The bird on Twitter’s home page, familiar to millions, is small, cute and fun, and implies communication and anticipation. One might say it’s the perfect graphic for Twitter. Yet the company paid its designer at most $6, without attribution.
Some designers claim crowdsourcing is evil because it devalues their work by driving down prices, allowing amateurs into the game and forcing people to work “on spec,” meaning that they don’t get paid unless their design is chosen. Others see it as a natural evolution driven by supply, demand and technology.
Simon Oxley, the Japan-based Brit who licensed the bird graphic to Twitter for the price of a sandwich, through iStockphoto, sits somewhere in the middle.