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Designcrowd Reviews

by Designer Reviewer

Skip to the conclusion and see our overview of how 99designs, Crowdspring, Designcrowd, DesignBro, and DesignHill compare.

So you want to start a design contest on Designcrowd? As you may have noticed, it seems really easy, BUT, then all of a sudden, there are a ton of different choices, prices, and hidden dangers. 

We went through all of it for you to give you a clear direction on what options to select, and which ones to avoid while starting your design contest on Designcrowd.

The big market of design contest platforms

More and more crowdsourcing platforms enter the market with their logo design (as well as other) services. One of the biggest and most well-known websites is 99designs. We’ve reviewed it in an article here, where we also introduced the design contest business model as well as where the demand for such platforms comes from.

DesignCrowd is the second biggest contest-based online destination for logo design after 99designs. It features a wide variety of design projects to choose from but we focus on the logo design specifically. Our review will describe DesignCrowd, its design process, our experience and satisfaction with the logo we got and a few tips and tricks to keep in mind if you decide to launch your own project.

Designcrowd in numbers:

  • 705k+ designers
  • 100+ designs per project
  • 21 Million designs uploaded

The business model of DesignCrowd is similar to the one of 99designs where the goal is to provide the client with a high number of designs to choose from. DesignCrowd summarizes its idea and process very neatly: Launch your project, get custom designs and choose the best design.

 

The “backstage” is a little more complicated. Since the client selects only one final design that he or she will get ownership rights to, the designers compete for the business. In other words, they compete to be chosen as a winner and to get paid for their work. Considering that one logo project features over 100 uploaded designs, the chances to become a winner are 1% or less.

A step by step guide: How to start a design contest on DesignCrowd?

After seeing how simply 99designs and DesignBro made their briefing process easy but professional, we must say that we find the DesignCrowd way of doing it a bit disappointing. The number of steps is a lot smaller, vaguer and doesn’t give the option to select inspirational logo designs from examples.It made us worry that the designer might not have enough information to create a design that matches what you’re looking for.But lucky for you, we’ve written a guide below on how to fill it in and get the most out of your DesignCrowd logo design contest.

Step 1 – Enter your email address

Simple.

Step 2 – Select a design project

In this example, we picked a logo design contest.

Step 3: Name your project

Give a title to your project that describes both your business and the industry. [pro tip!] It’s important to make it interesting so that it catches the attention of the designers and makes them want to work on your project.

Step 4: Task description

Write a description of what you need, list your requirements, provide background information about your brand, products and/or services and add anything else relevant for the designers to capture the essence of your business and its values.

Step 5: Logo text

Write down all the text that should be included within the logo design. For example, your brand’s name, slogan, year of establishment, headquarter city, etc. don’t need any, thats fine too.

Step 6: Upload files

This step is optional. However, if you have any files that would support the creative process, go ahead and upload them. Designers will always appreciate any additional information that could direct them the right way. There’s nothing worse than an empty brief so don’t be afraid to include too much content.

Step 7: Select payment options

This is where it gets a little tricky as DesignCrowd offers quite a few options, each with a possibility of purchasing additional services. Let us describe them detailly so you’ll know exactly what to go for. DesignCrowd offers 6 packages to choose from:

  1. 1-3 Designs ($109)Features only 1 designer working on those 1 to 3 designs.
  2. 6+ Designs ($229)Features only 3 designers working on the 6+ designs.
  3. 50+ Designs ($319)From this package onwards, there is an unlimited number of designers working on your project.
  4. 100+ Designs ($499)According to the website, this is the most popular package among its customers. An additional feature coming with this option is the highlight of the project (which makes it easier for designers to spot it) as well as a design of 250 business cards.
  5. 150+ Designs ($739)This package includes the same features as the one with 100+ designs with an additional benefit of making your project featured (explanation later). Also, the number of business cards designs increases to five hundred.

About the offered features in these packages:

First of all a warning: DesignCrowd is selling you ‘unlimited revisions’, but in reality, it’s more like ‘unlimited revisions if the designer feels like it and only for the time selected’. You can read more about this here on their site.

