Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Harness the Power of the WWW Community (for logo design!)

Remember the early days of the Web? When we referred to it as the World Wide Web (www)? We did that for a few reasons. First, it was brand new to most of us and we were just using the parlance that others created.

But second, and more substantially, it literally was a "world wide" web; doing something that had never before done...demolishing the geographic barriers between people, ideas and the collective talents of the entire world. With all of the creative uses, applications and Web 2.x features, the real power of the web lies in the leveraging of entire communities worldwide to produce a true market-driven outcome.

Take, for example, the simple and powerful idea of LogoTournament.com.

One of a number of these types of competitive sites (you may be familiar with the widely-advertised LendingTree -- where you apply for a home loan and lenders submit their offers), LogoTournament.com allows an individual or business post a creative brief and request for a logo design. Attached to this request is any amount over $250 the requesting party agrees to pay for the final logo.

Designers from all over the world submit their offerings and work through revisions based on feedback. All against the backdrop of a contest deadline. In the end, the client gets a number of creative directions to choose from and camera/web-ready artwork.

I recently used the site in the creation of a logo for our service methodology, 3-Part Logistics Spend Management (3PLSM for this article). Creating an account was straightforward and I had a pretty good idea of what our brand is and the use of the logo being requested, so moving through the forms used to create the creative brief were fairly easy. That said, you're not locking yourself into a direction once you submit, as you can return to the project and edit these ideas for the designers at any time.

LogoTournament encourages you to consider putting a higher "prize" (the amount you award to the winning design/designer), the idea being that a higher prize will attract the top-tier designers registered on the site. I'll leave this up to you. I will say that the project for 3PLSM carried a $250 prize and the submissions, both quantity and quality, were adequate for my use.

A great concept isn't enough these days. You need great tools to make the experience worthwhile. LogoTournament offers the latest Web 2.0 interfaces, allowing you to view designer submissions. sort and rank logos, make comments, and interract with the designer community.

If you've engaged a designer...or, worse yet, a marketing/advertising firm, to create a logo you probably paid more than $250 and had the creative energy of one designer. Offering a pittance of a fee for a varitable universe of designers is harnessing the true power of the world wide web and its community.

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