Introducing the New “Ready-made” Logo Store at 99designs.com

February 12, 2010

Introducing the "Ready-made" Logo Store from 99designs.com

We are very proud to introduce the latest addition to 99designs.com – something the community has really been asking for… a “Ready-made” logo store which will have a catalogue of thousands of high quality logos that can be purchased and customized starting at just $99.

It’s a fantastic complement to our popular Design Contest Marketplace – so now there are two great ways to get a high quality, professional logo at an affordable price!

And Designers – you now have an a whole world of opportunity to make money and show off your talents!

Here’s How it Works

  • Choose the logo you like from the catalogue
  • We will customize it with your business name
  • 24 hours later – its ready to go!

We are currently working with our design community to “stock the shelves” – so the first logos will be made available for sale beginning in March – but please take a look around!

Designers – Sell Your Logo Designs

Interested in submitting a logo for sale at the Ready-made store?

Find out everything you need to know to sell your logo designs here.

We have been amazed with the logos coming in so far and are looking forward to your submissions!

You can read the full press release here.

Full launch is in March so Please let us know what you think!

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81 Responses to “Introducing the New “Ready-made” Logo Store at 99designs.com”

  1. Rehan Khan Says:

    FANTASTIC MAN FANSTASTIC…. great

  2. Scotty D. Says:

    Wow. I just lost all respect for this site. Not only are you turning corporate branding into grocery aisle design, you are doing it for as little as $29.70 profit for the designer. A logo can be purchased by multiple people? Give me a break. I see many lawsuits in 99designs future (which is probably a good thing).

  3. Mohammad Says:

    I’m really disappointed with this “improvement” It’s just bad as iStockPhoto selling logo designs, let me explain why this is bad.

    Firstly the so called designers who win in some contests, after reading the brief will come here in search of a logo that they think will suit the brief and copy it, then if the CH picks the logo as the winner he(CH) will have no idea that this logo has been bought for $99 by hundreds of people, now he (CH) can’t copyright his logo and his money that he put up in the CH will go to waste.

    Secondly, I think this will decrease huge amount of contests on here 99designs.

    These so called “designers” will go on contests and get good logos that didn’t win and they will reproduce it and will sell it down in the ready made logo store and get money.

    and I also would like to ask even though you said a client can come and purchase the logo for $295 which will be then unique to him/her only, so what if people have already bought the logo for $99 before? How will that be unique?? There’s already someone using that logo and the client will be cheated.

    Please please please take this down, that’s all I can say.

    • Scotty D. Says:

      Well it is obvious that 99designs in not trying create successful corporate branding, or to fairly compensate designers, so these comments will probably fall on deaf ears. This type of branding (impersonal crowdsourcing) is like shooting a shotgun at a target 300 yards away. One of the pellets might hit the target, but 99 out of 100 times it won’t come close to the bullseye. On the other hand if you use a rifle (tradtional client/designer relationship), you use your scope to see the target, and hit bullseye every time. Of course, money, not industry respect is the only driving force behind this company, so I am sure they are fine with the current business model.

  4. VB20 Says:

    And you all are voicing you opinions as the minority here — this feature has been sought after by the community for a while now. Feel free to make all the predictions you want but I do not think it will effect the amount of contests at all.

    • Craig Says:

      Even if tons of people ask for this, you should still have the integrity not to promote such a shameful way of designing. Designers who respect themselves enough not to whore out their talent for 27 bucks shouldn’t have to suffer for your greed. How about this: take the site down and do something positive for designers.

  5. Scotty D. Says:

    And by community, I am assuming that you mean the designers on here that are either unemployed, from a third world country and can afford to win only 1/100 contests, or ignorant to the risks involved with speculative design? Selling premade logos for $30-$50 is lame. Allowing your custom logos to be used more than once is completely contradictory to what logo design is all about, and equally as lame. A logo is supposed to be a visual mark created through an interview, research, rough idea sketches, refining, and variations, which result in a finished product. The entire process many many hours or weeks to complete. No thanks, you can keep your $27.50.

    • CC Says:

      Scotty think before you write because your comment was very ignorant, saying that third world country designers will work for cents. I won’t tell you what they call people like you…because I’m pretty sure you know what you are from the comment you made. If this income is nothing to you because your not unemployed and make thousands of logos then why do you join contests?

      • Scotty D. Says:

        My comment was not ignorant at all. Designers from third world countries that have an average annual income of less $5,000 or less, can afford to submit hundreds of designs and only win a few contest. It is very apparent that this is happening if you browse through the designer profiles. There are tons of designers from places like Indonesia and the Philippines that have entered hundreds of contests and only won a few of them. These are the only people that can make a viable living from this website. Even so, it is still supporting spec work, which is a black eye to the design profession. It cheapens design. For instance, theoretically, you could have every single business of a given genre with the same logo if they all purchased the same logo from the 99designs logo store. This is counterproductive branding. And by the way, I don’t enter contests. I entered 3 before I knew why spec work was extremely risky and unethical, and one of my designs was actually purchased outside of this contest for MY PRICE. I learned quickly why this website is no good for designers from this experience though. Even winning 1/3, the money won still didn’t cover my overhead expenses. I am a freelance designer/screen printer, and I am compensated for every bit of work that I do, which is the way professional designers operate.

    • CC Says:

      Glad you are doing so well Scotty, I rest my case. I will not try to explain to you how your comments are offensive. Stop being bitter because you haven’t won any contests. I think all designers in this website work hard, and for most of us it’s been a great learning experience. Your probably unemployed…I would bet my bottom dollar. Or given that I am from a third world country the dollar I use to feed my family for 2 months.

      To people checking this website for the first time, don’t be discouraged by ignorance, 99design has been a home to many of us. You can learn a lot from other designers, who are an inspiration to those that have just began designing.

      • Scotty D. Says:

        If my comments offend you, you blindly reject the truth of the matter. Spec work is extremely risky for both designers and clients. Designers are working in hopes of being paid. Clients are not involved in the project. It is nearly impossible to create successful branding by posting a paragraph long brief and picking from hundreds of designs that have very little thought and very little time put into them. An average logo design takes days, weeks, and sometimes months of development. There are many designers on here that crank out designs in a matter of minutes. That is why they have entered hundreds of contest in a short timespan. The whole concept of “crowdsourcing” or speculative work is considered unethical in the design industry. On this particular site, your chances of winning are extremely poor, no matter your how good of a designer you are. The minimum prize requirements are far below average fees for traditional freelance designers or design firms. The only designers that can prosper with these risk vs. reward ratios are designers in third world countries.

        I didn’t win any of the 3 contests that I entered, but I did sell one of my designs outside of the contest to the contest holder for more than the contest prize. Apparently you don’t know the definition of ignorant either, so here it is- (ignorant- destitute of knowledge or education;lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified). I am very educated in graphic design (4 year degree, 9 years industry experience). And yes I am employed. I am actually a 26 year old owner of a national award winning screen printing business. I am in no way bashing people from third world countries. I actually use several freelance designers from Indonesia. The difference is that I pay them for their work. I don’t ask them to create a design for me, and decide if I want to pay them or not after they have done the work. The fact of the matter is that designers from third world countries can afford to enter hundreds of contests and only win a few. Even so, that doesn’t change the fact that spec work results in less successful branding.

        To people checking this website for the first time, if you want to practice design with no expectations of being compensated for your hard work, design away. Feel free to browse different contests to see what generic, lackluster design looks like.

      • CC Says:

        I find it hard to believe that the contest holder would actually pay you a higher price outside instead of just awarding you the contest.

