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Not so excited now


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#1 Francois

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:07 PM

The big thing that's missing in this site (and other sites like it) is any form of coherent discussion between the CH and the designers. And what happens is that in some cases really crap logos get chosen by the CH because they think we designers are mind readers. A competition just finished and I looked at the winning design and it does not follow the brief, nor does it express the theme of the title. So why did the CH choose it? There were over 250 entries and some of them were very, very good. The winning one was, in my opinion, rubbish.

So why did the CH choose it? I have no idea. And if I have no idea what is going on in the CH's head, then I have no idea how to design for him. I did post two designs in that competition but I admit they were pretty mediocre, so I'm not at all sour about the winning design - well done and good luck to him, he should be proud to have won the design contest. I am, however, sour that the client provided minimal, crappy feedback.

I was excited by the website at first, but the more entries I post, the more I see that clients either write a brief that is nowhere near what they actually want, or they give so little feedback that there's no way of knowing what the heck they want.

Here's an example: a logo was requested that stated quite specifically they wanted to get away from a certain symbol. Yet the top 12 designs for that logo used this very symbol. Another requirement was for a logo with a Venetian look. Every design that tried to incorporate something Venetian was immediately blocked. Clients should learn how to write a brief. I never have these problems when I sit down with a client face to face. There is a total lack of communication which hampers the creation of really excellent designs.

I was excited about this website in the beginning, but I'm not so excited now. Maybe I'm just a bad designer.

#2 sharie

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 06:21 PM

I think that an important thing to remember is ...the contest holder has the right to choose any design they want, they pay for the design after all. The contest holder has every right to change their mind as to what they want in a logo. When they write the brief they might have the intention of exactly what they write but when they see the design entries something might spark an idea they had not thought of.

MAny times a contestholder will think they want something then they see what they thought they wanted and realize it just won't work, also after the contest gets going they may get advice to help them along, maybe the help is from a print company who knows.

I have seen briefs very detailed and the ch thinks they want a detailed looking logo, half way through they realize a complicated detailed design will not work. So we can't judge the contest holder on the design they pick, we just go on to the next contest.

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#3 Francois

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Posted 18 April 2011 - 10:18 PM

I think that an important thing to remember is ...the contest holder has the right to choose any design they want, they pay for the design after all.


Very true. What I'm saying is they're not getting the best design they could be getting for the money.

The contest holder has every right to change their mind as to what they want in a logo. When they write the brief they might have the intention of exactly what they write but when they see the design entries something might spark an idea they had not thought of.


Then I believe they should communicate this in their feedback. Once again, if they don't, they're not getting the best value for money. Their feedback is critical, and in many cases it is sorely lacking.

The two contests I hinted at above demonstrate this clearly and it's a shame, both for the CH and the designer.

If they're happy with their logo, so be it. But they could be happier, and so would all concerned be happier if the final design was a clear winner for all the right reasons, not because a lot of designers give up on a particular contest because it's simply not clear what the CH actually wants and simply goes for the best of an average bunch of designs.

#4 Sequoia

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 03:21 AM

Dear Francois,

I can understand the frustration you have on the lack of communication. It is true that some CH are more specific on what they want than others. Still, this doesn´t make it any different than real life. Some CHs have better visual education than others. Unfortunately, we designers can´t really do much about that but using the comment box in each contest to REALLY give a substancious explanation of our work. Try to sell your work to the CH, tell them why is that you think that your work could work. Most of the designers here do not take advantage of that tool and just post things like "hi, here is my entry".

This doesn´t really say much of why you picked that font or elements to develope your concept. Many of the CH, like clients in real life, need this guidance from the designer, we are the experts after all, right?. So, it would help you a lot to start this communication between the CH and sell your idea to him, let him know why your design is better, why will it be practical for print matters, why you suggest it works a way or the other. I am pretty sure that if the CH sees that you know what you are doing, he will mostly consider your work more than he does now.

However, there will always be CH that won´t know what they want and will choose what looks pretty instead of what is practical. In that case all we have to do is respect and let be. Haven´t you worked for someone like this in real life before?, darn! it can be frustrating eh?

