10 Recommendations on how to use Graphic Design Competition Sites
Are you looking for a logo, business cards, stationery, or website design? One of the most effective ways to get it done is to go to a graphic design competition site such as 99designs, DesignCrowd, CrowdSpring, or Guerra Creativa.
However just signing up on these sites is not enough to get a great result. You have to do some work too. Here are 9 steps to getting the outcome you want from using a graphic design competition site.
1. Know what you are looking for
Thank hard about what you do and don’t want. That becomes clearer when you can respond to specific ideas, however the more you know beforehand, the easier it is. In particular for logo designs, you need to be clear on what identity and ideas are associated with your company.
2. Pay a fair price
Always offer more than the average fee. Unless you get good designers to be attracted to the competition, you won’t get good results. However you don’t have to pay the highest fee on offer. If you can make the project interesting and the competition process engaging, you will still get good designers involved.
3. Provide detailed feedback
The more feedback you give, the more quality submissions you will get. Creative people don’t work well in a void, and good feedback on designs gets a great response. Thank people for their submissions and efforts, and be respectful.
4. Focus on the good designers
You can usually instantaneously from a submission whether a designer is competent. It is good to give feedback to all initially, even if it is just to point out to all what is wrong with it. However from the many designers competing, you can clearly see early on which have the capabilities to win. Give them detailed feedback and encouragement. Remember they have many competitions to choose from, and you want them to be putting energy into yours.
5. Use the star rating system and withdraw entries
When you have many entries it is difficult to provide individual comments on every entry. Earlier in the competition providing detailed feedback both encourages designers, and gives them a better idea of what I was looking for. Later on, it is more important simply to indicate what I did and didn’t like. It takes a moment to give a star rating to give very useful feedback to designers. If it’s clear that designs or designers will never get there, just withdraw them – that’s clear feedback.
6. Take advantage of designers riffing off each other
The best entries will emerge from general comments you offer and specific feedback on each entry, allowing designers to see clearly what you are looking for. These suggestions and ideas to designers are followed by other designers. Designers might not like this, but it is great for a client who can see multiple designers. Most of the services now allow clients to reward more than one designer if they have contributed to the end result.
7. Get multiple opinions as you consider submissions
It can get overwhelming once you’ve looked at over 100 logos, and it’s important to get multiple perspectives on what’s on offer. Get opinions and suggestions from your team, friends, anyone who is walking by. What is being designed will be seen by many people, so you want many opinions.
8. Always select a winner
While it is possible on these services not to select a winner, don’t do it. I thought that there was a fair chance that I wouldn’t get what I wanted, but I was definitely going to pay whoever provided the best submission. It’s not fair on the designers if you don’t select a winner, and you won’t get any submissions if you use the service again later. You can usually guarantee that you will pay, which means you are more likely to get the best designers participating.
9. Consider getting the winner to work on it more
If you have a clear winner from the competition, you might still want to try a few variations on the ideas. Offer to pay the winner a small amount extra to work through some other possibilities, to make sure you have the best version of the design.
10. Use competition platforms to find designers for other work
Competition platforms can be great for defined high-visibility projects such as logos, business cards, or flyers. But often it is easier to work with a single designer. One of the best reasons to use a competition platform is to find great designers you can work with on other projects. You can invite them to work for you directly or through a services marketplace such as Freelancer.com or Odesk, or some of the competition platforms are establishing ways to work with single designers.