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Designers and Clients, please read this!!!

Discussion in 'Design Contests' started by Influ, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. blankeyecue

    blankeyecue Well-Known Member

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    #21
    There is already a thread made by typingmums...i dunno if its still open..
    the link is here...
    http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1427646

    We should list down arrogant contest holders..
    There are tons of them here..

    To all designers and contestants
    May I suggest that we remind the CH on every thread they make that they have a contest ongoing that needs they're attention...also via PM.

    As to contest holders..
    I think its your duty to update us to what you want and need on he entries we make. We put so much of our precious time on every entry we do, so please be kind enuff to tell if we are leading the right way or not. I dont think thats hard to do.
    SEMrush
    Just sharing my 2 cents..
     
    blankeyecue, Feb 13, 2010 IP
    SEMrush
  2. treyb

    treyb Well-Known Member

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    #22
    I agree with that 100%
    Something needs to be done, it gets to the point where you don't want to enter because you never know who is legit or who is not.
     
    treyb, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  3. artkas

    artkas Peon

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    #23
    There are some problems with iTrade.

    First of all, when a member reach a negative total iTrade points, then he just could create a new account. Moderatos should check IP's of members so they cannot have two acounts.

    Then, a few days ago, a member opened a contest and I designed something for him, so other members did, but he just disappeared. I gave him a negative iTrade BUT then he replied to me with a negative iTrade with no reason, just for giving him a negative iTrade. He even posted I was an scammer just because I did. I reported it but it was never fixed. Now I have an unfair negative iTrade because of a scammer.

    Another problem is that there are many of us that use watermarked material when is posted and low resolution samples, but there are others that don't do that, so easily a CH can take the logo without being watermarked. So that MUST be a rule: use watermarked material. Because that could screw a contest.

    So, I suggest:
    1) Identify IP addresses of members that have left a competition and with negative iTrade point, so they cannot easily open a new account.

    2) A new RULE: Always use watermarked material, because that isn't fair for the rest of the designers.

    3) Designers with more than x number of designs sold, should have like a title or something. -trusted designer- so the CH could know that he could pay him before the logo delivery with no problem.

    For designers:

    4) Be EXTRA careful. Never deliver a logo design without being payed. At least a 50%.

    5) Check the CH activity (posts, feedback frequency, interest in the contest, iTrade...)
     
    artkas, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  4. Chewysmom

    Chewysmom Active Member

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    #24
    I think he says that we lose one Rep point when we leave negative iTrader.
     
    Chewysmom, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  5. Chewysmom

    Chewysmom Active Member

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    #25
    about leaving negative itrader for abandoned contests, the beauty of it is that when e.g. 10 participating designer leave one negative itrader each , the contest holder won't dare to fight back. 10 negative itader in the row in some ones account? it's over for them.
    and even if he comes back with another account, we do the same thing again and again

    just mentioning this to CH , works, you don't believe it ? try it

    about watermak, forget about it, there is no use, once a design is created, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to protect it. Someone , somewhere one day copies it.
    even when all the entries are watermarked, the contest holder has the concept he likes and he can ask a designer to make a logo with that concept for fraction of the price.
     
    Chewysmom, Feb 13, 2010 IP
    renderwork likes this.
  6. dcristo

    dcristo Illustrious Member

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    #26
    Moderators do check IP's and they will eventually get banned for duplicate accounts. I think you did the right thing and left negative itrader. You always risk getting retaliatory feedback, it happened to me once as well, but at least you inform others about the unprofessional member.
     
    dcristo, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  7. artkas

    artkas Peon

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    #27
    That's right and by the way that pissed me off because I'm a new member and since I registered I have worked very hard and correctly and that guy leave me a negative iTrade because of his irresponsibility.
    Mods should control that better.
     
    artkas, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  8. dcristo

    dcristo Illustrious Member

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    #28
    Any intelligent member will see the person who left you negative feedback is a scammer, so don't worry about it.
     
    dcristo, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  9. treyb

    treyb Well-Known Member

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    #29
    Yeah thats why iTrader links to the thread, and has a description. People should not just follow it blindly, just do a little research and check things out.
     
    treyb, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  10. Hecky

    Hecky Like a Dungeon Dragon!

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    #30
    Hey guys :)

    ----> Being a Contest Holder

    This section covers what it takes to be a Contest Holder, often reffered to as a CH.

    1. Required Information

    In order for people to enter your contest, they will need to have enough information to build a picture of what they think that you will want. The more relevant information that you give, the more likely that they are to enter. The essence of getting people to enter your contest is to make it as easy and positive for them to enter as possible.

    For example a logo design contest should include :
    I) Length of contest.

    II) Price, including payment method.

    III) Name of website/company.

    IV) URL of website.

