Fiverr is the poster child for the so called gig economy. Its promise is that for just $5 you can get connected to someone to do the thing you need done.
On the face of it, sounds great right?
I thought so too, so off I went to Fiverr to get me a cheap logo that I could use while I establish exactly what this blog should look like.
Browsing the logo design category a reality of Fiverr became apparent. While the promise is a connection to an aspiring designer in the west looking to make their mark, in this particular category, what you actually find is listing after listing of ‘designers’ from poor nations with totally plagiarised folios offering for $5 what would cost thousands through a professional design studio.
Eyes open, I select a Pakistani girl (or so the profile says) that can design me two logos, including vector graphic files and unlimited revisions. I pay US$35 for this package, rather than the $5 package that is basically just a JPG logo and no revisions.
My expectation was low. All I wanted was something usable, but I was under no illusions that what I would be getting would be original or innovative or even match the brief I provided.
Despite this, the first delivery left me feeling cheated. I got one JPG file, and although it hit the specifics (name, colours), it was pretty awful technically; letters out of kilter and just looking sloppy. I responded with some corrections and an inquiry about the second logo I was expecting and then it fell silent. In the silence I went searching for information about refunds, other people’s experiences and some of the ethically questionable sides of Fiverr i hadn’t fully considered.
I might explore that last item in another post. As far as refunds go, they don’t exist. You pay upfront and if the ‘gig’ is cancelled, you are credited to your account. Not money in the bank. That’s a bit stinky, and certainly makes me hesitant to put more than is absolutely necessary in.
A couple of days passed and eventually i get a new delivery. This time it’s 2 different logos in JPG and AI formats. My revision requests had been taken into consideration, and they looked far more usable. Generic, definitely, but usable.
I closed out the gig, and downloaded my files. I opened the AI files in inkscape which is a cool open source vector graphics program i’m learning and will post about in the future. It has to do a conversion from the proprietary Adobe format, but the files seemed usable.
In the end, i feel i got what i paid for. And i got a %5 credit too, so i’ll use the service again for something else. Beyond that though, i think it will need further thinking. There is a lot to like in terms of value, but at least on first blush, a lot to make me very wary about quality and some of the business practices.