We’re often asked on 99designs, SitePoint, and Flippa.com: “Can you help me run a contest to name my thingy?”

Well, now we can!namemythingy.com

There’s a new section in the SitePoint Marketplace (shortcut: namemythingy.com) to help you find your new shiny thingy a name… whether it’s for your new business, your web site, or even your new pet.

After all, everything needs a name — right?

Running your naming contest is easy:

  • Simply create a new listing
  • Nominate a prize for the best entry (minimum $50)
  • Then watch the ideas roll in!

Best of all — for a limited time, it’s FREE to post your contest!

If you’re a creative type and want to earn some extra cash, why not head over and suggest some names of your own. Who knows, you could win the cash!

Check out NameMyThingy.com

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Adidas

Design Opportunity of Olympic Proportions at 99designs.com

How would you like the opportunity to design for Adidas Eyewear, and have your design worn at the 2010 Winter Olympics!

This is your chance to design for one of the world’s most iconic sports and lifestyle brands and have it seen around the world!

The winner will receive $1001.

Please read the brief here

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99designs.com

Mark HarbottleHere is an excerpt of the recent interview Chris McConnell of Freelancereview.net did with 99designs.com co-founder Mark Harbottle. You can read the whole interview here.

Freelance Review: How did 99designs get started?

Mark Harbottle: 99designs was originally started by designers in the SitePoint forums who were playing ‘photoshop tennis’ – practicing their skills by making up projects and then competing to see who could create the best design. Then a smart entrepreneur came along and suggested that rather than making up the projects why not design his logo and he would pay the winner a cash prize. It was an instant hit -more and more projects got posted each day and more designers joined in on the action. We finally built a platform around it and spun it out into 99designs.com.

FR: 99designs has been featured in Good Morning America, Fast Company and the New York Times among other publications. Why do you think 99designs has generated so much interest?

MH: I guess there are a number of reasons but the chief one being a unique model that provides a real value to both the client and the designer.

On the client side – design is often very intimidating and very risky for the average small business owner. 99designs helps reduce that uncertainty by allowing them to connect with a number of designers all at once and really see exactly what they will get.

On the designer side – It’s all about creating opportunity and building client relationships. First, 99designs exposes designers to a ton of projects that they would not normally have been exposed to -it could be a book cover for a New York Times best selling author or a logo for a small cafe owner half way across the world. Second, it allows designers to save time marketing themselves and focus on what they do best – designing. A designer may be extremely talented but a terrible salesperson – 99designs enables designers to stop knocking doors and writing proposals and start designing. The best part is, once a designer wins a project, – they now have a qualified relationship with that client that often leads to additional follow on work. And for the designer who is just starting out, its a great way to build your portfolio and work on real projects for real clients and potentially earn some real cash.

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Tyson Quick, COO of Mesiab Labs, the software and web application company responsible for retweet.com among other things, is an experienced project holder at 99designs.com. He has used 99designs to source custom graphic design work on everything from logos to landing pages. I recently got a chance to catch up with Tyson and he shared a bit of his experiences including some tips on how he gets great results each and every time.

Why 99designs.com?

We first found it through a friend of mine. He was launching a software application company and had used 99designs several times – so I checked it it out and was immediately impressed. We had a designer in-house that we were paying about $4,000 a month and we got 10x the results for a fraction of the cost. That was a clear indicator that this is a great way to get design work done.

Logo Design

What design projects have you run at 99designs.com?

All kinds – We have run logo design projects for retweet, and for a new company we are launching in 2010 – affiliate alliance. We have also run projects for banner ad design and landing page design. The landing page projects have been great because we actually awarded multiple winners so we could do split testing.

Landing Page Design

Prior to 99designs you had all your design work done in-house?

Yup we have an in-house designer, but we have so many projects he couldn’t do them all himself. It’s just so hard to find a designer and even when you do – you might get a design you like or there might be something that’s just not quite right.

99designs makes this much easier – you have multiple options that you develop with the designers over the course of a week. When you start you may not know exactly what you are looking for, but by the end of the week – you’ve got something you are pretty confident in. I don’t know of any other place where you can get that kind of results.

