99designs: Logos, Web, Graphic Design & More

The #1 marketplace for graphic design, web design and other design contests

Crowdsourcing — “is involvement of a wide range of people (crowd) in the solution of certain tasks of innovative production activities to use their creative abilities, knowledge and experience for subcontract work on a voluntary basis with the use of information and communication technologies”[1].

Crowdsourcing is a unique opportunity for the mankind. It is very popular all over the world and can be used in all spheres of life, which can significantly reduce the time on tasks that you don’t like and focus on what you like. Each person is different and should do their job by vocation, and not by compulsion. This is the only way to create the best products, projects and events.

The crowdsourcing platforms allow clients on the one side to get as many different performers as possible because they are very much involved. As for the performers on the other side, they have a chance to realize their ideas, to get the necessary experience, and replenish their portfolio with a new work. The activity and communication of the performers takes place by means of information technology. Note that often this happens free of charge. By and large, at the end of such cooperation only the final result is important. The qualification and education of the contractor are not so important, as well as his/her prior experience. The customer receives the rights for the final product and can dispose it at his/her discretion.

Crowdsourcing is a form of outsourcing, however, has some differences. Parties here do not enter into any legal contract between the customer and the artist; the work is done at a low cost and sometimes even free of charge; a large-scale task is divided into small micro tasks submitted for execution as a separate project.

Competitive platforms are one of the types of crowdsourcing platforms. The customer then creates the competition by placing its mission. In turn, all the artists sent their works with the opportunity to comment and evaluate each other’s work. This way the best solution is chosen, that brings its performer a reward. As an example of such kind of crowdsourcing platforms is “99designs”.

This is one of the first crowdsourcing platforms that operates on a competitive basis. The customer sets the task, and the process is held in the format of the competition. Artists comment on each other’s work, improving the quality of the final product. In the end, the customer selects one or more winners who receives a prize. All costs associated with the commission, translation, etc are paid by the customer. This is the most famous site in the field of design, which has been around for almost 10 years. Companies publish their tasks, and qualified professionals always ready to help with performance, offering hundreds or even thousands of design solutions. The payment can be received via wire transfer, Western Union or via PayPal, AlertPay and Moneybookers.

This is one of the oldest crowdsourcing platforms and it is rapidly developing. It creates value by providing hundreds solutions from different artists at the lowest costs and captures value by charging commission from customers. Before this platform if you needed a logo design, you should go to the advertising or design agency, where you would get 1 or 2 options. Here you have dozens, sometimes hundreds options at the lowest cost. 99designs connected a big crowd of artists with their clients by means of innovative IT. Artists are highly motivated to get the job done to get their reward and update their portfolio, while clients are motivated by the lowest costs and a big number of options to choose from. Among their challenges are relatively big number of competitors (Freelancer.com, DesignBay, DesignHill.com, adtriboo, Croudspring and other 99 competitiors) as the barriers to entry are low, and still weak mechanism to lock customers and artists. I see the growth potential in scaling up into different countries and adjacent services, like events, services and such.

[1] Wikipedia.org


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Student comments on 99designs: Logos, Web, Graphic Design & More

  1. 99 designs is certainly one of the best crowdsourced companies in the design space. This mode helps the clients have a variety of options to choose from and leverages upon the creative power of a crowd which for an artistic space is a great advantage. However, what can be a deterrent is the ability of managing this crowd and to choose from such a huge variety which the clients are not used to. There is a need to have account managers who can filter these choices for the clients.

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