What Is 99Designs?
99Designs is an online creative design platform. Founded in 2008, 99Designs has expanded to become one of the market leaders in creative design, providing a go-to solution for individuals and companies alike.
Any legitimate online review site puts 99Designs at the top when it comes to quality logs, web design or any other design needs.
The prices are higher than Fiverr but the quality is far superior which means you can actually save time and pick from some of the best designers online to complete your project.
With it’s headquarters in Melbourne, Australia and branches in Oakland and Berlin, 99Designs is a company that is dedicated to providing its clients with the very best design experience.
Whether you’re looking for a new logo or to enhance your brand recognition, 99Designs offer a wide variety of services, including illustrations,web design and advertising.
In fact, whatever you need a designer for, 99Designs can help. From simple one-off designs to complex projects.
One of the main advantages of using 99Designs is that it allows you to tap into the creativity of a global network of designers. Even if you’re not quite sure of exactly what you want, when you choose to use 99Designs,you can benefit from an entire outsourced design team, ready to take on your project.
In short, 99 Designs is a design service that provides help and guidance when you need it, while giving you access to a huge pool of creative designers so that you can pick the best one for your needs.
If you’re not 100% happy with your designs, you can ask designers to make revisions to ensure you’re thoroughly satisfied with the end result.
How To Use 99Designs
99Designs is a user-friendly platform. While the wide variety of options, plans and levels that it offers can seem bewildering to the uninitiated, there is plenty of support on hand to help you to make the right choice for your needs.
If you have a definite, fixed design project in mind,you should be able to go right ahead and get started. If you have any doubts about your project as a whole, what package to choose or what exactly you’re looking for, you’re probably going to be better off speaking to a member of the support team before deciding upon your options.
Putting the different levels of services and plans aside, the platform basically functions in two ways. Firstly, whichever option you choose, you’ll need to submit your brief. This will explain what you are looking for to designers. You want to give designers a feel of what you’re looking for in this project.
Once you’ve decided upon what you’re going to put in your brief, it’s time to decide how you want to proceed. Remember if you’re unsure,contact the support team.
Having an onboard team specializing in customer service is one of the main advantages of using a platform like 99Designs, they can advise and help independently of the actual designers.
When you use 99Designs, you have two choices: either run a competition or hire a designer directly. This is an important choice, so let’s run through these two options separately so you can see which one is going to be most beneficial to your project.
How To Run A Competition
Running a design competition is a great way to get a large selection of creative concepts from different designers. This makes running a competition the best option for those looking for inspiration, as it gives you the chance to explore a wide variety of designs, before selecting the one that you want to own.
Running a competition is also highly recommended for logo designs, amongst other categories.
If you’re not quite sure what exactly you need then running a competition will let you see what 99Design’s pool of talented designers make of your brief. You may come across some fantastic ideas you’d never even thought about.
Once you have decided to run a competition, you will need to transfer your payment to 99Designs. Just a few things to note. Your payment for the project becomes known as the competition prize money, as it is the winning designer who will get paid.
99Designs hold your payment and it is not released to the winning designer until the end of the entire process.
It is also worth noting that running a design competition comes with a 100% money back guarantee. In reality, this is only true up until the final round. Once your project enters the final round (more on this to follow), then your competition becomes guaranteed and you can no longer request a refund.
99Designs offers various differently priced packages ranging from budget-priced bronze packages that are open to all designers, up to platinum packages that are more expensive but only use the most experienced, highly-qualified designers.
Platinum packages also come with a dedicated account manager.
If you’re struggling to decide on a price package, bear in mind that the more prize money you allocate, the more attractive your competition will be to a greater number of designers.
So a bigger prize fund will attract a greater number of designs. However, if you’re willing to put in time and effort getting an inspiring and comprehensive brief together and remain proactive when it comes to communication, you can still get great results at the lower priced packages.
How it works
So with the nitty gritty of payment out of the way,let’s breakdown how the process works when you choose to run a design competition on 99Designs.
Firstly, you select run a competition, choose your price package and submit your brief. You can make revisions to your brief later if you feel that the propositions you’re receiving don’t correspond with what you had in mind.
Once your competition is up and running, designers will submit their work and you can discuss your project directly with them.This is known as the Qualifying Round. Basically, you will look over the proposals, discuss ideas with the designers and decide which ones you’re happiest with.
The Qualifying Round lasts from four up to six days, depending upon the design category. At the end of the round, you’ll give your designers feedback and decide who you would like to progress to the next round, the Final Round.You’ll have four days to decide who makes the next round.
It’s worth just pausing to note that if you require extra time to make your choices for the Final Round, or if you have any issues,you can contact 99Designs support team to request an extension or assistance.You’re not alone!
Also bear in mind, as mentioned earlier, entering the Final Round means that your competition becomes guaranteed and as a result, the money-back guarantee no longer applies from here on.
