Have you ever had a situation arise where you needed the skills of a graphic designer – FAST? We recently found ourselves in that position when 99designs.com got the opportunity to exhibit at BizTechDay in San Francisco – just two days before the show.
Young business woman panic
Immediately, we went into scramble mode to try to pull together a professional booth and just to make things a little more interesting – we decided that we wanted to run a special promotion for BizTechDay attendees. To make it happen, we needed a slick tabletop poster that described what we were offering.

It was a perfect opportunity to “eat our own dog food” and demonstrate how you can get fantastic custom design done in just 24 hours!

Here’s what we did:

We quickly posted a project on 99designs.com – briefly describing that we wanted a small table top poster that said:

Win a $1000 Design Make Over
for Your Business
from 99designs.com

We further indicated that we wanted the colors and style to be consistent with the overall look and feel of 99designs.

We offered $149 and “fast-tracked” the project so that it remained open for submissions for only 24 hours.

Here is the link to the project:
http://99designs.com/contests/30388

In 24 hours we got 123 custom designed submissions and were absolutely thrilled with the result.

Here is the winning poster:

99designsBizTD
Screen shot 2009-10-31 at 8.03.07 AM

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facebook logoThat’s right, 99designs is giving away $10,000!
All you have to do is connect your 99designs account with Facebook now and you’ll earn your $10 share.

As a Designer, connecting with Facebook allows you to:
Show off your folio – Add the 99designs tab to your Facebook profile and share your best designs with your friends and future clients.
Share your wins – When you win a contest, we’ll post a message to let your friends know. It may even lead to your next job!

For Project Holders, Facebook connect allows you to:
Attract more designers – We’ll tell your friends when you launch a contest so they can spread the word
• Get feedback from your friends – Your friends will be able to check out your contest and let you know which designs they like best

What’s more, all users connected to Facebook can log into 99designs with a single click!

How do you connect? All you need to do is go to the 99designs login page and click the “Connect with Facebook” blue button.

If you’re connected to Facebook when we reach 1000 connections, $10 will be applied to your account within 7 days. And yes – if you are already connected then you already qualify.

Easiest way to make $10? We think so… make sure you don’t miss out!

UPDATED 11/04/09:

Thanks for the great response!
We have hit the thousand connection mark. We are processing payments – for those of you who were part of the first thousand connections, expect payment within the next 7 days.

UPDATED 11/18/09:
All payments have been processed to the people who qualified by being one of the first 1000 connections.

Cheers,
The 99designs Team.

TopSecret
99designs.com is very happy to introduce one of the most requested features from our design community: Blind Contests.

This is big news for designers and project holders alike!

Blind contests offer greater protection for designers and promote fair competition, which means they will attract the best designers and higher quality designs.

In a blind contest, each design submission can only be seen by the project holder and the designer who submits it. Therefore, designers can express their creativity more freely without worrying about protecting their concepts. After the submission period ends, designs become visible for all to enjoy.

Project Holders – We are currently only offering blind contests to project holders that have run at least one previous contest on 99designs. There is no additional cost for eligible project holders to run a blind contest, all you need to do is select the blind contest option on the ‘premium options’ page.

As usual, your feedback has led to this exciting new feature and we look forward to hearing what you think!

Cheers,
The 99designs Team

SXSW2010_logo
Designers – 99designs.com has a super cool opportunity for you to design an official t-shirt for South by Southwest 2010!

For those of you who don’t know, SXSW is a truly amazing event in Austin, Texas that brings together original music, independent film and the hottest technologies from the web.

This is your chance to put a design in front of thousands industry professionals across the arts!

So get those creative juices fired up and check out the full design brief here!

After the project closes and designs are no longer accepted, SXSW will choose the top 5 designs and allow the community to vote for their favorite.

Cheers and Good Luck,
The 99designs Team

Boy scratches his head in puzzlement or confusion

How much money should I offer to the designers?

It’s important to remember that 99designs.com is a marketplace and your design project will be competing for attention among all the other project listings. Offering more money than other similar projects will help separate you from the pack, but ultimately you need to ask yourself:

  • What is my budget?
  • How many designers do I want to attract?
  • What is the skill level of the designers that I wish to attract?
  • What are other similar projects offering?

If you are running a logo project for example, browse the other logo projects currently running on the site and take a look at how much money is being offered and how much interest the projects are attracting from the design community.

