A Winning Strategy -

-on NO!SPEC and Creative Latitude

In dealing with the issue of speculative, or "spec," design there is often confusion with the terms "contest" and "competition." A legitimate design "competition" will always be for design work already created by a designer and most often in use by the client. Such competitions will not require designers to create new work on a "spec" basis to be considered for awards, recognition or prizes. Design competitions may be a valuable marketing and promotion tool for design professionals.

In 1995 something "clicked" within me and my business began an adventure in a new and exciting direction. First of all, I made a conscious decision to focus on the aspect of the design business I had always enjoyed the most: identity design. Secondly, I finally adopted the business name I had kicked for the previous ten years: Jeff Fisher LogoMotives. The final major change came in the way I marketed and promoted myself.

I decided to no longer make use of direct mail or print advertising as a major sales tool. That bordered on sacrilege for a designer with an advertising education background. Instead, I started to give more attention to those creative industry award mailings that seemed to come my way at an increasing pace. Previously, such pieces had been sent flying towards the circular file in the corner of my studio. I simply could not justify the cost of the entry fees; especially in the case of some of my pro bono design efforts. When I was paid nothing for the finished project, could I afford to pay a high entry fee to enter a design competition?

By allocating my traditional advertising and printing budget to cover the cost of competition entry fees, the prospect of becoming an "award-winning designer" suddenly seemed more attainable. I realized that the return on the investment was much more than a certificate to hang on my studio wall and the validation creative types require on a regular basis.

Those in the creative occupations of writing, advertising, public relations, marketing, design, illustration, photography and related fields may wish to pay more attention to the available industry award possibilities. The results can have a dramatic impact on the promotion of personal creative efforts, or that of a client's company...

Read a recently updated version of the complete article A Winning Strategy: Industry awards as a marketing tool on the industry sites NO!SPEC and Creative Latitude. An updated list of design industry competition links is included at the end of the article

© 2006 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives

No comments: