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Crispin's Contest for New Brammo Logo Infuriates Creatives Because It Shows Them The Future

Crispin Porter + Bogusky has staged a competition to design a new logo for motorcycle company Brammo. The prize: $1,000. The winner of the contest is due to be announced any day now.

But some creatives are furious. Hundreds of designers have joined the "#nospec" campaign on Twitter. The Designis blog said this:

Seriously, CP+B? I think not. You've entered the world of spec work and there's no going back. You've lost any creative integrity and respect that you held within the design industry.
Instead of using your interns or crowdsourcing students and amateur designers, you could have hired a professional designer who would be able to work closely with your client and mostly likely produce better work. But no, you were trying to get media coverage which distracted you from the brand development.
Note how similar that reaction is to the one that occurred when BBH offered a $1,500 prize to design a new agency logo.

The Brammo contest underlines a trend that BNET has harped on repeatedly: The fact that design and audio-visual software available free or cheap on the web will turn the business of "creativity" into a commodity that costs next to nothing. Creatives who do not understand this will ultimately lose their jobs.

Check out the gallery of entrants to CP+B's contest. There are currently 754 logos to look at. If that isn't a commodity market, then I don't know what is. And although not all of them are great, it's surprising how many of them are at the least serviceable and at best really very cool indeed -- easily the equal of anything you'd see coming out of an expensive professional agency. (And yes, obviously the one featuring a cow wearing rainbow sunglasses won't win -- it's labelled "just for fun.")

That, really, is the choice for clients in the future: Pay millions of dollars (like Pepsi did) for a single design, or pay $1,000 for a choice of 754 different options -- a wealth of creativity far beyond what any single agency could provide. CP+B seems to be dimly aware that the future of the agency business will not be in creativity but in smoothing out the transaction and execution process.

Here's a few that I liked (the brief expressed interest in a "bull" and or "lightning" motif):