Besides this, all the packages include money back guarantee (more about this later), copyright ownership of one design (the winning design) and delivery of industry standard files. This is what you would normally expect.

We recommend picking the 50+ designs package, as we believe strongly that contests with that number or more designs become unmanageable. You don’t need 100+ designs to choose from. It may seem appealing, at first, to have all these logo designs to browse in. But remember that the more concepts you receive, the more time you have to spend selecting the designs and providing feedback to the designers. Most designs won’t come close to what you are looking for, but that’s where you need to be very active providing feedback instantly.

The 50+ designs is a bit much but it’s the best compromise between the 100+ package and the first two listed options. 6 designs may feel like enough but then there are only 3 designers working on your project. You may risk receiving similar submissions as one designer could potentially upload similar concepts. In our opinion, a perfect scenario would be for the package to include 6 designs by 6 designers. But since that’s not available, for now, the 50+ will have to do.

Our advice: 50+designs ($319)

There are a few extra features you can add to each package:

Extra Turnaround ($29)

We fail to see the use in this feature. We understand people can be in a hurry, but, by paying more, you essentially get less time to work with the designer, less feedback you can give, and less changes you can have made. Seems like a higher price for less quality / service.
Our advice: Avoid!

Private Project ($49)

We do recommend making your project private. You just don’t know how they will feature it in the future.

BUT before you decide anything, have a look below at the Non-Disclosure Agreement point for a little red flag.

Our advice: Select (+$150)

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) & Private Project ($99)

NDA means that the designer won’t be able to show your project in his or her portfolio or publish it anywhere online. The design will be a total secret.

WARNING: This feature gives you BOTH an NDA and a private project. Be careful not to select the private project twice and pay double.

Our advice: Avoid (unless you really need it) 

Top Designers ($150)

We doubt anyone wants an amateur designer to create their logo. If you already invest in logo design, make sure to get it right.

Our advice: Select (+$150)

Featured Project ($59)

Featuring a project means that it will appear on top of the list of all projects. According to DesignCrowd, you can receive 50% more designs if you choose this option. We say: go for it. Make sure the best designers see your project. You don’t want professionals to overlook it between all the other projects on the platform.

Our advice: Select (+$59)

Business Card Design ($59)

If you need more than a logo design, go ahead to also add a business card design service.

Most people don’t need these anymore, but if you do, we would recommend ordering it after you have a logo you like. Otherwise it’s just a distraction.

Our advice: Avoid unless you need it 

Stationery Design ($79)

The same scenario as with the business cards, we didn’t need anything more than a logo so left this option out.

Our advice: Avoid unless you need it 

Social Media Covers ($20)

Not to repeat what we said before, but if you need more, pick more, but better to first get a logo, and make sure you’re happy with that before piling everything up.

Our advice: Avoid unless you need it 

Business Card Printing ($20)

If you choose the extra business card design, printing could be nice. However, we’re more purist and would want to know more about who’s really printing it, and what their quality level is. No use having a great design on a poor print. We simply don’t know enough here to make a good recommendation. Let us know if you’ve printed with Designcrowd before, we’d love to hear your experience.
Besides this, we still believe your primary worry should be to get a good logo, not to focus on printing.

Our advice: Avoid unless you need it

 

Totals & Added Transaction Fees

We were a bit disappointed to see that once we added everything up the total was higher than expected, just adding the features above for just the logo design and ‘quality related upgrades’ we ended up with $600.08. Part of the reason this price was higher is because of the $23.08 transaction fee, with no lower fee payment available.

Here’s what we picked:

  • Selected Package – $319.00
  • Private Project – $49.00
  • Top Designers – $150.00
  • Featured Project – $59.00
  • Transaction Fee – $23.08
  • Total – $600.08

Missing Blind contests

Many platforms out there offer the option of running a blind contest. This means that the designers can’t view each other’s work and ‘get inspired’. Unfortunately, DesignCrowd doesn’t offer this option, which is a big pity. See, if you give positive feedback to one designer, other designers will see it, pick up what was good and continue with the same concept. Instead of submitting original designs, you may start receiving similar works. Some people also argue, understandably, that it does not entice good designers to join, as they just get copied byinspire lower-level designers.

