The last time I took an art class (in 9th grade) I scraped by with a B only because my teacher liked me. Needless to say, I don’t consider myself a particularly artistic person. Moreover, I have zero graphic design experience. So, when it came to developing a logo I felt like there wasn’t a lot I could do myself. It would have been a pretty simple process if I had in mind a logo and just needed someone to actually put it on paper for me. However, since I didn’t, I was wary of hiring a designer and leaving the design completely up to them only to come up with something I didn’t like.
Through a business school class, my brother heard about a website called 99designs.com, which allows you to use crowdsourcing to create a design contest. Here’s how it works: you give some background information about your business and general guidelines about the design you’re looking for; Then you put up a prize amount and allow designers to compete for your prize over the course of two weeks. We were concerned that we might not get a submission that we loved in the allotted time. However, after speaking with reps from 99designs, we felt comfortable that if we didn’t get a great design, they would work with us to help refine our guidelines and even extend the contest to make it work. So, we decided to give it a shot.
We set a prize of $300 – plus fees we were all in for $403. Over the next 2 weks, we received 129 entries. To receive the same number of submissions in a more traditional route would have taken us months and easily cost hundreds of dollars more. While some designs were difinitely better than others, each one helped us refine the logo – if only to show what we didn’t want. Their polling function also allowed us to use feedback from friends to narrow down our options.
In the end, here is what we ended up with. Let us know what you think!
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