Some design services want to do everything for you, from design to printing, web hosting to social media marketing, dog walking to cat bathing (not really, no one wants to bathe cats). 99designs, on the other hand, offers a tightly-focused experience, and I find that refreshing. 99designs provides two primary services for design clients: contests and individual hiring.
I went with the contest, of course, so I could gauge the design skills of multiple designers in a short time.
With a large number of designers on the website, there’s also a large variety of design styles, as you can see if you browse through the logo samples. This means you’re going to end up with a fair bit of variety with your submissions. It also depends, of course, on the plan you pay for, with higher tiers providing a higher number of submissions for you to browse.
It generally takes around a week to complete your design if you follow your contest closely and don’t ask for too many revisions in the final round (which lasts three days for a logo contest). During that final round, you can basically ask for as many revisions as your designers are willing to handle.
After the final round, the designer may be willing to perform a few small adjustments for free. Drastic adjustments will cost you more, as they should. The key is to ask nicely. And that’s easy enough, as you can contact designers directly from a general messaging center (more on that later) and from the screen where you process and rate contest entries.
Once you choose the perfect logo for your company, you can expect to receive your logo in the following formats: AI (Adobe Illustrator), EPS (an infinitely scalable format), JPG, PNG, and PDF.
You can provide feedback and testimonials about designers and you can browse designer profiles to see all of their ratings, past work, the aforementioned testimonials, and a list of all the distinct design services they provide. There are also stats on how many contests they’ve won, how many they’ve almost won, how many one-to-one projects they’ve had, how many repeat clients they’ve had, and how often they respond within 24 hours.
All in all, 99designs has got all the features you need and they’re all well-built and easy to use. I can’t actually think of a feature that I personally missed.
You Can Get Just About Anything Designed
Speaking of distinct design services, it should be noted that 99designs offers a lot more than just logos. You can get websites and apps, all kinds of packaging, book and magazine covers, clothing, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. If it can be designed, someone here will design it for you.
99designs Has Decent Add-Ons
You have to pay a bit extra, of course, but you can pay to keep your contest private and away from the big search engines. By paying a bit more, you can keep everything strictly between you and the designers – your request won’t come up on Google. You can also pay for extras like a brand guide to go with your new logo, social media graphics, and so on.
An Active Community Forum
The big draw of crowd-sourced services is the community that makes it all possible. Part of keeping that community alive is the 99designs forum, where you can get community-powered support, check out the latest 99designs news, or just talk about design stuff.
Keep in mind that the forum does seem to be mostly aimed at designers, but clients are welcome too. If you use 99designs regularly, checking out the forum could be a valuable use of your time.
99designs Pro – Have 99designs Find a Designer for You
Now according to the marketing, this feature (which is called “Pro”) is for agencies that need to get a good designer, fast. Basically, 99designs will speak with you, find out exactly what you need, and find a designer to work with you as soon as possible. But as long as you have the budget, you don’t actually need to be an agency to buy this service.
99designs could make this clearer on the page where it advertises this service, but I guess they must not have many non-agency clients take advantage of this service.