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What if it’s all smoke and mirrors?

When I had lunch with Milton Glaser last week we talked about his sadness for our profession at a time when you could crowd souce design on the internet, for free.

But what if crowd sourcing design isn’t all it seems to be. What if a small group of designers who were either very shrewd or couldn’t get work by conventional means or both, got together and programmed a website to appear to crowd source design… the 150 odd options you are sent to choose from are in fact computer generated, perhaps peppered with one or two designs that they input directly perhaps with a little more logic.

The vast number of choices is very impressive to some. Why look at only three options when you can chose from 150? Surely the odds of finding the perfect solution are increased with volume. If you know about odds you know that’s not the case. If you know about design you also know its not the case.

Anyway, back to my hypothesis, imagine that the bulk of the options are simply preset, programmed with pre-determined fonts, colors, dingbats, clip art and or shapes that just change with the new name. Everyone coming to the site gets the same variants with only the name changing according to the company name they submit. Their ultimate choice – whichever that might be, is charged for–a nominal fee. Each time the owners of the site make the money. Each time the customer gets the big range to chose from–but is completely unaware that it is identical to everyone else’s…

What if this is true? How would you know that it’s not?


  2012  /  Conversations  /  Last Updated February 1, 2015 by Katja Maas  /  Tags: