Friday, May 13, 2011

The 99designs Experience

January 2011
I had a name for my company, I had a resource that I could use to get the Logo designed.

99designs is a marketplace to engage designers, as well as people who want to hire designers. I wrote a de-brief about what I was looking for, and posted it on there. I had to be very specific about what I liked, or disliked.
I paid $334 USD. For $334 USD, you get 40 designs.
In my mind, that translated to -> "Wow! I am going to have 40 designers work on my LOGO".

Things I wish I had known about 99designs:
  1. 40 designs does not equate to working with 40 designers. In reality, I ended up working with 3 - 4 designers; out of which 2 were terrible. Should a designer incorporate your feedback, and post iterations of your design, those are considered "new" designs. Perhaps, I did not understand the 40-designs concept properly. However, I do think, certain transparency is required. And, had 99designs mentioned that iterations are counted new designs, I would not have been surprised.
  2. If you guarantee the prize money, you are likely to get more designers. However, this means that even if the designs are terrible, you'd still forfeit $334 USD. In the first case, should you not like any designs, you are refunded the money.
  3. 99designs does not show your project to all the designers. Projects are shown based on the amount you pay.
I narrowed it down to 5 final Logos. Hitesh and I loved one of the Logos, and were almost going to go with it, but had the presence of mind to take our friends input. It turned out everyone hated the Logo that we had liked, and another logo ended up being the logo for GOAQUI.

Lessons Learned: Always check with your potential users, incorporate their input, and pivot!

Would I use 99designs again?
Probably not, but it is good to have a resource available for sole entrepreneurs.

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