Last year I wrote about the benefits of 99designs and how it is a viable option for the graphic design needs of companies and individuals – 99designs, A Cost Effective Way of Meeting Your Logo, Web & Graphic Design Needs. The article focused more on their service from the view point of a client. The flip side of the coin is the designers who submit their designs and get paid for their work.
How Designers Earn Money
The process of getting to earning money is uncomplicated and only takes a few simple steps:
- sign up for a free designer account
- scour through the open contest and chose one or more appropriate ones to enter
- create a design based on client specifications and submit your work into the contest alongside submissions from other designers
- interact with clients and receive feedback on your concepts and make any necessary adjustments
- at the end of the contest a winning design is chosen and the designer paid [as of today (4 June 2012), payments range from $149 to $5,010]
Because of the crowd-sourcing model, one would think that there would be a large number of submissions for each contest and that your designs would get lost in all of the noise. There are quite a number of open and closed contests that have less than 20 submissions which gives you a higher chance of getting noticed. That said, there are also a number of contests with well over 50 submissions. Even if there is a design contest that you could deliver on and has a high number of entries, I can think of two reasons why it wouldn’t hurt to enter; 1.) you could win 2.) if you don’t win, you can look at the time spent on the design as polishing up on your skills.
What sets 99designs apart from other similar services is the fact that to be in to win, you don’t have to provide proof of previous work. Other services run on a system where designers place bids on projects and clients pick a designer (before any work has been done) based on their previous work. With 99designs, the designs you submit are the proof of your capabilities. If you are designer who is just starting out that is one less thing you have to worry about and as well as earning money, you get build up a portfolio.