I recently engaged in a crowd-sourced logo contest through 99Designs for my new preservation consulting service, Rebecca Fifield Preservation Services. The project helped me better define my services for a group of designers who are not museum professionals. And it was kind of like playing Pictionary: I threw out a lot of ideas, and a flock of designers began to draw.
You propose a contest: mine was “Help Museums Plan for Emergencies!” You select a product line you want. In this case, I chose logo development, business card, letterhead, envelope, and Facebook Cover Photo, one of several packages that 99Designs (and companies like them) offers. You pay up front; guaranteeing the prize provides additional incentive for designers. I presented some ideas about my business in my profile and attached some photos of collections recovery drills, an 18th century woodblock print of earthquakes, Japanese kamon (crests), and an Arts and Crafts ceramic tile.
Then everything went wild – hurricanes, parapets, flowers, suns, Halloween houses (seriously), my initials, all appeared in a staggering array of different concepts. I would give feedback and the designs would evolve like the image in a kaleidoscope. The successful designer, nativepine, now known to me as Lacey Ramsey, melded an Arts and Crafts tile and 18th century working class textile to create my new logo.
Back to work!