The Final Round
The Final Round comprises of a selection of up to six finalists, who compete to provide your winning design. It generally lasts from three to five days, during which you will work closely with your finalists to ensure you have an excellent selection to choose from.
It is important to communicate frequently as designers will be revising their work based purely upon your input, so you’ll need to give detailed feedback.
At the end of the Final Round you’ll be asked to select a winner. With up to 14 days to make your choice, you won’t have to rush.
Stuck between several designs? 99Designs provides a Poll Tool so you can email or share your designs on social media to get votes from your friends, colleagues or family.
They can also send you comments on each specific design. This could prove invaluable when you’re struggling to choose between several excellent design choices.
The Handover Stage
Once you’ve confirmed your winning design you then enter the Handover Stage.
Any last minute doubts? Don’t worry, you can still ask for minor revisions before delivery of your winning design.
Once you’ve fully approved your design, you’ll receive your files containing your design for both print and digital use.
You’ll have a final chance to confirm that you’re thoroughly happy, then payment will be released to the designer. You are the new owner of your design and have full copyright.
Sometimes choices are pretty hard to make when the range of designs are of such a high quality. Maybe you just can’t decide, or maybe you could actually use two designs.
If you’re in this situation, don’t worry. 99Designsallow you to choose multiple winners. Contact support for your pricing options if you wish to award multiple winners.
How To Hire A Designer Direct
Hiring a designer directly is a little more conventional.The main advantages of hiring a designer directly via 99Designs is the ease at which you can find a professional designer suitable for your project and the platform’s convenient and secure payment and communication system.
Hiring a designer directly is recommended for people who have a very clear, fixed idea of what they want. If you have experience, or are absolutely certain of your project’s style and art direction, then hiring a designer directly is most definitely a good option for your design project.
To hire a designer directly, you simply select this option on the platform and proceed to fill out your project brief. You can search for suitable designers according to their ratings, skill sets and experience levels, and request a quote for your project.
Hiring a designer directly with 99Designs gives you the freedom to negotiate directly with a variety of designers. All designers are ranked by a dedicated quality control team so you don’t have to worry about whether they really are who they say they are.
Aside from being able to browse hundreds of qualified designers bios and portfolios, you can also be rest assured that your payment will be safely held in escrow by 99Designs.
You can decide when and how to release payment and how much, for example if you are conducting a large scale project and would like to release payment in the form of milestones.
When you hire a designer directly via 99Designs, you are provided with a dedicated workspace area online. This area enables you to keep all of your communications, project details, payment details and quotes,alongside all progress and activity all in one place.
Think of it as your one-stop project workshop, keeping everything streamlined allows both you and your designer to focus on the design element, rather than searching through emails for quotes and requests.
You will also benefit from 99Design’s safe and secure online payment system as well as their secure design file storage. Note that99Designs charge a 7.5% support fee alongside a 2.5% payment processing fee.
Given that their dedicated support team are there to help and advise, along side the work put in to thoroughly vet and rate every prospective designer, the fees are understandably necessary to keep up the high standards.
While logo design often springs to mind when you think of using a designer, there are in fact many other categories where a designer’s help can raise your brand awareness and enhance your presence.
Let’s take a look at some of the main service categories of design that are available on 99Designs.
Logos are often best left to the professionals. It may look easy, but if you don’t get it right from the start, you may find yourself needing to upgrade later which could cause client confusion and a loss of brand recognition.
Logos are tricky to get right, its hard to condense your entire brand ethos into a small design and it really is a major undertaking. Your logo will figure on just about everything, can you live with looking at a second rate squiggle day after day?
A professional logo speaks volumes. Your clients will judge you on it, even before they’ve read a single word about you.
99Designs understands the importance of getting your logo just right. With their design competition option, your can see how various different talented designers would approach your project and get extra inspiration.
99Designs offer a variety of logo combination packs,with your logo needs enhanced for social media, websites, brand identity packs and business cards. Price varies from pack to pack and you can go as simple oras complex as you wish.
Web & App Design
With so many websites looking identical, using the same themes, with matching layouts, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd.
Having a unique website will help to consolidate brand recognition and will make you stand out, resulting in return visits. You’ll also look more professional, whether you’re selling products or writing a blog, you’ll betaken much more seriously.
99Designs offers a huge range of website and app design packages, from banner ads to social media pages to full websites. They also specialize in designing user-friendly apps that get downloads. Prices rage according to packages, or contact the support team for a consultation.
Business & Advertising
Adverts can be essential to growing your business. Why not get an advert that converts interest into a click and visit to your site?
Do you need a poster for your event or flyers to handout? A professional design will instantly increase interest in your occasion or event. 99Designs offer a wide range of services including brochures, booklets and pamphlets.
Infographics, done correctly can greatly enhance your product or service literature, turning often complex data sets into visually pleasing,easily understandable images.
