Your logo is the face of your business, and for most small business owners, a corporate graphic is one of the first steps in creating your brand. Previously, creating a memorable design may have required hiring a pricey designer. Thanks to the power of the internet and crowdsourcing, things just got a lot simpler for people looking to put their mark on the world.
99designs.com to the Rescue
99designs.com is a website that allows business owners and other professionals to solicit graphic designs from a large online community. The site lets you choose how much you are willing to pay, lay out your specifications, and then lets you sit back and have designers submit their entries until you find your perfect logo, icon, or other graphic. You choose the winning design and only pay for that winning design. You do not pay for the other designs.
Tell Me More
99designs has 16 design categories to choose from. You can solicit bids on anything from logos to website design. Each category has three competition levels – bronze, silver, and gold. The bronze competition level is the least expensive, and acts as a floor for payments (i.e. you cannot pay less for a project than the minimum bronze level payment). Silver and gold competitions level packages each cost more, but generally have more designers bid on the project. Gold level generally attracts the highest work quality and the most bids. Gold also gives you an Account Manager to help make your contest as successful as possible. You may also create your own prize so long as it is greater than the bronze pricing.
Let the Games Begin – How Contests Work
When you create your contest you may choose to have a “guaranteed” competition. This means no matter what one design will be chosen as the winner, and thus guarantees a payout. 99designs does not allow refunds for guaranteed contests, but guaranteed contests generally attract the most designers and has the highest work quality.
The first round of competition is the “Qualifying Round.” It starts after you pay for the contest, and generally lasts four days. You can provide feedback to designers, or you can just sit back and watch the bids come in. After the Qualifying Round you select your finalists. You may choose up to six finalists. In the “Final Round” your chosen finalists generally have three days to revise or submit new bids, although their previous entries remain available. You should give feedback to each designer to maximize your results. You select and pay your winner at the end of this round.
And the Winner Is . . .
After the competition closes you have fourteen days to select your competition winner. If you are not satisfied with any of the designs and your contest is not “guaranteed” you may ask 99designs for a refund within 60 days of payment. If you like one (or multiple) designs you designate one or more winners. You must pay each winner your listed award price (i.e. if you select two winners they do not split the prize).
After you select one or more winners you and your winning designer(s) must each sign and accept the Design Transfer Agreement (DTA). This transfers the design copyright from the winning bidder to you or your business. Once you have received the DTA and paid the winning designer the “Design Handover” process is complete.
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