Better Protection and Better Designs: Introducing Blind Contests

October 22, 2009

TopSecret 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!

The 99designs Team

148 Responses to “Better Protection and Better Designs: Introducing Blind Contests”

  1. calsperri Says:

    Sounds like it’s a good upgrade for both CH and designers.

    • Amine Says:

      Andrew YOU ARE absolutely Right !!!
      Blind contests are very good idea.
      But the (Discussion is only visible to the designer and contest holder.)
      That is defiantly Bad and wrong.

      I love 99Designs so much and his my favorite sites ever, Because I’m getting paid what I’m worthing.
      I’m working so hard every day to give the best, Since 1 year. You guys have to think again about The Discussion visibility. Thanks!

      Kind Regards,

  2. Andrew Says:

    You also decided to make discussion visible only to CH and designer in all contests.

    While that might sound like good idea, if you never used the service as a designer. As a designer, that doesn’t help me at all, because I don’t see what CH is saying to other designers and this IS crucial for me, because very often CH lead me one way and another designer the other way, and so on. CH might give one designer plenty of comments, and to me not so many, for whatever reason, and I have NO WAY of knowing that. I want to know how CH is helping or NOT helping other designers before even entering the contest, and when I’m in, I don’t want to worry about such things, feedback % can’t tell me that.

    It’s dissapointing for me that you are making such decisions for all users without ability to choose.

    • Jason Aiken Says:

      Andrew I see your point…thanks.

      Also…we are trying to respond to the feedback that you provide.

      Have you seen our UserVoice page? That where you can provide feedback and let us know what features you’d like to see etc.


      • Andrew Says:

        My win stats in web design are 26/8, to let you know where this feedback is coming from.

        One more thing. I think to hide feedback discussion only in blind contests makes so much more sence, than doing that for all contests. Now CH can give everyone different feedback and no one will be able to know anything, and second thing: CHs that are giving very helpful feedback would’t be able to attract more designers by showing it.

        Regardless of blind contests my bet is that they will NOT be loved by good designers for several reasons. 1) My observations tell me that good designers do not worry about their ideas being stolen, because you just can’t steal solid implementation, and ideas are not the subject of copyright anyway as your HELP tells. 2) It creates endless opportunity for milking designer’s time, especially coupled with money back guarantee, because designer isn’t able to see CHs reactions to other designs, among countless other very important things, which are helping to decide whether to keep investing the time into particular contest or not.

        I think that stealing of ideas is really not the biggest concern for good designers, BY FAR.

      • D-signer. Says:

        you are right, idea’s are not protected by copyright (although, I have to ask my patent office about that ;o) )
        So I am very glad that my idea is protected through the implementation of blind contests.

    • V Says:

      If the CH is giving one designer plenty of feedback and not you, it’s safe to assume that the CH prefers the other design and not yours. So why waste your time trying to make changes when it’s clear that the other design is preferred.

      You can tell also how responsive the CH is by the number of feedback he’s given – and again if you see the number of feedback going up, but you yourself don’t receive any feedback, it’s safe to assume you can move on.

      Conversations between the CH and the designer should remain private. If the CH wants to make his comments public, he can post it on the contest wall.

  3. hauptbahnhof Says:

    excellent… freedom from lousy rip offs! thanks guys!
    i also do think i might just prefer and appreciate contest holders who select the blind contest mode.

    there might be minor negative aspects but lets roll with it and take it as it comes.

  4. Imie Says:

    This will defiantly give me more freedom to create designs I feel will work without having to worry about my design concept being stolen.

    I hope this option becomes very popular amongst CH’s as it will encourage more entries and unique designs.

    BIG UP! to 99designs for adding this feature.

  5. potatoe Says:

    Let’s see if it works well. I think it is a great feature, but it is also difficult to do improvements on your own designs if the contest holder just provide informations for only one (another) designer…

  6. Radu191289 Says:

    Designers, say goodbye to plagiators! No one will enter in the last day using your font and ideea becouse you have more than 4 stars.
    I’ve been waiting this for so long.

    Ofcourse, 99 made this kind of contest less accesible, becouse more than 50% of the users are not designers…and the staff doesen’t wan’t to lose them :)

    All the submissions should be visible between the end of the contest and the ananuncement of the winner.

    • Jason Aiken Says:

      The reason the blind projects are only available to some project holders is because we want to test it…see how it goes.

      We are really excited about it and are glad the design community seems to be pleased.


  7. hauptbahnhof Says:

    just noticed a glitch in a blind contest. i can see one of the submitted designs on the contest holder’s profile page. i guess it shall show upto four as the contest progresses.

  8. fullmotiongroup Says:

    Excellent! I’m much more interested in submitting designs to blind contests only so my original ideas are not stolen.

  9. Clarke Says:

    Hi, I can see this being a pretty handy feature, however one of the things I did like about open design contest was any time if someone ripped another designer off, the designers in my contests where quick to spot and alert, and that saved me buying something that was already in use.

    Guess I need to weight up the pros and cons for my next contest, as I have to say last minute great designs was a real pain when picking a logo ;-) Wonder if a partial closed system would be a good idea and a designer can only submit a closed design once they have won at least 1 contest or something like that. Not, sure anyway good feature.


    • D-signer. Says:

      No, because I wouldn`t enter then.
      That would mean that somebody could nick my idea and I couldn`t even see it because their submission is closed.
      And you could get by that, you let a friend hold a competition, you win it, voila, 1 contest won ;o).

  10. Vicky Says:

    yes I think this feature was something that was needed a long time ago. Not only to protect my designs, which have been straight copied and pasted on other submissions, but also so that I have more creativity in my entries. As much as I tried not to look at other designs, I still do and those ideas always seem to flood my mind, blocking my creativity to come up with something different.

    Excellent feature 99designs!

  11. Nuno Lopes Says:

    I totally agree with Andrew. I wonder if the CH has something to say about my designs, or if he just “jumped” and is rating the following designers (as often happens).

  12. art4p Says:

    that’s so cool :-)

  13. Runo Says:

    Thanks for the new feature!!!Finally the plagiarists can leave the other designers to submit and to rightfully enjoy the winning prizes. I agree with the most of the comments. I know that is good point when a regular designer spots an already used logo whether in some previous 99designs contest or already registered logo, can alert the CH. I hope you will come up with a good solution to solve that problem as well. So in the case of a ‘top secret’ contest someone can not report the designer for a copyright infringement, only when becomes visible. I think one comment was on a right track, after the closing day of the contest, when no more designs are accepting, for the fallowing week everybody should see the designs and than be able to make a remark, comment or report the designer.
    Thanks a lot, 99designs is working for the fair contests. That means appretiates the hard work of the designers.

    Keep the good work up,

  14. meowgarita Says:


    Awesome feature! This will definitely promote creative and unique designs, and prevent problems with people ripping off another designer’s work or concept.

    If this feature is used, however, it is important to inform Contest Holders that they should be placing comments where all designers can see them, especially if these comments are relevant to everybody (eg. any information or requirements in addition to the brief).

    Keep up the good work!


  15. Pegatinas Says:

    YES, YES, YES!!!! FINALLY!! Thanks so much!!

  16. Pegatinas Says:

    Wow, I just can’t tell you how happy I am right now.
    Plus, my roommate will be coming back on board. She left about a year ago due to the problems with copying and reading feedback. She’s extremely happy . . . as I am.

    Thanks for following up with this. This is the best improvement I’ve seen to date.
    BRAVO 99designs!!!!!!!

  17. dormouse Says:

    Thanks so much for finally implementing these changes!

  18. Pegatinas Says:

    Just thought about it a little more. You will probably have to get rid of or hide the star rating system too.

    Still very happy though.

  19. Umi Says:

    While this idea is good, it could lead to people submitting ideas which are not their own work to begin with and now the public can’t call out any cheaters… However, I do like how the feedback can only be viewed by the designer & CH only…

  20. Maria Says:

    GREAT! I know a designer that just reads all the CH comments and creates her logo – Goodbye to copying! If the can hide the star rating will be complete!


  21. coffeebreak Says:

    Thanks so much for this feature!!

    I hope the comments are also kept private between the designer of the entry being submitted and the ch.
    This will really really make the confident and professional designers happy.

  22. Ollie Says:

    Thank you for that 99designs but…
    Why are you only offering blind contests to project holders that have run at least one previous contest on 99designs? I think designers would prefer a greater availability of blind contests to choose from. Personally as a designer I’ll give greater preference to blind contests when searching contests to enter.

  23. paparanch Says:

    yeah right! it’s a nice feature….if only the contest holder is active on giving feedback to every entry, coz if not, this might make the designers lost on track without knowing that the contest is over….lol

  24. While I think this is a good idea to help ward of designers plagiarizing other designer’s works, I feel it has many more drawbacks.

    1: I recently entered a contest where the CH was very adamant about elements they did NOT want in their design. It was actually one of the better prepared contest briefs I’ve read. However, the designs that were getting consistently rated higher were designs incorporate some, if not all, of those exact elements. While the CH did leave me feedback on my designs, I would’ve not know that these elements were no longer ‘off limits’ had I not been able to see the other designs and the CH’s comments.

    2: CHs will often comment on a particular design and while offering feedback, reference another design’s font/style/color/theme or individual element has something they would like to see. This won’t be possible in blind contests.

    3: Some designers blatantly rip-off and plagiarize content from the web. Often times CHs are not aware of these and it takes other designers to spot these scam artists and call them out. By holding a blind contenst, a CH could very well approve and pay for a design that could eventually lead them to a lawsuit in the future – without even knowing it.

    4: Many designers will not enter contests until there are several entries receiving feedback. They want to make sure that the CH is serious about getting the BEST design for their money and the ‘Healthy’, ‘Unhealthy’ and ‘Caution’ icons are not always the best indication of that.

    Just my .02 cents……or .04 ;)

    • Jason Aiken Says:

      Thanks for the feedback…it will be interesting to see how blind contests progress.

      To your points…

      1. I think a project holder will give feedback to the designs they are most interested in.

      2. True…its a trade off

      3. After the submission period is over…all entries become visible…at which time I believe designers will still let the CH know if there are “problem designs”

      4. I agree in so far that the contest health system has room for improvement.

      Thanks for the feedback.


    • hoshimo Says:

      1) usually good communication with the CH resolves this. i often PM the CH when this happens and they get back to me.

      2) this can be resolved if the CH just takes screenshots of what they like. most of the time though, a CH will link OTHER logos from other sites of what font/style/color/theme they like anyway.
      i personally hate it when a CH tells others to copy elements from my design.

      3) it isnt our job to catch these, but youre right, and i think what jason said about all designs showing at the end really eliminates that issue.

      4) i am probably 75% more likely to enter a blind contest than one that isnt and im pretty sure that all the real designers who have confidence in their creativity will as well.

      • Ollie Says:

        I completely agree with all your points hoshimo! You wrote exactly what I was thinking, especially about CH requesting others copy elements from my work.

  25. hoshimo Says:

    personally, im very very excited about this addition, and im hoping that there will be such a positive reaction to this that all contests in the future will be like this automatically. id have to say this is the best news from 99D that ive gotten since i joined so thank you 99D Team for working so hard on this and hearing us out.

  26. BombardierBob Says:

    This is a good start and next should be setting better limits of how long when the project is over that the host needs to select a winner. Right now it is out of hand and being exploited then refunded. This sort of action is nothing more then baiting on designers for ideas. Refunding money is a legal mess as well when the contest host gets a hold of the master file. This is also needs to be addressed and changed!


  27. Tim Says:

    Cool, BUT how about feedback & rating by stars, it will be visible ?

  28. zigcla Says:

    About your recent changes private comments and blind contests:

    I know that many designers have been asking these changes for a long time, but I think this is a case of not valuing what you’ve got, and thinking you need something when you actually would be worse for it.
    It may assuage their feelings but I doubt there will be other PROs to it.

    I’m using upper case for readibility.

    Let’s analyze both sides of this argument:

    From the point of view of the CONTESTANT:


    STATEMENT: The designer FEELS that his design is protected from copying.
    REFUTATION: Has he no confidence in his own implementation?
    If his skills are better he shouldn’t be worried.

    S: He says his Creative Process is hindered from seeing what others have designed.
    R: Even in blind contest others will come up with similar ideas, while had entries been visible they would have had to come up with something different.
    Creativity is actually promoted by seeing other entries.

    I think that when the first few blind contest are over and entries are shown this myth will be dispelled.
    Working on the same brief means producing similar designs unless you’re forced to think out of the box because other have already submitted the obvious solution.

    When everything is public the decision to invest time in a contest is based ON FACTS.
    Now the designer has no way to assess the contest.
    Is it worth spending more time on it?
    Is the CH making him waste time while he is about to award the contest to someone else?
    The CH can lead everyone to think they will be chosen to milk more work out of them.
    Which is what on may other sites, by the way.

    CH rarely waste time giving the same feedback twice. The only way to stay current is to read feedback to all entries.
    I’ll add that newbie CHs rarely even KNOW how 99designs work, and they will happily keep ignoring it unless something goes wrong:
    at least 50% of them can’t be thought because they could not care less: the user cares about getting what he wants and nothing else.
    99designes can suggest a process but it’s up to the CHs to follow it correctly.

    From the point of view of the CHs:

    One of the reasons many CH like to use 99designs is that it’s a collective creative process.
    Cross-pollination, many designers working on your project and you’ll only pay one: that’s a PRO.
    Adding up everyone’s good ideas it’s a PRO in their book, not a CON.
    Maybe 99designs could come up with a way to share prizes and/or give addictional prizes?
    Maybe if stolen ideas were actually paid for people would be less bitter.
    I remember a CHs offering to pay designers to get parts of their designs.

    As I wrote earlier requirements changes as the contest goes on.
    The brief is rarely fulfilled by the winner entry: more often than not a whole sheabang of complications, solutions and doubt will come up.