        I am from a third world country and in less than two months I have managed to make over 3500 dollars thanks to 99designs, I have received more work from the CHs after they awarded me a price for their contest.

        Again this is my last comment you can go on lying about having a major company, and just joined 99designs for fun. I think a lot of people in this website do excellent work and put a lot of thought into it. You will always have people who don’t take pride in their work but many of us do. The brief is not the only information the client gives you, you also get something called feedback and PM. Sometimes you do not receive any if the client is not interested in you design.

        Not every company has months to wait for a logo, or a website. Also not every company can pay a thousand dollars for a logo, there are many companies that are getting started and can’t pay more the 250 bucks.

        Ahhh…I’m done…this is pointless.

        By the way thank you for enlightening me with the dictionary definition of Scotty.

        Peace

      • Scotty D. Says:

        CC,
        He awarded the contest to someone else, and paid me for a t-shirt design outside of the contest. Congrats, $3500 in two months is much more than most make on here. Although that would average $21,000/yr which is half of the average annual income in the U.S. You see, trying to make a living off of this website in the U.S. would put you in the poverty level. In other countries, you are wealthy. By the way, how many contests did you enter in those two months though? And yes, I do own an award winning screen printing business. I started it from nothing three years ago, so we are nowhere near a major corporation, but we have national recognition, clients worldwide, and are steadily expanding. I actually joined 99designs to enter a few t-shirt contests, and offer our printing services to the CH. We get paid for printing t-shirts no matter what, unlike “crowdsourcing” design work. Not every company has months to wait on a logo, but big companies will gladly pay you for the development of successful logo if it takes months. Do you think Budweiser only takes a few weeks to develop an updated logo? If so, you are the one ignorant on corporate branding. They pay design firms hundreds of thousands of dollars to update their brand. $250 for a small mom and pop company is fine, but payment isn’t optional in the professional design world. Here it is. By all means, design away, this place is a gravy train for you. I think you would think differently if the prizes were 90% less than they currently are, which is the income ratio of U.S. to Indonesia. Logo contests for a $15 prize? Would you go for that? BTW, click on my link are read up on spec work.

      • Not a fan of scotty's "company" Says:

        First of all Scotty I never said that what I earned in 99designs was my only income. As a freelancer or as you call us “unemployed third world country designers,” I have a few people I work for. I make a very nice amount of money every month. 99designs adds 3500 bucks more to my pocket. I’m pretty sure that an extra 3500 in less then two months is not to bad.

        Companies like Tivo, adidas and Dish Network have ran contests in 99designs.

        Also the fact that there are many countries who can live with a lot less money then ppl in US does not make them slackers and bad designers who don’t take pride in what they do. Or that they are not professionals.

        I’m sure your “company” is doing great and making many many t-shirts for major companies haha.

        Peace…thanks for giving me a good laugh.

        This time I’m out!

      • Scotty D. Says:

        Your only argument is to put words into my mouth, and try to make it look like I was degrading the skill of designers in third world countries. I said:

        “designers on here that are either unemployed, from a third world country and can afford to win only 1/100 contests, or ignorant to the risks involved with speculative design?”

        And yes, an extra $3500 is not bad if you don’t have to put too much time in. If you have to enter 100 contest to win $3500, then you are entering ineffective designs. There is no way that you can put enough thought and consideration into graphic design work that leads to successful branding, and still be entering that many contests. Don’t get me wrong, the designs may look nice, but good design, and successful branding are completely different issues. Branding has nothing to do with good design. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you are the ignorant one. http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/the-brand-gap-presentation/

        Have you seen the Tivo brief? They are asking designers to make a spam advertisement! A “click the monkey” type ad to generate random traffic, not viable leads? Give me a break. If they use ANY of those ads submitted it will only weaken their brand. It will put them in the same category as viagra email spammers. Did you take a look at the Dish Network contest? Only one of the 5 winners was a successful design. The other 4 were horrible designs. Just because big name companies are using spec work for some projects, doesn’t make spec work legit. It is still an unsuccessful way to strengthen your brand.
        Again, I never said that third world country designer were bad designers, or don’t take pride in their work. Designers that sit here and enter hundreds of contest a year are unprofessional designers. They are treating design like an assembly line. They are putting no thought into it. Professionals don’t rely on spec work for income, no matter where they are from. Professionals don’t complete hundreds of projects a year, because there is just not enough time to create a successful design for that many projects a year. BTW, I have printed for everyone from professional athletes, nationwide fashion lines, to international beer companies. 2009 first place, 2008 second place, in a contest put on by the biggest industry magazine for screen printing. Yeah, we’re doing fine. We even pick up a few occasional t-shirt orders from contest holders here. Guaranteed money!

  6. KimKiyaa Says:

    I do agree that the amount paid to the actual designers is too little.

    Why is this only being offered to logo designers?I’d more like to see us have the ability to sell the web designs for the hours we spend on them.


  7. We agree the ready-made logo store is not for everyone. Some designers will find it works for them, others will stay focused on design contests. Some will leverage both.

    Same with customers. If you’re after something totally unique and customized running a design contest is still the best option. If you’re a time strapped freelancer or small business with a tight budget who simply needs something decent to put on their business card, the logo store is ideal.

    This idea was ranked #2 as voted by our community on our user voice page: http://99designs.uservoice.com/forums/198-general

    If you think our new logo store is for you, we’d love for you to get involved. If not we totally understand.

    • SR Promotions Says:

      Mark,

      Im just curious as you seem to convey a little sense of logic and understanding of these matters on an intellectual level.. Did you ever consider that the reason why this was popular is because over 75% of your “designers” never win a contest… and would prefer a way to pawn their trash off on someone for anything, be it $5.00 or $25.00?

      I mean… if im a top designer why would I want to sell my labors for $30.00 and THEN be forced to modify to fit a specific name for free? If im a top designer winning contests why would I want something that will drive down the contest numbers?

      Im just really not sure that you thought this one through. Now be prepared to reap the rewards!! A store full of 7,000 examples of the worst talent and unsuccessful designs that the site has to offer.

      Couldve went a different route, and it still been a win win for both customers and designers.

      Id love an explanation of how this solution you’ve come up with works for either?

      SR Promotions

  8. Tamir Says:

    I agree with that price amount is too little. Also, yeah why is this only for logo, could you also consider on tons of high quality webdesigns we have already made?

    Thanks 99designs team !


  9. […] official blog post announcing the launch, […]

  10. Roger Says:

    Outstanding addition. Best of luck for the launch. I’m sure that we will see some really super work.

  11. evilponger Says:

    This will probably do away with all the 150$ design contests which are a joke to begin with. I do agree this is a somewhat negative trend, but I hope the contests themselves will continue to improve. Also copying from these designs is just as bad as copying from anywhere else on the web, so this won’t be much of an issue (I hope :) ).

  12. SR Promotions Says:

    The way this formatted is done so in a fashion that is just as bad for 99Designs, as it for the designers and customers.

    Ways to fix it:

    1. You must have won 15 logo contests or more to be eligible for “shelf space” on one of three levels… platinum (50 or more wins), Gold (30 to 49 wins), and Silver (15 to 29 wins).. and the wins must come from the contest side of the site. This eliminates most all of the third world market hacks, newbies, concept stealers and the like. Really, for those who win 1 in a 100.. by the time they get to their 1,500th submission they should be doing something correct by then.. even if they arent.. theyve earned it.

    2. The logos or brands are categorized by genre and style, not by business industry. This allows for a customer to choose the style, but still require that the artwork be modified to suit just them. Youre selling style concepts, as a top designer, not cookie cutter logos that are submitted by the 99% of designers that should choose another line of work.

