Design contests, it’s a hot topic in the design community. Most designers frown upon these online design contest sites where designers compete against each other designing logos, ads and Web sites for the chance to win a few hundred bucks. For the record, I have no problem with these design contests. It sharpens your skills and provides the opportunity to earn some extra cash in these tough times. If you’re willing to put in the work for a chance at winning a small fee, so be it. In my opinion, it’s not only not worth the money, but it really belittles the skills of designers everywhere. We’re not talking about spec-work for a potential big client. No, this is just some stranger on the Web looking for the cheapest, fastest work – basically preying on junior designers. But the other day, I came across a site that made my stomach turn. No, it’s not yet another design contest site like 99Designs, it’s much worse. Logo-Instant offers anyone and everyone FREE logos. That’s right, absolutely free. I have no idea who is designing these Web 2.0-style logos, but they should be taken out back and beat about the head, neck and shoulders with their keyboard. While the logos currently available aren’t completely horrible, you have to wonder why anyone would want to use them. After all, you don’t have exclusive rights to the logo. Anyone in the world can download the Photoshop or EPS files provided on the site, customize the name and use the logo as they see fit. Not only that, but the logos I downloaded were all screen-resolution, suitable for Web use only. What does that say about the work we do as designers? It’s really sad that legit designers are forced to compete with these hacks who are willing to provide design services for what I can only assume is virtually nothing. It’s even more sad that people & companies are willing to accept these “stock” logos as part of their branding efforts. I really didn’t even want to link to these people, but I thought you should check it out and offer your thoughts in the comments.