I kindly encourage you to participate and take advantage of the comment box, believe me, not everyone knows what they do and if you do, you are way ahead. It is very nice to read your interest on improving the communication between designers and CH, how about giving it a try again?

Greetings,

Sequoia

#5 Francois

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Posted 20 April 2011 - 08:47 AM

I will try, I promise : )

#6 cyanyde

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 06:26 AM

I agree but if you work in the business, a lot of times - it's like that there too. Most clients aren't designers, they have no design background, they don't know what is good or what exactly they want. It's VERY frustrating but it comes with the gig. Many times on this site and in the real world, I've seen "poor design" be the chosen piece or logo over true quality design. But as stated above, it's their money/company - they choose what they want.

Only issue with a site like this is - you don't get any compensation for the time you spent trying to figure out what it is they wanted as you would on the job. I feel this site is more focused on the CH than on the designers. They are paying the site obviously so that is why. In the business, they still pay and get limited changes, or extra charge for those changes. Here it's either unlimited changes, or 7 designs and chances are you get zero compensation because your design will not be chosen.

I take it mostly as a learning experience though, that's what the designers gain from this site mostly. More pieces for your portfolio and experience.

Edited by cyanyde, 25 April 2011 - 06:49 AM.

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#7 Francois

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Posted 25 April 2011 - 11:43 AM

I take it mostly as a learning experience though, that's what the designers gain from this site mostly. More pieces for your portfolio and experience.


That's a good view to take and the portfolio part is indeed a valuable one. Thanks for your input.

Happy Easter : )

#8 Sagoei

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 11:43 AM

I agree but if you work in the business, a lot of times - it's like that there too. Most clients aren't designers, they have no design background, they don't know what is good or what exactly they want. It's VERY frustrating but it comes with the gig. Many times on this site and in the real world, I've seen "poor design" be the chosen piece or logo over true quality design. But as stated above, it's their money/company - they choose what they want.

Only issue with a site like this is - you don't get any compensation for the time you spent trying to figure out what it is they wanted as you would on the job. I feel this site is more focused on the CH than on the designers. They are paying the site obviously so that is why. In the business, they still pay and get limited changes, or extra charge for those changes. Here it's either unlimited changes, or 7 designs and chances are you get zero compensation because your design will not be chosen.

I take it mostly as a learning experience though, that's what the designers gain from this site mostly. More pieces for your portfolio and experience.


I also agree with this comment 100%. It would really be nice and informative for them to at least say why the limited the designs that you work on so diligently to ax it off with no explanation. I guess experiencing doubt in my abilities at moment.

#9 Kenjifujima

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Posted 23 May 2011 - 11:18 AM

It is a good perspective to take part and the portfolio is very useful. Thank you for your comments.

#10 tifdesignart

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Posted 13 June 2011 - 09:05 PM

Hm...I'm new here..and have been looking around and learning :) I think DC is a great place to just add things to your portfolio..don't think about winning..only to do your best. And if you win, it's a bonus. Afterall, I believe we're all trying to get experience here.

#11 anantasteyr

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 05:58 AM

Afterall, I believe we're all trying to get experience here.


i agree with this comment.... we are still learn... and learn... more you get experience... more you get a portofolio

#12 jecrt

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 08:31 PM

This is interesting insight into your other comments. Are you new to competition sites? (I don't mean that as an insult, just an inquiry) I find that competition sites require the skill that we have as experienced designers (a skill I've found that has been honed better as a freelancer than when I was working "corporately") and pairs it with our ability to "read a client". Essentially, a designer develops something that communicates effectively for a business. He then has to "dress it" in a way that also appeals to the CH. If the CH can be sold on the underlying concept, the designer MAY have the chance to scale back / "undress" the design into something "a little more comfortable." (which is why you rarely see simple, one-color designs on contest sites)

Ideally, personal taste wouldn't play a role in deciding what logo is picked. Decisions would be made by what communicates most effectively. But when the decision-maker has very little idea as to what's effective, he often defers to his own tastes...which may or may not be good.