Take your research article or business plan to the next level with a professionally designed infographic and increase your credibility and appeal.
99Designs also have designers specializing in billboard signs and car, truck or van wraps. Whatever you want to share with the world, the designers at 99Designs can provide you with the most effective and suitable designs that speak volumes about your business.
Clothing & Merchandise
From stickers to hats to T-shirts, 99Designs offers plenty of choice when it comes down to branded merchandise designs.
Whether its for a special team or company event, you can discuss your project with a variety of designers with the relevant experience in your domain.
Cups, bags and clothing designs are easy to order on99Designs at a range of price packages. Whether you’re looking for a design for giveaway merchandise or for fans to purchase, the design teams have plenty of experience in merchandise designs.
Art & Illustration
Wedding designs, greeting cards and book illustrations spring to mind. But that’s not all.
At 99Designs you can also take advantage of designers specializing in various different skill sets for your technical drawings, website or business illustrations and attention-grabbing graphics.
More diverse services such as a mascot or character design are also available.
If a picture says a thousand words, why not use a professional to make sure that it says one thousand relevant and elegantly-formed words?
The designers at 99Designs are able to take on a variety of projects thanks to their experience in different domains.
The support team can help you to find a designer for a complex or unusual project, or provide help and advise if you’re just not quite sure which category your project fits best.
From food and product packaging to wine labels, the designers at 99Designs work on a whole range of projects. So if you have an idea, but aren’t quite sure how to get it down in words, contact the team who will do their best to help.
99Designs Vs Fiverr
You may be wondering what the difference is between using 99Designs and Fiverr. With an ever increasing number of freelance platforms available online, it’s becoming more and more common for companies to outsource their designers and enabling professional designers to become more accessible to individuals.
The advantages of Fiverr as opposed to 99Designs is mainly price related. However, this is not guaranteed, especially if you are not satisfied with the end result.
Like 99Designs, Fiverr also offers a secure payment platform so you don’t have to worry about your payment details getting into the wrong hands.
So, when might you choose Fiverr over 99Designs? For a start, let’s bear in mind that Fiverr offers a huge amount of choice and anyone can sign up and promote their services.
If you’re thinking of using such a platform for a design project, you would have to be experienced and sure of your design needs. You would also need to have extra time to dedicate to certain specifics that you only find with dedicated design platforms, such as agreements over the final designs, their format, revisions and what happens in case of dispute.
The advantages of using a dedicated design platform are numerous. 99Designs carefully vets and classes all of the designers who wish to work through the site.
This ensures that you will receive a quality design and a high degree of professionalism throughout the entire process. Whoever you decide to work with, you know that they are the genuine article.
99Designs also has a dedicated design support team.Not only can they help with advice, but they can also serve as mediators should you ever have any communication problems with a designer.
If you’ve never used a designer before, it can seem a little daunting, especially if you’re not exactly sure what you want. That’s another reason having a specialist design support team on hand can really help.
Likewise, if you’re outsourcing a complex, large design project, a dedicated support team can help make your workload much easier in coordinating the project as a whole.
If you’re considering using Fiverr or 99Designs and need help to make your choice of platform, it’s important to consider your level of experience with design projects. If you don’t have a lot of experience you are going to be better off choosing 99Designs.
If you do, you could try out a designer on Fiverr, just be sure to do your homework first and check that they are a genuinely talented designer.
As Fiverr is not a dedicated design platform, you would also be recommended to spend some time going over any specifics to your project concerning payment rates, the amount of time and revisions and how you will ensure that you will have full copyright of the completed design once you have paid for it.
You don’t want to see another company with your logo months later. You could try contacting a legal professional to see how you would be best advised to proceed or use a dedicated design platform instead.
One more difference to bear in mind, the option of running a design competition on 99Designs and tapping into inspiration from hundreds of designers around the world is a valuable option to consider whatever your design project may consist of. Even more so the fact that it is backed up by a 100% money back guarantee.
All in all, 99Designs provides an excellent design service that is of particular interest to those with little design experience or a complex project to organize. It has an excellent dedicated support team to provide answers and solutions to your questions and problems, no matter how big or small.
The site offers a wealth of packages and levels of different sorts for all types of design projects. This can be a little overwhelming, so don’t hesitate to contact support for a personalized quote.
The prices at 99Designs can seem elevated when you compare them to other non-design platforms.
This is true, however you need to bear in mind that the platform offers a range of design-specific features that are well worth paying a little extra for, such as the workspace, access to fully vetted designers from around the world, the transfer of full copyright to yourself upon payment and a dedicated support team who are experienced and trained to help resolve any issues.
Even if you have plenty of experience and are willing to put in a lot of extra hours finalizing your design project elsewhere, 99Designs prides itself on its customer service and verified talent to ensure that every design purchased is a winning design.