How do I attract the most submissions?

There are a lot of factors that influence the number of submissions that a project will receive on 99designs. The amount of money being offered to the designers is certainly one factor, but it is not the only one.

  • Be clear about what you are asking for.
    • Designers need to be able to look at your design brief and quickly understand the scope of the project and what the deliverables are. The more clear and specific you are about what you are looking for the more submissions your project will get.
  • Browse similar projects and invite designers that catch your eye to join your design project.
    • Designers like to be invited to projects particularly if you say upfront that you noticed their work and would love to see a submission from them. To invite a designer, simply click into their profile and click “contact” to send them a private message.
  • Stay involved and provide feedback.
    • Feedback may be the single most important factor in the success of a design project and designers are hungry for it.  The more engaged in the project you are, the more engaged the designers are.  Feedback can be given by rating the designers using the star system or eliminating the designs out right if they are way off base. Be sure to give specific written feedback for the designers/designs that show the most promise. Check out our Feedback Tool to make giving great feedback a snap!
    • Here are some FANTASTIC tips for giving great Feedback – http://bit.ly/aPDrKa
  • Guarantee your project
    • When you feel confident that you will get a good result, waive your right to a refund and guarantee your project. Guaranteed projects are far more attractive to designers and therefore receive many more submissions.

What should I put in my design brief?

The design brief is your chance to sell your project to the design community. It is your job to inspire the designers to work on this project.  You need to be very clear about what you are looking to have designed and try to make it sound exciting if possible. **Think about readability! The goal is to create a brief that is really easy to read and understand. Bullet points can be very useful!

  • Title and Subheading
    • The title is basically the headline that advertises your project…think short, sweet and provocative. The subheading is your chance to expand upon the title, adding a little more detail but not repeating yourself.
  • Brand Name
    • Who/What is this design for?
  • Tell us About Yourself
    • Providing a little context about your business or organization helps the designers understand it better and can fuel their creativity and provide inspiration for their design.
  • Target Audience
    • Every design is targeting someone or something. The audience for a child day care center is significantly different from that of a corporate law firm. The more a designer knows about the audience the more it will inform their design.
  • Requirements
    • Requirements are the nuts and bolts of the design brief. Here you should be providing the specifics of what you are looking for.
    • What is it…a logo, a web page, a t-shirt, a brochure etc…
    • Do you have color preferences or are they free to be creative?
    • What style are you looking for?
    • What elements does the design need to include?
    • Do you have specific examples of things you do or don’t like?
    • What file types do you need?

Check out a sample brief here: http://bit.ly/1o1cSO

What kind of files should I ask for?

If you’re running a project for a logo or some other design which will be featured in print, you should ask for a CMYK image in either PDF, EPS, SVG, Corel Draw CDR, or Adobe Illustrator AI format.

For website designs, Twitter backgrounds and other designs which are destined to be displayed only on computer screens, you should ask for a “layered RGB file” in Photoshop PSD or Fireworks PNG format. These are the source files of the design, and you’ll need them if you want to be able to easily tweak something. It’s a good idea to also ask for a JPEG version.

You shouldn’t ask the designers to provide any of the fonts used in the design, as many of them are owned by type foundries and carry hefty license fees.

What if I don’t like any of the designs?

We offer a full 100% money back guarantee on all projects, with the only exception being if your project has a guaranteed prize or you’ve awarded a winner and the designer has been paid.

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Some of you may have noticed we rolled out a completely new look for the 99designs.com homepage.

We’d love to know what you think…

99designs

The idea behind the redesign was to create a clean and polished look that was easy to use, easy to understand and prominently displayed the amazing work of the design community.

99designsArt

The new design also includes a featured spot for the latest buzz on our blog and makes it easy to stay up to date and take advantage of the cool resources we provide via twitter, Facebook and rss.

We hope you like the changes and as always would love to hear your feedback.

Cheers,
The 99designs Team

MacBookPro

Congratulations @marcalbert

You are the winner of the 99designs.com MacBook Pro TwitAway.

You have won a brand new 13” MacBook Pro with a 2.26 Ghz processor

We want to thank everyone for following @99designs on twitter and hope you continue to find the resources we provide valuable.

Cheers and Thanks to All!

The 99designs Team