I recently used 99designs.com for a project that I was working on… so, you’ve all heard the rage, maybe you haven’t. Basically, it’s a way to get a logo or graphic created by crowd sourcing designers and their designs to apply and win your contest. What’s to lose, if you don’t like the designs you get your money back. Let’s try it out.
I started this about a week ago. I selected the Bronze package, which cost me $295. I had to submit payment and pay them up-front to begin the contest.
Throughout the first 5 days of the contest, I received 11 submissions. Very few were worth re-work and very commonly, logos were submitted by the same user with small alterations. Of the two that I did like, I posted comments on how to improve upon the logo. The final day is when the mass of submissions were entered, which got the submissions up to 50. There were a lot of very poor logos, even copied logo’s that I posted on the description, which just had color changes. The number of truly unique and very good logos were very minimal and for $295, I would not pay that much for those logos, or any logos of that sort.
Compared to working with designers on an individual basis, ones who I knew well, I found that using 99designs is not a service that I’ll be using. With my designer, I have the ability to re-work and get truly artistic, unique logos. I feel that using 99designs brought in very simple and quick vectors that are easily replicated. To a person who may not live in the design world, this might appear to be a perfect solution. I did show the designs I received to many of my other Front-End designers / developers, the opinions were all the same. Lack of uniqueness, easily replicated designs. That said, if you are in the market for a quick logo, don’t have the time to search, and only need one, this service might be just for you.
I found out it wasn’t for me. So now for the true test, if I’m not happy, can I get my refund as guaranteed?
I didn’t know this before-hand, but to make a refund request, you must call them at their office. Their Hours of Operation are from 8 AM to 5 PM PST.
- My first call 7/21/2011 at 11:00 AM EST was unsuccessful and I was prompted to leave my email address, name, and phone number in a voice message.
- My second call 7/21/2011 at 11:10 AM EST was unsuccessful and I was prompted to leave the same information and did so.
- I got a call back on 7/21/2011 at 2:10 PM EST and had a very friendly lady give me a refund for very little explanation. Thanks!
Logo: This might not be for the average hard-core developer who always has extra help around, you know… 😉 But, if you are in need of a logo, quickly, and don’t have direct access to a good designer, this may be a good way to go.
Price: I do think it’s expensive, Very! Especially if you go the Gold route $700+. I looked through a lot of these Gold samples and wasn’t too impressed.
Final Words: Really, think about it. Designers have a couple shots in several hundred submissions for a single chance at winning a contest, are they really going to pour their hearts out? or are they going to quickly submit designs for as many contests as possible?