aquent site redesign-spec work

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  • Josev0

    Educating people (clients AND designers) and being stronger as a community would address this problem.

  • ukit0

    For starters, help people recognize that there is a lot more to design than just knocking out a comp with some bevels and some drop shadows and a shiny table. If you look at some of the comps that were submitted to Matt's contest, a lot of them don't even have the Aquent logo in the right font.

    I do think that most large, successful companies have recognized that design needs to be professional quality and integrate with business strategy and so on. If anything we've seen a trend in the business world of design becoming MORE intellectual and professional even as sites like 99designs have sprung up. For instance, people working in UX type fields who have masters in HCI and so on. That's why I don't think the Walmart effect that design_bitch mentioned is inevitable. But we should push back against stuff like this when we find it.

    • i agree that the larger businesses are seeing the value of design, but what about everything above and below them?design_bitch
  • PixelHustler0

    Did anyone notice the contest was withdrawn? Did we win?

    • Yep, he mentioned it earlier in the thread.ukit
  • SoulFly0

    The contest was closed, but they will still honor the prize money to someone.

    • I would think thats only fair to the people that submitted, no?ximeraLabs
  • Josev0

    The contest was withdrawn but I'm still not sure what Aquent's real position is on all of this. I would consider them to be an opinion leader (if that's a good description) and, for many people in the corporate world, the face of our profession. It's important that they have and show respect for the profession they represent.

    • Not only for us but for their product as well.Josev
  • cannonball0
  • design_bitch0

    Josev - i'm right there with you. when it comes to educating both the designer and the client, i'm curious if an idea that my art director had would ever work. what do you guys think about the idea of having design certifications? just as other people do, such as hairstylists and similar professions...what do you think of that idea?

    ukit - i think most all of us who value our profession highly are always trying to educate and help people understand that what we do is more than sitting around, doodling all day. like i said above, though, what is there to be done about those other companies who dont see it? all they see is the bottom line. i think what really got me thinking this year about this "Wal-mart effect" that i speak of is at the regional AIGA awards we had this year, Logoworks won a few awards. It was a bit surprising. I was mostly concerned with the fact that the AIGA validated what they did, even if it was design that they were judging. In my eyes, I felt they also received validation for who they worked for and what that represented in the design world. Thoughts?

    • Certification is discussed often and is always shot own by people within our own profession. It has its pros and cons.Josev
    • cons. It is nice, for a change, so see so many people stepping up for our industry.Josev
    • definitely! it makes me want to see more change though :)design_bitch
  • Judi_in_Disguise0

    To all those people who love to 'jump' to the most negative conclusions:

    No, Aquent isn't cheap. Their business is thriving.
    No, Aquent never intended to 'get away' with practically free site design - they have their own in-house design agency with very talented people.
    No, Aquent did not mean to insinuate that a site redesign was only worth $500. Placing 3000 people a week on creative jobs means they know what today's prices are.

    So what they hell were they thinking? I can only surmise, but here goes:

    Did they think that a senior interactive designer with 8 years of experience designing big name sites would enter the contest? Of course not. Get real.

    They probably thought this would be a fun exercise for a very junior designer, a chance to show off their prowess in spite of possibly having little or NO prior web design experience. A chance for some as-yet-unknown designer to gain credibility, and add something to his/her portfolio.

    Is that a bad thing? Of course not.

    Did they, however, think about the at-large reaction of the creative community who does NOT know their motives? No, they apparently did not.

    So slap 'em for not having realized that most seasoned designers would react so harshly, but don't slap 'em for wanting to give someone a chance to do something that no one else would ever consider hiring them to do.

    If you really want to get piss mad, do it at this company: They have PURPOSELY built a business around having designers do spec work, post it online, so companies can "shop" for designs they like, much like you would go to an art store to pick out a painting for your living room. In fact, I'm going to start a new discussion about this business and I hope people will comment.

    • Why use the third-person when you're from Aquent? Seems a little misleadingletters2
    • Definitely from Aquent.nearestexit
    • How can you post this in the third person when your account uses an Aquent email address. There's still no excuse for what happenned.Josev
    • happened. Pointing to others who have worse practices does not let you off the hook.Josev
    • HAHAA...YOU'RE FROM AQUENT...clearly it's in your best interest to save face. We don't buy the bullshit.Lt_Jack_Hammer
    • Nice red herring, that url.cannonball
    • Judi_in_Disguise you are so far from the point we can't even see you... wow Matt needs to tell you a few thingsDancer
  • airey0

    if you're opposed to this kind of site don't enter anything. looking at the vast majority of work offered on it the maxim "you get what you pay for" comes to mind. it's pretty much all shite.

  • monkeyshine0

    Judi_in_Disguise...why are you picking a fresh scab? Seriously, I hope you are not an employee of Aquent because you're undermining the progress we've made here.

    • the email address for that account is jwunderlich@aquent.c...Josev
    • Yes, Judi is Aquent. Apparently she wants to throw herself down the stairs like Matt did.Lt_Jack_Hammer
  • monkeyshine0

    design_bitch...I don't think certification is the answer. I have always felt that certification has more to do with insecure designers thinking they can validate their own talent and student loans.

    Be earnest. Do good work. Don't take on clients who don't understand the difference between what you bring to the table and a place like logoworks. Make sure what you bring to the table is a deep understanding of your clients business. Designers who don't know how to speak to their design solutions from a business perspective perpetuate this situation. If you create a partnership with your client so that they feel you have their back, you will have a loyal client.