    3. The logo concept minimum price is $80 and can be listed as high as $175.00, this way the contest pricing isnt such a dramatic difference. And its sold as is. For a fee of $50.00 the designer will modify it for the customer. Exclusivity is sold for $300.00, and thats with modification. In every case the logo is sold, 99Designs makes $27.95.. and that never changes. The higher the level (platinum, gold, siver..) the higher the pricing.

    4. In order for the designs to remain on the “shelf”, the designer must have a registered login once a week at the minimum.

    What the above solutions provide is for a small business owner to come here on a limited budget, lets say … a little company that makes extreme beenies for snow boarders. They can come here, look in the “grunge” category, see something they like, purchase it for a $100.00, have the same designer that made it, modify it for an additional $50.00.. and move on, the cost saving is minimal, however they were offered the chance to browse works from actual talented proven winners, they did not have to take the time to run a contest and offer feedback and yada yada.. all of which saves hassle and money, at the end of the day they purchased a $150.00 logo which in no way takes away from the contest prizes, the designer actually made something, which they could do over and over again.. but it also incentivizes designers to be good enough to get on the shelves. The store would provide a place to not only find a quick solution, save time and money, but it would also serve as a showcase for the better designers who have most likely labor’d on 99Designs for many contests in order to have won 15 or more contests.. these designers deserve the opportunity to sell concepts, they’ve worked for it, this is a reward and valuable showcase.

    Win Win for everyone if done this way.

    Instead 99Designs decides to open it to everyone, take more than they deserve, continue to drive down the cost of contests… and pretty much make a joke of the entire endeavor.

    not surprised.

    SR

  13. Stephanie Says:

    It sounds cool to me. I am a web designer though, not a logo designer. I can see how selling logo designs multiple times might not work as well as selling web designs multiple times though. I would love to see this kind of thing for web design!

  14. Hans Says:

    I won’t participate that.

    I like the crowdsourcing thing here. Yes sometimes it is frustrating and not fair. But designers can make good money and grow their folio. And small to middle sized companys getting a unique logo without paying expensive hourly rates.

    But that stock logo thing is just bad. A logo needs to be original and should fit with the costumers needs.
    I already saw some of the so called “designers” offering their logos there. Guys who trying to sell the same generic design just with another company name over and over again if it has not won. Maybe for such guys it is a good oportunity.

    But frankly such a discount logo store makes it even harder to find people who are willling to pay a reasonable prices for a good logo design. And for companys it is bad as well. It’s not really cool if dozen other companys (perhaps in the same business) have the same logo design. Clones everywhere?!

    Just my two cents!

  15. hauptbahnhof Says:

    There are reasons for 99designs to have survived and flourished. The reasons come from both designers who submit and clients who purchase. The fact that the website is thriving is proof of its need for existence and of the fact that its doing good things for someone somewhere.

    For all the design ‘authorities’ who try and condemn it and campaign for spec work abolishment, they cannot. It shall not work. An anonymous man’s real benefit is a greater good than a famous man’s belief of goodness.

    A poor person who designs an efficient water carrier that saves time and effort in a village in Africa does equal good as James Dyson with his glossy plastic vacuum cleaners. Our design school degrees are useless without doing good to someone somewhere.

    In the same way, the ready-made store shall not survive if its not doing good to anyone. If it does, no arguments, campaigns or damnation shall hold strong.

    • Scotty D. Says:

      You may want to check out these links. The reason 99designs has flourished is because they make customers that think that less expensive with lots of designers is automatically better than more expensive with one designer. They make designers feel that they are doing them a favor by offering all of these “opportunities”, and they make clients think that they are getting successful branding because of quantity. In reality, both are false. Designers are being uncompensated for most of their work, and clients are picking designs that may or may not be the direction that they want for their brand. It is a designer’s job to extract the information from the client through an interview process, outside research, concept sketches, rough drafts, refined drafts, and ultimately a final product. Clients don’t pick the best design for their brand when you stick 100 choices in front of them. That is why they hired you. You interview to pick at their brain, and YOU show them what is best for them. Grocery store shopping for generic $99 logos ($29 for designer) is even more disgusting than the contests. Of course 99designs is the one profiting from this whole thing. They make contest fees and commission off of these stock logos. They don’t give a damn if designers get compensated at all, or if clients leave with a design that will ultimately strengthen their brand.

      http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/the-brand-gap-presentation/

      http://www.aiga.org/content.cfm/position-spec-work

    • Jim Says:

      In the past I have paid designers USD$10,000 for a design. Never again.

      I love 99designs and will use it, even though the designers are getting a bit more cantankerous.

      And I love the pre-made logos.

      You guys are doing good in the world. Brilliant. Please keep it up.

  16. Calvin Locklear Says:

    I don’t know how people that disagree with this are in the minority this is a bad deal all the way around. WOW!
    I just got on this site and I think its already bad enough that some of the CH let you view other peoples designs.

  17. Scotty D. Says:

    You may want to check out these links. The reason 99designs has flourished is because they make customers that think that less expensive with lots of designers is automatically better than more expensive with one designer. They make designers feel that they are doing them a favor by offering all of these “opportunities”, and they make clients think that they are getting successful branding because of quantity. In reality, both are false. Designers are being uncompensated for most of their work, and clients are picking designs that may or may not be the direction that they want for their brand. It is a designer’s job to extract the information from the client through an interview process, outside research, concept sketches, rough drafts, refined drafts, and ultimately a final product. Clients don’t pick the best design for their brand when you stick 100 choices in front of them. That is why they hired you. You interview to pick at their brain, and YOU show them what is best for them. Grocery store shopping for generic $99 logos ($29 for designer) is even more disgusting than the contests. Of course 99designs is the one profiting from this whole thing. They make contest fees and commission off of these stock logos. They don’t give a damn if designers get compensated at all, or if clients leave with a design that will ultimately strengthen their brand.
    http://www.digitalbuzzblog.com/the-brand-gap-presentation/

  18. Mary Says:

    My contest just ended last night and I was very impressed with the results. But I would not have used 99designs had I known that very similar logos which were developed during my contest and influenced by my creative brief and feedback would be displayed so openly. I understand the need for the designers to repurpose the designs that I did not select but that is very different than putting them out there as a product on a shelf that anyone can see and buy. This is a very disappointing development. Please reconsider a solution that will work for all three parties – the designers, the customers and 99designs.

  19. Jude Fernando Says:

    I just hope you do not extend this to web design as well

  20. Josh Says:

    Mary I don’t understand. You want to be able to purchase design work on spec at cut rate prices and have all of the unselected work go unused? This right here is the problem with this site and so called ‘Design Contests’


  21. There seems to be a perception that ready-made might reduce the number of overall design contests. My personal feeling is that it won’t…

    My opinion is that ready-made will in fact open up the market significantly and create a whole lot more opportunity for our designers – more contests, more ‘off the shelf’ sales, and more follow on work for our designers.

    If you’re a freelance designer, from a pure business perspective, our ‘ready-made design store’ is simply another distribution channel for your design work…

    It’s not about the first sale for $99. It’s about multiple sales of multiple designs, and multiple client relationships built off the back of those sales. It’s the snow balling effect of having several irons in the fire.

    Remember, we don’t make money unless your designs sell, so our interests are aligned. But we also need to keep in mind that the customers ultimately dictate where and how money gets spent on design. We need to create value for them as well. That’s the challenge here.

