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Crowdsourcing Logo Design 03/16/2011

Posted by johndex in Entrepreneurship, Management.

One of the first things you need to get going and feel legit is a company logo. Going with a known graphic designer can be the right way to go. I also believe that establishing a relationship with contractors locally who operate within your entrepreneurial community can be a plus as you build a network. I considered this option but as I didn’t have a favorite local designer, I decided instead to crowdsource my logo design on 99designs.

99designs and other similar sites offer pros and cons. The biggest bonus is you get to see creative entries from many designers. For me, a non-artist, this was useful, especially when I had little idea of the design direction I wanted. On the downside, you may get a range of quality, and you’ll need to plan on quite a bit of interaction with your designers to get the most out of them. On a side note, there online help and customer support is very good. I found them to be responsive by email and phone.

In researching this option I identified the following best practices that I committed to:

  • Create a very well done design brief with a strong title and clear objectives.  This is absolutely critical. Spend time on this.
  • Price the contest at $495 or more to attract many quality designs and better designers.
  • Create a poll to get feedback from friends and colleagues. I will do this in a later post.  You can do this during the contest or after it ends (before you pick a winner).
  • Guarantee a winner once you see quality work.  (I did after 90 submissions from 15 designers).  More designers jump in when this happens.
  • Provide feedback regularly.  I underestimated the amount of time I would need to do this.  I spent more than 25 hours reviewing designs, redesigns, and providing feedback.  However, this led to very good revised work and a variety of high quality finalists.  99designs blog and help sections gave some useful guidance.
  • Invite designers whose work you like.  This requires a bit of research, but it pays off.  Do this by looking at other contests and also doing a search on Google for “designer profile 99designs”.  I invited about 30 designers.  Many responded with design entries.  I received more than 230 designs from 16 designers, which exceeded my expectations.

Check out my design contest.



1. Lex - 07/08/2011

Interesting bit of writing. I, for one, am still on the fence regarding crowdsourcing. It is still a touchy issue for most designers who said that crowdsourcing is a no-no for obtaining a logo design. I have tried crowdsourcing before and I know the risks involved but it comes within the territory. But there are other no-frills logo design websites online such as logobee.com, logodesignstation.com, logoyes.com, etc. which are actually great in getting a professional logo design at a fraction of the price and minus the risks of crowdsourcing as you have mentioned (plagiarism is one of them). Seeing that there are no consultation services, the price is significantly lower than that of conventional design firms. For instance, I have tried http://www.logodesignstation.com and the experience was indeed a positive one. I managed to get my business logo design at an affordable price and the turnaround time was great as well. Highly recommended. Although crowdsourcing for logo designs could be a bane for some, many find it to be a viable alternative to get a fast logo on the cheap. For instance, some of my friends went for 99designs to get a logo design for their small business as budget-wise it is the only possible option for them. I believe it all boils down to the individual’s take on how much should a logo that will be representing his/her company actually worth.

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