    I’m finished. Hopefully someone will read this far.
    CONCLUSION: 99designs is probably the best site out there in crowdsourcing and freelancing. The awarded/refunded ratio is high, and there’s no barrier to entry.
    Sometimes a real community felling arises, even thought we’re supposed to be opponents.
    When a Ch is never happy or gives puzzling remarks or is about to be cheated you can count on the 99designs community to lighten the mood, fix wrongs and protect copyright.
    It is a rare thing and I hope it will be treasured and not destroyed.

    Thank you for reading,

    zigcla on 99designs

  29. inancz Says:

    i agree its a good feature but also i’m worring about a little bit.

    i saw so many stockimage/icon/logo in contests and above all, sometimes some designers use an icon of from an other contest. the contest holder could not see that, or when the contest over and all entries become visible, the designer (who used that icon before) could not catch to copied and CH can pick that design unconsciously.

    and, again i saw that if the contest holder like a design, he/she more interested with its designer and maybe you are doing wrong but CH has not care of you.

    i think i’m sure of thats a good thing but with bad things too.

    • hoshimo Says:

      thats why all designs re shown after the contest is over :) thats when the police come out and spot all the copies.

      • D-signer. Says:

        That would mean that you can not withdraw your design before the contest stops, otherwise those poeple would remove the designs just before the end, and nobody would know.

  30. Ollie Says:

    I think it will be really interesting to see the similarities that naturally occur without wondering if someone was inspired by your own design. I really look forward to blind contests. Yea!

    I also like that designs will be revealed after the contest is ended, since I love to see what solutions others come up with.

  31. inancz Says:

    there are dozens of contests in there. how you know that someone used your previous designs or ideas in a contest? (maybe you wont submit a design for that contest and you never see that!)

  32. Once33 Says:

    contest holders using the blind contest feature would need to be obliged to give feed back to each designer on each submission. Otherwise that feature will suck for your so ‘beloved’ designers…

    simple reason… if you don’t get feedback you lose and contest holder left to their free will… will only give feedback to a few and all the other designers participating will miss that feedback.

    No feed back for each design = this idea sucks for designers

    • D-signer. Says:

      submit an entry if you don’t get feedback abandon it.
      That way CH’s will have to give feedback otherwise their contest will dry up.

  33. good_design Says:

    the problem with blind contests for me is that so many times i look at the type of designs a contest holder is rating with 4 or 5 stars, and if i think the CH has bad taste, or wants something that i either can’t produce, or don’t want to produce, i can skip that contest and move on. with blind contests, i will now have to waste time entering more contests without a sense of what the CH’s taste level is. my designs are not usually the ones that are copied, so stealing my design isn’t an issue for me. the great thing about this site is that the designers get to choose which contest and contest holder they want to work with. a design partnership is a two-way street. you’ve eliminated the ability for designers to choose their contests with an informed view of the CH’s taste level. that element is taken away with blind contests. i understand why blind contests have been created, but for me it only means extra work and wasted time. *deep sigh*

    • Andrew Says:

      Exactly! I don’t care about blind contests and experiments with them, but I really do care about all feedbacks hidden everywhere. Personally for me it was paralizing change and I don’t know when I will continue to participate, and I want to say that I was “full time” user if this service for at least half a year. Now I can’t decide which CH has good taste or gives good feedback anymore. I really hope 99designs will hide feedback ONLY in blind contests.

  34. Jay Says:

    Here is my two cents;

    I think these blind contests should only be available to contest holders who prepay and guarantee the prize amount. There are a lot of good reasons not to do this that I see above, but I do also understand the reasons for this type of contest. However you still have plenty of under-educated contest holders that still do not fully understand the star rating/feedback system as it is now.

    For contests that are NOT guaranteed, I look for; first the healthy icon, then the submissions and there quality of design, then I see how and if the contest holder has rated or given feedback. If i cannot see any of this and the contest is not guaranteed, I will be withholding submissions from a lot of contests..

    I like this idea, but i feel like it is a privilege..

    If you want me, as a designer, to be interested and motivated with my submissions, I expect the same attitude from the contest holder. (Guaranteed)

    Thanks for reading me out,


  35. Terry Bogard Says:

    This is awsome. Something that has got the most votes on the user voice. As far as the concern that “CH can get away with the idea because of a blind contest” I think this is incorrect. COz a contest holder can even get away with ideas if the contest is NOT blind. The good thing about these blind contest (are not TOTALLY blind) is that all the designs will be revealed after the declarations. There is really no need to read other designer comments..afterall there is something called “Brief” to read for what is required. Cheers
    Great work 99designs.!

  36. hoshimo Says:

    what i like is that blind contest encourage two things:
    1)contest holders who are serious about their contest and have good communication skills (because if they dont then they know their contest will fail since they are the only source of direction)
    2) designers who are serious and have confidence in their creativity. (because they dont have any other “inspiration” to go by other than their own ideas)

    a lot of people are concerned about a lack of crowsourcing, but from a contest holders point of view, crowdsourcing is still very much alive. i think a lot of people who are upset about these blind contests are “designers” who are used to extracting “creative” elements from various highly rated designs and mushing them together into their own “original” creation , which shouldnt be the value of crowdsourcing in the first place. crowdsourcing isnt to give people a resource to copy elements from, it should be used to receive feedback and comments on their original ideas to better their designs.

    • Pegatinas Says:

      Bravo hoshimo!! It really all boils down to this excellent statement you just made:
      “i think a lot of people who are upset about these blind contests are “designers” who are used to extracting “creative” elements from various highly rated designs and mushing them together into their own “original” creation.”

      Next to abandoned contests, this has been one of my, and many others, biggest complaints. This improvement pleases me to no end and as Terry says, “Something that has got the most votes on the user voice.”

      And to the poster somewhere above that says, “Creativity is actually promoted by seeing other entries.”; that is the most ridiculous statement I’ve read and is the exact reason why blind contests are needed.
      From my understanding, it’s the option of the CH to choose blind submissions. So you and others who enjoy waiting for entries to come in before you create something can enter the non-blind submission contests.

    • Andrew Says:

      1) How can you know CH who are serious without seeing what’s going on?
      2) There is the whole internet full of ideas ready to copy and steal. And by the way, it’s a good practice for CH to point to sites they like in the brief.

      > extracting “creative” elements from various highly rated designs and mushing them together into their own “original” creation

      This is what CH benefits from and often asks for. Not only the contest shows CH various ideas, but CH often reconsiders the brief near the end and chooses something he hasn’t thoght of. And while this may be bad from other designer’s point of view, at least everyone knows what’s going on. In blind contests same problem could take place, but nobody will know it during the contest. And once again, nobody can just copy elements, they have to do their own. There always are other designers who will spot copying and call it out in 5 minutes. It’s that simple.

      Also, without seeing other designs rating, designers can’t think visually, have more difficulty trying to come up with something new (I agree with zigcla, that seeing entries actually encourages designer to create something different in many cases), and CH will have to write enormous amounts of feedback instead of just pointing at or rating the entry.

      • zigcla Says:

        Thank god someone here has a logical mind!