    V) A brief description of what your website/company offers as a service. This should include an idea of what sort of message you would like the logo to put across (strength, support, trust etc.)

    VI) Colours to use/avoid.

    VII) Logos that you like. These can be examples from LogoPond.com, or just from around the internet. ( Never ask designers to copy any work which is not your own)

    VIII) Desired format. If you're wanting a logo that's going to be used on different types of media that require a high resolution/vector format then you should specify this.

    You will also want to take the oppertunity to remind entrants that you will not tolerate any kind of copyright breaching and whether all work is original.
    As you can imagine, there is little variation between the information needed for a logo and a website design. For other contests, put yourself in the place of the entrant and figure out what needs to be said.

    2. Choosing your Price and Time.

    Before you begin your contest you probably have an idea about how much you are wanting to spend. In order to see the correlation between price spent and quality of entry, all you need to do is look around at the existing threads at the results. If you spend too little then you'll attract very little attention to your contest and the entries will be of a poorer quality. If you spend too much, then you'd probably consider going to 99designs to hold the contest, because they specialise in contests.

    The same is true for the time it'll take to produce some good results. For a logo design, a day or two is enough. For a full website template, you may want to allow for a week or more. You may want to hold what 99designs calls a 'fast track' contest which only lasts a very short period of time ( 24 hours usually ). This can bring attention because designers will know that they can work now and have the results faster, but fewer designers will have time to enter and the entries may be rushed.

    What you may have to consider is whether you need the logo as fast as you want it. It's better to invest some time into getting a good design, rather than satisfy your desire to have one now.

    You should specify that it may be the case that you if you see an entry that is 'perfect' then you can end the contest before the deadline.

    You may also choose to split the prize fund into 1st, 2nd & 3rd if you wish, but I personally find this ineffective, people enter a contest to win it, not to come 2nd or 3rd.

    3. Running the Contest

    Feedback is possibly the most important aspect of holding a contest. It allows entrants to shape their designs to match your expectations, and will ultimately result in the creation of a better design.

    You should regularly provide feedback on the entries, at least once a day. This will make sure that entrants feel that they have not been abandoned, and allows them to get on with making alterations to their designs as quickly as possible.

    When giving feedback, it's good to maintain a positive feeling in your contest but you also need to be critical of the designs, and push designers to get the best out of them. If you say that a design 'looks good' and nothing more, then the designer will leave it at that. Also, if a design doesn't look good then give reasons why.

    One thing that also helps very much to give people an idea of what you like and also to let people know where they stand is to create a ranking of your favourite entries. This is a good way of keeping entrants informed and puts them in a better position to judge whether its' worth their while to create/modify an entry.

    4. Ending the Contest

    If you're ending the contest as usual because you've found the perfect entry, then you should post to say congratulations, PM the winner and arrange payment from there. Then add iTrader.

    If however you're ending the contest prematurely, whether it be because the project has closed, you're the middle man for a client who has dissapeared or whatever, then you're going to need to explain yourself. Should this situation arise then the best thing to do is post to say that you are sorry for what has happened and offer up a consolation prize to the entry which you feel most deserves it. If you abandon a contest without word, then the entrants will pick up on it and remember it, should you ever return to this section again.

    5. Getting Entries

    If you've made a contest and it's not getting entries, then either it's Christmas day or you've done something wrong when creating your contest.

    But please, don't send PMs to designers asking for them to participate in your contest unless they're a friend. Not only is it very tiresome, but it's against DigitalPoint rules to advertise over PM.

    Here's where you might have gone wrong :
    I) Title

    The thing that will initially attract designers to your contest is your title. You need to have one that informs the designer what they want to know, without knowing the specifics of the logo. We're not talking about having "~~~ L@@K ~~~ " before the name, but simply list the price, time and if you have a very brandable name then maybe you'll want to put that in the title. Just something that makes it easy for the potential entrant to see what you're offering.

    II) Presentation and Language

    The body text of your contest thread needs to be easy to read and should set a tone of trust that reflects how you want your contest to be. Designers have literally hundreds of contests to choose from and they don't want to wade through hefty paragraphs of text just to find the company name. The most effective layout is to have a template, with room for body text before or after if there are more complex ideas that you want to put across. This allows for the easy access of information. Also, make sure you've included all of the information that you need to, as mentioned earlier.

    III) Price / Time

    As mentioned earlier, you may have set your price too low or not allowed enough time for entries have come in.

    IV) Trust

    If you have a poor record of unfinished contests in the contests section then that will be reflected in your entries as soon as someone realises. Also, your iTrader score will be looked at particularly in the higher paying contests. It doesn't have to be negative for people to be cautious - if you're new and have a 0 iTrader then people may not want to deal with you.

