Posts by Motionreactor

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Motionreactor says

Image viewer could easily be interpreting the colour and gamma incorrectly, leading to poor mapping and the appearance of banding. It could also be doing a poor job of resampling the image for display at non-natural size (72dpi), using a crappy method like nearest-neighbour or something similar. Banding is a problem inherent to the digital world, where discrete steps are used to represent continuous natural tones. So ultimately the only ‘escape’ from it is to increase the steps, ie higher bit depths.

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Motionreactor says

NEVER do spec work. The end.

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Motionreactor says

Agreed, this is a silly, silly tool. If it’s anything like my other recent experiences with Adobe, it’ll fail to live up to professional standards.

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Motionreactor says

godonholiday Your taste, sense, logic and rational thinking are most agreeable. Naysayers be damned. :)

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Motionreactor says


I guess it starts with better education, but I would like to rate the quality of a request…

There’s your mistake. You mentioned “quality”. That term alone leaves your well structured argument devoid of absolution. Some people, those that take on these requests, have a sense of quality that affects how they conduct themselves. And while some people have higher standards, others may settle for the lesser of quality, in order to provide for themselves the means to attain an end within their reach. Your sense of quality, my friend, and mine alike, are all different. And along with that comes the need for diversity. And that means allowing people to freely conduct themselves as long as they are respectable to the source through which they are allowed to conduct their business.

However, taking a stand only defines the company that supports the purpose. So, do as you will… but, I suppose that goes without saying.

My point is that the experienced amongst us can see the quality of a request, and the truth in what it really is. As a marketplace we should nurture good things and moderate bad behaviour. Great if we all have the ability to do so, but I suppose maybe just Envato if I may suggest; Requiring that freelance requests either meet a minimum standard or they must be placed in a more professional context such as Freelanceswitch (where moderation occurs for the health of the entire community).

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Motionreactor says

You think its expensive to hire a professional, wait until you get an amateur !

Haha, so true. I love this saying.

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Motionreactor says

It does seem inevitable as time moves on , that “that” was deemed as highly technical and specialised a few years ago, is now seen as normal. I suppose thats how the world moves.

It’s definitely all about relativity. Designers need to remind themselves that they should be compensated for both time and in essence ‘expertise’, which by some sort of definition is a knowledge and experience gap (often humungous) between the client and the contractor. On the flipside, clients need to realise this and stop thinking of design as a product, but more realistically a service; because it involves process, and by definition exploration of scope and unique problem solving.

I guess part of the problem with freelance requests in these marketplace forums is that it encourages a dangerous overlap of product and service.

This is why we see particularly awful and undervaluing propositions in the forums, simply because we are in such close proximity to product based commodities. To make it worse, it’s a ‘micro-stock’ commoditisation, which further confuses the general understanding (aka appreciation, valuing) of truly service based design.

Maybe this means the marketplace forums are not the place for freelance activity. I’d suggest they are not.

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Motionreactor says

Tutelage is right to bring up that point, but yes it is a bit of an aside. Another discussion.

‘Ten a penny’ jobs is what sparked my original distaste. Jobs which might appear to be simple, perhaps because the conceptual work has already been done upfront by the client, are in fact never as simple as they seem. “I have an idea, I just want you to make it look pretty” is usually where the problem lies, although granted this isn’t always the case because occasionally there is real thought put into the concept and the solution is clear. But that is rare.

Attaching a low dollar value to solve a design problem says clearly that this problem is only worth a few hours of effort. The deception is in the lack of respect (or understanding) that design is not a manufacturing process and that a large percentage of ‘work’ time is spent on thinking and conceptualisation. The amount of time you actually spend clicking and moving the mouse around is miniscule compared to the time spent exploring ideas and forming rationale (either consciously or sub-consciously).

There is also the question of paying for skill level. Sure, it is possible for a graphic designer to translate a well-formed concept into an aesthetically pleasing result fairly quickly. But this depends on more than meets the eye. It depends on skill and experience, or sometimes luck. I think too much emphasis is put on the latter, when it should be on the former. You should be paying not only for hourly work but for the designer to bring to the fore their accrued skill and experience. Attaching a low dollar value to a design problem is like saying “I know an expert, talented designer could achieve this in a short time”.

This ignores the skill brought to the task and downgrades it to a purely hour based compensation for time. Purely time-based compensation, where value of skill is improperly ignored or down-played, is wanting something for nothing. This is especially true for largely devalued tasks such as logo design or typesetting.

My warning to both clients and designers is that this is a trap for both parties. Often poor results can be expected because the design is seen a pure production task, therefore critical strategy and purpose is conveniently swept under the rug. You can make something, almost anything appear aesthetically pleasing, but it is all for nothing if the underlying purpose or premise is flawed. A good designer, and one that is properly compensated, is tasked with working on both the premise and the realisation of the design. Too many of the freelance requests I see, place value (and very little if you ask me) on pure production. The results, hit and miss… for both parties.

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Motionreactor says

To be fair you are right, there are two points of view. Professionalism is inherently important from both the request being made and the respondents. So your criticism is fair, and examples of each are abundant.

I’m also aware that I’m barking mostly up the wrong tree, as it is definitely true that the freedom of the marketplace and the forums is incomparable. Discretion is indeed the keyword.

The problem I have is how to handle threads as described, if at all? I find myself constantly wanting to wade in and say clearly, bluntly, and without dressing, what I really think. But I don’t, and nobody else does. The problem perpetuates because nobody wants to take the risk of being burnt. Political correctness and sugar-coated, cotton-wool moderation (even self inflicted) prevents real honest dialogue.

To be perfectly frank, the reason I started this thread is to highlight the problem, taking a shot across the bow of some recent posts I’ve seen.

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Motionreactor says

Is anyone else ready to heave the next time they see a ‘freelance request’, which in reality is little more than a competition?

I’m talking here about the problem of extremely unprofessional freelance requests which make it into the forums, almost laughably similar in concept to ‘99 Designs’. The bottom line is that these requests represent little more than barrel-scraping, deception and trickery. To the young designer, in terms of experience, these gimmick tactic ‘freelance’ requests represent a chance to do work which is challenging and somehow more tangible and real. Or so it seems.

The premise often hinges on the ‘chance to work with a successful international company’, of self-evaluated acclaim no less! Or perhaps ‘To gain wide exposure’ or ‘portfolio consolidation’. To a fresh-faced designer this seems a compelling reason enough, but in reality it often pans out to be far less than compelling in terms of rewards (Money, accolades or experience).

This affects our whole profession. It devalues the work we do, and undermines both our sense of self-worth and the wider perception of us as an industry. Leaving design to competition, chance, begging and tomfoolery is far less than professional. Design by definition is not a game of chance. Design is planning. You don’t plan chance. That is laughable.

Does anyone else think we should take more of a stand against this?

I guess it starts with better education, but I would like to rate the quality of a request, providing anonymous feedback. The trick is to avoid stirring up a flame war in-situ (resulting in locked threads). In the interests of ‘playing it nice’ and political correctness, it seems unlikely that open opposition within the threads themselves would ever work. Anyway, I’ve got my frustration out, said my piece.

How should we approach this problem?

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