        Figuring out what contest holders have in mind is hard enough when you’ve got all the evidence lined up, it will be nigh impossible with everything hushed up.

        I’ve been on other freelancing sites long enough to notice that there are piles of people looking to have work done for free.
        I don’t see any point in giving them more chances to get away with it.
        Trusting proven CHs with blind contests makes sense, but I’ll be surprised if the usual no-feedback/no-stars CHs can manage them.

        I am thoroughly in agreement with Andrew’s description of what contest holders wants.
        This changes might be a good thing for logo contests, but they will probably prove more of an hindrance than an asset for web design contests.
        Designers are so worried about being cheated by their peers that they’re not thinking about those who might really want to take advantage of them.

        Knowing where I stand in a contest is important to me, sometimes the time investment is relevant and not knowing what the CH is saying to others is unnerving: it would make more sense to me to have blind contests with public comments than to have public contests with blind comments as it is now.

        And I agree with what LGDesign is saying below about improving oneself by seeing masters at work. It surely worked for me.

  37. LGDesign Says:

    We fully respect this decision, but we also have a few questions, because some things are unclear in regard with this “blind contest”.
    1)One of the terms that you have to agree to when uploading your work is that, quote, “I’ve had a look at the other entries and the discussion.”. How can this be possible if we aren’t allowed to see other designs?
    2)Some of the CHs aren’t very good at feedback – they don’t give any, or they just give stars – if we’re not allowed to see in which direction CH wants me to go, how can we know what he really wants to see?
    3)Can anyone open a blind contest? Because, in our opinion, only CHs with history of good communication with designers should be able to open these kinds of contest – we think that no one has time to waste to a contest that has CH who gives feedback once a week, if even that often.
    Designers that steel other peoples ideas are pretty common here, but we don’t care, because we can always report them, or suggest CH to eliminate “their” work…
    Thing that we’ve learned since we started doing designs here is that we can always participate, and that those who are really talented, and skilled, win. We can see their progress with their new entries, and in that way we can become better – because if you see how someone is achieving something in a way that you’ve never thought about, that’s a great lesson for your future works… Not in a way of stealing designs, but in a way of improving yourself.

    • D-signer. Says:

      Yep the best graphic artists win, and now the concepts can be protected too. That means that one who has a little less graphic skills can win by his concept, because it is protected now.

  38. zigcla Says:

    You know, people are entitled to an opinion even if you don’t like it.
    Disagreeing doesn’t make them fiends guilty of every crime including intellectual theft and duplicity.

    If you read what I wrote using common sense you will find that it’s not that strange.

    People can’t see other entries = people will submit the obvious design.
    people can see the entries = if they’re honest they will have to come up with something different from what’s already there.

    You can look up my username and see for yourself that, while I might not be part of the designers elite you seem to belong to, I never copied anyone’s work.

    Note: I am talking about web pages which are quite different beasts from logos, I forgot to add that.

    • Pegatinas Says:

      Note: I never claimed you copied anyone’s designs. I think you should just enter the contests that are not blind so you can follow your day to day routine. Simple.
      The fact that you wrote people get creative by viewing other designs is the gist of this whole improvement. There are TOO MANY that are looking at other designs to get ideas from. That’s what bothers the majority of the designers around here. Use your own creative brain to get new ideas and concepts from.

      • zigcla Says:

        Man, honestly am I writing in sanskrit?
        If the designer is honest he will have to come up with something DIFFERENT from what is already there.
        It’s not copying or even getting inspired!
        It’s making an EXTRA effort to be CREATIVE and DIFFERENT.

        Maybe this doesn’t mean what I think it means.

      • Pegatinas Says:

        No reply button under your message so I’m replying here.
        It is better to have the same concept repeated unknowingly than for someone to be able to see the concepts first…. and this is the reason. There are TOO many designers that copy other designers purposely to gain the win. This is what all the fuss is about and why, under user voice, it is the most requested feature.
        The majority here WANTS the blind contest format.

      • zigcla Says:

        You’re a logo designer, I was talking about web design contests.
        I guess that logo design has different mechanics, and the brief might well be enough, but in web design contests the brief is almost NEVER enough.
        Logo designer seem to enter in many more contests, while a web designer must be more selective, it’s more work to invest.
        Which is why it is useful to know if the taste of the CH is compatible to yours, to see what he’s telling to other contestants, because they almost never take the trouble to rewrite it in the common area.
        Personally I find closed comments worse than blind contest.

        Anyways you should read Alex’s, good_design’s and my comments above to understand why some web designer are not as enthusiastic as you are.

      • Pegatinas Says:

        Although I did not read your whole tome, I never came across the words “website designers” in your opinion. But I still cannot see how your statement:
        “Creativity is actually promoted by seeing other entries.”
        … is favorable to website designers who submitted their concept initially.

        There you go again using the term “Elite”. I am definitely not a member of the elite, if there is such a club. My percentage rate is poor. I own a small business and use any prize money from this site for extra pocket cash. I don’t depend on or in kahoots with any designer here. I don’t use this place for my sole income. I don’t expect to win every contest but it’s my choice to spend time working on a design and enter it here. I know from the beginning I may not win. It’s my choice.
        And it’s your choice to enter non-blind contests….. web design contests too.

      • Andrew Says:

        > It is better to have the same concept repeated unknowingly

        You mean to unknowingly make something CH would like? What’s wrong with making it purposely if CH desires so, OR more easily making if really different from what is submitted? Isn’t it what CH would like to get? Different options, ability to merge them.

        Imagine you have two almost the same versions of the same design unknowingly made in blind contests — one on first day and second on fifth. You are saying this is better situation? CH still decides which of these two almost same designs he will pick. But remember: CH is not obliged to leave you helpful comment, to give you star rating, to wait until you make your revision, and so on. Are you feeling protected?

        I’ve seen the contest for 1000 where designer got 5 stars 5 days before the end, and CH wrote: “this is the design you have to beat”, and nobody could make anything better, having plenty of time. Nobody copied it exactly and there were VERY different entries still, so designers really did something different, but first designer won that contest.

      • zigcla Says:

        I understand where you are coming from.
        My percentage is actually worse than yours.

        It’s true that I forgot to add that what I wrote applied to web design contests, but I didn’t know the mechanics were so different.

        When people refer to “Real designer” and what this mythical figure is supposed to think and to do my blood pressure explodes.
        This “Real designer” who is never tired, always gives his best and has never even watched other people’s work.
        Real people is tired, worned out and sometimes creativity will dry up, sometimes I end up submitting nothing, as I can’t think of anything worth submitting.
        But dishonest people might be just people who are more desperate than you.

        I might not be a Real designer but I need to live, too.
        Honestly, Real Designers are off somewhere earning good income, not betting on some hypotetical win.

        As other sources of income dry up, in many countries around the world, more people will end up here, to try their luck.
        And 99designes used to be a good place because you had choice, the choice you mentioned: you had all the information to choose whether to risk your time or not.
        While most freelancing sites are just milking the providers, encouraging cheating, even: buyers have all the rights and they are not held accountable for their behaviour.
        At least half of the jobs on those sites are not assigned, yet we pay to bid on them.

