November 1, 2014

99designs.com Review and Logo Competition Case Study

Have you heard of the site 99designs.com? In 3 short years it has become the #1 marketplace for crowd sourced graphic design on the internet.

Basically, 99designs aims to connect a passionate design community from around the world with customers seeking designs… This community then ‘compete’ to produce the best design for a given job. The winning designer gets paid, and the customer receives quality, and affordable, design services. win win.

In essence, 99designs allows you to ‘crowd source’ designs from all over the world, and then only pay for the design you actually like. Very different from the ‘old’ model and certainly rubs some of the purists the wrong way, but hey, it works!

I recently read that in just 3 years, 99designs has paid out an amazing $25 million to their designers and grown the business to the point where over 1,000 new design contests are launched every week. At present they are paying out around $1.2 million dollars to designers every month.

I’m going to briefly discuss the logo design side of the business but you can get pretty much anything designed with these guys from web sites, banner ads, business cards and stationary, right through to T-shirt designs.

Now, I’ve a confession to make, I personally have not yet used their design services (you can tell by my lack of logo!) but I’ve been recommending them for ages to friends and co-workers as I’ve constantly heard good things about the results.

About 3 months ago a built a site for my father’s Melbourne based finance broker business – CapitalBrokers.com.au (using Genesis Framework from Studiopress – best. wordpress. framework. ever.)

Now you can jump ahead and see the final logo if you like, but you’ll miss the story…

David (my father) has been running his own commercial finance broking businesses for the last 27 years and has rebranded probably about 5-6 times throughout this period.

However after running his competition on 99designs it’s pretty safe to say that this was probably one of the least expensive logo / stationary designs, but also the most  rewarding, he’s ever done!

How successful was David’s logo competition? Try over 150 designs from close to 40 individual designers! David’s logo competition was so successful in fact that a customer service rep at 99designs actually asked him how he’d done it!

The key, it seems, was communication.

David didn’t offer any more money. It was a standard $295 logo comp. What he did do however was offer continuous feedback to the designers who had already engaged with the project. For this effort he was rewarded!

Crowd sourcing for logos, web sites or other design needs may not be for everyone. But if you are in the market for a new look or identity then for a few hundred $’s it’s definitely a sound investment.

Give 99Designs a try today!

Pro Tip:

  • If you want to maximise the number of logo entries you get, it’s not always just about the $’s, if one designer is submitting solid logo’s but you have ideas for how they could be better, let them know. Not only will they submit more variations. But the end product will probably be of an even higher standard as a result.

And here’s Davids logo!

 

Capital Brokers Australia's winning logo

 

 

 

Disclaimer: Some links used in this site are via affiliate networks which may reward me for purchases made after someone (you know you want to) clicks on these links. So thanks in advance. ;-)

About Leigh Hanney

Leigh Hanney is a marketing consultant helping companies optimise and execute digital marketing strategy and improve ROI.
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Comments

  1. Mike says:

    That logo is a stock graphic. How exciting! David was ripped off.

  2. Leigh Hanney says:

    Hey Mike – One way to look at it! But if David’s pleased with the result then all good!

  3. D Hensarling says:

    I can appreciate that he got a design. However, the flip side of this euphoria on 99Designs is that all too often great designers put ideas forth, only to have them stolen by other artists, and then have the contest holder choose a ripoff. As a graphic designer who has succeeded on 99Designs, I would say that at this point, over 1/3rd of all designs I submitted were then copied by others who couldn’t come up with their own original idea. I have even had contest holders encourage other graphic designers to copy my work. When 99Designs is made aware of this infringement, they usually do not care. It is a crowd source. Plain and simple. So, yes, I am not surprised there is some clipart use going on, either.

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