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Anyone else had a shittty/mediocre experience when getting design or creative work done?

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Envious

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So i've been trying to think back to what frustrations or pain points I've had recently, and one that popped into my mind was how terrible i found the experience of getting design work done.

I've tried getting work done from behance and freelancing sites, design contests and I even spent a few thousand on getting some branding done at an agency.
And i wasn't really happy with the experience on any occasion, no matter the amount I paid.

I found that browsing and messaging people through portfolio or freelance website was time consuming and often you would not get any responses, or if you did :
"Sorry i'm not taking on any work at the moment"


I found using the design contest site yielded very poor results and I had to spend much of my time giving feedback to designs which looked like they were done on MS paint.

I found using an agency very expensive, with a long turnaround and was left with no-one of cancelling once given the concepts and deciding that this agency wasn't the right fit for me.


Has anyone else experienced this frustration?
Is there room for someone to do it better?
 

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DST

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I found that browsing and messaging people through portfolio or freelance website was time consuming and often you would not get any responses, or if you did :
"Sorry i'm not taking on any work at the moment"
They most likely would make the time if you offered them enough cold hard cash right away. If you wanted to discuss the price, offer them more work in the future or something similar which they've probably heard 10000 times I see why they wouldn't bother.


I've held contest for miniscule stuff (logos) years ago, and kind of felt bad because lots of people had spent time on making some stuff only a handful would get paid for, which would not fly in most other industries


Yes I've had the same struggles. But as far as I see it, good design isn't a commodity, and you get what you pay for
 
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Envious

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They most likely would make the time if you offered them enough cold hard cash right away. If you wanted to discuss the price, offer them more work in the future or something similar which they've probably heard 10000 times I see why they wouldn't bother.


I've held contest for miniscule stuff (logos) years ago, and kind of felt bad because lots of people had spent time on making some stuff only a handful would get paid for, which would not fly in most other industries


Yes I've had the same struggles. But as far as I see it, good design isn't a commodity, and you get what you pay for
Yes I agree. The problem is the contest sites are hugely weighted in favour of the consumer not the designer.
I think there could be a gap for company which provides great design to the consumer, and fair prices to the designer.
 

CaptainAmerica

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I was talking to my branding agent this morning, and she is trying to market herself services as both very fast, and very customizable.

How would start out looking for someone like her? How could she stand out?
 
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Envious

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I was talking to my branding agent this morning, and she is trying to market herself services as both very fast, and very customizable.

How would start out looking for someone like her? How could she stand out?
Sorry I don’t really understand the question?
 

CaptainAmerica

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Sorry I don’t really understand the question?
You've had disappointing results from the people you found. How did you find them, and what qualifiers could you add so you find someone who could do it better?
 

404profound

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I currently use a Fiverr graphic designer that I love. Have worked with him on 8 projects now. It took me 3 tries to find someone who met my stylistic needs and that used a process that allowed me to provide feedback throughout development.
 

kelvinfernandezm

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Freelancing websites are full of people that are their for the money. They don't know what they are doing. If you want good ones do your best to search for the people that are in the Western first world countries. They charge more but are more professional. The cheap freelancers from third world countries do mediocre work because most people hired them because they are so cheap. They have quantity but not quality. The most expensive ones don't have quantity but they do have quality.
 
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Envious

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You've had disappointing results from the people you found. How did you find them, and what qualifiers could you add so you find someone who could do it better?
Well I think speaking good English is a must. I also think being able to vet their portfolio before they are admitted to a site. And allow them to communicate in their chosen way to get the best results, not just a standardised brief they have to follow.

I currently use a Fiverr graphic designer that I love. Have worked with him on 8 projects now. It took me 3 tries to find someone who met my stylistic needs and that used a process that allowed me to provide feedback throughout development.
Did you have to spend money on those three tries? Was using the process of providing feedback throughout the key to your good results would you say?

Freelancing websites are full of people that are their for the money. They don't know what they are doing. If you want good ones do your best to search for the people that are in the Western first world countries. They charge more but are more professional. The cheap freelancers from third world countries do mediocre work because most people hired them because they are so cheap. They have quantity but not quality. The most expensive ones don't have quantity but they do have quality.
Yeah I agree. I’m wondering if a site could be created which focuses on quality rather than quantity.
 

Veloman

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So i've been trying to think back to what frustrations or pain points I've had recently, and one that popped into my mind was how terrible i found the experience of getting design work done.

I've tried getting work done from behance and freelancing sites, design contests and I even spent a few thousand on getting some branding done at an agency.
And i wasn't really happy with the experience on any occasion, no matter the amount I paid.

I found that browsing and messaging people through portfolio or freelance website was time consuming and often you would not get any responses, or if you did :
"Sorry i'm not taking on any work at the moment"


I found using the design contest site yielded very poor results and I had to spend much of my time giving feedback to designs which looked like they were done on MS paint.

I found using an agency very expensive, with a long turnaround and was left with no-one of cancelling once given the concepts and deciding that this agency wasn't the right fit for me.


Has anyone else experienced this frustration?
Is there room for someone to do it better?
Yeh I had a whiteboard commercial made on fiverr. The guy had a great rating but was slow to respond and seemed disorganized and unprofessional. The other guy who I had make me a logo was better.
 

Stargazer

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Art is subjective so what you call disappointing, someone else may say that is nice, cool whatever.

What I would do in your shoes though is not to use a website to find someone.

