Since my time with laFraise started (early in 2010), I noticed that less and less designs have been published in the Out-of-Competition exposition. And there are less people commenting on the design submissions as well. This is true for all contests, maybe because some users discourage others by giving extremely hard (and cruel) ratings. This is why I would like to address how being just and fair will help everyone in the community to get the best out of their potential.
It’s easy to rate a design with an off-the-cuff mark (that nobody but he can see), but that won’t help him a lot. Of course there is not always enough time to comment on every design, but if you do take the time to leave the comment, it would be nice to explain your rating (other than saying ‘print’ or ‘crap’). If you give a design a low rating, because you don’t think it’s any good or you just don’t like it, why not help the designer to get it right next time?
The main idea behind Out-of-Competition is not to have a contest, but to offer designers a chance to get constructive feedback. Exchanging ideas about experience and sharing a few tricks of the trade should be the main motivation behind participating on this part of the site, but unfortunately it is a dwindling initiative. It’s a bit of a shame, really, so I will take up the cause of getting it going again (at least I will try!).
An average assessment of 1.22 will not help a designer who is new in this field to get better. It is important to point out what does not work well – or maybe what does J. I am not a graphic designer by training, but I must say that experience as well as help and advice from others have helped me improve both my knowledge and skills (special thanks to Lufo for continuously pointing out whenever my designs are not printable!). I still try to put my design ideas into practice, but I do have to take my hat off to all those guys with so much more talent than me.
I would like to call on all of our designers to take part in our tutoring program (see more below), so that any new designer can receive a helping hand from the more established designers in our community. This way, our community as a whole will be able to improve tremendously, and we’ll become – even more – the Internet’s best and craziest and most unique platform for funny, original and awesome designs!!!
Tutor or not Tutor…
Are you interested in becoming a tutor? You could try it for a week or a whole month. Or would you prefer tutoring classes with laFraise? And how should these be done? It would be great to receive your suggestions and ideas. We will see what we can do to make our community a more constructive place for new designers – and of course we want to try and do more for these as well!
A little brush up
Rate and comment – the fair way. And help new designers.
No matter which contest – fair play is the most important directive! And do not only reserve a 4 or 5 point rating for your friends and mates. The same is true for pre-orders. And please don’t put our competition down – sportsmanlike behaviour is not only important when it comes to playing football or rugby. Rating the fair way should be done by following these criteria: if you like a design and you think it is carried out well technically, then you should rate it as such. Maybe you would buy it, and maybe you wouldn’t – but what’s important is to pay credit where credit is due. I give 4 or 5 points whenever I think ‘Wow, look at that skill!’, because I think we all deserve respect for our achievements. A decently drafted design takes many hours to complete, and it should not be let down at the click of your mouse if it doesn’t deserve to be.
Bang the marketing drums, but in moderation!
It’s a great idea to promote your products, but too much is spam J. You cannot defy the odds of the market by doing too many campaigns and delivering too much social media input – less is more! We at laFraise know who tends to blow his or her trumpet a bit too much, and we can tell which designs receive an artificial hype. Thing is, others do as well. It is definitely a good thing to promote your designs, but please refrain from the idea of ‘going all over the place’. That’s just annoying L. And, what’s more: dissing other designers is totally not cool, and it only puts you in a negative light, too. Be constructive and fair, and you’re gonna get more credit for that!
So please remember: if we think that you are using any kind of illegitimate means to win (we plainly think that’s cheating), we are not going to print your design if you win the contest the unfair way. And if you do it again, we will exclude you from the community. Most people in our community think the same way, and what would be a community without sharing the same ideas of fairness and tolerance?
Thanks for your understanding and consideration and we wish you a nice day!