        Blind contests will probably hinder the web design contests process, but hidden comments are worse as Alex explains below.

        There are CHs who care about being ethical and honest, but many just want to get ideas from the designers and then they pick one with good skills to put them together, that’s their aim with 99designs: otherwise they would just put the job on the sites I wrote of and get it done for a pittance.
        As more people grow desperate work is losing its value.

      • Pegatinas Says:

        Andrew, that’s not what I meant at all. Wow, this is so easy but so hard to explain.
        Of course it’s whatever the Contest Holder would like to get.

        The problem is, when there are highly rated designs, you have a multitude of designers come in and try to duplicate that concept. It’s extremely obvious what they are doing. If a contest holder likes a certain concept, they can ask that particular designer for revisions.

        But the bottom line, and I don’t know why this is an argument, is that there will be 2 types of contests to choose from. Blind and non-blind. Right now there is not a choice for those of us who do not want others to see our designs. You had a choice from day one which is let the world see your concept that you’ve worked so hard on.

      • Pegatinas Says:

        Oh, just another example of why Blind Contest are a necessary choice.
        I saw a scammer take a designer’s work, change it to black and white, upload it to Image Shack and in the public comment area, claimed that the design was stolen from the internet. The poor kid, not seeing the words “ImageShack” in the URL, was dumbfounded and tried so hard to explain that his design was original. I had confronted the accuser but of course it was just a drive-by user name having a fun by trying to ruin the chances of this designer.
        Anyway, I do hope 99designs keeps this option. I have entered a few blind contests already and feeling confident that my concepts will not be purposely copied.

      • Andrew Says:

        “The problem is, when there are highly rated designs, you have a multitude of designers come in and try to duplicate that concept. It’s extremely obvious what they are doing.”

        Again, I’m talking about web design.

        So what? 90% of them are doing just that, TRYING, and 10% is what CH wants. CH WANTS to get better design in direcion he likes, and if he gets, that’s good for him! Is it bad for me if better design wins? Nope, I’m concerned about my skills. And if I want to win, I have to make solid implementation NOBODY could beat, or more different, or to drop some usability ideas in. I can’t just throw there my 3 column layout, for example, and then if CH likes it, whine that everybody is doing it. If CH writes in the brief that he likes blue color, draws wireframe with all required objects, then nobody is surprised that all designs look the same, or if he points at another web site. So why it’s such a tragedy if CH points at another entry and says “I want something like that”? It’s only bad for those who can’t do solid work, the way I see it. I can and want to. My intention is to give them the best look, so nobody can just easily copy that and win, and I believe it’s what CH wants too.

        “But the bottom line, and I don’t know why this is an argument, is that there will be 2 types of contests to choose from.”

        I already wrote that discussion is now hidden in ALL contests, and no, it’s not the way it was. And blind contests are just another related point I have opinion about, which I presented.

    • Ollie Says:

      Real designers will be looking beyond the obvious in the first place

      • zigcla Says:

        Real designers apparently are so busy being amazing that they are not worried about the economy, the working conditions getting harsher, paying the rent and living in a country about to sink, so they can spend all the time entering contests for the glory.

        Someday Real Designers will have to face reality: sites like this are not a place for the Elite Designers Club to show off, but a place where clients are making many designers work and then pay only one: they bring the money, they want as many minds as possible working on their project and they want to pick up everything they like from the entries.

        And please again I’m not talking about logo contest, I’m talking about web design contests where apparently cooperation is much more frequent and distrust among contestants not so endemic.

      • Andrew Says:

        “I guess that logo design has different mechanics, and the brief might well be enough, but in web design contests the brief is almost NEVER enough.”

        VERY important point by zigcla. In web design category in 80% cases we can’t rely on brief only. It changes along with contest, new details appear. Reading the brief is very often not enough, and hiding important comments from designers thinking about participating is not good. Yes, some CH are so good, they even ask not to submit new entries if they think they have the winners, but how often this happens? CH can’t always report everytning in main comments and again he’s not obliged to do so. There are many CH out there who simply don’t give star ratings AT ALL. Let’s look at CH’s rights: not obliged to give star ratings, not obliged to give comments, not obliged to stick to their brief, not obliged to wait till contest time ends, list goes on. So how are you protecting best designers (in web design section) by hiding all comments, one of the most important clues which are helping to choose right contest? You are protecting us from what? :) From this case when we got comment from CH like “Change position of this element, and color of that, please” and then other designer comes and BAM… copies my entry exactly AND changes position of the one element and the color of another and BAM… wins the contest while I was out for a weekend. :) Thanks. I feel very much protected now.

    • Interesting—thanks for the feedback (and discussion).

      Sounds like the ideal solution would be improving the brief-creation process for Web Design projects (we’re already in the process of doing this on a category-by-category basis). It seems this would resolve most of the issues raised.

      We also have a few ideas for allowing subsequent key design ideas/changes to be communicated very clearly to the crowd—even if they are mentioned privately to a designer. Stay tuned (early days, yet).


      Cheers, Adam.

      • hoshimo Says:

        agree with pegatinas. there are both blind and regular contests still, so i dont know why people are upset. its not like something was taken away.

      • zigcla Says:

        Comments are hidden now for every contest, and I really can’t see how that helps the sacred fight against copycats.
        See Alex’s and many people’s comment for detailed reasons why this is not beneficial to web design contests.

  39. mo Says:

    This is soo great, there are times where i have a concept but only to see it already done by another designer, i could submit a similar one but would be labelled a “ripoff” now with this feature i could be “ripping off” without knowing..LOL

  40. ClaX Says:

    I don’t know if this has been said yet but if you click on the CH’s profile, you can still see thumbs of 4 designs (only small) in the blind contest.

  41. valhen Says:

    What protection? I can see the different significanly. I think “private gallery” is better. In this case, other designers cant see the comments but they can see other designer artwork and copy the “idea” even they dont look comments. Thats the point.

  42. jm Says:

    I think it’s great for logo design and ALL logo contest should be blind.
    But.. for web design? I agree with Andrew and others. Contest holders are not (always) that good at providing feedback and it helps to see other designs (and feedback) to see it it’s worth spending your time or just to understand a little about what CH really likes..
    If I see a 4* for something ugly or really not my style, or if I read something and I realize I can’t design something right for CH.. no way I’ll take the chance to try.
    I’d rather go have the first design in other contest than walking in the dark. For web page design!
    Don’t get me wrong, it happen to me too, the last min design that was 95% like mine and won. Blind contests are a price to big to pay to save us from been ripped off.
    So please at least don’t say to contest holders that it’s the best thing to do. There’s plenty of work so I just skipped everything blind. (I design web page – I repeat, I think it’s a great thing for logo contests!)
    But, time will tell what’s best!

  43. jm Says:

    wow I wrote after I read only the first comments.. Sorry! But I’m happy I’m not the only one thinking like that!

  44. dorigen Says:

    I’m not crazy about this idea, so I simply won’t be entering blind contests.

