This is normal thing and good marketing move from side of 99designs. They knew that people are waiting for new console and decided to take advantage of running a contest that will be so popular, so whoever write PS4 in google, link to this contest will be among first results leading to great exposure for 99designs and eventually designers who participate this contest. Its normal marketing strategy where for lesser money they gain high exposure to a certain target audience.
However there were some major issues running this contest and eventually picking finalist, that I will try to sum up:
- its community contest so people from SPS didnt have any role in this contest which is fine, however CH should follow some standards of SPS logos and choose designs according to that aesthetic.
- multiple CH lead to a total mess, with different feedback and direction given to designers, misleading ratings, and different tastes that CH's had. This could have been solved by simply communicating what direction should be followed and on what main principles CH's should look at when giving feedback and ratings.
- At first we had complete freedom to design next PS4 logo in the way we think it should be, think outside the box etc. Then some boundaries been set that logo should have some connection and be seen as something designed for SPS, which wasnt reflected with some higher rated designs. In the end everything was set back to original direction where we had freedom, but with feedback that what we are making is not unique, distinctive, creative enough and doesnt following PSP style. Mess!
- CH is the client in this and every other case on 99designs and he pick designs according to his tastes. However many designers are not satisfied, because quality of some eliminated or unrated designs is way higher than some of designs in final selection. Someone already explain flaws of picked designs so I wont go too much into that part. Some of picked designs may have good idea, but terribly executed or in totally different direction that PSP would never follow according to their previous logos.
- We had many community contests for new Dolphins, Pelicans, Ebay, I remember contest for win8 etc, and almost all of those winners and final selection designs were following previous logos and aesthetic of them, and all of those were awesome contest. This is not one of those, although it had potential to be one.
- My suggestion for any future contests held under name community contest, is that we as a community be much more involved into picking finalist, with like buttons or some option of rating our fellow designers. Of course there will be people who only want to stab in the back and defeat competition with bad ratings, but number of those is irrelevant comparing to other ones who will rate based on their own opinion and taste.
Sorry for long post. :) Cheers!