Digital Defiant Studios

Published: 2011-03-07 00:00:00 -0800

Crowd-sourced design: consesquence of the commons (and plane crashes!)

I will leave the vitriolic words about crowd-sourced design to the professional ranters. Instead, I would like to persuade you that crowdsourcing design is a bad idea for a different reason, not just because I hate it.

It's simple really.

When you create a forum for a professional trade, and empower unskilled tinkerers or worse, idiots, to convene on the most important part of a companies image, you should expect nothing less than complete incompetence.

The idea that democratizing something like design and making it available to all is fine, and it makes me feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside, but the dilution of quality points towards something else.

I think the problem and perspective of this whole game goes back to one simple thing: valuation.

When people don’t value the quality of a logo, they are willing to cut corners.

Would you crowd-source engineering for a plane to anyone with a computer and some blueprinting software? No, because that’s insane. No one in their right mind would step foot inside a plane that was designed by “tinkerers or idiots”.

Of course that would never happen because there are regulations and the barrier of entry is much higher than logo design.

But does it change the principle at all? I don't think so.

So next time you get trigger happy and decide to hire a crowd-sourcing website to design your logo, just think about plane crashes. Nice big flaming plane crashes. Now imagine that plane is your business and I think you’ll understand my warnings.

Don’t let it be you.