    • SR Promotions Says:

      Mark,

      The difference is in the ability for quality and creativeness to LEAD in any marketplace. The same quality that DRIVES sales. What youre suggesting is paramount to Target or Walmart carrying EVERYONES items on the shelves.. no regard for selective-ness, no account for taste.. no expectation from the customers side that the products are quality and the manufacturer’s proven. Imagine going to the the store and choosing from literally 1,457 kinds of toothpaste. All of them equally represented, all of them the same price.

      This is neither good for the consumer, nor is it good for anyone who makes toothpaste… the ONLY person it is good for is the store, who could care less as long as someone buys a tube (especially if the inventory is free until something is sold).

      In the meantime all these toothpaste makers are going broke making toothpaste to serve as inventory when its just a matter of sheer luck in whether or not their product is purchased. Its counter-intuitive to having a market that spurs innovation and creativity and actual better quality products for customers. Instead its just a free-for-all, a blind overwhelming tidal wave of toothpaste.. the company’s who have invested time, research, dedicated funds to training, purchased the best equipment are right next to those who just started making toothpaste the day before. This set up couldnt be worse for everyone involved.

      The same is true for the ready made logo store idea.

      There is no quality control.
      The method of organizing the displays are incorrect.
      There is no incentive program to spur better quality designs.

      All of which IMPROVE customer loyalty, increase sales, and are market driven.

      If you have looked at the majority of the designs submitted to 99Designs on the contest side you would know that the majority of the designers participating actually submit designs that make the site and the community look bad, its a very slim minority that provides your contest holders with the quality that enables this machine to keep on rolling.

      What logic or even business acumen goes into the idea of putting 1,200 slightly different kinds of toothpaste on the shelf.. when what you need is products manufactured, and proven by the top 10 makers in terms of proven sales and quality.. this ensures that everyone else keeps raising the bar and trying to surpass it. This ensures your customers are getting the best. This ensures that the best are getting rewarded.

      THIS is what is good for the market and for the customers. this saves the customer from endless wasted minutes or even hours sifting through the garbage. This spurs creativity and provides incentives to others to reach the plain at which they too can have shelf space.

      As for your stellar, and in fact inspirational explanation as to why you think that the ready made logo store will not decrease the amount of contests… that moving explanation summed up as “your personal feelings is that it wont”.. id have to say that it leaves those of us with a brain, a pulse, experience, and just plain logic… a little left out in the cold. Could you please try again?

      In fact could you possibly in any way address anything that has to do with the quality perception of the store, what incentives there are to spur creativity in the store, how organizing it by business industry is good to increase sales (especially when a customer doesnt find anything particularly good in the cookie cutter driven set up).. and how that helps designer or customer?

      What i hear, and I think most other designers that have been doing this for a living hear is the following:

      “Please designers… work, labor, design, build our inventory.. become one of 7,000 contributors to a catalog of 21,000 designs… I hope you sell one. However I dont really care, because someone will buy something if they search here long enough, and it will be cheap and easy to sell, and thats good business for me. Of course since I have no way real way of knowing the quality or what is happening with these same designs anywhere else on the net or in the world (we dont really care about quality control or who’s providing these designs).. it will probably end up being bad for those who purchase from us. That however is not my problem. Ive got my money and thats all that matters. In the mean time we intend to keep the dramatic price difference between the store and the contests.. my personal feeling is that one wont affect the other.. but.. other than that “feeling” i have no argument one way or the other.

      In any case, good luck, do good, we need you, you are our “lifeblood”, yada yada yada… please keep making me money.”

      Do you see any discrepancy here? Is this not pretty much what youre saying to us?

      Ways to fix it:

      1. You must have won 15 logo contests or more to be eligible for “shelf space” on one of three levels… platinum (50 or more wins), Gold (30 to 49 wins), and Silver (15 to 29 wins).. and the wins must come from the contest side of the site. This eliminates most all of the third world market hacks, newbies, concept stealers and the like. Really, for those who win 1 in a 100.. by the time they get to their 1,500th submission they should be doing something correct by then.. even if they arent.. theyve earned it.

      2. The logos or brands are categorized by genre and style, not by business industry. This allows for a customer to choose the style, but still require that the artwork be modified to suit just them. Youre selling style concepts, as a top designer, not cookie cutter logos that are submitted by the 99% of designers that should choose another line of work.

      3. The logo concept minimum price is $80 and can be listed as high as $175.00, this way the contest pricing isnt such a dramatic difference. And its sold as is. For a fee of $50.00 the designer will modify it for the customer. Exclusivity is sold for $300.00, and thats with modification. In every case the logo is sold, 99Designs makes $27.95.. and that never changes. The higher the level (platinum, gold, siver..) the higher the pricing.

      4. In order for the designs to remain on the “shelf”, the designer must have a registered login once a week at the minimum.

      What the above solutions provide is for a small business owner to come here on a limited budget, lets say … a little company that makes extreme beenies for snow boarders. They can come here, look in the “grunge” category, see something they like, purchase it for a $100.00, have the same designer that made it, modify it for an additional $50.00.. and move on, the cost saving is minimal, however they were offered the chance to browse works from actual talented proven winners, they did not have to take the time to run a contest and offer feedback and yada yada.. all of which saves hassle and money, at the end of the day they purchased a $150.00 logo which in no way takes away from the contest prizes, the designer actually made something, which they could do over and over again.. but it also incentivizes designers to be good enough to get on the shelves. The store would provide a place to not only find a quick solution, save time and money, but it would also serve as a showcase for the better designers who have most likely labor’d on 99Designs for many contests in order to have won 15 or more contests.. these designers deserve the opportunity to sell concepts, they’ve worked for it, this is a reward and valuable showcase.

      Win Win for everyone if done this way.

      This is good for you as well. Having a selection for business owners, or other designers for that matter that is concept and style driven almost ensures that something will be found that is either exactly what theyre looking for, or almost, and the expectation is that modification will follow at some point by someone. This inspires people to see their brands in terms of possibility, not in the limited scope of your inventory. Its good for you to have your shelves full of the creative products of the BEST designers, designers that have proven to be able to provide the solutions necessary. Its good for you to be able to offer value to customers in that these ready made solutions are still cheaper than those in the $350 realm, but not to stifle the ability of the contests to remain as at the very least a just as viable option. Its good for you to have better quality inventory that increases customer loyalty and referrals to higher quality solutions for the value. Its good for you to incentivize other designers to attain the ability to have shelf space by improving their skills and quality output.

      Again.. its a win win for all involved.

      Why will you not address the valid concerns, or even the provided solutions to fix it? Is it that you dont understand the market, how it works, how to best harness the talent and compensate said talent fairly?

      Please.. take the time to actually provide answers to these issues.

      SR Promotions


      • SR Promotions. We did note your feedback from earlier. Let me address your four main points one at a time:

        1. Firstly, I agree with the principle of allowing quality to float to the top. I also agree with the idea of giving a break to successful contest designers. That makes total sense. What we don’t know yet however is where to draw the line…

        We have currently set the bar at one contest win to submit to the design store. I think setting the bar at 15 wins disadvantages too many great designers who deserve a chance.

        We also need to balance supply and demand. Let’s monitor it and see. Your point is taken about the importance of quality.

        2. We will be allowing designs to filtered by ‘style’. We started with ‘industry’ because it makes the most sense to our customers. Again, we’ll wait and see what people actually search for and we’ll adapt as required.

        Side note: Keep in mind, your way of classifying a design as a designer (e.g. genre and style) could be totally different to how your average customer would approach searching for a design. Something to consider.

