The Top Designers at 99designs in July 2010

We’re kicking off a new monthly contest for the community – every month we will showcase the 9 designers who have won the most projects for that month – The “Top 9 at 99.”

The community will then vote for that month’s “Top Designer” who will win a fantastic prize.

This month’s prize… an Apple iPad!

Here are the Top Designers for July (from top to bottom, left to right in no particular order):

Vote for your favorite designer here!

**Voting will be open until Tuesday, August 10th 5:00pm PT.

Terms & Conditions

  • 99designs will giveaway 1 iPad to the designer who receives the most votes.
  • You may only vote once
  • The prize is a 16GB WiFi Only Apple iPad. If you are selected as one of the winners and we cannot get you the iPad for any reason, we may choose to pay you the cash equivalent of $499 USD

Designer Profile: Spork

July 27, 2010

Meet Mark Lester Jarmin aka Spork – an awesome illustrator and just one of the designers who has helped make 99designs.com the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced logo design, web design, print design or any other design need!
Spork - an Illustrator in the 99designs Community

Designer Profile

Mark Lester Jarmin – Philippines
99designs handle: Spork
Projects entered: 218
Projects won: 50

How did you get started in design?

I started drawing in school when I was very young. From elementary to high school my notebooks are filled with sketches and doodles. I was always assigned to design our classroom bulletin boards and I was chosen to represent our school in art competitions. I won several awards including one for a design that our university used as our school ID.

After I graduated, I worked as a sign maker and later as a mall artist – designing decors and seasonal themes including graphic designs for events and activities. Right now i’m focusing more as an illustrator.

Professor Lead

How do you get your design inspiration?

I really look up to great illustrators – seeing how they create their art inspires me to create something better. Reading their books and blogs, watching their animations, studying their comics, etc… motivates me to learn and improve my skills.

The Mac Guys

What led you to start using 99designs.com?

My officemate referred me to 99designs and I’ve been hooked ever since. At first, I joined the contests just for fun but when I won my first contest and a follow up project came in – I got serious and more competitive. I love it here – I enjoy, learn and earn at the same time!

99designs has really helped me showcase my skills. I continue to improve, meet new clients, make new friends and build a good portfolio.

Caption Obvious

What are three things designers can do to have success at 99designs?

1. Preparation is the key! Study the design brief first. View it in different angles – from the client’s perspective, from the perspective of the target audience and from your view as the designer. Proper composition requires more time than execution.

2. Create your own identity. As an illustrator, style really does matter! If you want to stand out and get noticed, draw the way YOU want to draw – offering something unique… yourself.

3. Take care of your profile and portfolio. A higher winning percentage surely reflects well on your status within the community and to potential clients. This is not a raffle contest so – join only the projects that you are really interested in and you’ll have more chance of winning.

Totally Toys

What do you love most about being a designer?

I just love what I do- I enjoy, learn and earn!

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Designer Profile: Lugosi

June 18, 2010

Meet Tomi Vinsek aka Lugosi – just one of the designers who has helped make 99designs.com the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced logo design, web design, print design or any other design need!
Tomi Vinsek - Lugosi on 99designs

Designer Profile

Tomi Vinsek – Zagreb, Croatia
99designs handle: Lugosi
Projects entered: 408
Projects won: 43

How did you get started in design?

In my childhood I participated in creative and technical workshops as member of National Society of Technical Culture in the field of Product Prototype and Modeling – this was the start of my creative work and production. Even as young boy, I loved to sketch imaginative things. I was a big fan of Flash Gordon :D, and I was always curious in how others see things in imaginative and creative ways. I believe imagination is extremely valuable in creative process.

Back in the ’80s when I was about 10, I got into computer graphics – first in a BASIC language environment on ZX Spectrum 48K computer, and later on Atari. About 10 years ago I started collaborating at a local magazine – this was my first experience with prepress process and magazine drafting. I was so inspired – I loved using Indesign, Photoshop and CorelDraw. I started working on logos, magazine ad’s, brochures, wallpapers and CD covers, etc. for friends, online contests and local small businesses – this was the start of my freelance graphic design business. As my skill improved and my love for design grew higher each day- I decided to enroll into an Adobe Certification program at the local academy.

Bove Audio by Lugosi

How do you get your design inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere – comedy, drama, nature, people, animals, books, movies… everywhere. I mostly design at night. I love quiet atmosphere, coffee, low light…That’s how I got my nickname, Bela Lugosi was a famous Dracula actor in ‘30s.

Spa Brochure by Lugosi

What led you to start using 99designs.com?

I joined this community back when the contests were still in the Sitepoint forums and I must admit -the 99designs team has made great progress the last few years. Well done guys! At first I just wanted to improve my design skills and compete but I have also met new people from design world. 99designs has helped me a lot – I’ll never forget my first win here, wow, that was celebration!

Over time, this community became more and more valuable, and with respect I can say that 99designs gave me the opportunity to define my future. I mean it, really!

