Against Logo Competitions
Working on Spec - "I'll pay if I like it"
Basically if you give a professional designer a comprehensive brief you will be happy with the end result, because you will have told your designer what you want, what you don't want and your desired brand direction. A professional design will, through small steps, offer concepts, revise those concepts and end up with a logo that is tailored exactly to your brand needs. We've been asked by some very large companies to design on spec and we never do it. Miss Blossom design™ don't have time.
Designers who have to work on spec generally arten't up to scratch which is why they have time to work without pay, on the off chance.
Logo competitions are sites where a client will submit a brief, and "designers" from around the world will supply speculatively, without payment, "logos" in the hope that their logo will "win" the competition. They only get paid if they win and it is usually about $200 or so.
Now there are some pros for this process, such as price, which is the main one, but the cons by far out weight these. We use the word loosely when we refer to "designers" in these contests, as many have little or no training in actual design, they can use the software, but it would be rare for a designer from a professional design school with any reputation to submit to these contests.
Stolen Copyright and IP Infringement
At Blossom® we have frequently experienced our designs being stolen and presented as original designs in these competitions. We will contact the copyright infringing client and ask them to stop using our intellectual property. They invariably claim that they bought the logo legitimately from a logo competition. In the end they cannot use this logo and they have lost their money.
Who Can Work For Free?
To be able to work for free with no guarantee of payment means either you cannot get work any other way or you are a trust-funder and don't need to be paid (which is rarely the case). Logo contests waste "designers" time. There can only be one winner so the other "designers" don't get paid for their hard work.
Working for free means that your content "designer" cannot give the care and attention to the project that a genuine designer will give to a client. Most logos are sketched out, revises over a few time and output in a range of sizes for print and web. A freebie cannot offer this level of service and quality.
The Client isn't Always Right - Guidance, Education and Professional Expertise
A complete and succinct brief from a client to a design who's track record and portfolio will give a better result, due to the care and attention, revisions and fine tuning a truly professional logo.
Many clients are unversed about what makes an effective logo and choose a logo based on their experience, rather than being guided and educated in the best option by a professional designer. In short they choose a logo that isn't right for their business because they have no guidance. At Blossom we guide our clients to the best solution which may not be the best in their eyes initially, but it is the most effective solution in the end and their business flourishes.
Logos are not just a pretty symbol. Nothing can replace a professions company developing a complete brand, taking into account all aspects of the company, from the culture, integrity, and values. Professional designers take all this into account and distil this down into a system of elements one of which is the logo that forms the corner stone of the brand.
Speculative Work Undermines The Profession of The Designer
AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) is against speculative work (presenting ideas with no guarantee of payment) because it undervalues the profession, means designers cannot put the full amount of effort into he project and designers have to take copyright short-cuts to make ends meet. It results in poor quality work.
A designer who participates in logo competitions is just don't get work any other way, which means they aren't any good. If they cannot get work doesn't that say something.
Nothing can replace the process of a professional design team developing your brand. Don't try to save money on your logo, as it will cost your in the future. Just as a building without good foundations will never be stable, a brand without the right logo will never reach their true potential.