    1. I’m not worried about people copying my designs! Go ahead, copy! I don’t care because I’m confident that my original implementation will still be ten times better than yours. This is a competition, copycats are part of the fun!

    2. A lot of contest holders contradict their briefs by giving high star ratings to designs that don’t encompass what they’re looking for. Why waste my time if a CH is going to do this and I have no way of knowing? Seems like everyone will end up doing extra work because of this.

    3. While i’m not afraid to enter a contest early and find out i’m headed in the wrong direction, it’s still helpful to see other designs if they are more along the lines of what the CH is looking for. Before you jump to conclusions, this doesn’t mean i’m “copying”, but i’ll be able to know if the CH wanted hip, when i was heading into corporate. I think this allows for better designs overall, because at some point, everybody begins to get on the same page as the CH.

    4. Part of the fun for me is looking at a contest and thinking “oh, i can beat these designs, let’s go!” Blind just seems boring to me. I much prefer the oneupmanship.

    Hopefully not all contests will become blind. If there is a nice balance, then i’ll continue to participate in the regular contests which have been really enjoyable and rewarding so far.

    On to a real issue…. EVERY contest should be guaranteed and awarded a winner!!! I could give a crap about this copying stuff. What saddens me is when dozens of designers have spent valuable time creating great design and the contest is completely abandoned… A waste for all parties involved.

    • good_design Says:

      150% agreed.

    • Hi Dorigen,

      Blind contests are an optional (free) upgrade made available to project holders who have previously run a project on 99designs. There are still plenty (the majority) of public projects up for grabs. We understand that open competition is a drawcard for many designers—such as yourself.

      We’re in the same boat when it comes to seeing more projects through to a successful award. It’s our priority and we’re working on multiple improvements towards this end. We’d also love to see more guaranteed projects.

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Cheers, Adam.

  45. dczar Says:

    Excellent idea! I will definitely use this feature in the future.

  46. BombardierBob Says:

    This new feature is nice but seems like a bug was created when you updated the site as now I don’t see the link to my projects in the top left corner but a login and register. Please fix this…


  47. Dear Bob,

    My Projects is typically in the top-right, is that what you meant?

    It sounds like you may have been logged out. Please log back in and let us know if you have any luck. Otherwise, I’d be happy to help you via 99designs Support.

    Cheers, Adam.

  48. BombardierBob Says:

    I rebooted my computer and logged back in and this is what I see, I have to hit the login on the top right to get access to my projects.

    I tried this through both Firefox as well as Safari and get the same results.


  49. Pegatinas Says:

    One of the other things I love about the Blind Contests so far is that there are no BS comments in the public comment area. We’ll see if this stays like that.

  50. Jane Says:


    I have tried emailing this to you with no change. On the new homepage, the word “stationery” as in “business stationery design” (in the main panel: “Need a logo, webpage or stationary designed? “) is mis-spelled as “stationary” (which means not moving). As a self-confessed grammar and spelling geek, this is driving me crazy (and it also looks a little hokey!). Can somebody look at this and look at a dictionery if you don’t believe me!!! Thanks :)

  51. Halfgod Says:

    I have mixed feelings about the blind contests.

    True it can better protect designers from other so called designers ripping their designs off but I always liked to look at a few submitted logos before entering a contest.

    It help me to get a better feel of what the CH wants or don’t want. Some designers could head off in a wrong direction in a blind contest. We could end-up working on concept that was submitted a few time over by other designers that was turned down by the CH whit out even knowing it as with a “normal” contest, I would know right away in what direction NOT to go in…

    Another ting. I’ve recently entered a contest and submited an entry. Another designer notified me that there was another logo used by another cie that was realy too similar to my design whithout me knowing it so I was able to whithdraw this entry and avoid potential problems…

    • Pegatinas Says:

      Halfgod, if you submit a design that is similar to another design in a Blind Contest, there will be no potential problems at all. It means that it was only a coincidence and not intentional.

      • D-signer. Says:

        Yep, that happens sometimes, I made a design for I think the ‘VeloGarb’ contest that was here. 2 weeks later I bought a book “graphics, a century of poster and Advertising Design.”(I love art deco/nouveau stuff and it had plenty of that in it) and suddenly I see a poster who had exactly the same design idea that I used in my design.
        The ‘go out’ poster in it. I plagerised without knowing it, I felt pretty weird.;o)

  52. Pam Bryan Says:

    Hi there,

    As a rookie CH – just finished my first – I can see real merit in the blind contest.

    However, I do wonder about the comment some designers made early in this discussion about showing comments, even if not the designs. It may seem a bit odd to see a comment without seeing what it pertains too, but I can really see a valid issue with designers not being able to see the flow of conversation as designs evolve.

    I felt badly I simply did not have time to reply to even a fraction of those who entered, but at least knowing my comments were shared I did not have to say the same thing over and over again as my thoughts evolved – as they most certainly did over the course of a week.

    that’s all. Thanks for a great place to buy design. Having it fair to all is paramount.

    • Pegatinas Says:

      Cool Pam! It’s nice to hear from a Contest Holder.

      Maybe the Public Comment area would have been the place to give generic feedback that you wanted all the designers to follow.

      • Andrew Says:

        Maybe there wasn’t slightest need to hide feedback in all web design contests. I want to see at least one WEB designer here, who would say this change was helpful for him, and in what way.

      • zigcla Says:

        Me, too.
        What’s the point of hiding feedback?

        It gives to the CH the power to keep you producing revisions and more work, when they are likely to give the contest to someone else.
        It’s happened once to me already.

        Icon contest: the CH tells me I’m the front-runner and that she wants as many icon as possible done, and then awards it to someone else: I could have avoided wasting work had I seen similar words of encouragement in the feedback to the other designer.

        The main use of reading comments to other people is to know when you’re out of the running!

        And in blind contests there’s even less need to hide comments.

  53. riorules Says:

    In REAL world competitions, no one sees the entries until judging time and they are seen only by the judge/s. There are also no feedbacks. Feedbacks only happens in a designer/client situation or relationship – to guide the designer as to what the client prefers. On the other hand, the designer can also suggest ideas to help the client get a better overall design.

    In short, I would rather have a blind without feedback contests.

  54. azimbdonline Says:

    simply the greatest idea. Hope it must be granted to all designers for creating the imaging more higher and the way of thinking of the designers to all.

    thanks for the idea.


  55. BeatShot Says:

    Finally we can say good bye to copycats.

    Will start looking up for these, thank you!

  56. EAAron Says:

    GREAT IDEA!!! Really am happy about this…now if I can just manage to upload my designs. Having problems now that I never had before uploading to contests.

  57. Natalie Says:

    I am very new to 99Designs and must say that I absolutely love the concept and execution of the site.

    In regards to blind contests, i have noticed a lot of bickering among the designers about small similarities such as the same font being used to outright blatant rip off’s of another persons designs. I am glad that the site is taking this very seriously and working on preventative methods to deal with the problem. With that being said I feel that blind contests might take away the competitive edge that currently exists. I have noticed that alot of CH ask for one thing in thier brief but choose something completely different as a winning design. Even though I admire other entries and compare them to see what I can do to stand out among them, I still greatly rely upon both the rating system and the eliminated entries to help in my design process. Unless the CH gives feedback to every designer, we are basically taking a shot in the dark with our designs and I am not sure that I will paticipate in the blind contests as much as I do the regular contests.

