Project Galleries: Public Vs. Private

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?

PUBLIC (open) GALLERY
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).

PROs
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.

CONs
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.

PRIVATE (closed) GALLERY
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).

PROs
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.

CONs
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.
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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.