’s a little more back story on the Rolling Stones’ logo. [Rolling Stone]

Still speaking about new logos, Twitter released a new version of their bird (officially known as Larry) and you’d be excused if you missed it. The new version of Larry has been slimmed down, given a haircut and rotated ever-do-slightly (to represent the upwards movement of the social media network). Wasn’t long before wags took on the new design, creating a slew of Twitter logo parodies, including likening the new design to Batman [Huffington Post]