- Easy design contest setup
- Simple, straightforward job board
- Participation reward for outstanding artists
- Acceptable prices
- 30-day money back guarantee
- Limited freelancer options
- No mobile site, apps
In our current age, visuals are everything: logos represent companies to such extent people immediately associate the golden arches logo of McDonald’s with its gold fries. Even the nowadays outstandingly popular YouTube channels and videos cannot exist without good design. Thus, to suppress the millennials’ seemingly infinite appetite for custom made artwork, DesignCrowd came up with a crazy new idea: instead of spending hours browsing freelancer websites for possible candidates you could just post a design contest, set a prize and let artists compete with each other. The website is a huge job board, including several categories, where employers can create projects (describing their wishes in detail) and receive multiple design ideas from various freelancers. Furthermore, not only do all participating designers receive a small compensation, but if you are unsatisfied, you can get your money back as well.
DesignCrowd has a unique approach, because designers come to you and not the other way around. The site is, in fact, a huge platform for creative work where employers are able to announce special contests, offering prize money for the winning artwork. They can also post their ideas in a brief guideline by, for example, describing which font type should be used and what lines should appear on the picture.
Designers who are interested in your project can participate and send you their concept, guaranteeing that you always choose from a large pool of results and also ensuring healthy competition between artists. DesignCrowd is all about art and design under several categories, such as logos, business cards, YouTube emblems, banners, app design, 3D models, t-shirts, photo editing with Photoshop and so on.
Starting your career as a design artist is a piece of cake, since all you have to do is provide an email address; all remaining details can be filled out later on. As a freelancer, DesignCrowd serves as a job board for you: you are able to switch between a multitude of categories and see what kinds of projects are available. Although the board is minimalistic, it displays all necessary information, including the remaining days, the number of other contestants and the scope of the prize money.
When visiting a project, further guides and aspects are offered for your consideration, like what kind of design elements an employer doesn’t want to see in the final work. Keep in mind that projects can be won by one freelancer who has to pay a 15% service fee. However, other contestants aren’t left empty-handed either, as they receive a participation reward, ranging between $10 and $20.
It’s quite obvious that employers are the main target audience of DesignCrowd, since it’s the designers that have to browse the available offers and act upon your desire, and not the other way around. As for the projects, finalizing your request can be done through a few basic steps, yet we recommend coming up with a catchy title and an informative description to serve as a guiding line for the artist. Luckily, the system provides a brief example of these guidelines as a side note, but you can check out other ideas as well.
Naturally, designers can contact you for further details if needed and vice versa, even allowing you to invite selected artists to work on your project in some cases. Even though the maximum amount of designs employers may receive depends on the chosen payment package, the system still provides a good selection of designs in a short period of time, which, taking into consideration that you barely need to summon any effort to achieve it, is quite an acceptable offer.
The collaboration between employers and freelancers is meant to be smooth, but the former are the ones who enjoy the most freedom. This is proven by the fact that artists cannot see each other’s work, and cannot ask for feedback directly, only through the comment section. As for clients, when they create a new project, they are allowed to invite designers or even allocate a second or third place for exceptional artists who deserve some extra money and recognition for their efforts and talents. You shouldn’t worry even if none of the posted creations satisfy your expectations either: DesignCrowd offers a 30-day money back guarantee and refunds part of your project funding when none of the designs are pleasing you. However, the site still keeps the $50 posting fee to compensate the designers, plus no extra features or upgrades will be refunded either. Furthermore, if you announced a committed project (the one that guarantees a winner no matter what), the money back guarantee is out of question.
And if you think that you are free to enjoy DesignCrowd’s services anytime from anywhere, think twice: the site doesn’t provide its services via a mobile app or a fully mobile-friendly website for that matter, meaning you have no choice but to work from your computer.
DesignCrowd works with special packages when it comes to pricing. First, you cannot set the amount you wish to pay for the hired artists, as it highly depends on the options you choose. Second, each package has a fixed price and a limited amount of slots for contestants. Most of the money goes to the winning designer, but as we said before, the system compensates others – but only if their material hits the quality mark.
With that clarified, let’s talk about the prices. The most basic package starts from $99 and it provides room for 3 designs and 1 designer. Moving on to the more expensive packages, the available seats for artists become unlimited; sadly, no matter which package you choose, the actual amount of designs you can receive from the freelancers still remains limited.
You have the option to boost the popularity of your project by purchasing extra features. For example, making your contest available only for registered users costs $49; the site charges $49 for extra visibility in the search results, and working with the site’s top designers is no less than $150.
It can be hard to wrap your head around the unique ecosystem of DesignCrowd, but to the site’s credit, they do everything in their power to keep you informed and help you in anything the staff is capable of solving. You find several tutorial videos explaining the mechanism of the system, but there are also guiding hints to help you create a request in a professional manner. In case you are still lost, don’t be afraid to check out the FAQ section, or, even better, get in touch with customer support via live chat. Furthermore, the site is available in 8 different countries, including Singapore and India. For those who prefer to get in touch with the personnel via social media, they can check out DesignCrowd’s Facebook and Twitter page, or visit the YouTube channel.
DesignCrowd is a good way for people to arrange a design contest and choose from several uploaded artworks. The site is also a refreshing sight in the design contest world, as they care the most about their artists. Still, we won’t say it’s the Canaan of designers and clients alike. Our main problem is the hefty service fees: even though the prices for the packages are within a reasonable range, the site doesn’t include any upgrades. Furthermore, it also charges a 15% service fee on the winning designer. Also, the site is not available from mobile devices, limiting both clients and freelancers to PCs or Macs. Still, contrary to the custom of other design sites, DesignCrowd offers a small compensation for those who deliver quality work, but didn’t turn out to be the winner in the end. Moreover, clients can also mark designers they think deserve a participation award, thus contributing to the growth of a healthy freelancer community. And last but not least, employers are pampered by such extras as the money back guarantee and a great turnaround rate.