Project Galleries: Public Vs. Private Audree | September 7th, 2011

Although project galleries on crowdSPRING can be visible to all users, crowdSPRING offers buyers the option to make their project galleries completely private.

We put together this short tutorial to help you understand the differences between public and private galleries and to answer some of the most common questions we regularly hear from users, including: Do public or private galleries get more entries? Which one is better for which type of project? Can gallery settings be changed after a project is posted?

In a design project, the entries in a public gallery are visible to all users (in writing projects, the galleries are always private). If the project has an NDA (non-disclosure agreement) the gallery is visible after the NDA is executed.

When buyers score entries, creatives can only see their own scores and comments from the buyer (until after a project is awarded, when scores – but not comments – are revealed). Creatives can use the “Project stats” tool at the top of the gallery to decide if the buyer is active in the project (this tool show the total number of comments and the score distribution in the project).

FOR THE BUYER –  Although opinions are split about open and closed galleries, we’ve found that more creatives tend to participate in open gallery projects (there are plenty of exceptions, because the size of the award, quality of the brief, and other factors also play an important role).  Since we make it very easy for anyone to report potential violations of intellectual property, open galleries also make it easier for other participants to flag problem entries.

FOR THE CREATIVE – The creatives can see the competition, how other designers solve the problem, and bring up their own designs accordingly. They may also see if they can add something new to the project, or realize the competition is too stiff, and choose to move on to something else.

FOR THE BUYER – If a buyer is concerned about privacy, open galleries may not be the best option. A public gallery will allow others to see the ideas in the gallery. So if you’re concerned about privacy, you should definitely consider a private gallery. Also, some creatives only prefer to work in private gallery projects. This is a minor point because overall, participation in open gallery projects is very high.

FOR THE CREATIVE-  If a creative has a unique concept, posting in an open gallery will show others that concept – and some creatives are leery of letting other creatives see (and potentially copy) their work in progress. We have strict rules about concept copying (see Q&A 14 in our post about intellectual property) – if an original concept is copied, the creative can easily report the entry by clicking ”Report violation” in the details view for that entry.

In a private gallery, only the buyer can see all of the submissions. Creatives only see their own entries in that project.

Buyers posting PRO projects can decide whether their galleries are public or private and can toggle gallery privacy on/off throughout the project. In Economy and Standard projects, private galleries are a $49 option when you post your project.

Just like in open galleries, when buyers score entries, creatives can only see their own scores and comments from the buyer (until after a project is awarded, when scores – but not comments – are revealed). Creatives can use the “Project stats” tool at the top of the gallery to decide if the buyer is active in the project (this tool show the total number of comments and the score distribution in the project).

FOR THE BUYER – Many buyers need additional privacy features and greater control over their projects. For example, if you are an agency, you’re worried that your campaign may leak out before its time. If you are a startup, you’re worried that the competition may get a peek at what you’re up to. Private galleries help keep your project confidential. Also, the awarded entry in a private gallery is only visible to the buyer and the awarded creative.

FOR THE CREATIVE – Designs can be posted without worry that another creative could “copy” original ideas or designs.

FOR THE BUYER – Projects with private galleries tend to have slightly lower participation, and there are fewer eyes looking out for potential violations. In addition, some creatives will only participate in projects with open galleries.

FOR THE CREATIVE- Competing in a project with a closed gallery is kind of like competing in the dark. If the buyer doesn’t  post any scores or comments on the entries, creatives have no idea if they are on the right track or not (or if their entry is stacking up against the competition).  Also, creatives can not see the awarded entry.

When a buyer posts a project, we encourage them to take all of this information into account, and choose which type of gallery is best for their particular project. Some will post their project and have a change of heart. This creates a difficult situation for the creatives who already put time and effort into their entries believing the project would stay with the type of gallery it had when it was posted. This is also one of the reasons we ask creatives NOT to request that buyers change the gallery setting after a project has opened. However, every situation and every project is different. If a buyer realizes they need to change their gallery setting, they can click “Contact us” at the top of any page, and the cS Crew will help them out.

Which kind of gallery do you prefer? What suggestions do you have for improving the gallery settings? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

From many minds, the perfect design. Post your project today and let the crowd wow you!

  • NY_Group

    If writing projects are always private I assume it’s to protect the writer’s content.  The same should hold true for design projects.  If it can be done for writing projects it shouldn’t be difficult to give designers the same privacy for their work.  At minimum, CS can provide designer’s with a tool to make their choice to for privacy thus only allowing buyers to see their work and for those wanting to have their work displayed will still have that option.  This removes the buyer’s confusion since they can still see all designs but can make it completely private if their project requires it.

  • Blind contests defeats the whole ideology of crowd-sourcing. The truly talented designer will take what the client deems the best designs to be and make it work. Crowd-sourcing should be about the collect brainstorm, the kid who copy’s will soon be weeded out and exposed.

    My 2 cents;P

  • NY_Group

    Thanks Fabian M — maybe my request for privacy came in because I always thought that the purpose of cS was to give the client a wider range of individual concepts vs a group-type project with collective brainstorming.   I have yet to see any designer brainstorming occur.  Instead, designers are strongly encouraged to submit their own individual design ideas and the client will then select the most appropriate concept for their project needs. 

    I don’t know, maybe I’m just misunderstanding your statement.  If so, my apologies.

    Anyway, no biggie.  It doesn’t seem to be something cS is considering.  I was just wondering why writers had privacy for their work and designers do not.  And, if the privacy topic has been hotly debated why not offer designers the option of making their concept public/private.  Those having public concepts could, of course, continue enjoying whatever benefit derives from that and the client, as usual, would still see all concepts.

  • Catalinboncu


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  • Granted agency type brainstorming would not work here, an agency will get paid regardless of who has the chosen concept. We are all striving for the same prize here, so working together as a team is not going to happen. I still feel that by having a transparent playing field would benefit the clients, we’ll get to see what they true like and not taking shots in the dark…but that again only works if the client uses ratings and actually takes the time to comment on entries….LOL…and pigs fly;D

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