10 tips on using 99designs for logo, graphic, and web designs
99Designs is one of the most popular contest holding sites. Recently I started my contest and was quite impressed with the entries that I got. However I did not passively sit back, I researched and tried extensive techniques to get the most out of it. Since you are investing so much time and money, as well as your brand or website will be using the product for a long time, it's worth it to do it right.
Below are the 10 tips I recommend in getting the most out of the contest.
And check out my list of top 99designs.com designers.
Contents at a Glance
1. Contact Designers
The best way is to flatter them. Tell them how you love their style sense and how they would be perfect for your contest (that's the truth right?).
I held another contest and this time I selected the second tier prize. I ended up with a lot more entries but ultimately the top designers were from my invite.
2. Provide constant feedback, quickly!
3. Tell them what you like
At the end there should be several solutions that look very much alike. Don't be afraid if that is the case, that is the ideal design you want.
4. Provide full supporting documents
Things to provide:
- other design elements such brush strokes or icons
- company brochure, posters, or business cards
Elements of a web 2.0 logo
8 principles of a Web 2.0 logo
5. Write full details in your description
Go in with a direction but keep your mind open.
If there are any particular colour codes for your logo, provide it.
6. Guarantee your prize
Increase confidence and get more people to enter
The sooner you guarantee your prize the more time you will have with motivated designers. That's why it's important to provide as much feedback at the beginning as possible so you'll get a design you like and guarantee sooner.
7. Sort out the details as soon as you can
Think about the whole project not just this contest
It is also important to make sure the communication styles match. Make sure he responds quickly and answers your question clearly. For me I look for response within 24 hours and that each point I brought up is addressed. If you find that some of your points are missed or if they do not understand you, this could be a red flag. Communication could also be your issue too, if you see that many designers are not understanding you then it's probably you and not them.
The worst is if you find someone you like then realize that you guys can't come to terms with designing additional pages to your site. As well as before you select the winner you have the negotiating advantage.
8. Show them what you want
Pick sites you like and explain why
When you attach the templates, note what you like about it such as the colours, how clean it is, the layout, the cool icons etc. It is important to have a direction first and show only consistent ideas. Don't pick one that is nice clean and conservative with blue and also pick a funky one with red and orange and add it. Only pick the ones where you can envision that being your site.
9. Don't forget to remind them
If you forget, they will too
I have tried this and for me it didn't work out too well. I had 3 people who said they would submit but haven't yet so I contacted them. One told me he was busy and the other did not reply. I suspect that they saw how competitive it was and they did not have a good chance to win. Please let me know if this worked for you.
10. Prepare for the busy last 24 hours
You can expect a lot of things happening around the last 24hrs
With this in mind I suggest you start your contest on Tuesday so that the last 24 hours fall on Monday. This is good for you because you will be in the office (if you have an office). As well as the designers can work on Monday to finalize it, Monday is more likely chance that they are free then on Sunday. Also recommend starting your contest earlier in the week as people get more busy later on.