Week 3: Who is Using Who? Crowd Sourcing, DIY

Twitter Paid $6 or Less for Crowdsourced ‘Birdie’ Graphic

I found this article very interesting, because I thought that the “birdie” graphic was created by a professional designer hired by Twitter in order to design a logo. However, it turns out that the logo was created by some random designer (Simon Oxley) who got only $6 for it.. The use of crowdsourcing has grown dramatically  over the years with many leading names grasping its cost effectiveness and the huge variety of choices it offers. According to this article, 11 of the 12 most famous brands benefit from the boundless opportunities offered by the crowdsourcing sites. Huge companies and brands such as Coca Cola, IBM, Microsoft, Google, McDonald’s, Intel, Apple, Hewlett Packard and Nokia have been sponsoring many creative crowdsourcing contests over the years, encouraging many designers from all around the world to participate and share their creative ideas. In my opinion, this is a great thing, because crowdsourcing contests create a competitive atmosphere, where every single individual has the motivation to win and give it all he/she got. However, crowdsourcing also brings with it quite a few disadvantages.. One of the major issues I see is the questionable ownership. There are some designers who might  contest and sue companies, using their projects, even though they got paid for these projects. In Twitter Paid $6 Less for Crowdsourced “Birdie” Graphic, the author says that Simon Oxley asked for a credit to be added to the Twitter page mentioning that he was the one to create the famous logo. However, no such credit ever appeared.. And this is perfectly normal – “Twitter is not obligated to credit Oxley”, as Eliot Van Buskirk says in his article, because crowdsourcing sites should provide terms of service that members must understand and agree before they join the site. Another downsides include missing the best talent, poor quality entries, and so on.


By the way, I’ve read many articles about the newer version of the logo ( I was really interested in it because of its “geometry” ). This is the current version ( I think.. I don’t have a Twitter account, so I am not a 100% sure ). When you see the logo, you will say that it’s quite plain. What makes it so successful then? I think that it has been that outstanding because it embraces Twitter’s simplicity. I believe that there is an analogy between the size of the tweet ( which is 140 characters ) the bird. Much like a tweet is short so too is the Twitter bird small and unpretentious.

Do you think that Simon Oxley should receive credit for his logo?
How can you explain the fact that this simple little bird is the symbol of a company that has become a worldwide phenomenon?
Do you think that crowdsourcing makes us lazy and impedes our ability to think unconventionally and outside of the box?

2 responses to “Week 3: Who is Using Who? Crowd Sourcing, DIY

  1. Regarding your question about impeding our ability to think unconventionally, I believe that crowdsourcing does just the opposite. I think it forces us and enables us to think outside of the box because there is no account manager on top of us overseeing the creativity or boundaries. I do have to make one comment about a term you used in your response, which I found disagreeable. This is when you wrote, “some random designer.” I hope to become a graphic design artist one day, and I feel that I don’t have to work for a certain company or be represented by someone to be credible or “non-random.” I could be a credible artist at any point at any time, and hopefully, my work will be appreciated enough by someone to use it. Regarding the copyright protection question, I do feel that all work needs to be protected, and that includes the bird by Simon Oxley, even if he only got paid $6 for it. However, if he signed an agreement that says that this type of crowdsourcing does not have to acknowledge them, then he signed away his rights. I hope to be very careful in the future not to be involved in any form of competition where my work will not be acknowledged as mine, which has nothing to do with how much I get paid for it. My work is an extension of myself. I feel this is similar to plagiarism. In middle school and high school, people could be suspended or expelled for plagiarizing. I believe this offense will be extended to intellectual and artistic property as well.

  2. By “random” I meant that he was not hired by Twitter in order to design the logo. And I absolutely agree with you that you don’t have to work for a certain company or to be represented by someone in order to be “credible.” You can be an amazing designer, full of brilliant ideas even without working for someone. Actually, I believe that the best designers work for themselves. In my opinion, if you are really good in what you’re doing you can achieve many things, even if you are on your own.

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