    • Torn about this idea Says:

      I agree….the competition element is kinda lost. I mean, the true designers will always shine in the midst of copycats. Obviously whoever posted the idea first will prevail.

      Like I said, I like friendly competition. But you can always report someone if you feel your designs are being stolen.

      Sometimes, the CH tells you the type of font they want and colors. They can be very specific. Real designers strive to be different from the current designs posted. I have watched contest evolve in this manner. I think mayber first submissions should be blind….and then if you get like 3 or more stars from the client, then you can view all of the submissions. At least then, you can see what works and you can put in work to get better results and meet your client’s need.

  58. phipphin Says:

    Great!, I absolutely love this features.


  59. kurusetra Says:

    thank you for this great improvement, just let it flow…

  60. bzier Says:

    This is really Great! I expected and like this feature. No one can copy others concepts and designs. Everyone has to use their brain to get the idea.. concepts to become a winner.

    I love this feature…Go ahead

  61. Blind contest is a great idea.That CH – Designer discussion is kept private, is even a better idea.Any general observation,that is to be made, the CH can make on the general comment section.”The plagiarist – the police” exchanges were becoming disgustingly bitchier day by day.Now we can concentrate on the work.What is the point of catching the plagiarists after the end of the contests.It is only important that the winning design is not a plagiarised one.

  62. Pegatinas Says:

    WOW, one of the first blind contest I entered is finally over and the “reveal” was implemented. There were so many unique designs. I didn’t come across one design that was a copy of someone else’s. There were some similarities near the end because the Contest Holder had asked us for a specific concept. But even at that, they were different.

    Very, very nice 99designs!!! It was so cool to see the end. It felt very good!

  63. Pegatinas Says:

    When you see a few designs with a comma (water droplet) between the “FL” and “EAU”, that is what the CH had asked some of us to do during the contest.

  64. jm Says:

    I found a blind (web design) contest with 6 hours before the deadline, and only 2 entries (low prize but strange anyway to have only 2 designers). No feedback. But CH has awarded a contest before. Hm. After reading the brief and looking at the 2 designer profiles I joined. In time! Opportunity knocked..
    Do you think it’s good to advice all CHs to choose “blind”? Raise your hand, who will enter a blind web page contest for $250.
    After a few days, hidden feedback it’s not that bad. I did however wasted my time. CH was giving me feedback, but I noticed he was giving a lot to others (or just 1-2??) and didn’t really knew what was going on. I love the privacy, it’s nice to know you can write and no one else is reading.
    But PLEASE make them give feedback in the general comment area! And be nice and honest with us. Educate them!
    I see designers “killing each other” for logo contests, but for web design… plenty of room for everyone. So we are a little selective.
    That was my feedback, hoping it will help you understand us better. I’m happy the way you are, for now…

  65. Andrew Says:

    Earlier when I wrote about drawbacks of blind contests I didn’t way they don’t work, what I did say is that they are not protecting designers.

    Many CH just figure that with money back guarantee they don’t need to even check their contest. I’ve seen one blind contest over after a week, CH didn’t visit the site and didn’t gave any feedback to 5 pretty good entries and took his money back (he awarded 1 contest by the way).

    99designs, you are saying you want more guaranteed contests, but why are you not letting to guarantee the contest to any new CH? There was far more guaranteed contests when this rule didn’t exist. If you are protecting CH from guaranteeing contest and then not getting good entries, than I think that you are going from wrong end. You have to protect designers more, and then situation when CH will not get what they want by guaranteeing the contest will be almost impossible. The reason there aren’t so much good designers entering is that designers aren’t so protected.

    I’m really looking forward to your brief writing improvements. CHs asking for coding in web design section, for example. You have so much better ability to explain it to them, so that no one would have to waste their time.

  66. cyberjunk Says:

    I love the blind contest thing.. but i think the designs should be visible once the winner is selected.. so one could easily withdraw thier designs to avoid rip offs..
    I recently had a contest where i was the only one to have 5 stars.. The contest had ended. and everyone was able to see my design . but after a couple of days the CH requested extension in the contest and the i had lost my ratings.. A number of people were using my idea at the ed of the contest..

    so if the designs become visible only after the winner is selected. i think that would be a good idea?

  67. midnite Says:

    LOVE IT!!! this will FINALLY put an end to people creating multiple accounts just to say how great they are in the comments, constantly posting their entry number. also to the groups that work together that do this. SOOOO GREAT!!!

    one thing i would recommend would be to put like a couple days waiting period when the CH selects a winner so that the community can see the design and warn the CH if it is a copy/paste rippoff, as so many times they are. if no one posts a link to a site it was ripped off from, then the winning becomes finalized.

    otherwise i think eventually you will for sure get people submitting rips from other sites with no one to catch them, then if they win it’ll be too late.

  68. someone Says:

    how can we report any piracy issues or abnormal activities (e.g. designer is the contest holder…..)in private contest?

  69. Jason Aiken Says:

    People have asked about how to report piracy or other infractions when the submissions are blind…

    After the submission period closes…the designs are revealed for everyone to see…it is at that time that any suspicious designs can be reported by the community.


  70. Byn Says:

    I think it’s great! As long as the CH give feedback to everyone! But I was sick of designers bashing other designers submissions and trying to make them look bad to the CH, just so their design would look better. So KUDOS to 99 Designs for doing this!!! I just hope the CH’s give some feedback to everyone so you know if your going in the right direction. Maybe 99 could make it very easy for CH’s to give each submission a feedback rating that the designer can see. But I know if you have hundreds of submissions, a CH isn’t going to want to reply to each one with a feedback. So something simple for them.

  71. Sheldon Says:

    “After the submission period closes…the designs are revealed for everyone to see…it is at that time that any suspicious designs can be reported by the community.”

    I’m afraid that will not recover the lost time, effort and money that the contest holder spent in pursuing a bogus design. The blind contest is actually a lesser value for the contest holder and appears to be designed to allure more designers.

  72. fingerprintz Says:

    Great Strategy!!

    Congratulations to 99designs for implementing what it takes to retain just the real designers and flush the copycats down the drain!! :)

    Blind contests are just perfect. Discussions between a designer and the CH are meant to be private and should remain that way. Why would anyone else want to read what the designer and the CH discuss? Unless you are an eavesdropper :) The CH can always leave comments on the main discussion board which is open to one and all. The feedback percentage always tells you how active the CH is, thereby the designer can always withdraw from the contest if he isn’t happy.

    A feature for a designer to withdraw ALL his/her submissions from a contest would be a nice thing to have too.


