Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call. For example, the public may be invited to develop a new technology, carry out a design task (also known as community-based design and distributed participatory design), refine an algorithm or help capture, systematize or analyze large amounts of data (see also citizen science).
The term has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. However, both the term and its underlying business models have attracted controversy and criticism.
- What is your goal?
- For example are you looking for a logo? If yes, then you need to tell the creatives a little more then just, "hey I need a logo." Say I need a logo for business cards, stationary, letter heads, a sign, or all of the above. That way the designers can know more specifically how to lay it out. See if your doing business cards and you can only afford to use two colors, that is something important to mention, because for your online logo you may want it to appear more vibrant. So you may need them to design two of everything.
- Do you have a theme?
- The theme is your style. You may like modern styles, simple layouts, intricut designs, very feminine touches, or very bold and masculine themes. Maybe you want a mixture? A way to describe this to the designers without trying to figure out a fancy way of saying what you mean is a sample board. What is a sample board? find magazines with the style you like, other logos, fonts that you like, colors (preferably as a palette), and lay it all out in a collage like square with your color and font preferances in the bottom right corner (preferably labeled). Then scan it or take a picture and use that to post with your project. If you have an old logo, post that too.
- Who are you, and who are your clients?
- Are you a printing company targeting large businesses, or a mom and pop shop targeting a smaller marketing? Do you have more then one type of client? Lay that out in detail. See also my article on personas.
- Do you have samples of old pamphlets, logos, a website, or anything else that represents you and your company? Proudly display it or attach links to it. If you have a company blog, that will also help represent your voice. It's always nice to get to know the buyer a little bit, and to better understand who they are.
- Know what kind of files you are going to need: Psd, .jpeg, .png, all of the above, resolution, color scale, rgb, the exact sizes you need, the font names etc.
- Be sure to comment on the samples you receive. It's nice when the site you uploaded your project to has public forums, this way you don't have to repeat yourself. Just mention you need a specific color, or hate a certain layout, and hopefully the creative will catch on, as well as new comers looking to try out designing for your project. Be as precise and use constructive cristism, also make sure to tell people when they are headed in a direction you like.
- Invite creatives from other projects or online to bid on your project, thus giving you more options.