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kikz

99designs.com

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I'm after a logo for my new company and I came across http://99designs.com which seems like a great idea.

 

Has anyone had experience with them? Was it favourable. USD$300 for a logo sounds ok price wise and I like the idea of getting 30 or so submissions to my "design contest"

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Eurgh, design contests.

 

I'm not sure what sort of quality you're likely to get when you ask designers to spend their time designing a logo for which they may or may not get paid. Imaging someone asking you to spend 30 hours developing a program that they might pay you for when you're done :P

 

Branding's pretty important (given everything in your business is going to relate to it) so I'm not sure whether or not you feel your business is going to be big enough to warrant spending more and doing proper branding with a design firm or something where they gave you a whole package with logo, typefaces, branding manual and all that stuff.

 

That said, if you're not worried about funding the culture they're pushing (I really don't like it because I hate working on the chance of being paid, but I can see why it's appealing to people) then go for it, I'm sure that at least 5 of the logos will be high enough quality for you to have a hard time choosing.

 

edit: for a proper branding package, you're probably looking at $1500 or thereabouts so it's 5 times the cost of grabbing 30 designs from 99designs :( http://www.mootygraphicdesign.com.au/corpo...ing-package.php look pretty nice, but there's alot of options so if you did end up going down that road I'd find a company that suits you so you can work with them better for a great result.

Edited by superfireydave

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Imagine someone asking you to spend 30 hours developing a program that they might not pay you for when you're done

Exactly. I was reading this article a few months back on the possible peril of design competitions, or crowdsourced design.

 

http://www.thelogofactory.com/logo_blog/in...design-contest/

 

For those who can't be bothered reading, Cadbury held a design competition, and the winning entry was actually plagiarised, so Cadbury got serious PR issues for a while. And the second place wasn't even that good considering the 10000 euro prize.

 

Not a big deal for tiny little businesses and non profit things like the atomic F1 website, but there are certainly risks involved in holding such a contest, you just need to be aware of these.

Edited by Kung Fu Hung-Su

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heh I've actually recently incorporated my own software company and spent a not inconsiderably sum of money on Lawyers and Accountants etc already. My concern is that Logo's obviously form the basis of branding and perception of a company. I'm concerned that paying a single designer $1000 for a logo is risky, in that it's just one persons idea.

 

do you know if logo designers also do Trademark searches to ensure whatever logo they produce is trademarkable? (not talking 99designs here).

Edited by kikz

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It does seem like that crowd sourcing is becoming popular these days, but I'm not a big fan of how things work in this model. With crowd sourcing, it's true that you can get so many submissions for a job yet you only have to pay for one, but I think it's particularly bad for designers and the workers at the other end. There's no guarantee that they'll get paid (even a retainer) for the work they did for their particular entry, so it could mean spending hours on work that gets no pay.

Edited by edmund.tse

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do you know if logo designers also do Trademark searches to ensure whatever logo they produce is trademarkable? (not talking 99designs here).

I'd suggest that's your responsibility, as the client, to do your DD.

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True edmund.tse, but they're not forced to work. Personally, I'd only participate if I had a high level of experience in the field and a library I could easily draw on to quickly create a product.

 

In short, with that thinking, I expect that only quality people would submit work, as the low quality produced would expect to not win.

 

e.g. As a developer with many years experience, I have a library of previous work (IP) to draw upon when building software. Thus I'd green-light competing for work only on projects I had existing libraries to rapidly build something with.

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Yeah, I completely understand why you might want alot more choices when it comes to logo design and how crowdsourcing is appealing. At the same time, I'm sure you can understand that in order to get a library of previous work you need proper clients rather then people who do competitions and that's why most people in the creative industry hate crowdsourcing because it creates an atmosphere where it's very hard to get paid reasonably (by reasonably I mean an average wage for their education level) and means that more clients are under the impression that your time is worth very little which gets very frustrating - especially when you're trying to break into the industry. The people in this thread aren't voicing their concerns about crowdsourcing because of a one of competition, but rather that it's a way for companies to obtain 400 hours worth of work, but only pay for 40.

