In the process of creating logo designs, this freelancer invariably ends up with a surplus of ideas, unused & unwanted. Some have potential to be solid logomarks in their own right, assuming you can re-engineer the name and make certain tweaks to the overall design.
The fact is, many of us have a number of these such ideas. Many of which have considerable potential to be tweaked and changed for real world use. Some of us bide our time, hoping a new paying client project gives us the opportunity to reuse one of these ideas. In times of financial uncertainty, we can take the initiative and take a pro active approach.
Looking out for Me
Given some pretty sad state of affairs with recent overseas clients refusing to pay, I have found myself needing to find alternative methods of income. We all ultimately have our own set of unique challenges in our lives that we must endure and deal with in any way we can.
Piers, acquaintances or just busy bodies scuttle around us, 'tut' and 'shake their heads' as to say 'Oh, I am so disappointed with you.' The typical response from those that choose not to see as others around them.
The familiar saying 'but it's not good for the industry' is getting tiresome.
Evil and Hell
Some people scorn and get on their moral high ground over sites like Brandstack, unrealistically lumping it in to the same 'controversial' subject as 'SpecWork'.
Sites like Brandstack are the result of changes and demands from those that spend and or earn money, directly or indirectly, within the creative industry.
Money is king. Idealistic fragile views are not.
The people behind these sites are just wiser and more pro-active than some. They see an opening and they take it. That is the world we live in. Either we strive to earn money or we don't. If it's the latter, then we typically struggle, those that we live with or support will also struggle.
I say kudos to Wes behind Brandstack and Ross from Crowdspring. They have shown initiative in an increasingly competitive marketplace. I wish I was behind the BrandStack concept.
Bitch and Moan
Many continually bitch and moan about those very people wise enough to seize an opportunity to succeed in their life. You bitch and moan because it's not fair. You complain and rally the troops because you see this 'change' as a direct threat to your lively hood.
'Change' is not always good for us. 'Change' scares us, especially if it competes with what we are used to. If 'change' helps us or compliments what we already know and do, then we sing from the roof tops and count our blessings. When 'change' challenges us, we bitch and moan, especially when others pick up the gauntlet and try something new.
We need to adapt and accept we cannot always change or halt 'change'.
If we try to fight 'change', we run the risk of falling behind those that were being 'scolded' in the first place for embracing it, Brandstack and Crowdspring to name but two. By trying to fight against inevitable industry 'change', those that refuse to 'adapt', that rely on their 'high moral ground' and idealisic view of industry life, ironically, are more likely to be left behind in the long run. Or end up bitter and twisted through frustration and anger.
Express a view and move on
Of course you have the right to have and express views, but remember some things are just here to stay. No where else do I see such old, stagnant and firmly held beliefs as those within the creative industry. The NoSpec war that wages on with concepts like CrowdSpring and Brandstack continually astonishes me.
Will you still be only EVER concerned about 'the industry' when one day, you might be faced with seeing your family struggle financially because of your lofty ideals? Or even if you live alone, a few bad events can catapult you from being 'comfortable' to 'desperate' in a matter of minutes. You will be left wondering what the blazes just happened. A personal 'change of fortune' shows no discrimination, it can be good and it can be bad. And it can happen to anyone at anytime.
When you hear that people are participating in sites like CrowdSpring or selling designs on Brandstack, will you keep criticizing because 'it's just not good for the industry'. Or before doing so, will you actually take the time to understand the reasons why a designer chooses to do so? Without knowing the full background of someone that chooses to do these so called 'questionable' and 'nefarious' activities is just arrogant and naivé.
It's easier to criticize others and aspects of our industry when we have secure jobs, or just a stubborn idealistic approach to life in general.
The Brandstack concept allows us to further monetize and utilise our hard earned skill and experience when times are tough. Personally, it's a place where I can hone my own imagination and dream up fantastic new and imaginary brand names and associative identities.
I do realise the overall result is a possible 'cheapening' of logo design in general. I know that more than anyone. But I also know if you don't move with the times, you will get left behind in the times.
Brandstack is a different market from my own ImJustCreative business. I don't feel overly threatened by loosing clients to Brandstack.
Are you moaning so much because you actually feel threatened by sites like this? Do you feel at risk? Do you feel vulnerable? Do you see a future way of life changing as all your clients move to 99Designs, Crowdsping and Brandstack? If so, then maybe you need to take a cold and long look at your own business strategy and stop resting on your laurels, and certainly stop moaning and bitching about something you just can't stop. I feel all of those, but since last year, it just meant I had to up my own game.
It just means I have to work harder to market and promote ImJustCreative.
I don't spend much time on Brandstack, but I do tinker around and I do have a few logos up for sale. I don't go out of my way to contribute. For me, it's an avenue to explore as and when I have a 'spare' idea floating in my head, or a unused client idea that will just sit around.
I am in control of my business. I can now take advantage of both markets and actually help steer and contribute to the overall effect they have by participating positively. I know that no amount of bitching and moaning will make sites like CrowdSpring and Brandstack disappear. You just can't moan up a 'cease and desist'. These concepts are needed and wanted because of their continued success.
You may feel that in time, if you can 'educate' enough people, you may bring these concepts to their knees, but is that really very likely?
Unrealistic concepts on Brandstack
This is not me saying I am 100% idea's like Brandstack, I am just realistic enough to realise they are here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future.
I do feel there are one too many 'unrealistic concept' logos for sale on Brandstack, clever logos with made up names and supplied domains that will be hard to shift in the real world. Steve Douglas touches on the slightly unrealistic side to Brandstack in his post Golf Typography Death Metal Logos Edition. But as a gallery for clever and witty logo design, Brandstack offers it all.
Me me me
I consider participating on Brandstack good practice, imagining what 'made up' identity has the potential to be successful. Not too dissimilar from inventing a new consumer product, inventing brand names and identities allows us to keep our skills sharp. And it is fun.
Brandstack can be a creative playground and source of extra income.
That's what matters for me and I am OK with it. If you are going to criticize me for not 'taking one for the team', then before you do so, take time to get to know me first before casting that 'one size fits all' criticism.
I am not for one moment saying I disagree completely with the various 'pros and cons' of concepts like CrowdSpring and Brandstack. This post is just my own idealistic view of accepting that 'change' is not always good for us in a individual sense. How we cope with 'change', how we react and interact with it is choice that we do have control over. The saying 'if you can't beat em, join them' is quite apt. As I mentioned before, by accepting you can't always change what you consider to be 'negative change', and by actually taking part, you can in effect help steer 'change' to a more agreeable end.
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The Logo Smith: Logo & Brand Identity Design Studio, with 25 Years Experience,
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Graham Smith: 10 Badgers Copse, Seaford, East Sussex, England.
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