99Designs Review – Logo Contest

Aug 8, 2022 | Creative, Design | 0 comments

In this 99Designs Review, I’ll share my 2 experiences using 99designs and tell you the pros and cons of running a logo design contest. 

I’ll also compare using 99designs to other unlimited graphic design services I’ve used, or simply 99designs vs fiverr

99designs Review

What is 99Designs?

99Designs is a platform that allows creators and entrepreneurs to connect with designers, artists and developers to create brand identities like logos and websites. 

Their most popular, and original, service from 99designs was logo design contests. For these contests, users can spend as little as $299, fill out a logo design brief and they will get 30+ design concepts back for their logo. 

99Designs has since expanded and includes web design/development, packaging, illustration, merchandising, books and more. 

Since 2008, 99designs has brought over 1 million design projects to life. 

99designs Review

Summary

Using 99designs you can get over 30 high quality submissions for your brands logo. If you are looking for a logo and have a week to get the project done, 99designs is a fantastic option for receiving a creative result.

Overall
4.5
  • Variety of Services
  • Price
  • Design Quality
  • Speed
  • User Experience

Pros

  • You get tons of ideas and options
  • Affordable
  • Ability to make suggestions and revisions
  • Gets you thinking more about your brand, product fit, and marketing

Cons

  • Sometimes it’s too hard to choose between all the options! (this is a pro and con)
  • Pay per project. (Unlike an unlimited graphic design service)
  • Doesn’t seem like the best deal for all the designers that lose (?)

What is a logo design contest?

A 99Designs logo contest involves paying a contest fee and submitting a project brief. Then designers from around the world submit logos in the hopes that their logo is chosen and they win the competition (and its resulting cash prize). 

As a user, you’ll get to rate the logos, ask for changes or revisions on those with potential to win, and then ultimately pick the logo and own 100% of the rights for that logo. 

Once you fill out your brief and make a payment, you’ll start receiving logos right away. 

My Results Using 99Designs

I have used 99Designs twice now to create a logo. Both times I was quite happy with the results. The hardest part was choosing a winner out of all the great designs. Below is one of my logos that was created from 99designs. (The other company is still in stealth)

logo created by 99designs
A logo made for a friend and I’s podcast editing services.

Note: This is the logo I chose out of the 30-50 designs I got for each contest. It was created with my preferences and requirements in mind. Whether you like my particular logo choice or not, doesn’t much matter. You can at least tell it is professionally done. For your contest, you’ll have your own requirements, your own set of contest participants and fill out your own design brief to indicate your style. 

Creating a Logo Contest Design Brief with 99designs

Right away when you open a logo contest you are presented with tons of other logos. From those logos, you choose 10 styles and designs that you like in regards to your projects. This gives the designers an idea of your taste and aim. 

Logo Design Contest 99designs

The next screen gets the designers (and most importantly, YOU) thinking more about your brand positioning and the feeling you are hoping your logo gives. 

brand guide brief

The remaining steps are to choose a color pallet (or leave that up to the contestants) and fill out a design brief with your descriptions of what you are thinking and hoping for. 

From there, you can choose the design contest duration. 7 days is the standard, and then there are rush fees for short turn-arounds. You can run a contest and have it end in 24 hours. But if you have the time, you might as well give it a week for designs to come in. 

99Designs Logo Brief Samples for Success

For the best results with a logo contest, keep the description less specific. I find it better to trust and empower. You’ll be surprised by the creativity that flows in. Designs will emerge that you never thought of.  

ex: PUT – This is a podcast company so I want something that conveys the idea of voice or recording. Some ideas that come to mind are microphones or sound waves, but use your creativity!

DON’T put I want a circle with a line through it that is red and…

From there, let the design contest run for 7 days and wait a few days for plenty of logos to pour in. 

Choosing a Logo with 99Designs

With 99designs logo contests you get a lot of logo options. Choosing the right one can often be the hardest part. As the logos come in (or a few days later) I go through and mark any of them that I like with a 3 star rating. I purposefully rate it 3 stars or 0 stars, no 4 or 5 at this point. 

The ratings are internal, so this is basically just a way for me to do a binary “not worth considering” “worth considering” system. 

