3 Proven Companies to Crowdsource your Design
Does Crowdsourcing Give You Awesome Results?
The answer is “It all depends…” If you choose to Crowdsource your design, you can achieve amazing results. However, it is important that you go into a project with the right expectations. Like all collaborative processes, you also need to invest time, effort and thought into each of the steps needed to crowdsource your design.
Crowdsourcing can also result in disappointment, with lots of additional messages from contestants to answer and multiple variations of the finished work to evaluate.
But first, let’s step back a bit and explain how Crowdsourcing differs from the accepted approach to design commissioning and acceptance.
What is Crowdsourcing?
Crowdsourcing is a design process that involves posting a brief to a website, together with your design budget, and getting “designers” from all over the world to respond. You then pick the best design and award the money to the winner.
To crowdsource your design is probably the fastest way to get different works done at a relatively cheap price. A wide range of design is now sourced from such platforms.
If you have no experience as a graphic designer, you should hire a designer rather than trying your own hand. A badly created visual will leave a negative impression on your target audience. Your casual approach towards graphic design may even cause irreparable harm to your business brand. So, get a trained designer to do your graphic design work.
What many entrepreneurs quickly discover is that getting the services of a professional graphic designer can be expensive. They are in the setup phase of business. Therefore, finding a way to save money is very important.
For this reason, the option to crowdsource your design has become popular with many startup firms and entrepreneurs looking to save money.
The Best 3 Companies to Crowdsource your Design?
While the Internet has created this new type of sourcing model, it has also created a lot of choices. To make it easier for you, we have narrowed down a selection of three proven design companies who will crowdsource your design.
If you are looking for objectivity, then peer recognition is a great start. The vast majority of online reviews for DesignBro give them a 5-star rating, with less than 10% of reviews giving them a 4 or a 4.5 rating. Even the highly regarded Trust Pilot scoreboard lists them as ‘excellent’, with a score of 4.7 from 23 independent reviews.
Clearly DesignBro has its business processes well mapped out and fine-tuned to help both customer and designer. This sentiment is echoed across many of the reviews. Typical responses like:
We used DesignBro to brand our restaurant. The process could not have been easier. Our client manager Christiaan really understood what we wanted from the beginning. He helped us with ideas and gave us many tips on how to make a better brand. Even the first concept designs were spot on and only needed a little tweaking to get to the final product. DesignBro was clear, professional and helpful from concept to the final product. Cannot recommend them highly enough.
I really liked DesignBro approach! Designers competing to deliver the best design to you is the best you could aim for. I had two projects and 6 designers, and I am very happy with the results I also liked the DesignBro team! Always available to answer all my questions and keen on getting my opinion about new features for the platform. Amazing!
Yulexi Matienzo – CBLONet
A reason for the success of DesignBro is that they are very explicit about the information they require to crowdsource your design.
Rather than being a ‘Jack of all Trades’ and attempting every design brief that is thrown their way, DesignBro have narrowed their focus to 16 design categories: Logo design, brand identity design, website design, packaging design, website banner design, poster design, flyer design, Facebook Business design, Instagram Post design, Twitter profile design, Linkedin Page design, Youtube Channel design, Book Cover design, Magazine Cover Design, Album Cover design, Zoom Background design.
Creating an informative brief for the designer is paramount to achieving success when you crowdsource your design. DesignBro uses a series of steps to guide clients through a short but powerful briefing tool and then allows clients and designers to interact to achieve the best design for the job.
DesignBro focuses on quality, not quantity. They select only the best designers available and offer them design projects from all over the world. They also limit the design uploads in order to reduce clutter: a few high-quality designs are sufficient to choose from – why get hundreds of designs?
Benefits of Using DesignBro to Crowdsource your Design
DesignBro is European centric. This suggests a strong cultural diversity and variations between their designs. This is an important edge if you are based in North America or Asia and are looking to stand out from the crowd.
Expect to receive between 3-10 quality designs. DesignBro designers are hand-curated by one of DesignBro’s project managers. This ensures a better fit between the capabilities of the designer and the customer brief. Typically, you can expect to receive a series of high-quality designs to review.
DesignBro invests in your success. By including a project manager to oversee each design project, your funding of the competition ensures that you have an additional creative lead ensure that you receive first-class work from all the designers and that they deliver on time.
DesignBro rewards the top 3 designers. This opportunity pool provides stronger motivation for the designers to take the time to submit their best effort. DesignBro also allows revisions to be made to the winning entry, ensuring that it is a perfect match to your requirement.
Finally, if you’re not satisfied with any of the designs, DesignBro offers a refund policy. They do have quite a few hoops you need to jump through, and they may charge a $20 administration fee too. But with a 99% satisfaction rating, it’s unlikely you’ll need a refund.
Founded in 2008, 99Designs is considered the ‘Big Daddy’ of Crowdsourcing design sites with over 1 million registered designers from over 192 countries.
Headquartered in Melbourne Australia, 99Designs also has offices in Oakland California USA, with a European office in Berlin Germany. 99Designs is more than a pure-play Crowdsourcing site, they facilitate customers collaborating directly with designers on a one-to-one basis or you can elect to start your very own design contest.
99Designs, like DesignBro, manage the scope of their offering by dividing their offering into 8 design categories: landing pages, logos and brand identity, web and app designs, business and advertising, clothing and merchandise, art and illustration, packaging and labelling, book and magazine design.
From any of these categories, you can either search for and hire a designer directly or open your brief to the 99Designs community for designers submit their ideas and you pick your favourite design.