Two years ago I met Vjeko on 99designs.com – we found out that we live in the same town. We became online business partners and built our first web business and online portfolio. Today we own an award winning graphic design company here in Croatia – we are employed full time as Art Directors and Graphic Designers – we have built our own business with help of 99designs.com!

Quadrophenia Identity by Lugosi

What are three things designers can do to have success at 99designs?

1. Design with love – the best designs are the ones that you yourself can be proud of! It is definitely not good to enter too many contests at once. Enter one or two – make the best design you can and wait for feedback. After 6 days, if you have the opportunity – make it awesome. Put 100% effort into a design project and the client will notice. Contest holders do care! Don’t think about money, think about the design, your portfolio, your own and the client’s satisfaction. The prize will come for sure!

2. Define your style – it is precious and will separate you from others. Think about the thousands of products out there and what it would be like if they were all are the same? People love to choose! Just lead them. Every product has its own buyer – it’s the same with design. Your design is your personality – combine that with the client’s feedback equals success.

3. Presentation of final work is very important! It’s good to show how the design will work in different applications and surfaces or in different versions. Sometimes presentation takes almost the same amount of time as designing the main concept – but it’s worth it. Not all people are imaginative and they love to see how the design will work for them.

Wine Label by Lugosi

What do you love most about being a designer?

Freedom of creativity, expressing my personality – I love when my work is seen by many people all over the world. Design is timeless and recognizable. I love to see how other perceive different shapes and colors. Design does not live in the designers head, design lives in the viewers eyes – show it to the people.

BottleMate Logo by Lugosi
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Globetroopers.com wanted unique design

It’s no surprise that Todd and Lauren Sullivan wanted to tap into some design that was ‘off the beaten path’ when they founded Globetrooper.com – a site that helps adventurous travelers create trips and invite people from all over the world to join them.

The team has run three design projects at 99designs.com so far and is always getting fantastic compliments on the results:

“We have been told by people that our site is the best looking site they’ve seen. Of course that’s subjective, but the fact it’s been said says something important about 99designs.”

Logo Design by Overprint

Globetrooper Logo

Business card Design by Reklawdesign

Globetrooper Business Card Design

Web Design by Pixelized

Globetrooper Web Design

These are just some of the truly unique designs from the AMAZING community of designers that makes 99designs.com the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced logo design, web design & more!

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Meet Kris Taft Miller aka KT Design, Inc. – just one of the designers who has helped make 99designs.com the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced logo design, web design, or any other design need!
Designer Profile: KT Designs, Inc. at 99designs.com

Designer Profile

Kris Taft Miller – Durham, NC USA
99designs handle: KT Design, Inc.
Projects entered: 65
Projects won: 13

How did you get started in design?

I graduated with a degree in elementary education but took a summer internship with Disney Animation where I re-discovered how much I loved graphic design and learned on the job from the pros. From there I spent 8 years at the studio in Florida and later Los Angeles before relocating to North Carolina with my husband and starting my own company as a freelancer.

YMCA Web Design

How do you get your inspiration for your web design?

I find I do a lot of designing in my head before I even get to the computer. When I am about to fall asleep especially, designs are running through my head. Once I get to the computer I work organically and just try lots of different things to see how they look. I love designing things that are out of the box, colorful and fun.

Maitely Weismann Web Design

What led you to start using 99designs.com?

I stumbled on 99designs last year after returning from maternity leave and actually having a few spare moments to get caught up on the design world. I loved it immediately, the challenge and “game” of it all is a new element to work I already love doing. I also love the community of designers – getting inspired by those around you and their work.

Budi Bar Web Design

What is the most important thing designers can do to have success at 99designs?

I would say to really listen to the client, just like any other design project. Make the extra effort to reach out to the clients – try to accommodate their specific needs and give them something unique.

A Princess For You web design

What do you love most about being a designer?

I love the artistic element, the feeling of creating something from scratch. I love when my 2 year old comes in my office and asks me to show him what I ‘made’ today.

International Relief Teams Web Design

What tips would you give to clients running design projects on 99designs?

Be clear in your brief, give as many specifics as you can, including dimensions, file format, and as much detail as you can about what you are looking for. Designers will give you lots of options but they don’t want to feel like they are going in circles and designing blindly.

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Designer Profile: Jude Fernando

Designer Profile

Jude Fernando – Philippines
99designs handle: Fernando’s design
Projects entered: 126
Projects won: 29

How did you get started in web design?

I got my start in design a long time ago, 1995 to be exact. It was not in web design, but in Architectural design. Yes, that was my foundation and my five years in architecture school developed my aesthetic sensibilities.

