The aesthetics of your website, as well as your complete business brand is often left to a single graphic or web designer that you know or have worked with in the past. This can be a good thing…if you’re lucky and have found a diamond in the rough. However, way too often the graphics that are part of your website (as well as throughout your small business collateral materials) often lack that much needed clean and professional look.
It’s www.99designs.com. This is where I had my Website Blueprint logo created. I paid $350 for my logo through 99 Designs.
99 Designs does much more than logos. You can utilize them to do pretty much any type of graphic design work. Including web design, icon creation, stationary, print work, or whatever you may need.
The process is pretty simple. 99 Designs runs a “design contest” for your graphic work. There are thousands of designers that can decide to compete to create your design. All you need is a concept of what you want created and an idea of how much you’re prepared to pay for it.
Step 1: Set Your Budget
You’ll be asked how much you’re willing to pay the winning designer. This is called the prize. The prize amount for a new logo, stationary, or advertising materials currently starts at $204. You can even get a design for your WordPress website/blog theme starting at $369.
Step 2: Create Your Design Brief
99 Designs will ask you some questions that will form your design brief. A design brief is just a summary of what you need designed. It costs $39.00 to post your brief.
Step 3: Work with the Designers (this is the part that’s great!)
Once your design brief has been posted, designers from around the world (literally) will submit design concepts to compete for your prize. It’s your job to rate the designs and provide feedback to help the designers deliver what you want.
Step 4: Choose Your Favorite Design
At the completion of the design contest (which is typically 7 days) you will choose a winning design and pay the designer the prize amount. The designer will send you their completed design along with copyright to the original art work.
Here is my biggest tip to get the best possible design for your investment:
The Most Participation from Designers come from a “Guaranteed Prize”
There two kinds of contests. The “regular” contests and “guaranteed” contests. “Guaranteed” means that you promise to pick one of the designs submitted and award a prize. If you choose the “regular” category, you can decide in the end that if you don’t like any of the designs, you don’t have to pay any prize money.
Although not having to pay if you don’t like a design may seem like a good idea, you probably won’t get as many designers participating in the process, and those that do participate won’t be the best designers on the site.
What gives you the best shot for the best possible design is to have a lot of designers willing to work in the hope of earning a prize.
I also found that if you find a winning designer, it may also end up being a good contact for other graphic needs in the future.
You can check it all out at www.99designs.com.