99 Designs

99 Designs is a service that allows you to leverage the power of crowdsourcing in creating designs for your business. The premise is simple: launch a contest with a brief for a design you need (whether that's a logo, image, business card or even a website), set a prize amount, and receive submissions from designers around the world. Collaborate with these designers until you're happy with the designs, then at the end of the contest, choose a winning design. The winning designer receives your prize money, and you receive a top design for a fraction of the regular cost. <cshow logged=1 ingroup='sysop'>

Procedure

  1. Launch a contest
  • Login:
username: [email protected]
password: BrandFunn3l
  • Select what it is that you want designed - logo, image, website etc
  1. Submit design brief
  2. Choose design package
    • Select according to budget. No rule of thumb established as yet
    • You can choose to make a contest blind, which some designers prefer. This means that only you can see submitted designs. Normally, this option is available to you only after you've completed your first contest, but you can request this from 99 Designs for your first contest if you want it
    • Select timeline (usually 7 days, but you can fast-track this if you want your designs sooner. Please note however that this may mean you get fewer designs)
  3. Launch contest

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Tips when using 99 Designs

Creating the contest

  • When creating a contest, have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and make sure your brief reflects this. Although you should leave some room for interpration, an imprecise brief may discourage designers from submitting
  • Provide lots of reference material in your brief to give designers an indication of what you want to achieve. In your brief, upload images that you like, past examples, or other documents
  • If you have a house style/branding guide, make sure you upload this as part of your brief
  • Contests are public by default, meaning that others can see designs that have been submitted. If you would prefer designs to be viewable only by you, you can make the contest blind (some designers prefer this)
  • When considering pricing there are 4 options:

Bronze

Expect around 30 designs or less and your design to show up last on the list

Silver

Higher prize will attract better designers (expect around 60 designs)

Gold

High prize amount ensures maximum participation
A dedicated account manager
Expect around 90 designs

Platinum

Only hand-picked platinum designers may participate
A dedicated account manager
Expect around 60 of the highest quality designs

You can also create your own custom package as the packages mentioned above are at a set price, varying depending on which contest you are running. Also keep in mind that in the package amount there is a 30% fee that goes to 99designs - the remainder will the the prize for the designer.

Contests can also be guaranteed meaning that you forfeit your right to a refund should you not be happy with any of the designs submitted. Guaranteed contests get significantly more entries than non-guaranteed contests.

  • Try to begin your contest during a time that won't fall over a weekend as it is important to give constant feedback to designers (on a daily basis if possible). The initial qualifying round where all designers can submit entries is open for 4 days, following this you will get some time to select finalists and once finalists have been selected the final round will commence where finalists submit final designs, this final round last 3 days before a winner must be selected. However, if you need more time 99designs are usually quite good with extending rounds by up to 5 days depending on how much time is needed.
  • In the design brief ensure that you ask designers to give commentary on all of the designs they submit to get an understanding of the thought behind the design itself - an easy way to get this point across is to say that all designs that are submitted without commentary of their work will be eliminated.

During the contest

  • To maximise the number of submissions you receive, browse through Finished Contests and invite designers that you like to participate
  • When you start receiving designs, make sure you provide feedback straight away to keep the contest active
  • You may not get the perfect design straight away, so be prepared to brief designers on multiple revisions, and work through multiple iterations of the one design
  • If you're unsure about which designs to invite to subsequent rounds, create a poll and ask colleagues/friends to vote for their favourite design
  • You can request an extension for the contest if needed
  • If by the end of the contest you’re torn between multiple designs, you can actually award multiple winners (additional designs will be priced at a discounted rate)