However, architectural practice in the real world didn’t work out for me. It was not my cup of tea – I discovered that creativity in the world of cement and steel was limited by so many factors. I started looking into other creative outlets such as traditional art and sculpture. All this was until the day I discovered Photoshop…

I was so amazed by the capabilities of the software, that I started spending all my waking hours messing around with it. I tried my hand at some personal websites for friends and poster designs for local events. I realized that this was something I could get good at after much encouragement and appreciation from my friends, family and early clients. This was also the time when websites were not cool and pretty to look at and there was definitely no web2.0 and glossy, shiny interfaces! There was and is so much potential on the web!

Web Design

How do you get your inspiration?

My initial inspiration is always the client. A good brief inspires me and gets me thinking about the possibilities. I also spend some time every single day just browsing the web, looking at great designs, seeing the work of other designers. The more you appreciate the work of others the more you grow in your own work. Most of my ideas come to me at night – when the world is asleep. A calm mind and quiet surroundings inspire a lot of thought. I never rush into a design.

Web Design

What led you to start using 99designs.com?

Unlike many here, I discovered 99designs quite late. I was randomly browsing through a popular web design forum when I came across a discussion about contests. The whole concept of crowdsourcing was new to me and I was curious enough about 99designs to give it a try.

I was hooked immediately – each and every contest gave me a rush but I was also depressed when I didn’t win. I am sure all of you designers here have felt the same. After 126 contests its still a rush and I have learned to deal with losing :)

99designs has been invaluable in providing me with a lot more opportunity than what I had before. Every contest is a learning experience and I have built relationships with more than a few regular clients though this site. I have improved a lot since I first started here – much of which is due to the concept of this site. Being able to compare ones work with the work of other designers gives you great insight into what you need to improve on. Without this constant interaction with other designers through the contest environment, I would still be stuck where I was a year ago.

Web Design

What are three things designers can do to have success at 99designs?

  1. Understand the brief. This is the the most important aspect of any contest, yet is more often than not the most overlooked. I don’t mean just read the brief, but actually understand what the contest holder wants. Read it carefully, take the time, don’t rush things.
  2. Think like the client. Put yourself in the clients position and think about what you would want if you were the client. What would be most important to you? Sometimes I even think about where the client lives and the acceptable current design practices in that country or that city. For example Scandinavia has a minimalist, functional and ultra modern design language, whereas Miami beach is about being eclectic, colorful and a little over the top.
  3. Offer something unique with your entry. Everyone likes to be surprised and clients remember unique designs. If two designs follow the brief to the letter and both designs have excellent technique, it’s likely the design that offers something unique or something extra will win. Remember, think like the client. Every client wants their website to standout from the crowd.

Web Design

What do you love most about being a designer?

Creative freedom is what I love the most. Each new project is a creative outlet and a challenge in itself. Each project brings something different. Not having to do the same thing every day for years is what I love most about being a designer.

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Use 99designs.com to Get Custom Designed Marketing Materials FastGetting custom marketing collateral designed fast can be a challenge particularly for small businesses and startups.

I recently spoke with Nisha Baxi of Dyyno – who shared how she used 99designs.com to design everything from brochures and datasheets to business cards and flyers.

Business Card Design by niichan

Business Card Design

What brought you to 99designs.com?

Dyyno is a new online video sharing platform that distributes HD video to an unlimited number of viewers for free. It’s a really cool technology and now that we are pushing it out to the public – we needed the marketing material to back it up.

We had been working with some local designers, but they were really expensive, they did not always do what we wanted them to do, we did not have very many designs to choose from, and ultimately their style is pretty much the same every time. While its nice to have one designer create a consistent look across all the collateral it’s also really good to have multiple options.

Datasheet Design by Arteche Gaston

Datasheet Design

What marketing collateral have you had designed at 99designs?

The first design project we ran was for a datasheet – we had over 90 submissions and we were really excited. I worked closely with five designers who were great about making changes while we were zeroing in on the final design. The designer that we ended up choosing has been awesome – even now he makes little tweaks to the design as need be.

We also have run projects to design a brochure, a flyer, a second datasheet, a quick start guide and our business cards – The experience that has just been tremendous. I’m not sure if 99designs has a screening process for the designers but if you do – it’s a good one. Every designer that we picked has been excellent with a great work ethic – they are just really, really helpful.

Because of 99designs we now have 6 great pieces of marketing collateral where before we had 3 terrible pieces. We have been to 5 conferences since I joined Dyyno, and I now feel more confident being next to companies that are much more established than us with quality of the marketing collateral we have gotten through 99designs.

Flyer Design by Arteche Gaston

Flyer Design

Do you have any tips for running successful design projects?

The most important thing is to stay active and give the designers feedback. The first project that I did – I had no idea what I was doing. I wasn’t giving nearly enough feedback. Now, I try to engage in the project in such a way that respects both my time and the time the designers put into it. For example, I eliminate the designs that are way off base right away. It may sound harsh, but it lets the designers know that they don’t need to waste any more time on it. The more respect you show the designers – the more likely they will be to help you and participate.

Brochure Design by phoebetsui

Brochure Design

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