        3. It’s likely that we will be monitoring our pricing very closely over the next 12 months to find the sweet spot. We’ll definitely consider your feedback but ultimately the market will determine the ideal price point. We’re big fans of keeping it simple.

        4. I agree that designer activity is important. Whether we set the bar at one login a week, or one a month, or measure it some other way I’m not sure, we have plenty of time to solve this.

        So, I don’t disagree with any of your points, believe me, we’ve thought long and hard about this for some time.

        Thanks again for your feedback. I hope you find this post more inspirational ;)

      • SR Promotions Says:

        Mark,

        Thank you for addressing something that was posted here. Im not quite satisfied with how you imagine that the contest number wont be affected, but thats really more directed at pricing than anything.

        1. Setting the bar at 1 win doesnt accomplish much. And youre right, the higher you raise it the more number of designers will be at a disadvantage… and… thats the point of doing it. You dont deserve things due to lack of success… you earn them.

        But theres also a few other consequences. If you raised the compensation amount to something more ideal, and dropped your percentage of the sale to something more fair, then it sort of makes good sense for the designer to WANT to be able to be in the store. Thus you drive him or her to participate in more contests.. in order to win the minimum amount necessary for shelf space. It should be no surprise that increased participation, even in the lower paying contests is better for your customers.

        The amount also needs to reflect the desire to weed through the speed posters gaming the system in terms of wins to contests participated in. So those several designers you have that win 1 in a 100 will have to compete in so many contests that it would make them entirely and totally committed to being able to participate in the store to begin with. Clearly 1 is not enough, 5 is not enough, 10 to 15 is where your threshold should be. But for those that have even surpassed that.. they deserve more in terms of rewards.. they afterall have DONE more to help you and their customers.

        So the threshold is combined with the economics for the designers. You dont want a store full of trashy garbage contest rejects. You want a store thats stocked with the ideas and concepts of designers that know what theyre doing, have proven so, and/or have a true desire through the quality of their work to be in there.

        Give the store some prestige, some selling points… “These Concepts are all by our BEST designers”, “Only the top designers are allowed shelf space in our online catalog”, “Everything you see here is produced by the most dedicated designers from 99Designs”.. and explain why. It gives credence and credibility to your store… in addition to the reason WHY nothing in there is for $35.00. The reasons why using the store and its designers saves time, but not really a major amount of money.. that its really more about value and cost effectiveness than simple price or more pointedly.. cheapness.

        Supply isnt really an issue unless everything you sell is purchased exclusively. I guarantee if you were more fair on the pricing, and a designer could make $150 to $300 a week… everyweek..(obviously designs are sold over and over) then the selection and work would continue on new concepts all the time. The caliber of designer that meets a higher threshold, by default, provides you with as much supply as required and what the market will bear… its because they most likely do this for a living. The higher the quality, and the way the store is categorized (which is what ill discuss next), helps ensure that youre always in line with what people are seeking and always providing enough availability because the designers are actually making profits.

        So these two are interrelated. The wins threshold is related to pricing which is an incentive to having shelf space. Use them to drive one another.

        2. I dont buy the industry listing as making most sense to the customer. Most customers have an idea of what they want to convey.. if I own a small chopper shop, i most likely want tribal, extreme, hardcore, these are genres and “styles”.. they mean the same to me as a designer as they do to anyone off the street. We dont have coded meanings to simple definitions of words. If you read most every brief, these customers (Contest Holders) have a good idea to the style they want.. you see a lot of “shiny, 2.0”, “3D”, “Grunge look”, “evil tatoo hardcore”… its not hard to set up your categories to fit everything theyre seeking. Thats what makes sense to them… in addition that these concepts or styles are not necessarily the cookie cutter logo for purchase. Theres too many business’s out there to try and categorize by that.. the most important reason not too is that you may have a customer that doesnt have any submissions for their specific kind of business. Congrats you just lost a potential sale.. the designer just lost potential income. Instead you want to inspire them to embrace a style, and work with a designer for the modification. You dont want any customer to come to the store and not find what they want… you can always find a style you like, a concept that inspires them to see themselves on a business card, and it could be for some strange and unknown business’s or industrys.. in fact a lot of your customers are opening business’s that are new to industry’s, or very specialized… ive worked on contests for companies that make challenge coins for the military, one that was taking old milk cartons to make wallets, etc.. the list goes on.

        In each and every case.. they naturally approached their logo, or brand, through the style they wanted to convey. Believe it or not, business owners and designers that are seeking logo solutions.. are not as stupid as you might imagine.

        But the most important aspect of this, is the re-sale ability of concepts. Personalized modification to concepts and styles helps the final products be DIFFERENT. this isnt the case for cookie cutter logos. Changing the name or color here or there is not personalizing or modifying the logo. This plays into your “supply” question from earlier. If its able to be sold several times, then you dont need so many of them as to overwhelm your ability to sell any of them. I would anticipate that most of your designers that have wins, win certain kinds of contest.. some will be very good at the 3D stuff.. some wil be very good at the 2.0 stuff.. you will have the best of the best in each style just by natural selection. Having the best provides you with extremely good quality products, and the makers of those products continually providing new solutions.. especially if its profitable. This increases your ability to sell customers good solutions, solutions that wont embarrass you or the customer.

        3. HHmmmm. Big fans of keeping it simple? To me a logo concept for $85.00 is pretty simple, really, its almost so low for such an important aspect of an organization that for that cheap id think something was wrong. But whats really at issue is how much 99Designs takes. 50% is a non-starter. You dont deserve that, you know it, id love to hear you try and argue for 50% of something that you did nothing to generate. Your cheapest contest provides you with the answer your seeking on what the market will bear. Clearly, people will pay more, but the cheapest is $150 and you have a multitude of cheap contests.. so what it comes down too is time and hassle savings, as the value for using the store. Really, theres no reason if you arent a designer to use the logo store unless youre just out of time. Anyone opening a business, or rebrandng a business that cant afford $100.00 for their logo, isnt even a market that you’d want to cater too. Theyre so small and non-important to anyone that it makes no sense to cater to the people that can only afford $50.00. So.. pricing can only go up. (and look at your competition.. do you really think sites selling cheap trash logos are doing well?..sustaining by the lowest common denominator? no). Whats important to your success is the quality and the service.. because you indicate that you want the designer or some designer to modify the artwork.. so its about quality selection and quick modification. This saves your customer time and hassle, but, its worth $50.00 to modify. They dont have to do it here. They can purchase the concept and have one of their friends do it for free.. but having designers do it for free and then take 50% is just offensive. Im not sure who came up with that formula for success but it clearly wasnt anyone who has to do any of the work. So.. its pretty basic. You buy as is, you can pay an extra fee for customization, or exclusivity.. and move on. In either case YOUR cut is always the same, and ill be honest maybe $27.95 or about 25% is too much for you to take.. maybe it should be less, but there or lower is fair.. you afterall do provide a service to the designers.. its just that service and work is done in promoting and facilitating your own interest as well.. lets not act like its a 50% partnership. Plus, why would you want to make it where your designers cant profit, or to drive down your contest business.. i mean, theres no need to do either of those when… you dont have too.

        4. Once a week. I mean, obviously if you have to go on vacation or something you can switch on a notice.. but.. if theres a sale and something needs to be done, you need the designers that are providing the inventory to be around. You want them to remain committed to the success of the store. And im sure they’ll keep doing contests and whatever.. This again.. is another selling point.. “Our designers are always here”. But if im a successful designer and i dont or cant login once a week…. then i dont need to be in the store.

