$6000 for a croudsourced logo

Drew B is a judge for a competition to design a new logo for European social networking bookmark site Mister Wong. I’m not convinced that this is a good idea. In fact, I’m fairly convinced it is a very bad idea (although willing to listen as to what the merits might be).

A logo isn’t just meant to be a pretty little image, it’s actually just part of an organisation’s corporate identity and to do properly requires a detailed understanding of the company’s personality, philosophy and plans. If a company is serious about succeeding then it will invest in getting the job done properly by professionals.

Why just stop at designing a logo? You could have a legal competition to draw up the best contracts, a financial competition to do the best audit – or maybe it would be more sensible to pay professionals to do it instead of trying to put people out of jobs by pretending that it doesn’t require any experience or expertise.


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • http://www.rainierpr.co.uk/blog Stephen Waddington

    Wholly agree with you Stuart but there is already a model for creating a competitive environment for professional services in elance.com.

  • http://blog.craigkillick.co.uk/ Craig Killick

    Another website concept in the same vain…
    http://contests.sitepoint.com/

    I think this may work for SMEs and start-ups as many companies (some who should know better) still don't make the connection to 'brand' and what they are doing. But, some do manage to create something organically.

    The flip side could be that you pay for brand expertise and end up with something way off mark when it goes to market anyway. The London Olympics logos being a case in point.

    One thing this kind of 'stunt' does do though, is raise awareness online.

  • http://www.ourmaninnewcastle.com ourman

    Don't entirely disagree but I am guessing most of the people who will enter will be experienced designers. Surely they understand the concept of corporate identity and more importantly the associated brand values. I am guessing they can read up extensively on the aims of Mister Wong.

    I am sure there will also be professionals who might give the winning design, what we used to call in the agency I worked for, a haircut. Smarten it up and then use the essential elements in the wider branding of the organisation.

    Let's face it, unless there is an absolute dearth of entries then there will be plenty to choose from – and that choice will be made by people who understand the branding process.

    In the meantime they get a raft load of PR from the competition, they get a relatively cheap logo, and they don't have to pay £100 an hour for too much "if you were an animal what kind of animal would you be", agency flannel.

    Agreed that the branding process is not just about finding a pretty little image. But I'd have faith in the organisers to make sure what they pick is fit for purpose.

  • http://understrictembargo.wordpress.com/ Daljit B

    I agree that this seems ill thought through and 'Mister Wong' (with a name like that a logo should be the last of their worries) seem to have missed the point about the 'wisdom of crowds'.

    If you are trying to engage your community to shape your brand, why filter the final decision via a judging panel made up of just ten randoms?

    All the designs should simply be put to a vote of the sites users with the most popular logo adopted. Either you trust your community's opinion or you don't – you can't really have it both ways.

  • http://www.ourmaninnewcastle.com ourman

    So Daljit if you'd trust an agency to do it would you let them decide which of their worked-up logos you go with?

    No, the client has the final choice. This is not pop idols.

    Sorry but I am willing to be that the thousand plus logos this competition has attracted is more likely to create something workable than a couple of creatives at an agency.

    Let's face it, if the designers of the world had been asked to do the Olympic logo it would have a great deal better.

    I'd agree it's an awful name though. Maybe an agency thought it up ;o)

  • http://theblogconsultancy.typepad.com Drew

    Stuart – surely a social site like MW getting its users to enhance its image is a basic Web 2.0 tactic and a path well-trodden. Call it UGC / crowdsourcing / whatever, it's not quite a public financial audit like you say.

    Blog buzz is about 1,400 new links so far on this experiment, and there are some really nice logos being designed too. MW has a huge audience though so it is bound to get an audience.