Do I really get all my money back at Designcrowd with the ‘Money Back Guarantee’?

Short answer: No. But you do get some back..

It took us literally 2 hours to find the right pages and definitions after finding first the short refund policy, that then refers to the ‘full refund policy’, that then uses terms that refer to the general terms & conditions… Anyway, we’re happy to save you the headache & provide you with some clarity!

If you’re not happy with the work (assuming designers did upload anything at all that Designcrowd themselves finds acceptable), it means you’re entitled for their refund policy.

The following items are NOT refundable from what we selected:

Transaction fee: $23.08

Posting fee (4% of the order – max $109):$24.00

Project upgrades:

  • Private project – $49.00
  • Top designers – $150.00
  • Featured project – $59.00

TOTAL NON-REFUNDABLE305.08

The following item was refundable from what we selected:

  • Selected Package – $319.00

TOTAL REFUNDABLE – $319.00

For $305.08 it’s really worthwhile to try to give your designers as much feedback as possible to get things to work, as it’s not a great prospect to lose approximately half you money for no result. If you feel that things aren’t working, our advice would be to reach out to Designcrowd’s support as early on as possible to see if you can help / offer advice!
Warning: we would stay clear from any suggestions to make the contest guaranteed,as you could potentially lose your full inlay.

The pros

Here is what we appreciate about DesignCrowd:

  • The logo design packages are affordable (between $109-$739 base price).
  • The logo design process is fast (between 24h and 10 days).
  • There is a big pool of designers.
  • There are 5 design packages to choose from.
  • There are 9 extra features per package to choose from.
  • There is a (somewhat) money back guarantee.

The cons

And here are a few things we don’t like about DesignCrowd:

  • There’s little motivation for designers to deliver high-quality works.
  • There are no blind contests.
  • There’s no detailed briefing process.
  • The ‘unlimited revisions’ situation is not unlimited, as there is a time limit.
  • Top designers are available only after paying an extra $150.
  • The money back guarantee is only for a relatively small portion.
  • There are additional transaction fees.

Our experience and advice

Overall, we were satisfied with the final results of our logo design at DesignCrowd. We must say though that the big number of projects we received was definitely overwhelming and time-consuming. Some were great, some were too similar to one another, others weren’t really up to the standard we expected but we did find something to work with.

After trying a few of the design platforms out there, we would pick DesignBro as our recommendation for logo design. Although they provide less designs to choose from, all of those designs are original and professional as the contests are blind and the platform works only with top designers.

  • Package selected
  • Only pro designers
  • Private or blind contests
    This means designers cant see each other’s work - it leads to less copying and more creativity. Some sites allow it, and others have it as a standard. Our advice? Make sure your contest is blind!
  • Estimated # of designs
    Remember 1 good design is better than 20 mediocre ones
  • Quality of designs
    We launched different contests with all platforms, and sat down with a team of design experts to judge the quality. This was our score.
99Designs
"Lots of designs"
$799Logo Design
  • gold package
  • (only on gold pack)
    Only on the Gold Package & up better designers are offered
  • (but not first project)
    They only allow a blind competition once you have worked with 99Designs before
  • 90
    We felt a little overwhelmed by the number of designs that were presented, and were slightly dissapointed by the number of decent quality designs
DesignBro
"Great quality"
Our Choice
$479Logo Design
  • 10 designs
  • 10+
    You can eliminate designs you don't like, which means that that spot 'opens up' again for other designers. We ended up getting 15 designs for the same price.
Designcrowd
"too many"
$429Logo Design
  • their popular package
  • (extra $150)
    Yet another upsell...
  • 90
    We felt a little overwhelmed by the number of designs that were presented, and were slightly dissapointed by the number of decent quality designs
Crowdspring
"ok- service"
$499Logo Design
  • gold package
  • (extra $199)
    Yet another upsell...
  • (extra $49)
  • 50
Designhill
"getting there"
$599Logo Design
  • executive package
  • 60

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