        I hate to be blunt, but i dont believe that a lot of thought and discussion went into this, otherwise your feedback wouldnt be so negative, and your prospects for success wouldnt be so bleak. No doubt, im sure you all discussed how the technical aspect would work and probably alot of back slapping when arriving at the 50% figure, but id bet there was little discussion on the concept of the store, how it would be stocked, how to ensure quality, selection, increase sales, and how the designers would fit in at all.

        I think you primarily misunderstood the popularity of the store idea because i think you received all this great desire from the very people that you wouldnt want providing the inventory and maybe you realized it a little too late. In any case, im glad that you are at least thinking about these things.. whether or not they turn into actual progress to not make this thing such a joke remains to be seen.. but at least its being discussed!!!

        And i appreciate that Mark. I think all the designers, those that think this is a bad idea, and those that really like it and hope to be able to sell their logos in it, i think both sides would like to see a high quality, profitable method of selling their efforts, one that does little harm to the contest side, one that allows for profitability… and i have no doubt that there are plenty of customers who would like a cost effective value driven HIGH QUALITY solution to their problems.. (well.. as high quality as you can get from buying a ready made logo)..

        So.. i do want you to know that it is appreciated you responding and indicating that 99Designs is indeed listening to someone.

        BUT!!! just for the future. I would suggest that you not address valid concerns with fake answers when you talk to us. “I have a feeling” isnt a real answer and its offensive.. good to go? If you have some data or research or explanation.. those things interest us.. but to send links to a poll of your least successful designers wishing for an outlet to sell their losing trash, and a comment such as “dont worry, i have a feeling…”.. come on Mark. Represent yourself as a serious man, and 99Designs as a professional organization.

        Thanks again for responding, im sure everyone appreciates it!!

        SR

  22. SR Promotions Says:

    btw.. where is lachlan and ryan?

    SR

  23. Entertica Says:

    Well, this is 50-50 between pros and cons.
    The logo store would be a good thing for designer’s passive income.

    But to avoid unwanted and unnecessary cases, I would like to see some “strict” rules provided by 99designs to protect the copyright issue. Because in some contests, the logo design may involving idea provided by contest holder.

  24. Dominic Says:

    Are you serious? Selling the same logo to different people?
    Istnt the #1 rule of a good and profesional logo: make it unique?

  25. Dissapointed Says:

    Dissapointed. What more can I say. People have already said much of what I and alot of other designers are thinking.


  26. SR Promotions.

    As I said, I don’t disagree with your point of view, but we’ll make an informed decision once we have some real experience with this offering.

    Again, I appreciate your feedback. I’m happy to respond to your comments, but I can’t keep attending to the same points over and over again.

    Let’s wait and see how this unfolds.

  27. Steve Says:

    I’m a past customer and based on this thread I will not use 99designs again… I will send out an email to 5 friends I told about this site and tell them about this new development. They will not return and they will each tell five of their friends and on and on…

    This is how companies fail. It appears slow at first, but guru, elance and odesk are heading in the same direction… the quality of work and business integrity become non-existent in a commodity environment such as this… and when someone like “CC” disagrees with you while working on a project they simply become offensive and then just disappear… and a customer has no recourse.

    Scotty D and SR Promotions are absolutely right on all fronts… I sifted through designs that were obvious volume seeking, bottom dwellers… some not so bad except they were basically re-purposing another designers work and hoping they wouldn’t get caught. Some designers even ask you to choose them and they’ll reduce the price even more…

    I chose a designer (GOT LUCKY) and have worked with him and others he referred to me outside of the system on new projects, but the experience I went through to find this designer during my one contest was not simple, easy or comfortable. I think that was a year ago…

    The only way this system works for Contest Holders is to find quality designers for future opportunities. For the designer it has to be viewed as a loss leader… a way to identify new business RELATIONSHIPS… and I am sure that is what Scotty was originally hoping for.

    • Jason Aiken Says:

      Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your feedback.

      I think it is important to note that ready-made is not a replacement for the design contest marketplace at 99designs but rather – a complement.

      The ready-made environment is meant to serve a certain segment of the market – the smallest businesses and freelance projects, and I do not believe it erodes the integrity of the business as a whole.

      I agree with you completely about the value of the design contest model at 99designs being about building relationships – and that remains to be true.

      Cheers,
      Jason

  28. Leo Guevara - Philippines Says:

    @ SR Promotions & Scotty D

    I’m extremely appalled by the derogatory remarks that were made by SR Promotions & Scotty D about 3rd world country designers. It was full of disrespect, arrogance and most of all ignorance! To think that you call yourselves designers who are supposed to be sensitive and aware of the world around you. Really, do not deny it and try to cover your “highly prolific” observations of the 3rd world designers or the 3rd world in general. Do you even have the slightest idea on what it’s like making a living in the 3rd world? I think not. All I can say is it’s a lot harder than the both of you think.

    As an example people from the 3rd world would literally die for a measly $20 or even less. That’s a fact. You can both check any website of any local publication from the 3rd world and read the news for your selves.

    “This eliminates most all of the third world market hacks, newbies, concept stealers and the like.”- SR Promotions

    Wow! You are so profound indeed! By that statement alone you have called us 3rd world citizens as hacks, uneducated & thieves. Nice! And 3rd world is so general can you be more specific? Are you referring to South East-South Asians, Africans, South Americans, or Eastern Europeans? You are so quick to assume that all the badly designed entries are from the 3rd world countries where in fact we all see tons of 1st & 2nd world design BS as well. And I am not only referring to 99designs entries.

    “the designers on here that are either unemployed, from a third world country and can afford to win only 1/100 contests, or ignorant to the risks involved with speculative design?” – Scotty D

    Bravo, Scotty! That was just so assuming of you that designers who has joined hundreds of contest and won only 1 can afford it. I mean, damn! If that was me I’d be either really depressed or begin to rethink what I want to make for a living.

    “turning corporate branding into grocery aisle design” – Scotty D

    Oh, please! Spare me the drama! This has been going on for a long time now even before the internet became public. Now I’m not saying I agree with this type of business as well but we just have to be realistic. It’s here to stay. It’s a trend and as trends go it might or might not survive but it will evolve. Everything is so fast paced these and this is why businesses like these are sprouting everywhere. There are even online design companies out there who hire designers for a ridiculous per hour rate and expect quantity and quality at the same time.

    No-spec work? Sure I get it. Here’s an even better source: http://www.no-spec.com. But it’s sort of like fighting crime, pollution, or corruption it has long, long way to go. And to be totally honest I’d rather fight for something that has more weight as this is what my country needs right now especially that the most important presidential elections of my country is on its way. As you can see design issues is the least of our concerns. Anyway we can make an extra buck we will do it. If we fall along the way then we will die standing up again. That is how we grow right?

    Only the rich can afford branded materials. And for those trying to save a buck they go for the generic or the next best thing, a fake. I also think that pretty much sums up the consumers of the world. Don’t you just think that a painting that sells for millions of dollars is just insane or a logo for this matter? Meanwhile millions of people in the world are dying, starving, suffering from disasters – and all we can do is design a poster for awareness???

    I agree that selling ready-made logos have their downsides. Big time! But leave it to experience and let them learn from their own mistakes. I also disagree with the pricing of 99designs. I think there should be more in it for the designer at least. I could go on and on about the issues of selling ready-made logos but that is not the point I wish to leave in this reply.

    My main point is for you 2 to be more wary of any remarks made when it involves races. Yes, races. The two of you just implicated so many races and you don’t even realize it. Not only do you offend but you also show how little you show respect to others & know about the 3rd world. So please stop dragging down an already struggling 3rd world. Capitalists are the ones keeping the 3rd world in its place.