    V) Updates

    You really do need to be active on your thread. In speculative design work, the CH is just as important as the prize fund in attracting entrants. An active CH will help keep the contest moving and help develop the entries. This does not mean you should be 'bumping' your thread with useless info (also 'bumping' doesn't work anymore)

    VI) The Design

    As a designer, one of the main things that attracts me to a contest is not the price but whether I think that I will enjoy the work that you're asking us to do. If your name is particularly unappealing with hypens and long words etc then it makes the job of the designer many times more tiresome trying to get it fit in. The only sollution for this is to either change it or offer more in return.

    and that concludes the section on being a contest holder, good luck!

    ----> Entering a Design Contest

    When entering the contest as a designer you have to bare in mind that your judgement on design will probably differ from that of the contest holder, and so you must use the information that they have given to give an idea on what they want.

    Often the best way to do this is to wait a while and see what the CH makes of other peoples' entries, and look at if they've shown any preference towards a certain style. You can then try to replicate that, and then make good use of whatever feedback is provided.

    1. Copying

    You should never, ever be tempted to copy anyone elses work in a contest entry. It may seem an easy option, but if you get caught out then you will land yourself in a lot of trouble, and be blacklisted from other contests. Taking elements from other entries from the same contest but not copying them isn't breaking the law, but different designers have different attitudes to this.

    This also includes the use of templates. If you use any templates you should always declare that when you make the entry. The CH will usually assume that all of your work is original ( except the font )

    2. Protection

    When you are posting your designs, you always have to make a compromise between giving the clearest picture of what you've created, and making sure nobody can copy your work.

    This involves a few things :

    I) Do not have your images at a very high resolution. This makes them very easy to steal because they're already at a format that is big enough to be used. Save the high-res stuff for when the client has actually paid.

    II) Use a watermark. This can be a word or pattern overlayed on-top of your design to make it harder to steal. You may want to experiment finding a good visibility for the watermark so that it doesn't overshadow your design. If your design is cartoonish or has very few colours, then you may wish to have an overlay with a gradient because the magic-wand tool could easily be used to get rid of your watermark without one. An alternative to the overlayed watermark is a gradiented background that does not offer the same level of protection but can also serve as a presentational device also. It has the effect of making it harder to extract the logo from the background you've put it on, and therefore harder to steal. ​
    Of course no matter how heavily watermarked your design is, there is no way to prevent someone from copying your ideas, other than sending the entry over PM. Some contest holders allow this and some don't because it means that other designers can't spot if you've copied a design.

    If the CH abandons a contest and steals your work then leave a negative iTrader and make sure that the CH doesn't start another contest without informing the participants of what happened. If you wish to persue any copyright claims, then seek advice on how to do that.

    3. Keeping a good reputation

    Here are a few things that you can do to ensure you keep a good reputation in the contests section, because it will help you a lot in your business.
    I) You must make sure that you are inspired by other designers' entries, and that you don't copy them. There's a thin line between inspiration and copying and make sure that you don't cross it because other designers do spend lots of time coming up with original ideas.

    II) Don't offer the contest holder less than what they're asking for behind everyone elses back. This is very bad conduct, and may get you disqualified from the contest that you're entering.

    4. Theft/Bad Contests

    This has been going on since time began here at DP, and it's mainly down to you protecting youself. Here are a few things that you should bare in mind :
    I) Do not leave negative iTraders for abandoned contests, unless you are the design who had his/her work stolen, because iTraders are for those who took part in a transaction. If everyone left negative itraders, then you'll put yourself in danger for abusing the system.

    II) One relatively new development that I've had in checking peoples entries for contests is called TinEye, and it scans for similar images on the web. Although its' search index is small (1.3 billion images, a drop in the ocean ), it brings back results for entries that comprise of common templates or icons.

    III) There will never be any moderation in this section. With the exception of when a premium member and another premium member become involved in a dispute, there are no consequences for stealing your work unless you wish to persue that yourself. Scammers are free to make numerous contests with no winner, so it is the designers who have to check previous contest threads and iTrader.

    IV) Use your common sense. If someone's making a $100 logo contest as soon as they can post in the B/S/T, then you may wish to think twice before starting anything.
    Be weary of websites that don't list URLs - this can often be an attempt to make sure that they can't be traced back to their original website.

    V) The usual PayPal 'digital services/goods' deal applies here, be cautious of chargebacks.

    VI) Despite the results of a recent query thread in the suggestions forum, I advise that you post to say that the deal was a successful one in the thread once you've sent the files and the payment has been received. That way it's easy to ensure everyone that the deal went well.

    VII) If you do see your logo on someone's site without your permission, don't flip out straight away. Some CH's decide to 'try' the logos out on their website. Even though they have good intentions, it can be quite worrying. If they can't be contacted or they don't take it down, you can obtain their details by doing a WHOIS on their domain provided that they don't have a guard on it.