  • meffid0

    This should be in caps:

    Designers and creatives alike have stood strong together on this topic and I'm well impressed. Next steps for Aquent, as mentioned are damage control.
    What are the next steps for us a community?
    Don't forget this, don't fold over and let this corporate bastard and it's employees determine the rules and costs for our industry... and just don't use Aquent.

    Our industry is an example of social revolution and how we can fight the giant that puts us to work as "slaves" as someone put it (on page 2 I think). And this is a slap of a reminder.

    • Also, we have the force to control it (the industry), let our rings of design UNITE!meffid
  • tkmeister0

    I’ve never had any good experience with recruiters. I’ve never trusted any of them since I know that behind the closed door, they are most likely presenting 10+ candidates from their list, if not more, for the same job you are after. You become just one of many on their list. Not mention, many recruiters don’t fully understand the position they are recruiting for or that much detail about the clients needs. Should I put my trust in them to represent me fairly and clearly to their client? I think not.

    They obviously profit from exploiting young talents who are just out of school or do not have any connection established within the industry. Though this can happen regardless, recruiters make it a lot worse for young designers and do so unethically. I wasn’t shocked to find out Aquent hosted a contest. It simply confirmed my belief that recruiters don’t have any respect for the design industry.

    What’s wrong with giving chance to young inexperienced designers to put something to their portfolio? If you believe there’s nothing wrong with it, you can do so as you please. Like many others have said, I think it undermines the profession and Aquent's brand image, especially given the context. It’s like Aquent saying “I don’t know if we got any good designers or young talents who are capable. Fuck it, it’s gonna take too much time to go through our list. Let’s just have an open contest. Let’s experiment and totally undermines the design process and have them go at it, for $500. Young designers don’t know any better. $500 is a lot of money for them. They are lucky we are hosting this contest...” I might be totally wrong but I am guessing that’s the kinda conversation going over there.

    • bang on in paragraph 1. my wife is having that very problem now. her agent doesn't know and doesn't care.Gucci
  • jevad0

    Monkeyshine - it is the tone of their 'apology' that turns my stomach the most. The way they have tried to crawl out of this, and the initial reasoning for the contest, shows such utter contempt and disrespect for what we, as trained and professional designers, try to achieve when we approach the work we do.

    Where is the formal apology from John Chuang? Why the hell is Aquentminister still posting here. Why, in fact, does he still have a job there? And why, for the LOVE OF GOD, do we now have idiot employess at Aquent posting 'anonymous' (way to cover your aquent email there) contradictory drivel on here - trying to stir up even more shit?

    I mean, how the fucking CHRIST are clients supposed to learn about the value of proper and good design when one of the biggest 'creative supply' companies in the world is selling us all SHORT.


    • I agree, and what made it worst was one of the employes trying to justify is damage in the fist place. Bloody clueless.roundabout
  • design_bitch0

    monkeyshine - i definitely know what you mean with you opposition to certification. i guess what i'm looking for is a way to filter out the "designers" who will design a logo for $100 and the companies who have packaged deals for a new logo with the works on the side. so long as they are around, there will always be businesses with the assumption that what we do is so easy.

    i share the anger that jevad expresses about this issue. i feel frustrated and some times discouraged at the fact that no matter how well i do to educate and form great relationships with clients to produce quality work, there's still john doe out there able to find the designer who will do it for cheap. i understand this is also a business, but where do we draw the line?? how far does this go?

    i think there ought to be a sole design conference focused on this issue at hand. anyone know of one that exists already? perhaps the AIGA should push more for this kind of awareness.

  • Llyod0

    aquent is a sack of feces. they even use dotcom orange on their site

    • Let's be professionalJosev
    • there was 5 or 6 posts without a wise crack, let it fly ;)meffid
  • ukit0

    Judi Wunderlich -Director of Recruiting, Aquent Chicago…

    Is this a joke? Why would Aquent's Chicago recruiting director log in and act like they aren't from Aquent? What a way to talk down to people...

    • she must think we're idiots. just like they thought we'd let the contest flydesign_bitch
  • Lt_Jack_Hammer0

    Judi, we can see right through your cloud of bullshit...Matt's already tried it and it didn't work.

  • ukit0

    Explanation really doesn't add up either...

    "Did they think that a senior interactive designer with 8 years of experience designing big name sites would enter the contest? Of course not. Get real.

    They probably thought this would be a fun exercise for a very junior designer, a chance to show off their prowess in spite of possibly having little or NO prior web design experience. A chance for some as-yet-unknown designer to gain credibility, and add something to his/her portfolio."

    So this whole thing was just a charity act for a young designer, really?

    • all honesty, i'm a young designer in the industry, butdesign_bitch
    • even i know better than to waste my timedesign_bitch
    • they wanted a fresh out of school designer with little experience to redesign their website? cmon. nobody's buying that.sintaxera
    • buying that. if it was an experiment or charity, they did a really poor job of saying that in the brief or proj. description.sintaxera
    • charity act for a young designer or really a way to press the hot button on a design team or agency that was slow...Iggyboo
  • Lt_Jack_Hammer0

    And, let me add...

    Judi, clearly what you've demonstrated is a widespread ignorance within Aquent as to the industry you supposedly represent. If it was just 1 employee in 1 office then maybe it could be viewed as a rogue situation...but, clearly, with you jumping into the mix and offering your stinky stinky poop of an attempt at convincing us what Aquent pulled was in any way, shape or form okay it shows us just how out of touch the employees of Aquent really are. The sad thing is, I really don't think you guys had/have any clue as to just how out of touch you really are.