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If you are good designer you can always try your luck with online contests. You get paid only if your design wins, be aware that for each contest you will have competition from dozens other designers.

Last updated: April 9, 2014

Founded in 2008, 99designs is the most popular crowd sourcing design content marketplace. When customer wants a logo or other design (book cover, product packaging, poster, website template, etc..), goes to 99designs, briefs the design and starts contest with the money award. Designers from all over the world start submitting designs based on design brief by the customer. During the contest, the customer can comment, eliminate and rate designs on the contest page, giving additional feedback to designers. When the contest is over the contest holder can either choose the winning design or select several finalists for the final round where additional refinements to the designs can be suggested. After the final round, the winning designer gets the money award, and all other participating designers get nothing, in most of the cases not even “thank you” for participating.

The user interface is well thought and goes straight to the point, both from the designers and contest holder perspective; you can easily sort, filter and navigate through contests. So if you want to make money from home by designing logos this might be the place for you, but be aware that you will be competing with dozens if not hundreds of designers for each contest and the odds will not be in your favor! Nevertheless it can be great learning experience, especially if you are hobbyist and enjoy making designs to kill time. Most of the professional designers are mocking this service and call it degrading for their profession, however to be fair to 99designs, yes there are some really good designers there especially the platinum ones.

Joining in is very easy, there are no special requirements for registering an account. Once you are in, you can browse through contests with ease and when you get inspiration for particular design, you can start submitting. While you submit designs in jpg or png format, it is mandatory that the winning design is delivered to the contest holder in vector format (especially for logos); this means that you will need to create your designs in vector format, so if you don’t own vector designing software, you must buy it which can be quite expensive. Even if you think that you have great idea for some design and make it perfectly, it doesn’t mean that your design will win. Because you cannot know what the visual taste of the contest holder is, and while from the design brief you will get the basic idea, you cannot develop personal relationship. That is why 99designs is discouraging for many designers; simply putted the odds are not in their favor. However participating designers know that will not get paid for their efforts if they don’t win, 99designs would be much better if they make some scheme to keep active talented designers by paying some money when submitting a certain number of designs each month.

On the other side from contest holder perspective, 99designs is great. For just a few hundred bucks you will get dozens of designs (hundreds if you guarantee the prize) to choose from, this is the main reason why there are so many contests taking place at 99designs.

There are many alternatives to 99designs, but the most notable are crowdspring and logotournament.


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