    • Scotty D. Says:

      Apparently you didn’t read a single word of any of my posts. Again, another person putting words into my mouth. In no way did I degrade the design abilities of 3rd world countries or make any bigoted remarks. I use several illustrators from 3rd world countries on a freelance basis, and I actually pay them, whether or not I like the design. The FACT is that people from countries that have an annual income of ~$5,000 can afford to enter hundreds of contests. You only have to win a small % of the contests to make a full years salary. In the U.S., the minimum prize would have to be 10x greater for the payout to be proportionate to income. On the same token, if someone is entering that many contest, there is very little thought or time put into the design. The design may be good design, but it is unsuccessful branding. Again, spec work goes against the very principles and ethics of the design industry.

      • Leo Guevara - Philippines Says:

        Oh, I’ve read all your posts. And I agree to most of your points until that remark about the 3rd world, and apparently you are the one who has not understood my single post.

        I haven’t put a single word in your mouth it came directly from yours and yours alone. Only an idiot who doesn’t know how to read between the lines would let it go. There is a big difference when using the 3rd world designers vs. bad designers as your example. It just automatically implicates negativity.

        You say that its a FACT that people from other countries, (now that’s more cautious), with annual income of $5K can afford joining these contests then how come i see entries coming in from the US and UK?

        Sure I am very aware of the income differences between highly successful countries vs. the struggling ones. And that’s because they are totally different markets. And as a strong supporter of true branding that you claim you are you should know better than to point out that in the U.S. they pay more. Of course they do because they can afford it. And if you go to the middle east or UK you’ll find out they even pay better. Simply because the cost of living in those countries are higher.

        Now I will no longer go into the debate about speculative work. Because this is a debate that is still going on. It’s also like debates going on in the Art world on what is legit and not. It’s just never ending.

        Just curious, how much are you actually paying these freelancers from the 3rd world? If you are paying them the same amount as would in your own country then I will commend you for that. But here’s another FACT. Many 1st world entrepreneurs take advantage of the 3rd world, which is why so many foreigners are investing in many 3rd & 2nd world countries because they make tons of profit out of it.- branded clothes-made in China: call centers from India & the Philippines; Microchips made in taiwan…And yes, Design firms owned by foreigners are also present here and goes as far as Estonia and Bulgaria. Why? because they get the same quality at half the price.

      • Scotty D. Says:

        Leo,
        I acknowledge the fact that there is a difference between 3rd world designers and bad designers. Anyone that can submit work for several hundreds of projects a year is a bad designer, no matter geographic location. It just flat out takes more time than that to successfully complete a design project. All that it tells me if someone does enter hundreds of contests a year is that they are putting very little thought into their work.
        I am paying the freelance designers that I use what they ask to be paid. It is less than a typical designer in the U.S. would charge, but it is fair for them. The difference is that I don’t have the option to pay them or not. Payment is mandatory. They supply great artwork for a competitive price. It is international capitalism. All parties involved are satisfied with the product, and everyone that puts in work is compensated.

    • Jason Aiken Says:

      Leo,

      Thanks for your comments.

      Everyone,

      We have tried to moderate this discussion as little as possible to let people share their opinions and ideas – that is a key piece of having an open community.

      In the broadest terms – it is a complex and weighty discussion and we value and respect it.

      All that we ask – when sharing your thoughts please do your best to be as respectful as possible.

      Cheers,
      Jason

      • cc Says:

        Jason I think most of us are offended by the remarks made in order to minimize the work that 3rd world country designers do. Scotty just sugar coated it. Every time I come into this page I feel more and more offended and 99design has always respected designers ethnicity. I think those comments should be taken down. If they don’t agree with the marketplace fine, that’s what they think, but referring to where designers come from is not acceptable and saying their work is cheap and not creative. It’s very hard to stay respectful when you read comments like those. :(

      • Jason Aiken Says:

        CC,

        I completely hear you and agree that it is not OK to disparage people’s work and or creativity based on where they are from.

        Everyone,

        Please take care to show each other RESPECT.

        I encourage healthy, constructive conversation on the blog.

        It is OK to disagree and share contrasting viewpoints – just do so respectfully… don’t get personal.

        Cheers,
        Jason

      • Scotty D. Says:

        CC,
        As I have stated many times, anyone that is entering hundreds of contests a year is submitting cheap, uncreative work. It doesn’t matter where they are from. It is impossible to submit that many designs a year, and have any thought put into them. On the same token, the only way to win a significant number of contests is to enter hundreds of contests a year. Even then, the amount of money made would only be enough to support people in countries with very low annual incomes. We are not saying that low income countries = bad design. We are saying that most people here are submitting quick, easy designs that are likely to catch the eye of the contest holder, not meant to be the absolute best solution. I don’t take offense to where designers are from. I do take offense to designers cheapening design to make a quick buck. It takes the professionalism out of our industry, and cheapens design in general.

    • SR Promotions Says:

      Leo,

      There is a very factual way of looking at this and its entirety. If someone approached a 3rd World “designer” with $55.00 US and requested a logo… would that “designer” do it?

      The answer is yes.

      This fact and reality has consequences on the market as a whole. It lowers the market for design services.

      This is something, that from the viewpoint of a professional designer with years of experience and actual talent, is something that is bad.. for EVERYONE, including the 3rd World Market Hack.

      This doesnt mean they are without talent, doesnt mean they are bad people, doesnt infer that anyone is evil.. it only sheds light on the reality that those of us that still carry the burden of actual design, for solutions that are actually seen and used in practical and professional terms, that is an attack on the market that enables the required participants to earn a respectable living.

      And this is something that im positive you dont understand or appreciate. See the third world designer isnt what keeps ad’s flowing in publications, or the branding campaigns that take over the world, or even the development in the technology such as in softwares.. or even the trends that lead the design world.. these are all done, center around, are created by, and sustained by professional designers in the US, Japan, and Europe. In fact the market itself that you take advantage of and dilute with your cut throat willingness to work for almost nothing exist because of the very brethren that you hack at the knees.

      And you are not alone. As you pointedly demonstrated, there are other US and European designers willing to do the same thing. Thats why newbies, amateurs, and the market hacks are listed together.

      How many $150.00 contests on 99Designs would be successful if no one participated in them? But the bigger question is… if it was possible.. just think how many $50.00 logo contests there would be on 99Designs with people participating, and who they would be?

      You are correct.. i have no respect for a “designer” who is willing to work for nothing, who is willing to dilute the market which provides food for my family, and whats more is I have no respect for the “designer” who takes actions that really only serve to harm HIS OWN INDUSTRY and the future ability of said designer to make a living.

      I dont apologize for these sentiments, and I will always do everything I can to limit the effects of such participants on the market and in the industry.. regardless of their talent or desire. Just imagine.. if $100 is a lot for a 3rd world designer.. he couldve made $250 or higher at a minimum if he just wasnt so willing to work for $30.00. I will continue to educate everyone I can to the harm that these “designers” do to their own ability to profit, much less everyone else.. especially those of us who maintain the “designer” title as a professional vocation.

      I dont wish to be your friend, or have a “meeting in the middle” or anything like that. I dont really mind if youre offended or care if it touched the little inside of the soft spot in your heart that unleashed some “outrage” over the truth. This is reality, this isnt some Star Trek episode where money means nothing and respecting other people is the norm.

      Wake up.

      SR

      • Jude Fernando Says:

        SR really? Go spout your nonsense elsewhere and leave for good. Below is an excerpt of his ‘speech’ for mods to note.

