Five Frequently Asked Questions About Running a Design Project on

October 10, 2009

Boy scratches his head in puzzlement or confusion

How much money should I offer to the designers?

It’s important to remember that 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 –
  • 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:

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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