5 Keys to a Successful Crowdsourcing Designs Contest

The logo on this site came from crowdsourcing designs in a global competition for less than $200.  My experience was so great that I’ve used crowdsourcing for all my designs since.  Every logo, brochure, and even my next book cover were all obtained via crowdsourcing designs.

Crowdsourcing Designs

My most recent crowdsourcing design project cost far less than traditional design methods and netted more than 400 unique designs.  To get the most out of your next design project look no further than 99Designs.com, my go to site for crowdsourcing designs.

My first experience purchasing a design happened many years ago before crowdsourcing designs was popular and accessible.  My company needed a brochure created so we called the only company we knew who could do it – a printing company!

The design options we received were few.  None of them met our expectations.  Thankfully, you don’t have to ever experience the horror or showing your customer an awful brochure thanks to crowdsourcing design sites.

My most recent project is the design of my new book cover.  This is my first experience with crowdsourcing a book design but it has been a pleasant one.   Only two days into my contest and there have already have been more than 150 designs.

To achieve the most from your next crowdsourcing designs competition you’ll need to know what it takes to get the best designs possible.  This is the method I’ve used for my last five competitions.

Be Descriptive.  For my new book cover design, I described not only what I wanted in a design but also my target market and what they’d expect in a book cover.  The more descriptive you can be the easier it is for creative designers to envision a design you’ll be happy with.

Provide Examples.  For my book cover, I attached 5 images of other books I like.  This is a great way to get your designers started quickly.  Be sure to describe what you like most about each design.

Give Context.  To help your designers select the best colors give them the context in which your design will be used.  For example, my book will be displayed on this blog.  The smart designers have incorporated the colors and feel of this site so that there will be continuity between the site and the book.

Have a Rating Period.  Most crowdsourcing design contests last 7 days.  If you’ve given enough description, you’ll likely start receiving designs your fist day.  Be careful not to eliminate designs at this stage.  Instead, rate every design so other designers can see what designs you like, and what designs you do not find appealing.

Leave Constructive Feedback.  When rating a design, leave the designer public feedback about what you like or dislike.  This will serve other designers well.  When others see what you like and dislike about other designs, you’ll begin receiving real contenders and find yourself with many top choices.

Reward Creative Designs.  To truly find an amazing design you must have good competition to compare it to.  Reward creativity by acknowledging creative designs.  This will spur more alternatives and many unique designs so you can honestly compare many options.

Crowdsourcing designs is the most cost effective and efficient way to purchase designs.  A good design can give you that professional and polished look your brand needs.

How do you feel about crowdsourcing designs?


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