  73. AsiC. Says:

    If CH gives you less feedback that other designer/designers is because he likes their designs more than yours. This is not 99designs fault. Tell me a reason why would CH want to disadvantage you. In fact he wants nothing but the best design. It is to his advantage to give you feedbacks. If he doesn’t, it mens that maybe he’s just not interested in your designs or you design is not that good. Why should you see other designers comments? Certainly they work hard for the feedbacks that they receive. Why do you think is normal or fair that you get to the end and guide you buy their feedbacks? In every submission I had on 99designs, were designers that copied me and I simply do not stand anymore. If the CH really like you’re design, he would certainly give you feedback. I almost quit 99designs because of the people who just can’t be creative and all they can do is to copy others work or guide by their feedbacks. If the “(Discussion is only visible to the designer and contest holder.)” stop you to win, maybe you or your designs has a problem. Blind contest is a greatest idea. And sorry for my English

  74. Torn about this idea Says:

    I’m torn. I like it because then it’s like nobody will steal your stuff….

    I don’t like it becuase sometimes you get an idea of what the person who posted the contest wants by viewing what they starred. This is also a torn element because then some people are basing their ideas off of the other persons stars.

    I like friendly competition and to see who I beat out. I also like to inspire others.


  75. luke Says:

    Like 99designs in general, this is a really a good idea for the client.

    The client stands to gain many more original designs (even if some of the designs are second-rate). More time will be spent by each individual designer, trying to hit the nail on the head.

    So much effort for little reward.

    At the end of the day, it’s still slave labour.

  76. Michael Says:

    My first impression was – Awesome – bring it on.

    But some people have brought up valid points against.

    I feel it’s worth a try – it will quickly become evident whether it was a big mistake or not.

    I’m in – thanks!

  77. josh Says:

    aw man – I thought this was being implemented already. Copycats are the reason I stopped participating at this site. I moved over to another site that has a court system that really helps trim down copycatting – although, I think blind entries is WAY better. I also like blind comments – that way logo buyers can focus on specific designs, instead of worrying that everyone will incorporate a comment to a specific designer.

    will we be notified if blind entries become a standard procedure? I’ll wait until then.

  78. devi delavie Says:

    We were shooting in the dark before, now we are truly blind. We don’t know the CH. We don’t know their jistory, their likes or dislikes. We don’t know whether they are savy business people would would actually RECOGNIZE a design that would help them be successful or if they haven’t a clue about business or marketing and they are choosing designs based on inexperience and “gee a duck…I like ducks.. I’ll use that for my brain surgery logo”.
    The only clue we had was watching their responses to designs. We got clues about style, color, layout etc.
    BUT NOW, we are completely in the dar. If we get no feedback we’re lost.
    MY VOTE.. good designers don’t worry about getting ripped off..our designs stand on their own.
    BLIND contests are a disservice to the CH.

  79. blu_sky Says:

    i do like blind contest only if the CH gives a lot of feedback to designers. If not, it would be a totally blind contest and would be impossible to know and understand what CH wants. So far, I have joined one blind contest, and it is pretty fun.

  80. Karosta Says:

    THAT’s WHAT I’m Always DO!
    THANKS 99!!!

  81. A 99designs Designer Says:

    I’m happy to see that you have finally gotten around to implementing a blind contest feature. I guess all the heat 99 Designs has been getting over creativity going out the window as all work gradually gets homogenized by the original structure got a little annoying.

    However, the old way isn’t all bad. I recommend a blend of the two ideas: allow the CH to specify two segments for his contest, blind and then not blind. For instance, he could hold a contest without other designers seeing the submissions for 5 days (just as an example), then reveal the submissions so far for the adoption of more refined ideas. This will in effect serve to promote and protect original ideas and improve on the strongest concepts.

  82. D-signer. Says:

    Wow, I might even enter again, this is what I asked for because I am not a GREAT designer, but have seen many of my little idea’s being taking over by others who ARE great designers. Meaning that my creative idea was “borrowed.”, and since this is not a thinktank or a team, I felt pretty …… sometimes. I asked for this many many times and finally it is here. Thank you.

    I have to see how it works, and I have seen some comments that make sense too, we would have to see the comments that the contestholder gives to others, and it can be optional for designers to have their work shown or not.

    But I am happy now, no more discussions of who stole from who, because sometimes it happens to that people DO get the same idea at the same time ;) And this way, we know that they DIDN`T steal it.

  83. D-signer. Says:

    Luke actually for the client it is NOT a great idea.
    Before there was a thinktank and he could say I like this design and that design, or elements of it.
    And the designers would jump on the bandwagon use the
    idea’s fromn the other designer and make a new design from it. A team effort, but the problem was, this isn`t a team. One gets the pay, and some part of your idea could get incoperated in someones elses design, and they walk away with the price. There are two parts to a design, de graphic part and the idea part. If you have a nice idea part and someone else makes a better graphics part, the graphic part gets the pay.

    So it is better for the designer then for the client.
    Finally some protection for us.

  84. good_design Says:

    i’m sure everyone is tired of the repetitious posts, but here’s another one: a case against the blind contests. blind contests cheat the designers as well as the contest holders. someone may be a great designer, and can design logos ranging from conservative and corporate, to fun and modern, but if the CH never verbalizes what he/she likes to the group, we are all just BLIND. i may have a certain style in my head, but after seeing that the CH is preferring styles that are different than what i presented, i can switch my thinking to align with the contest holder’s. and NO, this does not mean copying other people’s design, it means getting on the same page as the CH as far as the “vibe” they want for their logo. we, as designers, need to be detectives already with our clients, since many of them aren’t able to verbalize or visualize what they want until they see it, so seeing the styles the contest holder likes helps guide the participating designers. the design process is just that: a process. i think the contest holder can benefit from the designers being able to see others’ work. it encourages competition, so the designers don’t just submit and sit back. they will try to “out design” the other designers. many times i have checked out a contest that i thought sounded interesting, only to see that the CH wants a type of illustration that i either can’t do, or don’t want to do, so i don’t waste my time on that contest. i mean, come on, we’re working for free unless our design gets chosen. what is gonna happen next? we have to guess what the project is too??

  85. Sheldon Says:

    “If you have a nice idea part and someone else makes a better graphics part, the graphic part gets the pay.”

    I’ve seen many cases where someone has a good idea but poor execution and someone with good execution skills comes along and takes ideas and the prize. This can’t happen in a blind contest so it’s a lesser value for the CH. Good ideas might essentially be wasted. I suppose it’s also a lesser value for the designer with skills who could otherwise capitalize on the ideas generated by other less skilled designers.

  86. Sheldon Says:

    “I am not a GREAT designer, but have seen many of my little idea’s being taking over by others who ARE great designers.”

    Blind contests are claimed to attract the “best” designers but in reality it seems to encourages not so great designers and discourages great ones.

  87. […] to redefine the rules to make it less like a contest and more like a job bid. Recently, 99Designs introduced a “blind contest” feature, where only the contest holders can see all the project designs, helping the artist keep their […]

  88. illumina Says:

    Blind contests should only be an option to the contest holder if the contest is GUARANTEED. We have no way of knowing if a non-guaranteed contest holder just runs off with someones design without paying the prize, the only way to ensure this doesnt happen is if its only an option for guaranteed contests.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: