CrowdSPRING Offers a World of Artists at Great Prices

Review of: Crowdspring

Reviewed by:
On June 19, 2010
Last modified:January 21, 2013


Crowdspring is a great place to outsource your design work. You post your job and then you can receive up to 110 (or more) entries from creatives competing to win! This is a huge win for you when you need a logo, web design, or some other creative work done.

Stick to your core competency and find others to handle those things that you know you are not good at.  This is a strong piece of advice and something that most businesses have to be forcibly reminded of from time to time, even large multi-national companies.  Most bloggers know their core competency well, but does that competency extend to artistic endeavors?  Let’s face it, not everyone can be an artist and few can be artists and good at something else.  So, where can one find a pool of artistic talent to take on spec work at a second’s notice?  CrowdSPRING is one such place, even if it only exists in web.

What CrowdSPRING Offers

CrowdSPRING has a pool of several thousand artists and designers from around the world that are constantly competing for spec work.  Buyers set a price point and a deadline and artists eagerly try to compete and underbid each other for individual jobs.  This has created a great deal of controversy as crowdSPRING has essentially turned the traditional model of buying artistic services on its ear while simultaneously opening the floodgates and allowing people from all over the world to compete for contracts.  This is a double edged sword though, as many trained professionals argue that many crowdSPRING artists do not really know the ins and outs of digital artwork.  The results are that customers who do not know how to buy digital art may be getting less than what they paid for.

Still, crowdSPRING also integrates powerful feedback and idea protection schemes into its very core.  These two aspects combine to help artists and clients alike grow without stealing ideas.  IP is a big deal over at crowdSPRING, and many artists have found this out the hard way.  While not all buyers may be capable of making the best artistic choices on their own, the feedback system should help one know which artists are truly trained and which are just trying to make a few dollars in their spare time.  If the comparison is between a self-taught digital artist who sells their work while honing their craft and someone whose core competency does not cover art, then the self-taught digital artist would seem to be the better choice.

lots of eyes

Why CrowdSPRING is Great for Buyers

CrowdSPRING attracts buyers not only because of the aforementioned logic, but also because of the fact that most projects have at least 100 submissions from digital artists.  This means that one project can be posted and one can expect an average of 100 replies that are both bids and demos.  CrowdSPRING handles the entire transaction from placing the order, to contracts and escrow, and the eventual transfer of the art in question.

So, this is the time where it comes down to the brass tacks.  Is crowdSPRING worth it?  Our answer is that yes, crowdSPRING is absolutely worth it if one knows what they are doing.  The ability to gauge just how much time and effort would go into creating a piece of art, even something as simple as a logo, is difficult.  The tools are expensive to purchase, and time consuming to learn how to use.  On the other hand, singing up for crowdSPRING is incredibly simple, as is placing an order.  Many orders see the first responses in only a few hours, and after a few days there may be a hundred or so choices.

So, what could you be doing with all that time spent downloading, installing, learning software, and trying to make a logo?  Probably a lot…and probably something that is not quite so new and/or difficult.  Remember that sticking to one’s core competencies is a fundamental key to success, and that is ultimately what an outsourcing art serrvice permits smart bloggers to do: handle their own business and then pick the best designs from around the world.  Even if a blog was making so much money that hiring a digital artist was possible, crowdSPRING offers competition and different ideas from around the world.  A single designer is forced to live inside the limitations of their own creative mind, and that may be a limitation that a company should not have to work with.  CrowdSPRING deserves serious recognition for their work in turning the entire digital art field on its collective ear while simultaneously allowing bloggers to do what they do best.

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Written by

Chad Weirick is a global traveler, ghostwriter, teacher, and father. His hobbies include reading, languages, mixed martial arts, photography, digital media, blogging, and spending time with his family.



  • Maren Kate says:

    Oooo I love this! I totally need this too :) Thanks for the awesome article Chad I’m off to check it out.

  • Chad says:

    Maren Kate, I am so glad we could help! If you would be so kind as to let us know how your experience went, I am sure that the community here at AoB would find it very useful indeed!

  • Carrie says:

    As a graphic design professional with over 10 years experience, I spent a few weeks on Crowdspring designing logos and figured it’s great for buyers, but exploits the talents of the creative designers. Out of 25 separate design contents, I won ONE lousy design contest with a total award of $250. Now, I spent 10 hours a day, for about 3 weeks straight designing these logos, so my cash award averaged out to about $1/hr. I hold a BFA in Graphic Design, and was an Art Director for over 5 years at a nationally respected real estate firm. I AM a good designer. I’m not going to be shy about it.

    Let me tell you what I witnessed as a professional on Crowdspring:
    About half of the “creatives” submitting designs are actually delivering stolen clipart to you in your logos. Many times the fonts they use are not licensed for commercial use, which means if you want your logo printed on a t-shirt to sell as a product, you will be sued; once for the clipart graphic used in your logo, then for the font that wasn’t intended for anything except casual home computer use. There is a reason true professionals require such a hefty fee. They do their homework, they draw their own artwork, and sometimes even create a new font for the logo. Take the Apple logo for example. It is beautiful, it is simple, clean, contemporary and envied by companies all over the world. This logo most certainly took months to create and refine. I highly doubt they spent a lousy $200 on logo design, because they expected something better than a graphic out of the Microsoft clipart gallery. Think about that for a while.

    Also, because a creative only has about a 2-3% (or less) chance of winning any given design contest, designers spend the least amount of time possible coming up with a concept to submit. Why bother spending a lot of time? Most times, a buyer doesn’t leave feedback, doesn’t show examples of work they like, never gives a clear explanation of what service their web company actually provides. The end result is a logo that (maybe) looks good, but has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with their company.

    Buyers never give feedback which is also ridiculous. How can a buyer expect a successful outcome when they don’t bother to lead creatives in the right direction? Logo creation is a process, it requires a great deal of communication, trial and error, revisions, refinement and constructive criticism. There should be no money back guarantee. How can you guarantee a product that hasn’t been clearly requested in detail by a buyer?

    It’s like going to like going to a real estate office, and telling the receptionist you want her to help you buy a house today, without providing specifics about budget, property location, square footage, style, etc. She’ll say okay, I’ll show you which house to buy, but you won’t be able to go to any open houses. So instead of getting that nice sprawling vacation property in Florida, you end up getting the foreclosure with graffiti on the walls. Awesome! Highly recommended process, isn’t it!?