It is fascinating to see how the concept of crowdsourcing has taken over graphic design as well. Over a hundred websites offer the services of running a design contest for your project. The idea on which they operate is quite simple. They first ask for a detailed brief from you. Then, they run a contest and share this brief with the designers who have an account on their website. The designers will then work on the brief and produce design options which they will share with you. You get to choose which option works best for you and contact that designer. You can also get some changes made as per your needs.
This concept has been well-received by many people who need to get a one-time project accomplished. Seeing a good work demand, many designers have also flocked to become a part of this ecosystem. However, not all the design contest portals are faring well. One needs to carry out due diligence first before engaging with any platform. To help you in this, here is a list of some of the best design contest websites:
One of the newest and best online design contest websites is DesignBro. Their user interface is excellent and easy for clients and designers to operate. The good part about them is that they hire only 5% of all the designers that apply to them. This means they are dealing with quality designers. The clients who engage them are also aware of this and hence have much better respect and understanding of graphic design. They offer contests for almost all design types, be it logo designing, website designing, or package designing. As the number of clients’ options is less, each project’s overall turnaround time is reduced, thereby making it a profitable venture.
The most extensive and highly used design contest website is 99Designs. It was among the first to pioneer the concept of crowdsourcing in graphic design. Now it has evolved into a one-stop solution for all your designing needs. It offers logo designing, website and mobile application designing, books, magazines, illustrations, and even packaging. Because of its reputation, it caters to almost thousands of projects every day. Simultaneously, a massive volume of designers engaged with them, making the entire arena quite competitive. Over time, it has streamlined its processes, which makes working with them easy. They also offer a 1-to-1 project feature that is a big plus for professional designers to directly get clients.
Following in the footsteps of 99Designs is DesignHill. It started as a design contest website but now has evolved into a creative marketplace and claims to be the number one in this space. It boasts of numbers like +5 million designs, 116,000 satisfied clients, and over 150,000 designers. In a way, this number can also ring an alarm because, as a designer, you would be competing with 150,000 other designers. To cater to a more extensive user base, it has also started offering print services through its printshop. This, in a way, is a win-win for designers and clients as it removes the interference of a third-party print shop. It has now ventured into AI logo making, which obviously is not going well with clients as the AI is not matured enough to think like designers.
The first thing you would notice about CrowdSpring is the simple and minimalistic website design. The second thing you will notice is the vast options it provides in terms of design solutions. It has done well to categorically differentiate even in these design solutions. For example, Logo and Identity design has another 6 subcategories. This makes life easy for the clients as they know which to opt for and makes it simple for designers to gauge their wants. Other than that, it follows the same procedure as all the other design contest websites. Process-wise, it has a more detailed methodology of collecting briefs from the clients and a better communication platform. A good part about this website is it provides good customer support as well. Which makes it easy to resolve any issues if they come up.
5. Design Crowd
This website has taken its name literally from the concept of crowdsourcing designing. The good part is that it has ventured into almost all forms of designing. While it already covers the standard services that others provide, it also offers advanced services like apparel and merchandise design, outdoor marketing design, and even digital marketing services. It does not go out doing self-promotion, but it is robust as a design contest application. It engages around 1,000,000 designs, which is way too high and can turn off new designers. But as it promises to give out almost 100 design options per contest, the number of designers it needs to employ per contest is also high.
An intelligent player in the design crowdsourcing sector has taken the right domain to boost its SEO. But one look at the website and know that it is still an upcoming player and needs a lot of work. Presently, it offers services in logo design, website design, T-Shirt design, and label design. These are pretty less compared to its competitors. The good news is that it claims to be hiring around 280,000 designers, which is relatively less than Design Crowd or 99Designs. It allows a Behance integration, and so you can showcase your projects from Behance to get work. It offers flexible payment options to designers like most of the other design contest websites.
As the name suggests, this website is a platform for creating a tournament for creating logos. It has restricted its services to just logo designing. This makes the website simple to use and be a part of. It has a clear contest page wherein you can check out all the running contests. The prize money, along with submission time and the number of entries, are also mentioned. This gives you an idea about which contests have less competition or high prize money and are worth applying to. It allows the client to provide their brief in a questionnaire form and post their customized prize money. It keeps its base amount at $275, which is a good thing, and wants the turnaround time to be less than 7 days. This expedites the entire process and helps you earn more and quickly.
8. Logo My Way
Another crowdsourcing design portal that has dedicated itself towards designing logos. It does not have the best user interface when comparing it with 99designs or other premier websites. But it is still a reasonable effort in terms of providing a platform to connect clients with designers. If you are a professional designer, you will feel an excellent need to redo the entire website itself. Process wise it is no different from the other websites. On the brighter side, it claims to engage around 30,000 designers. Hence you can say that it is pretty less crowded compared to others. It has done something better than the Logo Tournament because it gives different contest criteria about to end.
Just as you open the website, you see a loud and clear announcement that CrowdSite is the #1 agency for design and creatives. No doubt the website is good compared to the previous two entries, but it still has a lot of scope of improvement to jump to the A-league websites like 99designs or DesignBro. The bad part about the site is that it offers design contests at a mere $29. You can therefore imagine whether working here would be cost-effective or not. On the other side, it has come up with brainstorming sessions where the designers discuss with clients and provide ideas. It claims to be engaging over 90,000 designers at the moment. A good practice that it has adopted, and something that other websites should also do, showcases the winners of the recent competitions. Based on this, you get an idea about the level of competition and creativity on this website.
A premium crowdsourcing website, Hatchwise does not limit itself to design solutions. It has also included solutions like company naming, product naming, slogan contests, and even tagline contests. The idea here is that to help the client with whatever is required to set the business up. The problem here is that the execution of the idea is not so great. The website itself does not have an excellent user interface. Though there are so many categories for contests, not many see a good amount of contests. For a site operating for over 12 years, it is yet to be mature enough to be counted in other significant competitors’ leagues. Only freelancers who are more into brand identity designing would be more interested in this.
11. Zillion Designs
More is always better when it comes to design options. Zillion Designs tries to show that promise to the users. It follows the same concept of design crowdsourcing websites. Users get to provide a brief about what they want, be it designing solutions or content solutions. The designers work upon this brief and provide tons of options to you. You select and get the needed open files along with the open files. Apart from designing, it also provides other services like Search Engine Optimization, website development, and other marketing-related material. It claims to have more than 100,000 designers. Still, given that it tries to provide over 100 design solutions, many designers are required.
Just as the name suggests, the website promises to deliver you the logo you need in 48 hours. Over time they have expanded their service to include posters, flyers, labels, packaging, and digital designs. It started in 2019 when the concept of design crowdsourcing was still new. However, it has always been focussing on the speed of delivery given its 48-hour mandate. This, in a way, is good for designers as they get to finish the project in a short time and get paid for it. It allows users to set their own custom budget, but the good part is that the lowest budget allowed to set is $129. This makes the whole designing part viable, unlike some other websites, which allow contests to start at $5.
Many other design contest websites are not listed here. But that is because they are not really worth working on. Over some time, many new websites are springing up with the promise of providing the best creative solutions. But these websites either lack the interface or the volume of clients or the dedication and loyalty of designers. Either way, the top websites mentioned here are worth being a part of. Not only do they provide hundreds of contests every day for you to take part in, but they also have a robust working system that ensures timely payments and due credit for the work done. Overall the entire idea of taking part in these design contests is lucrative if you want to earn extra and at the same time keep practicing your designing skills and explore new areas.