        See the third world designer isnt what keeps ad’s flowing in publications, or the branding campaigns that take over the world, or even the development in the technology such as in softwares.. or even the trends that lead the design world.. these are all done, center around, are created by, and sustained by professional designers in the US, Japan, and Europe.

  29. João Mário Martinho Says:

    whitout watching the other comments i can say with all the words that this is a really bad idea.
    i dont want my work to be part of a catalog… design is serious work, not some IKEA like business…

  30. Designer Says:

    The 99Designs server is continuously timing out when I attempt to upload my designs to the ready-made portion of the site.

    My main assumption is that this is due to heavy traffic on the site during this time. However, I would like to know if anyone else has experienced this same issue with the 99 designs server timing out/stalling/becoming extremely sluggish when you attempt to upload your logo to the ready-made portion of the site.

  31. andy Says:

    why do 99designs get the lion share? surely it’s the designers who will do most of the work.

    • Jason Aiken Says:

      Building, growing and supporting the 99designs ecosystem requires a great deal of resources – we feel the increased opportunity and compensation is fair to all parties.

      Cheers,
      Jason

      • dormouse Says:

        You feel that a measly 30% to the designer is fair? This in no way represents an equal partnership and to say that it does shows just how skewed your viewpoint is.

  32. Visualico Says:

    I just knew it will come to this.
    This is the most stupid thing you can ever do for profit.

    So, are we (designers) gonna expect more dumping here???

  33. Stephanie Says:

    Though I don’t agree with all of it, I can understand most of the criticism that has been posted. However, I still think this store will be successful considering there are already over 1,300 logos available.

    I get that logo design should be unique, but I also get that there is a real need for ready-made design.
    I hope the store is a success. I would love to see a web design store here too.

    I certainly do not appreciate when design is cheapened. I know how much work and time goes into designing (at least as far as web design goes), and I think we all should be paid fairly for it. I don’t really think 99designs cheapens design though. I think the prize amounts here are pretty great (again as far as web design goes), and I think it shows contest holders what design should be worth.

    I do NOT live in a 3rd world country (I live in the US), and honestly, most of the prizes here (once again I am looking at it from the web design perspective) are well above what I could charge someone for a page design in my city (granted, I live in the Midwest where the cost of living is relatively low). When I enter a contest, I know it’s a risk, but the payoff will be worth it if I win. Plus, I think it’s fun to participate in contests. I think spec work can absolutely be a bad thing, but I think it has it’s positive aspects too. The payoffs can be good if the design wins (or if the design sells well in the store), it can attract new permanent clients, clients get a lot of options to choose from, and designers challenge themselves.

    It seems like a lot of the criticism that is coming in is in opposition to speculative work. What I don’t understand is if one is so against spec work…why are they here in the first place?

    **Disclaimer**
    I am not trying to offend or anger anyone here. I am just offering up a different point of view. And like I said (about 20 times, lol), I am a web designer, not a logo designer, so my point of view could be totally skewed.

  34. bjka Says:

    I thought this would be a good idea too, until I saw the way they structured it – just like template monster basically. Why would customers bother paying $295-1000 for a logo when they can just pick one out in 5 minutes and pay just $99? I think that paying a designer $30 or so for a logo design is pathetic. I wouldn’t edit a existing logo for $30(much less for free and “rushed” as 99 requires). Assuming that it took the designer at least a day(8 hours) to create the logo, that equals earning $3.75/hr. I earned $20/hr at my last full-time job. I guess it’s all about volume. 99 is a business and the goal of a business is to make $. I think this is bad for all the designers…but I could be totally wrong. Who knows.

    • Jason Aiken Says:

      Thanks for the comments –

      The ready-made offering is targeted at a different segment of the market than the traditional design contest offering at 99designs.com.

      Some customers will be completely satisfied to pick a logo off the shelf – others will not and will have it created from scratch by running design project at 99designs.

      As Mark said – to some degree we need to see how this develops over time – and we have more new developments coming down the pipe.

      Cheers,
      Jason

      • dormouse Says:

        Jason, you failed to address the issue of designer payment that bjka brought up. You are paying the designer a meager $29 for their design AND to be available at a moments notice to edit the design for the customer.

        I love how you taut that this site was created “for designers by designers”. I guess you enjoy exploiting your peers.

  35. Soud Says:

    I’d rather loose 99 contest and win one rather than selling the same logo 100 times, whatever happened to genuine branding, most CHs mention in their briefing “we want something that is unique and will stand out”, this way nothing will be unique and nothing will stand out? I can imagine that one day two totally different business will open their business in the same street with the same logo. And 30~50%!!!!!!! NO WAY. I AM SO DISAPPOINTED AT THE NEW “IMPROVEMENT”

    • mcrowe Says:

      I agree I do not think the smae logo should be sold more than once. I know if i boaught a logo for a comany I would not want someone else to have one exactly like mine. What about copyright issues??? I dont think one certain logo should be replicated 100 times…

  36. bse88 Says:

    What a shame!

  37. Steve Says:

    The PROBLEM – Everyone is on an international website speaking in US dollars…

    The SOLUTION – Make it relative for everyone involved.

    Convert the current 99 Designs offering based on currencies. I see the Phillipines mentioned above so let me use them as the example.

    How many Filipinos will complete designs for $4 pesos… this is the relative equivalent of $30.00 US dollars to a designer in the US, based on cost of living and pay wages.

    $250.00 desired US logo price divided by 8 equals $31.25
    $30.00 USD accepted logo price by a Filipino designer divided by 8 equals $3.75 PH Pesos

    I’m guessing the number of Filipino designers would be reduced equally to their US counterparts…

    The real issue for 99 Designs is how to make the site equally competitive, thus fair for all users.

    If I as a Contest Holder am willing to drive down the US market by accepting the lowest bid then I should be allowed to equally drive down other markets.

    I dare say the site would shut down in short order if this fair approach were applied. And yet this is the true litmus test for competitive equality across markets.

    Currently US designers are the only designers feeling any financial pressure… apply the same pressure to other markets if you want to know whether what you are doing is fair to all your users.

    As a Contest Holder I would like to hear from other countries whether they think this approach would be fair and whether they would work under these terms…

  38. Soud Says:

    I don’t see why should I sell over here for $29 when I am not allowed to sell at brandstack.com for less than $250.

  39. Steve Says:

    I just started a contest for 199.00 wanted it to be blind and done in 1-3 days… the 99 designs charge was $100.00.

    That is a 30% transaction fee!…


  40. […] official blog post announcing the launch, […]


  41. […] about 99designs, a little bit of buzz about their ‘ready-made logo‘ service that they launched a few weeks ago. Their new ‘logo store’ mostly features outcasts and rejects from 99designs logo design […]

  42. Sarge Says:

    I’ve already run into a Copyright infringement issue with 99Designs, and one more reason I don’t condone its existence.

    A user had blatantly copied our company’s logo and manipulated it several times for entry in a contest. Thankfully a good soul mentioned it and it linked back to our website where I became aware of the violation. I quickly contacted 99designs pull it down. Still, it was a rather obvious reason to dislike their ‘business’. If it were up to me that user would have been banned immediately.

    I’ve designed a number of successful logos in the past, Form and colour aside, not once would I consider stealing from another to create my own.

    • Jason Aiken Says:

      Copying and stealing ideas has long plagued any human activity including design and most certainly did not come about with the advent of 99designs.com.

      The beauty of 99designs is that it is an open and transparent process. While of course, that designer should not steal or copy in the first place, your story illustrates the effectiveness of the community policing itself. Designers in the community who directly copy or steal ideas are banned.

      Cheers,
      Jason


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