We have built contacts with multiple designers that we have gone back to outside of 99designs for work on smaller projects- like tweaking an existing landing page and things like that. I think that’s what makes the service so attractive to designers. They are going to have build a portfolio anyway – why not do it on 99designs and whether you win or not you have pieces to add to your portfolio.

Banner Ad Design

Do you have any tips on how you get such great results?

Definitely – getting a landing page built is more complex than running a project for a logo. One thing that I have noticed about the process for doing a lander is that its extremely helpful to provide the designers existing resources to work off of – like a basic wireframe or something – rather than just throwing the project out there.

Also, feedback is so important. We have noticed huge difference in the outcome when we give detailed feedback to the designers. And because of that, we now have a good reputation on the site so every project we post generates a lot of interest from the design community – so we tend to get twice as many submissions as similar projects at the same price point.

Web Design

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Crowdsourced Innovation

I stumbled across this super cool design project this morning that asks designers to re-envision a motorcycle from a “extreme sports” perspective.

The project is being run on 99designs.com by BPG-Motors and it’s a great example of crowdsourcing innovation and product design.

Switch Blade by mrcollins

SwitchBlade by mrcollins
Projects like this are very open ended allowing designers to really stretch their imaginations and let their creativity run…

Plus they’re just plain FUN!

How do you envision this extreme machine?

Check out the design brief here

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Design Highlights

99designs.com Design Highlights - November 2009

Here’s just a small handful of the designs submitted this month showcasing the AWESOME talent that makes 99designs.com the world’s best resource for crowdsourced graphic design.

Which one is your favorite?

In no particular order…

  1. Teesub t-shirt design by killer_meowmeow
  2. Goldfish logo design by DLogan22
  3. Yola web page design by kpp0209
  4. All Agents logo design by PavkeNS
  5. Louis I and Co logo design by TaoLab
  6. Drop the Suggestion Box! logo design by RESP45
  7. Yola web page design by kpp0209
  8. TalkPlate logo design by theommand
  9. 2K Usability Group logo design by RedLogo

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Designer Profile: Neptune

December 8, 2009

99designs Profiles - Neptune

Designer Profile

Diane Murphy – Milwaukee, WI
99designs handle: Neptune
Projects entered: 301
Projects won: 49

How did you get started in design?

I graduated from Carroll University with a BA in Fine Art way back in the 80’s when there were no computers in the graphic art industry. I’ve had many different creative jobs over the years- photographer, painter, art director, and finally, mural artist. Then 12 years ago, a friend of mine gave me a copy of Illustrator and Photoshop, and I was hooked right away. I could not believe these amazing tools were out there. I ditched my ladders and paint brushes and taught myself how to use the software with books and on-line tutorials.

Host Hut Logo

How do you get your inspiration?

I would have to say I’m inspired by the incredibly creative work I see from fellow artists, by current cultural trends, and by imagination.

I imagine a logo design project as simply a problem to solve in the most original way possible. The process to me is a continuous stream of trial and error- a quest to find the perfect solution. The right logo is out there, waiting to be revealed.

Flannel Planet Logo

What led you to start using 99designs.com?

A friend of mine sent me the link a little over a year ago, knowing that I loved designing logos. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

I think it does help build clientele- I’ve had many contest holders contact me for further work.

I have met many designers on the site that have helped me with technical issues, inspired me, and at times, made me laugh out loud.

CollegeGoblin.com Logo

What are the three most important things that designers can do to have success at 99designs.com?

1) Before starting any design work for a contest, read the entire brief, any links from the contest holder, and any comments available in the discussion. This may seem like an obvious step to some, but when I first started participating in these contests, I would get halfway through the brief, get a scathingly brilliant idea, design it, then find out later it wasn’t even close. Had I read all the info I would have saved myself a lot of time.

2) Don’t get discouraged. It’s been my experience that most of the time spent designing for contests I didn’t win does not go to waste. The lessons learned and the experience gained proves to be quite valuable. Also, those rejected designs go on to inspire me and help save design time in future contests.

3) If you are new, I think it’s better initially to stay away from those big prize contests with hundreds of submissions. There are just too many designs for the CH to review and give proper feedback. I think it’s better to forget about the prize amount, and enter the smaller contests that are giving good feedback.

Sugar Pop Records

What do you love most about being a designer?

I like that my very left-sided brain works differently than those who think more with the right side. It makes me feel like I have a secret weapon.

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