Design is the secret to a successful business. They might not teach that lesson in Business 101, but it’s the truth. Whether you’re a business owner or a freelancer, you probably know by now that design has a huge impact on how people grasp and perceive your brand. A clean, communicative brand design can make or break a company.
With over half-a-million new businesses started every month in the United States alone, it’s important that your brand stands out amongst the crowd. The best way to accomplish that is through a unique and eye-catching company design.
Using a design contest site is one of the best ways to accomplish any type of design project, from logo design to a fully responsive website — there are many reasons why design contest sites are a great choice, but first, let’s evaluate all our options:
1. Working with a single designer: This option is very limited. A single designer has no competition, and as a result, is more likely to submit sub-par work. You must also find it difficult to coordinate schedules, especially if you live in different time zones.
2. Working with a design agency: This option is slightly less limited, but you are still unable to see what is going on behind the curtain. This makes collaboration a much more difficult process. Agencies are also typically more expensive.
3. Working with a design contest site: Most of the problems faced by working with a single designer or a design agency are eliminated when you work with a design contest site. They offer much more flexibility, way more options, faster results and affordable pricing.
Design contest sites allow designers to compete for your project through their work. When you use a design contest site, you instantly hire dozens, sometimes even hundreds, of designers to compete for your business.
In this post, I’ll be comparing three of the top design contest sites: 99designs, Designhill and DesignContest. Analyzing the features of each design site will help you make a more informed decision about the direction of your brand’s design.
99designs offers a variety of great options to find the design or designer that will be best fit for your needs.
First, you start by writing a brief, which is a quick description of the design project. The brief outlines your design needs for your brand and allows 99designs to pair you with the right services. After you write your brief, you’ll have the option to either be paired with a designer, or to start a design contest.
Once you have chosen your favorite design, you’ll be able to communicate with the designer to fine-tune the design according to your needs. After the final round of submissions, users can choose up to six design finalist to work with until the end of the competition. Once the design is complete, the designer transfers the ownership rights over to you and sends you the high-quality source material.
99designs design contests feature a very high project success score. A typical design contest will provide you with designs from more than 100 designers. Since there are so many designers at your disposal, 99designs features a quick turnaround. Within hours you’ll start receiving submissions from designers. 99designs also offers a 100% money back guarantee if you are not able to finalize a design.
The major disadvantage of 99designs is its price. It is the most expensive option of the bunch, with design contest packages starting at $299. The good news is that you pay for what you get.
99designs is a versatile design service which offers both custom designer pairings and design contests featuring over 100 design submissions.
Designhill is more than just a design contest site. From their website you can purchase pre-made logo templates, hire a specific designer, or even sign up for an on-demand monthly design subscription. The large variety of design services offered through Designhill makes them the most versatile choice of the three. Designhill features an option for every budget.
While Designhill offers a diverse set of services, their strength is design contests. Much like 99Designs, the first step is to write a project brief which provides details about your project and the look that you’re trying to achieve. You then select a prize amount and wait for the design proposals to begin flooding in.
Designhill design contests are less expensive than 99designs, with packages starting as low as $199. Once you have picked out your preferred design, you can request as many revisions as you need at no extra cost. Once your design has been perfected, the designer will sign the design rights over to you and be awarded with the prize money.
The biggest disadvantage of using Designhill is that the number or responses you receive is typically lower since they have fewer designers to choose from. You can expect to receive about 80 responses from each contest. The number of services offered by Designhill can also be overwhelming if you don’t know exactly what you’re after. Luckily, they offer free consultation to help you on your way.
Designhill offers a wide variety of design options and is generally more affordable than the competition, though typically offers fewer designer submissions.
Designcontest is a design contest site with a twist. While other design contest sites only provide one prize for a single winner, the Designcontest platform allows you to set three different prize amounts. The result is more responses from a wider selection of designers.
One of our favorite features of Designcontest is that designers must pass a series of qualification tests before they can submit proposals to a contest. This helps maintain high-quality standards. With well over 200,000 designers at your disposal, the chances of finding the perfect design for your brand are very high.
I also really like how seriously Designcontest takes brand privacy. All contests are protected by NDAs and they do not show up in search results. This means that your design project stays private and out of your competitors’ business plans.
Another option is to rate each proposal and eliminate the designs you are not interested in pursuing further. Integrated polling and social features allow you to get feedback from friends, family and clients before making a final decision.
There are a few things to keep in mind before beginning a project with Designcontest. First, the ability to set your own prize amount might seem tempting, but you must keep in mind that the prize cannot be lower than the minimum package price, which is $275 for a logo design contest. This makes Designcontest more expensive than Designhill, but not quite as expensive as 99designs.
Much like 99Designs, Designcontest offers a money back guarantee. The only difference is that Designcontest is much stricter about the conditions you must meet before your get your money back. For example, you must have commented on at least 80% of the design proposals.
Designcontest uses social features and multiple prizes to create a unique and effective design contest platform.
Your brand’s design is just as important as your own self-image. Think about the last time you had a meeting with someone who was not appropriately dressed. Now think of the last time you had a meeting with someone who was very well put together. Poor aesthetics result in poor first impressions. It’s a fact.
Design contest sites such as 99Designs, Designhill and Designcontest are the most effective way to find the design that works for your brand.
Are you interested in a new logo design, branding kit, website design or business card? If so, check out The Crowder for a much more thorough exploration of these sites and more.
If you found this post helpful, you know what to do:)