 

I also understand that spending 1-2k for a single company to develop a logo and brand for you is somewhat scary, especially if they go in a direction that's the complete opposite to what you had in mind. At the end of the day though, there's no guarantee that something produced from a design competition is going to fit your company either and it's your money so spend it where you think is best.

 

If you do go through 99designs I'd be most interested in seeing what the quality and diversity of entries was.

 

The other alternative is, of course, to get it done in-house if you've got people who are adept at design work. While it's not always as good as having an outside perspective on your company it can be cheaper and you can have more control over the creative process (whether or not this will result in a better logotype I'm not sure, but it could be worth a try if you wanted that control).

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In short, with that thinking, I expect that only quality people would submit work, as the low quality produced would expect to not win.

hahahahahahahahaha oh no x) Look at this drivel.

 

http://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/...553/entries/271

 

Of course, there's some good stuff too...but because the site sets absolutely no requirements for submitting "good" entries, there's much more garbage.

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Yeah, I completely understand why you might want alot more choices when it comes to logo design and how crowdsourcing is appealing. At the same time, I'm sure you can understand that in order to get a library of previous work you need proper clients rather then people who do competitions and that's why most people in the creative industry hate crowdsourcing because it creates an atmosphere where it's very hard to get paid reasonably (by reasonably I mean an average wage for their education level) and means that more clients are under the impression that your time is worth very little which gets very frustrating - especially when you're trying to break into the industry. The people in this thread aren't voicing their concerns about crowdsourcing because of a one of competition, but rather that it's a way for companies to obtain 400 hours worth of work, but only pay for 40.

 

I also understand that spending 1-2k for a single company to develop a logo and brand for you is somewhat scary, especially if they go in a direction that's the complete opposite to what you had in mind. At the end of the day though, there's no guarantee that something produced from a design competition is going to fit your company either and it's your money so spend it where you think is best.

 

If you do go through 99designs I'd be most interested in seeing what the quality and diversity of entries was.

 

The other alternative is, of course, to get it done in-house if you've got people who are adept at design work. While it's not always as good as having an outside perspective on your company it can be cheaper and you can have more control over the creative process (whether or not this will result in a better logotype I'm not sure, but it could be worth a try if you wanted that control).

I can appreciate the point of designers, I just don't care :p The financials of it appeals to me. Yeah I realised the problem long term... :)

 

99designs - you don't have to pay any money if you don't get something you like. although I think you have to pay the admin cost, about $40 or something.

 

I have a designer that I (will) contract work to for UI/UX design for software, and I've asked for a quote on a logo last week. Just awaiting a reply. ATM I'm 90% with going with 99designs, as I've heard good things on podcasts etc. I'll make my mind up in the next week or so because I've got to get this moving... I'm interested to see the end result too.

 

My sister is a an artist works on some print media stuff and I spent a bit of time working with her on a logo but nothing she did came close to what I had in mind, hence the desire to go with a proven professional / crowd source.

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On the other hand you could go down both roads. If you get something you like on 99 designs but it still needs improvement you might be able to find a design studio to improve on it.

 

Just brain storming but it might be worth a think...

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Just wanted to point out another option for crowd sourcing graphics design: DesignCrowd.

 

These guys are a Sydney-based startup, which I came across at SydStart earlier this year.

Cheers. I'll give them a look. I plan to type up my design brief over the weekend.

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kikz, did you end up getting a logo?

 

I'm in the market for one myself and I'm looking for recommendations.

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Nope. I'm still in the market for a Logo. Just don't trust 'em, all of 'em :p

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Instead of putting your trust in one designer, and worrying about paying 1000 for a logo that might suck, why not use a design studio and get a number of designers (who actually know wtf they are doing) and get a few different options? Lots of small studios will do small jobs like this no problem.

