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When we wrote about websites like Crowdspring who host design bidding (like an eBay of design) a few weeks ago, I never guessed that I’d see an award-winning, global design agency is seeking logo design help from their community. It’s all quite nice from the outset, stating:

In exploring new approaches to creative collaboration, we post this brief well aware of the debate around the Crowdspring business model within the design community. Our interest lies in finding fresh, new creative talent efficiently. It is not in our interest to undercut existing market value design fees.

But the last line of the brief is really quite something. It goes on to say,

The fee awarded to the winning design will be $500. We will then work with the designer to realize a polished visual brand identity (which should include letterhead and business cards). The fee for this work, including up to two rounds of revisions, is $1,500, a price we believe to be fair market value for a designer at the early stages of his or her career.

Pepsi’s recent tweak redesign started at $10 million with an estimated $1.2 billion worldwide for swapping out the logo. I’m not comparing a recent-grad’s work to that of Arnell but a logo’s going to cost more than $500 and there’s reason for it. I found an article by designer Jacob Cass who describes it quite well.

I don’t fully understand the agency’s motive here — and it might be quite genuine for all I know — but the design community deserves more than this. And “applesaucing” logos seems short-sighted to me.

And now for my car analogy: I can imagine our production manager saying to me, “It’s like going into the Chevy dealership, asking for the Corvette and paying only $500 for it.” You’ll get a $500 Corvette alright, but it won’t be pretty.

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