Archive for the ‘Ethics’ Category

Ethics and Crowdsourcing

Posted: April 26, 2011 in Ethics

Crowdsourcing is the process of graphic designers bidding for a client’s work by submitting designs created for free and according to the client’s specifications, while hoping they will be selected for the paid job. Many times, the client is unknown to the designer.

Well known designer, researcher and writer, Seven Heller posts on his blog, Imprint,Crowd-Sourcing Design: The Last Frontier,” speaks about designers not talking with each other or with the client. Designers read a mail-in brief and have no opportunity to meet or talk with the client about needs or wants. The research, brainstorming, and rapport between designer and client are either non-existent or cut short.

Steve Douglas’ recent blog post “The grim realities of spec work and crowdsourcing” researched how well graphic designers make out financially through crowdsourcing. His data states that 9.5% of work done through crowdsourcing is paid work, while 90.5% is unpaid.

Some advocates of crowdsourcing feel that crowdsourcing gives young designers who don’t have much experience a chance to be judged on their merit alone.

Read Stephen Heller’s article above and the article “Curated Crowdsourcing: The Next Big Thing?” by Andrew Meehan from to see two points of view on Crowdsourcing. Discuss with your partners and reply to the blog. When you reply, include the name of your group members.

What do you think about crowdsourcing?

  1. Does crowdsourcing provide new opportunities for designers just entering the field?
  2. Does crowdsourcing take design to a new low, pitting designers against designers? In other words, if too many designers work this way, will it drives down the hourly earnings of graphic designers?
  3. Will crowdsourcing financially hurt advertising agencies?

Please answer the poll individually.