All logos that weren’t marked, I discard. Finally, once all logs are in, I filter by ranked logos, and go back through and now try to whittle down the many 3 star logos down to 5 to 10, 4 or 5 star logos. 

I then share those 5 – 10 logos with a few trusted friends and get their input. (99designs allows you to share a survey to friends and colleagues.)

Once I have everyone’s input, I whittle it down to 1 -3 logos, and request any revisions to those designers. 

The revisions come in, I think a bit more and then crown a winner. 

From there, your logo, the source files and all the IP rights are sent your way. Congrats! 

99designs pricing

99Designs Pricing – 99designs review

When it comes to logo competitions 99designs has three main tiers:

  • Bronze – $299
  • Silver – $499
  • Gold – $899
  • Platinum – $1299

Each tier comes with a money back guarantee. 

Within the logo design contest there are a number of add-ons like a featured contest on the 99designs blog ($19), white labeling your contest so you can share designs with clients ($49), and rush fees ranging from $39 to $79 for a 24 hour turn around. 

Outside of the logo contest, 99designs offers a host of other services like website creation, brand identities, merch creation and more. 

It’s too mush to get into each individual price point and package. If you are curious about more you can head to the pricing page on their website. 

99Designs for Designers

As a designer, you get a % of the contest fee if you win the contest. If you don’t win, you still own the full rights to your logo and can therefore use it with future clients.

It was hard to find a verified source, but it seems like designers get $190 of the $299 bronze contest fee. So a somewhat sizeable percentage. Furthermore, designers are allowed to connect directly with clients  within the platform for additional services and revenue opportunities. 

Graphic designers can certainly make a living off of 99designs if they are good. However, it also seems like they might create a lot of logos and not see a monetary return. That said, this 99designs review is primarily for logo design contest creators as opposed to participants.

99designs vs Flocksy vs Penji vs Design Pickle

Flocksy, Penji and Design pickle are three popular unlimited graphic design services. You pay 1 set monthly fee (usually $500-1000) and you get a queue where you can run through projects 1 or 2 at a time.

These services can create logos, graphics, site design and more. I love using unlimited design services for things like this blog, BUT if all I need or want is a logo – 99designs takes the cake.

The reason being is, not only is the fee (generally) cheaper, your logo design contest has 30+ submissions from different designers. You’ll get tons of ideas and choose what is best.

With the unlimited design service, you’re project will be assigned to a designer and then fingers cross you like that specific designer’s work. If you don’t, I guess you could run the project again, taking another few days, but then that’s only 2 designs/designers in a week.

A logo contest from 99design is definitely going to give you more variety, and therefore likely will give you better quality.

Flocksy Design

99designs vs Fiverr

99designs and fiverr are both great resources for logo creation and brand design. 99designs might be slightly more costly, but it will source a much wider variety for you than fiverr. It will also help you articulate your brief better and get more ideas in for your logo.

With fiverr, you can sort through individual designers and contact ones who’s work you like best, but still you are putting all your eggs in that one designers basket. Even if you go with multiple fiverr designers, it likely won’t get you the 30+ options that 99designs will. On the plus side, fiverr is likely a cheaper option and can be faster and more targeted to a specific style if that is what you are looking for.

99Designs Review – Pros

  • You get tons of ideas and options
  • Affordable
  • Ability to make suggestions and revisions
  • Gets you thinking more about your brand, product fit, and marketing

99Designs Review – Cons

  • Sometimes it’s too hard to choose between all the options! (this is a pro and con)
  • Pay per project. (Unlike an unlimited graphic design service)
  • Doesn’t seem like the best deal for all the designers that lose (?)

99Designs Review Conclusion

99designs is a fantastic option if you are looking for 1 or 2 specific and high quality brand assets like a logo. While it may be more expensive than fiverr, and not unlimited like some other services, it excels at what it promises – A LOT of high quality logo options.

Ultimately, I think it’s silly to not use 99designs if you are looking for a new logo or other piece of brand content.

Thanks for reading my 99designs review!

Author

  • Mark loves making videos, thinking, tinkering with futuristic tech, running experiments and music. Peer Through Media allows him to do all of those things.

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