Why we Like 99Designs
As a Crowdsourcing provider, 99Designs have developed a very slick process that takes a lot of the guesswork out of defining your requirements. Based on a series of visual design markers, 99Designs is able to drill down on preferences concerning style, colour, language, budget, program management and delivery time.
Depending on your project budget, a 99Designs Contest will get you between 30 – 50 designs to select between. These designs are submitted to you within a standard period of 7 days. And if you are in a hurry, you can shorten the design contest to between 1 to 7 days. Just be prepared to pay a small penalty fee for the accelerated process!
The question which everyone asks is whether these high-pressure design contests produce sustainable work. While the team at Gigsourcer haven’t used 99Designs, we can say that there are some very happy customers who are willing to provide a public endorsement of their services.
These reviews have been taken from Trustpilot
Great Experience with 99 Designs!
We were sceptical at first but we really needed a logo and our local design firms quoted $2500 just to get started so we decided to try 99 Designs. Because we were sceptical, we chose the lowest plan and fully expected to be requesting our money back.
We had a very specific request for a logo that required an original illustration of a Pillywiggin. We received submissions from 10 designers with 2 designers knocking it out of the park on their first submissions. We chose to bring those 2 designers into the next round of our design contest & were absolutely blown away by their final designs. We bought both!
We are extremely happy with our logo designs & plan to work with both designers on the 1 to 1 the basis for future projects. I would highly recommend 99 Designs. The process was fun & easy and the logos we purchased more than exceeded our expectations.
Far Surpassed Expectations
The guidelines we submitted via contest (for a logo) was thorough and the range of designs received varied from inspiring but lacking structure to focused with a well-constructed concept and highly skilled features.
Prior to starting our contest, we read about how to ensure top quality results. A key aspect being regularly rating incoming entries but not so obvious to lead on too much our exact preference, which we were warned could invoke “group think”, influencing/leading the designers towards an overly narrow idea.
The final design was crafted more in line with our vision than we could have imagined and far surpassed our expectations. We’ll be using 99designs for all future work.
Clearly, 99Designs has a very loyal following. More importantly, they have been in business for over 12 years. Over this time they have generated over 444,000 customer engagements and have a revenue turnover in excess of $60m per annum. Try them, I am confident that you won’t be disappointed.
Designhill and 99designs have many things in common: a vast pool of creative talent, tens of thousands of completed projects, crowdsourcing and 1-to-1 options, and more.
But to-date, Designhill simply is on a smaller scale. That’s a positive, as the Indian-based firm has room to grow, and they want to matchmake clients and creatives in a secure, user-friendly space.
Also founded in 2008, Designhill wants to bring high-quality creative logo, web design, branding, and naming work not just to small businesses and one-person shops, but to organizations of any size who want to work in an online collaborative environment that combines ease of use with watertight contracts, secure digital content management, and escrow service.
Over 153,000 creative professionals have competed for over 116,000 successfully completed projects with over 5 million designs having been completed. Designhill also offers a 1-to-1 environment for customers who prefer individual interaction to manage crowd conversation. They have also extended their brand offering to include Print on Demand services and their own Logo Generator.
Like DesignBro and 99Designs, Designhill uses a similar stepped briefing process to start your design competition. This includes selecting sample designs that appeal to you and choosing a colour palette for your designs. You will also see pricing options to allow you to select the profile of designers who will get to respond to your competition brief.
You can decide how long you want your contest to run (usually from 24 hours to 10 days), and Designhill will offer you an estimate of approximately how many responses you can expect based on your timetable and prize.
Once you start getting responses, the site has built-in features to let you poll your friends or clients and offers unlimited feedback to the designers until you settle on the perfect choice.
Make a decision (within 14 days of the end of your contest), and finalize any changes with the designer. You have two weeks to finish everything and take ownership of the product, at which point you will be able to download high-quality files from the site (vector files in .png, .jpeg, .ai, and .psd formats), and the copyright will be transferred to you. You will also have the chance to buy more designs from the contest for reduced prices during this time if you so choose.
Why we like Designhill
As a design company based on the Indian sub-continent, with a large pool of regional designers, Designhill is able to offer a comparative pricing advantage. Ready-made logos are available for purchase for less than design contests or traditional one-to-one design, and self-made logos created by their AI Logo Generator start as low as $65 for their Premium offer. Effectively, there is something to suit any budget.
A unique feature of the Designhill Crowdsourcing process is that they have integrated polling technology. This allows you to get opinions from friends or clients before making your final decision. There is also real-time interaction with designers and 24/7 chat support on the site and 100% “no questions asked” moneyback guarantee on most packages (unless waived in a “guaranteed contest”).
Succeeding with Crowdsourcing
Return back to our original question “Does Crowdsourcing give you awesome results?” the answer will depend on the vendor you choose to work with, the designers that they bring to the competition and the standard of your brief.
Each of the 3 vendors that we have profiled in this article is highly experienced is able to crowdsource your design. Their regional diversity (Europe, Australia/USA, India) allows them to solicit responses from their own community of designers. More importantly, their internal moderation processes include experienced Project Managers (or auto-selector processes) ensuring that the right designers are matched with the right projects.
Our final recommendation on selecting a preferred vendor to crowdsource your design is to read the reviews and look at the sample design work that is displayed on each website. Find a style that matches your preference and taste, ask lots of questions and take your time to write a detailed brief. Ultimately, it is your money and time. Good luck on the journey and please share with us your final experience.