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The Small Business Guide To Crowdsourcing A Design Project

For the first 6 months of my blog’s life I didn’t have a logo.. I just used its title The Social Media Guide.

Literally.. just the words “The + Social + Media + Guide“.

As time went on, it got to a point where I wanted to take my blog to a different level. I wanted my blog to stand for something.. to be recognized and to be associated with the topics and content I cover.

My blog needed branding and it needed to be different somehow from other blogs in my niche.

To achieve that, one of the first things I needed was a logo.. and this post describes the steps I took.


For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term crowdsourcing.. it is essentially outsourcing a task or a job, to a community or crowd.

I’ve got no skills whatsoever when it comes to logo design..

What I needed was an expert designer, someone who designs for a living.. so I decided to crowdsource it.

99 Designs


99 Designs is widely recognized as the number 1 marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design. They connect 77,000+ designers from around the globe with small businesses who need design projects completed.

You can get pretty much anything designed, including,

  • Custom-made logos
  • Web page design
  • Twitter backgrounds
  • Banner ads
  • Buttons and icons
  • WordPress themes
  • Stationary design
  • QuickBooks form design
  • Print design
  • T-shirt or clothing design
  • Graphic design

And there is a 100% money back guarantee.

How it Works

It is very simple to get something designed.

1. Launch your design contest

Create a design brief which is simply a clear outline of what you need designed. You then post this brief to 99 Designsand set your prize amount.

2. Collaborate with the designers

Designers then submit concepts to compete for your prize. During this process, you provide continual feedback to help the designers deliver a concept you love.

3. Choose your favourite design

At the completion of your contest, you’ll need to pick your favorite design and award the prize. You’ll then receive the final design along with copyright to the original art work.

Ready Made Logos

They even have ready-made logos.

Choose a logo you like.. and they add your businesses name.


Launching a Design Contest

When launching a design contest you need to specify certain requirements that the designers can work off.

Including a brief overview of your business, your brand’s name, your target audience and the requirements of the design.

Here is my design brief when I crowdsourced my blog’s logo,

Once your design contest has gone live.. designers will then start to submit designs based on your requirements.

Collaborating with the Designers

As the designs come in, you are encouraged to provide feedback to that particular designer.

I was always tweaking things.. asking designers to change the color of this, re-position the text, change the font, improve this, didn’t like that, etc..

Slowly but surely moving toward a winning design.

Some designs that come in, are absolutely shocking! If that is the case, you can simply eliminate that design from the contest.

A lot are medio core.. And some are worthy contestants.

Of the ones that you really like, you can rate them out of five stars.

You can then sort all the entries by number of stars.. leaving your favorites at the top of the pile. This is very useful as the contest progresses and you have many submissions.

From memory, my contest ran for about a week and in that time I received 185 entries,

And the Winner Is

When you have finally settled on a winning design, you simply click on <Award Prize> which effectively stops the contest, and notifies the designer that you have chosen their design as the winner,


Once you have determined the winning design, you and the designer need to go through the design handover process,

You will need to confirm that you want to award the prize to that designer,

Transfer Copyright

The first thing that needs to be completed is the transfer of copyright.

Both you and the designer need to (digitally) sign the copyright contract.

Firstly check that your details are correct.. then you will need to view the Intellectual Property Transfer Agreement.

After reading this, you will need to agree to the Intellectual Property Transfer Agreement by checking the check-box.. then click on <Sign Contract>,

You have now signed the contract.

Until both parties agree (and sign the contract), you are unable to progress and the designer doesn’t get paid,

Transfer Files

Next the designer needs to upload the final files for you to review,

Once the final files have been uploaded, you are then able to download them.

You then have several days to complete your review and ensure everything is as expected.. otherwise the prize money will be automatically released,

Once you have reviewed these files and are happy, check the check-box and click <I Accept>.. to release payment,

The funds that were held in escrow by 99 Designs are released to the winning designer.

Handover is Complete

That’s it.. everything is done!

Both parties have signed the copyright contract, you have reviewed the final product and released final payment to the winning designer,

A copy of these files can always be re-downloaded again from your 99 Designs account.

If you can’t do it yourself.. crowdsource it!

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