 

Crowdsourcing is good for design, when the crowd is made of designers, and not 15 year old kids with pirated copies of illustrator. I didn't study for 6 years to be cut out of the market by some no talent hack thank you.

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I'm after a logo for my new company and I came across http://99designs.com which seems like a great idea.

 

Has anyone had experience with them? Was it favourable. USD$300 for a logo sounds ok price wise and I like the idea of getting 30 or so submissions to my "design contest"

Yeah they're good, and their prices are reasonable.

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There is such a thing as too many choices.

 

Frankly I think some of these crowd sourcing design sites are dangerous to both the design community and the client. I've recently stumbled upon logodesignguru by microburst, a horrid example of this method.

 

Firstly it sets false expectations about what things cost, So when a client asks me for a quote with expectations of $300 because thats what hes seen on these types of sites, and gets a quote back for $800 they get upset and think I'm ripping them off.

When really these sites are full of students and any monkey that's taught themselves photoshop or illustrator and really don't know what they're doing.

 

Secondly, the client Often has no idea what they want or looking for and isn't a designer so often will base his decisions on personal tastes and not even consider how it represents the business.

The reason there's a lot of shitty looking brands out there particularly with small business's, is because they cut corners like this.

 

As a designer its my job to design a brand that will best represent the business and my responsibility to advise against suggestions that would otherwise damage or hinder the business's image. I don't design for the clients personal tastes, I design for the public view of the business.

 

I'm not paid $300-$800 to design a logo of a rainbow coloured duck smoking a cigar for a business called bobs lawn mowing service.

Only to have the client. Come back 6 months later saying they want their money back because its hurting their business. They insisted that's what they wanted because of personal reasons getting in the way and not considering how the public will view this.

 

Which brings me to open crowed sourcing design services like 99designs.

Ive seen some examples of what was chosen vs the rest of the entry's and this is the most dangerous part about why this kind of service is broken. As in the example given above, There may be some great choices in the submissions.. but then the client picks one of the bad ones.

 

They have no guidance as to what design will best represent their business, they have to rely purely on what they see which they draw from their own personal tastes.

There is no thought process in this, and if your a client with strange ideas or shitty opinions about what looks good... your only hurting your business.

 

Having said that, 99designs at least looks like it has some half decent designers on their list compared to logodesignguru. But Ive noticed alot of logo templates being posted as their own work when they didn't do it and winning where others have put the time and effort into something all for nothing.

 

Just be aware of the pitfalls, and get some professional designer feedback from us or other design community's about the choices presented to you for your brand preposal on these kinds of sites if you go down this path.

 

Whats more important than massive amount of design choice is alot of qualified feedback about those submissions.

If you are going to use this kind of service, just pick one that has a good amount of professional designers and not just a bunch of garbage people.

 

Have a look at this link:

http://factoidz.com/compare-logo-design-se...gs-and-reviews/

Id strongly advise using a dedicated design team over an open design community for obvious and above reasons.

Edited by moofactory

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I've recently started my own engineering consultancy and used a graphics designer to develop a cohesive branding package (logo, business cards, letterheads, standard typefaces, website, car signage, etc). It was pretty much the best investment I made in my business, IMO. Clients regularly mention to me how professionally my business presents compared to my competitors, some of which are 30+ years established and 250x my size!

 

The most important thing is to review the designer's portfolio of work. You should be looking for designs that not only look neat, but also tie into the businesses they promote in some way.

 

Could ramble on a heap more about it, but that covers the important points =)

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I know someone who used 99designs, and wasn't happy with the end result. Pay peanuts... get monkeys.

 

So they then commissioned these graphic designers and even though they said it cost a lot more than 99designs, they're thrilled with the result.

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Two years later I'm no longer looking for a designer :p

Also, I'm a web dev and have access to inhouse designers.

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