Passionate debate is unfolding with design purists and business opportunists. Designers say that crowdsourcing logos devalues the product of design, that it’s spec work, and it shouldn’t be tolerated. And yet 750+ designers submitted logos to the crowdSPRING project.
Business opportunists would say that crowdSPRING is an innovative tool that helped generate incredible value for Brammo with minimal($1k) investment. Additionally, that tools like crowdSPRING are an evolution of technology, not a devaluation of design.
There are several solid comments around the debate in this Fast Company article covering the ‘controversy’; ‘Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Crowdsourcing Experiment Backfires‘.
Overall I believe this debate invokes the question, what constitutes ‘creative’? Many people (myself included) would say that designing a logo is a creative exercise. But conversely, so is Crispin’s use of crowdsourcing – especially during this time of commodization in graphic design and measurable ROI. CP+B creatively solved a business problem for a company with minimal budget, generating 750+ logos, and a huge amount of digital press. They worked within the constraints of the problem to generate value for their client – that’s what they’re in business for. I would argue that seeing the patterns of commodization, leveraging the social web, and optimizing the budget are more creative than drawing a vector bull.
I understand this might not be true to my roots as a visual designer, but I see this more as an issue between design (little ‘d’) and Design (big ‘D’). That (we) designers need to think in terms of Designing systems vs designing visual instances. And in this time of change we need to understand that Designing systems and seeing larger patterns are just as creative (or MORE) than designing a logo.