Spec Watch

"EVERY contest seems like it has rippers, thieves, cheaters with fake accounts that praise themselves, and people who copy/paste stock art"

$650 Logo Design contest. 607 entries. 192 designers.

Summary: Designers complain about lack of feedback (feedback from buyers and clients is often touted as a benefit of entering design contests). Winning logo picked. The winning entry is alleged to have been copied from a stock art site. Arguing ensues. More allegedly copied logos are entered. Etc.

Contest Holder comment addresses 'lack of feedback' complaints

There are well over 500 entries to the contest. If I spent even 3 minutes giving feedback to each entry, I would spend 25 HOURS replying to content. It is not efficient for me to reply to concepts we do not wish to pursue.

Never mind that researching a logo to make sure it's not infringing on anything takes 15 - 30 minutes. So if we were to really look at every logo it would take over 125 hours... longer than the contest has been running (assuming a 40 hour work week).

In order to spend a realistic amount of time (ie, an amount of available time that actually exists), we have to go through and just cull the concepts we don't like so that we can spend time commenting on concepts we do like.

Being eliminated doesn't mean it's bad art, it just means it's not the right art for us. This is much like job applications. It's not a statement about you as a person, just that your style might not fit our company.

If you realistically think a company President, Director, CTO is going to spend that kind of time just to comment on the things he

Contest Holder comment

Please do not continue to waste our, or your own, time by criticizing the work of others. We appreciate any feedback in the form of "#000 is copied from #xxx", or "#000 is a copy of XYZ company logo".

Just letting everyone know that at this point, it's nearly impossible for me to disqualify people for copying. Artists have a tendency to withdraw work, so there's really no way I can tell who was the *first* to do something.

Winning logo selected. Designer comment

[link to logo gallery site] GOTCHA!!

Designer comment

I know I have to say congrats to the winner, but I simply can't because this design has been made too many times..

Designer comment

tooo many.... this is madness!madness?! This is 99designs.com!:)

Designer comment

the winner is copied the concept from [link to another contest]

Designer comment

The concept is not copied from there...that is a different concept. However, the winning design is a copy...a copy of a copy of a copy.

Designer comment

Yeah it is a good design, and the design works well. The only problem is...you didn't design it...and it is already a logo for another company. Unfortunately...if that logo has a copyright...you just entered the CH into a criminal offense.

Contest Holder comment

We do google images. It's great that everyone pitched in to prove this logo was copied after the prize was awarded.

Designer comment

The image was brought to our attention when awarded. Prior to that I didn't even see it. I apologize that we, the designers, did not review all of the entries for you.

Contest Holder comment on other designers not "policing" other designers for copied entries

You, the designers, are the ones who lose here, along with 99designs. Getting a design that is already used (and thus cannot be used) just discourages companies from using the site, or participating in further contests... We followed through on the reported cases, and eliminated many, many designs ourselves that we could google. While it is not your job to police designs, it is in your best interest to assist.

We are not experts in logos. Unlike designers, we have not seen thousands of logos, do not know all the sites that one could check quickly for logo copies. Even using Google is a matter of practice, knowing what to look for. For instance, it did not come up under "circle logos".

.. What I can say is that expecting the consumer of your product to be more of an expert in your product than you is, while not completely unreasonable, a bit non-productive.

We are considering holding another contest, but currently questioning the value, considering the time investment of several people in our company policing designs, vs. just hiring someone directly whom we can then hold accountable for any infringements.

Designer comment to Contest Holder

You are being extremely unappreciative. We could all have said nothing, and allowed you to go on with your poor choice. It is your responsibility to verify the quality of the products you decide to purchase.

I already sacrificed my time for you for free. Why would I sacrifice additional time doing your job for you? There are hundreds of designs in this contest, and I have other things going on besides this one single contest.

I apologize for mentioning that the design was copied. In the future, I will not do so in the future unless I'm able to prior to the contest ending.

Designer comment to Contest Holder

I was merely quite offended when you implied that it was our fault that you were unaware that this logo was already being used. It seems that you are saying that not only are we supposed to do free work, so that you may pick and choose at your whim...but we are also responsible for calling people out on their designs. You have to remember...there are a lot of contests. You are mostly focused on your own...while most of the designers are focused on many different contests. I see the same copied designs in all the contests I enter. After a while...you just sort of assume that the contest holder is also aware of these designs. It is difficult sometimes to put ourselves in the position of the contest holder. In short...I apologize that I did not catch the design sooner...but hope that you being made aware will at least in some way be beneficial for you.

Designer comment to Contest Holder

to the CH, you should totally try to get your money back from 99designs. that's a lot of money to throw away and to reward someone who submitted a used stock art design. personally i don't feel it's the CH's or the design communities job to look for people who are breaking the rules. it's 99DESIGNS job to do that. we've been asking them to have moderators to look for this type of thing since they started. maybe if CH's start demanding refunds they'll finally do it. EVERY contest in 99designs it seems like has rippers, thieves, cheaters with fake accounts that praise themselves, and people who copy/paste stock art. since this is THEIR company, 99DESIGNS should be responsible for banning/moderating these everyday/every-contest occurrences, not the designers or the CH's. go get your money back

Designer comment to Contest Holder

CH, actually getting yourself a copy is entirely your fault in this case. Why would designers surf through 12 pages of designs and just hunt for copies? Not everyone has time to look at other designs you know, some of us actually design them instead.

Contest Holder comment

Honestly I'm not terribly worried about "fault". And if artists wish to continue wasting time by attacking the CH for picking the wrong design, feel free. My efforts beyond this point must be spent directly with 99designs, sorting out this issue... Rather than fill a thread with one liners and drive by's, it would be more productive to try to improve the community. I've done so, by contributing here and requesting several feature changes from 99designs that will fit within their current policy, but provide better safeguards against copied work.

Designer comment

I would NEVER hold a design contest.

Designer comment

Maybe the United States will stop paying people in India to do their work, and our economy will actually improve. If this contest was any idication of the business sense of this country...it's no wonder we're going down the tubes. Thanks for all your effort. Maybe next time you need your roof fixed you can hire a bunch of illegal immigrants...but hey...for fun...make em compete against each other. Maybe have each one build a roof, tear the roof down, and have the other build the roof. Then just pay one of em.

Two more copied logos are alleged.

Designer comment

If I were you I'd contact 99designs and they'll unlock the contest so you can pick another winner.

Designer comment

it looks like everyone can use and abuse stock vector art freely around here nowadays and actually sell it for big money here and nothing's been done, I guess some "designers" got protection or the 99d crew is too ignorant, obviously they get their share if the CHs get a good logo, a copied logo, a stolen logo or if the contest gets withdrawn.

One designer comments

ok ppl, I'm in this contest from the start (and i never was in the contest that was running for more than 2 weeks)... my design is the first one who got 4 stars... made all the corrections that are asked from me and in the last 30min my design was downgraded to 2 stars and eliminated... [designer] won with plagiarism and there is nothing correct or honest about that... CH if he wasn't busted you would end up with a design that you can be sued for. But plagiarisms and copies of other designs IS something to expect when you run contest for 20 days... good luck with choosing the winner next time and good luck to you all ...

Another designer responds to them, alleging their work is copied as well

[link to Shutterstock] And when you take the third stock vector in the middle column and submit it in a private 400$ contest, that's just fine, right? As long as you withdraw when caught, everything is OK.

Another logo copy is alleged. This time from Logopond

This contest is currently under "Review".


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