I would go to my local Arts College and see what the students are doing in their projects. London has lot's if them.

See whose Art you like the look of and sit with them and give them a brief.

My local College is Reading College. Used to be solely an Arts College. Amazing what some of them produce. Fashion, Arts, Jewellery, Sculpture, Graphic Design etc etc

Dan
 

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GoGetter24

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designs which looked like they were done on MS paint
I was just about to give my story about MS paint designs, but you beat me to it.

I followed the rule "you get what you paid for", ordered a graphic from someone in the mid-price range that appear to have a good portfolio (probably fake), and it wasn't even MS paint level. It was MS paint level if they removed the color palette from it. I could've literally done exactly the same job in 60 seconds or less in MS paint. And I'm the opposite of a graphic artist.

So I gave him a bad review, then the guy messaged me "please change the bad review as it will affect my ability to get work", which I ignored. What I really wanted to say was "no, your crap work is going to affect your ability to get work, I'm just the messenger".

This is why it's more about finding people who know what they're doing, and then just always going back to them, and then paying whatever their rates are (hot tip for guys on the other side).
 

DakonSG

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I hypothesize that you believe you're getting inferior creative results because you haven't been clear about your vision with the designers and/ or have an issue communicating your vision.

I design graphics and this is the disconnect that I usually encounter with my clients: your idea in your head doesn't match the way you're explaining it to the designer, thus your results look "terrible" or "not as expected".
 

DakonSG

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Take responsibility for your results.

Looks to me like you're looking for someone else to blame for the outcomes of your creative projects.
 
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Envious

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Take responsibility for your results.

Looks to me like you're looking for someone else to blame for the outcomes of your creative projects.
So why does this keep happening to a huge amount of people getting creative work done?

Is it the design briefs? The brand message? The reference materials? The designers or creatives?

Is there is a gap for a platform to get better results for the designers and the customer than we currently have? I think there is.
 

DakonSG

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So why does this keep happening to a huge amount of people getting creative work done?

Is it the design briefs? The brand message? The reference materials? The designers or creatives?

Is there is a gap for a platform to get better results for the designers and the customer than we currently have? I think there is.
I'd say if you've been expereicneing repetitive results that there's something you're not quite addressing. My first impression would be that perhaps you are not communicating the message in a way that is being interpreted correctly by the designer/team.

Certainly, a great designer would ask clarifying questions for himself; he'd anticipate his probability of failure should he not clarify your creative requests.

Also, I've seen the posts about Upwork flipping, so if your potential "designer" is going to other sites posting your project listing, I could expect that you're getting results like you would if you played the telephone game growing up: ultimately, your vision becomes distorted by people trying to remember it.
 

splok

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So why does this keep happening to a huge amount of people getting creative work done?
There are a couple of problems unique to creative work that I think you're bumping into (aside from the normal problems of getting work from random freelancers).

First, you need to figure out whether you've got a proper creative or just a guy with Photoshop (or whatever). For much of what you want, the guy with Photoshop is probably a better bet, but at best, you're going to get what you ask for. He's not going to wow you with design, and he can either do what you want or he can't.

If you got an actual artist/creative, then it's a whole other ballgame. Have you ever worked in-person with these people? They're not like us. Their brains are literally wired differently. You can't just give them a bullet point list of what you want. Telling is better than writing, so get on the phone if nothing else, but you really need to show them what you want. (Do this in person a few times if you really want to understand the difference.) Their brains are optimized for visuals. The shortcut is to use reference images to communicate what you want. "I want something like image A, but stronger and red, and more like the lighting in image B." You'll also need to be more flexible on scheduling/deadlines, BUT you'll want to check in on progress more often.

In either case, start with a small/cheap test project. It's the price you pay for finding someone good to work with. You'll also want to negotiate for a number of iterations up front, to be included in the base price (probably 3). Then expect to get the piece back and say "good, but can we make it less red?" a couple of times.
 

Thomas Baptiste

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As a content creator myself, it's amusing to see that i'm not the only one facing these types of issues. Honestly, I think these things go against the Fastlane principle in the first place. If you're having difficulty finding work/ environment to facilitate work, create that environment yourself and fix that problem in itself.
 

Flybye

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I tried using a design contest site once. I spoke to a rep on the phone, and I could barely understand her English. I’m not going to take my chances with a project with limited communication.

I thought about a freelance site but never tried it.

My wife found an artist on Etsy that does wedding invitations, and we were extremely happy with the final product. So happy that we even decided to ask her to help us with small business images that she did not mind doing for us. Only problem is the artist is a full-time teacher. Meaning there is no such thing as asking for a rush on a graphic.

It feels like asking for graphic work is a hit and miss, and I’m very surprised with your results using an agency. They should be able to allocate x amount of time to each customer for a fast turnaround.
 

Johnny Bravo

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I've used Fiverr, Freelancer, DesignCrowd, and some boutique sites and have had mixed results as well. I would agree that the biggest disconnect is the lack of clear communication between designer and customer.

Interestingly, I had a better experience when I had my website developed because I was asked a TON of questions about what exactly I needed and wanted. There were questions I hadn't even considered and it actually made me rethink a few aspects of the company itself. All in all it was a very valuable experience.

If that could be applied to a design project I think the success rate would be quite high. The sites most of us have been mentioning are contest sites which don't support or incentivize that sort of process. But then we're back to the original question of how we actually can find this sort of quality?
 

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