Every website that is serious needs a logo that looks good and is attractive. But finding the right company that doesn’t have a high price tag can be difficult. But then there is a company called 99designs that changes everything.
When you want graphical work done, typically you decide to go with one company. They in turn assign your project to usually one graphic designer. The designer may put together a few ideas and you work off of what they provide, hoping that you get your money’s worth.
But if you go with 99designs, you literally have access to many different designers. The designers compete in producing the best design so they can win the “prize money”.
I needed a website logo, and I setup what they call a contest. I went with the lowest logo prize amount, which is $150. On top of that, there is an insertion fee of $64 (so it came to a total of $204). The “competition” lasts 7 days. With their system, you will get multiple artists submitting designs based on the specifications you give. You then give each designer feedback on what you like or do not like about each of their designs, and most of them come back with different options based on your comments.
On top of that, they have a 100% money back guarantee. In other words, if the contest ends and you do not want to go with any of the designs, you can get your money back. Now that is something you won’t find with most design firms!
So what happened in my case is that I attracted about 5 incredible designers, and ended up having 89 logo designs that were submitted! Out of those designs there were probably about 10 that were awesome. The winning logo is what you now see on the site, and I am VERY HAPPY with how everything turned out.
They have different categories of projects you can have designed: logos, website designs, buttons/icons, stationery, t-shirts, wordpress themes, twitter backgrounds, and advertising material. Each of the categories has a minimum prize amount, but they have higher prize options as well. In theory, the higher the prize amount for the contest you hold, the more talented artists you will attract. For example, if you wanted to attract the best designers out of the 62,000 they have in their system for a new logo, you could give a $913 prize amount and expect a ton of incredible designers.
The ironic thing is that the site claimed I should expect about 25 different designs for the contest that I held (which was for the lowest amount). One thing that helped was that I guaranteed the prize at about halfway through the project. This forfeits your 100% guarantee right, and it tells the designers that you will pick one design as the winner (at that point I was confident that I would pick a design from what was submitted). This gives the designers more confidence, and thus you attract more designers.
Any time I need graphical work done I will be going to 99designs.
Do you have experience with 99designs? How did it go?
4 thoughts on “The Best Graphic Design Company”
Crowd sourcing sites like 99 designs are becomming more and more popular both with businesses and less experienced designers.
99 Designs is a great website idea which offers up and coming designers a way to get their foot in the door and build up their experience and portfolio.
I don’t think that many experienced designers are a fan of crowd sourcing sites like this though, mainly because they are lowering the value of logo designs ($150 for a logo design is basically giving it away!).
I also think that the quality of designs found on these crowd sourcing sites still has a lot of room for improvement. If they can bump up the quality of the designs then me and the other designers out there may be forced to work for peanuts and compete with thousands of hungry young designers from around the world. 😦
My hesitance with going this route was the concern that the quality of designs I would get would be very low, but I was pleasantly surprised.
I honestly think if I offered a $500 prize amount, I would have gotten even better designs.
These type of systems give the advantage to the consumer instead of the designer. I think really good designers would do well in these type of systems…but it is all about competition. A really good designer is probably not going to play many $150 contest entries…they will go for the larger projects.
With all of that said, I have worked at different web shops, and a lot of the good quality designs I received for this content were as good if not better than what I would have paid $300-$500 for a logo at these design firms. In my head (at this point), I would have no reason to go with a design firm.
But then again, this is coming from the perspective of a programmer. I could be wrong. 🙂
On one end, I would feel guilty that some starving college student like myself just made me a badass logo for $200.
But of course there’s more money in my pocket.
Capitalism in the works my friends. We must find a new way to add value to our services. If crowd sourcing brings good quality, then we must find something else. What is that something else?
I really don’t know if the “starving college student” is an accurate description of the graphic artists using that system….at least the really great ones.
In fact, the younger college age people that were obvious they were that young did not submit the best designs. There were a few that were pretty awful.
The winning logo that you see above was actually done by an artist who I think was overseas.
So maybe these types of systems open up the graphic design market to overseas designers?
I’m still not convinced that a great graphic designer could not do really good with this type of system. I might have to do some research on this…
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