    VIII) There are other contest places on the net, doing a google of their username in quotations can sometimes bring up some information about a contest-holders' history which will tell you about their track-record in contests, if any.​
    5. General Advice

    Entering contests is a great way of getting lots of practice, because there is no pressure on you to make any work - you choose which contests you feel you want to enter and you make as many as you want. It's also a great way to advertise your services - you can have your company URL posted on your logo 'canvas' and collect clients that way too.

    Don't forget..

    - Make sure that the format you're creating your design in is compatible with the one the CH wants.
    - Read the entire design brief before you start your design
    - Have a look through a number of contests before starting on one of them.
    - If your design doesn't win one contest, feel free to re-use the graphic in another contest. Remember to only use that graphic once though.
    - Create a version of the file that is ready to send to the CH. This should include any variations the CH asked for and also path versions of the font you have used.
     
    Hecky, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  11. l3fty

    l3fty Well-Known Member

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    #31
    this sounds really good to me and i wish it were possible, but leaving negative itrader for abandoned contests is against DP rules, unless the CH announced a winner and then didn't pay, or there is strong evidence that the CH used a design without paying (i.e. screenshot or link to the offending site).

    CH's also have a right not to choose a winner, if none of the entries meet their expectations.
     
    l3fty, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  12. Chewysmom

    Chewysmom Active Member

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    #32
    you're right, you can't leave negative iTrader but you can leave negative rep
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
    Chewysmom, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  13. l3fty

    l3fty Well-Known Member

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    #33
    l3fty, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  14. TightWad

    TightWad Peon

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    #34
    Sorry Chewy, MOD's have not approved it. Leaving a Negative ITrader
    can get you into trouble if you haven't have dealings (sold items) with
    that person (and can get your account terminated). Add to the fact
    that the person can turn around and leave you a negative ITrader, hurting
    your reputation (and mods wont remove it no matter what you do).

    The simple fact is, no matter what you do someone, somewhere is always going to undercut you for a design. Watermark or not. I've seen people openly admit to having a person contact them to redo a design from a contest on here in other forums (and even here).

    DP doesn't care about contests, nor do they care about the designers/CH in the contests. I see these threads every six months or so from pissed off
    designers who are frustrated at CH's who run away and abandon contests,
    or designers who have had there work stolen.

    My personal guidelines I follow.

    (a) I will not do any work for under 20.00 (and that is pushing it). Let some hack Photoshop newbie do logo's for 10.00. In reality, you get what you pay
    for - and it shows.

    (b) No more than two revisions for 20.00 I don't care what a CH says, it isn't time worthy to bother with them when they get demanding. We put enough time into making them to have them begging for more concepts..

    (c) Never sell multiple concepts from a contest. More CH's try to weasel you to sell them all the concepts you've done for the Contest price.

    (d) Prepare to have you concepts stolen by other people.

    (e) Be prepared to bring the thunder when you find a stolen design. I've taken down 7 sites from webmasters who have stolen my work (including Domain name).

    I have more guidelines.... but no one is paying me to waste the time :p
     
    TightWad, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  15. Chewysmom

    Chewysmom Active Member

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    #35
    true, I meant rep
    but it is as destructive to leave a negative rep as negative iTrader, isn't it?
     
    Chewysmom, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  16. blankeyecue

    blankeyecue Well-Known Member

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    #36

    I agree...but at least a feedback from the CH that hes not awarding anyone since nothing meets his requirements would help us designers. So we wouldnt be speculating anything nasty on the CH.
     
    blankeyecue, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  17. l3fty

    l3fty Well-Known Member

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    #37
    i think it would only be effective if the rep goes down all the way down to zero (red blob).

    which is why an offsite blacklist like the one focused.on.art has suggested here:

    http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=1694955

    would be good: we could have coordinated red-bombing campaigns against proven scammers.
     
    l3fty, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  18. l3fty

    l3fty Well-Known Member

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    #38
    true, but how would we know they're telling the truth?
     
    l3fty, Feb 13, 2010 IP
  19. Chewysmom

    Chewysmom Active Member

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    #39
    an average contest on DP pays $30. I think this is a really small amount to get a design and regardless of the outcome, contest holder of a contest less than $30, should select a winner and pay. there is a amount of risk to any project, why should designer shoulder all of it?
    I think contests that reward more than $30 can set a minimum payment to best design in case their client is picky.

    all I'm saying is that me the designer shouldn't take all risk.
    and all above is the case that we have an honest CH.
     
    Chewysmom, Feb 14, 2010 IP
  20. Chewysmom

    Chewysmom Active Member

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    #40
    I also like to add that if all these suggestion come true , the quality of designs on DP increases.
    and a CH may get 99Design quality work for 1/5 of the cost. so at the end , this benefits all.
     
    Chewysmom, Feb 14, 2010 IP