#13 jecrt

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 08:34 PM

Something else to think about - design contests aren't necessarily for clients that are wanting a branding plan. Typically, they're looking for something that looks nice (usually to them or their families/business partners) that can be had in a few days. You probably don't want that feedback.

#14

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 10:26 PM

Francois, another important point besides that the client is actually the one who is paying for the design is that the client chooses the design for his business. The business that may be already established or the client may just have been thinking about this business. But if it's the case he must have been thinking about his business a lot, probably more than you and it would be safe to assume that the client knows that business better than you. It may also be possible that in the environment this business functions the design that you would call the best is actually not. What I am saying that it's not always safe to say that "since I know a few shortcut buttons in Photoshop I know better what this client needs".

There are also cases when a client chooses a bad design just because he has a bad taste, but again it's his right ))

#15 jecrt

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 04:32 PM

Francois, why do you keep picking out my work? I would have responded to you on the contest page, but it's closed - so I'll do it here.

Please understand this: TSHIRTS ARE NOT LOGOS. THEY DO NOT NEED TO INSTANTLY COMMUNICATE. In my opinion, tshirts with instant recognization are the "fart jokes" of the design world.

My bird design is a visual metaphor for designers on the site. The birds relate directly to various designers - some birds are perceived as being wise and have been around ("on the wire") for a while - whereas others are slower and big (or loud). Some are just arriving. Some are fighting over the same prize. Some are sharing their experience. All of that without words.

Now let's discuss your entry which you seem to think so highly of. You have a cat (?) in front of a hole in the wall. You can easily swap the words out ("I play to win" with "draw!") because they are not related to the cat at all. They could just as easily read "I like sandwiches" or "Build better walls". (Furthermore, "play" connotes a lack of professionalism - as if design on DC is a game to you. "Draw" makes no sense either, as the cat has nothing to draw - so the pun is lost) The cat is unrelated to the hole in the wall - it could be replaced with anything and make just as much sense. So please sir, tell me where the "grand concept" is? Where is "burning the candle till late at night, hard work, blood, sweat and tears" depicted in your illustration of cat in front of a hole? Right now, I'm struggling to even find a consistent, thought-out concept, let alone a well-crafted design.

#16 jecrt

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Posted 23 July 2011 - 07:39 PM

Au revoir, Francois

#17 ideasstudio

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Posted 04 August 2012 - 11:30 AM

It happened in real life client also.

#18 santossystems

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 11:01 PM

The problem I see, not only on this portal, is that it lacks justification as to what is the reason behind the rating. In real life you'll have the chance to ask "Why what do you feel when you see this design?" A single reply that it is too corporate or too futurustic or whatever will actually guide us.

#19 Lovie2000

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:40 PM

I understand this completely, I have experienced things here that are really disturbing to me. And I have refrained from openly stating it. But here goes.

I have submitted many designs to many contests, one in particular LIKED the design and then took me on a rat race, meaning.... they commented to me and stated "perfect, now remove this and leave that by itself" .....RATED my design at 50 and when I done that; they eliminated the design, took the rating back off and eliminated EVERYONE of the revision submission's I submitted following their instructions and marked them all as WRONG DIRECTION or NOT MY TASTE; even though I done what they asked for hours and days.... and it is not fair at all..... but since life isn't fair..... who cares....right?

Another situation that just happened...... I was the first to submit a design on the contest I submitted two more after..... simple, modern, serif font as described in their brief. Today the first submission was eliminated and marked as going in the wrong direction...... but a whole slew of other submissions....with high ratings look the same as mine......with different elements ....... and I can't understand for the life of me; why I am not able to make a comment on the discussion thread with everyone else and I still have two more designs in the contest.

I don't understand what is wrong with some of these people...... I feel like a lot of us are being used as inspiration test bunnies; our concepts are being stolen, copied, etc..... and the reward given to another that honestly is no better than a DESIGNER that got eliminated.

#20 Babba

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 12:00 AM

When I read someone else's thoughts like yours, I start laughing... 'cause I feel the same time to time.
:)
There are the moments when I could smash my computer... imagine what I could say to CH. It is frustrating, and we can't change it.




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