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.

Add to DeliciousAdd to DiggAdd to FaceBookAdd to RedditAdd to StumbleUponAdd to Twitter

[tweetmeme source=”99designs” alias=”http://bit.ly/aX16Q5″%5D
We want to send out a HUGE thank you to everyone who voted 99designs.com the Best Web Service & Application of the year in the Webby People’s Voice Awards!

As promised – we shot this video of the team celebrating. This video is for the entire 99designs community – the Webby People’s Voice Award is YOUR win!

Cheers!

Thanks for making 99designs.com the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced logo design, web design, and other graphic design projects.

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.

Share

Want to choose more than one design?

One of the most common requests we get from clients at 99designs is the ability to choose multiple winning designs – well now you can.

To choose more than one design simply:

The first design will be awarded with the money you already prepaid to set up the project.

Each additional design will require additional payment equal to the full prize plus the 15% handling fee.

There is no limit to how many designs you can award!

Share

Designer Profile: ulahts

March 9, 2010

Logo Designer Profile - ulahts at 99designs.com

Designer Profile

Emilian Constantin – Bucharest, Romania
99designs handle: ulahts
Projects entered: 2349
Projects won: 301

How did you get started in design?

I started working with pencils when I was 12 years old – drawing sketches of muscles. I wanted to get the finest and strongest abs in my classroom – Later I discovered colors, and I think that did the trick :).

I participated in a few school-to-school drawing competitions which I was fortunate enough to win. At the age of 16 I started to play football (soccer) and I directed my creative juices towards “nasty” ball running. Then – between secondary and superior school, I started messing around with graphics again and especially printing.

I got my first part time job as an offset machinist in a large print house at the age of 21 when I was studying at university – I call that period “colorful white nights”. Logo Design - Spiffy Sparrow I worked for about 4 years as a machinist and then later I got into the sales department and prepress management. Of course this is where I discovered my aptitude for graphic design and finally met Mr. Corel … Corel Draw. Yeah, for me Corel was James Bond of graphic design programs for the next few years. Throughout the time I spent in printing I experimented heavily with brand design, logos, stationary, brochure design – almost everything that prints.

Around 2002-2003 a friend showed me a website where I could try to sell my artwork. At the beginning I thought it was a stupid idea, but later it got more competitive which for me – the harder it was the better. I haunted that website for about 3-4 years and worked my way up to being ranked first in the logos section.

What led you to start using 99designs.com?

Logo Design - Sprout BucketIn 2006 I was introduced to SitePoint at that time they had a Contest Marketplace section later to become the successful 99designs.com.

On 99designs I’ve had great success and during this period (SitePoint and 99designs) I have sold over 500 logos. I think I sold 80-90 logos on SitePoint alone – and that’s really when I began to get addicted to logo design. At this time I was a part time employee and was able to start my own small printing boutique which later brought me even more success.

Participating in projects at 99designs has definitely helped me reach greater heights in my design skills. One important lesson I learned is that if you have doubts about something that you are drawing, even the smallest doubt, then start working in another direction. Another tip I have for designer is do your homework – read about brand identity, color usage, printing etc… It helps a lot!

How do you get your inspiration?

Logo Design - CropdRegarding inspiration and what comes from it – both are lead by your state of mind, skills and experience. But above all that – there is something that I always keep firmly in mind:

“There is always a heavy demand for fresh mediocrity. In every generation the least cultivated taste has the largest appetite.”

Paul Gauguin

What I love most about being a designer is that it’s related to the brain and that’s an unlimited resource!

Share

Designer Profile: IfThenElse

January 12, 2010

Maria Rakic

Designer Profile

Marija Rakic – Novi Sad, Serbia
99designs handle: IfThenElse
Projects entered: 85
Projects won: 23

How did you get started in design?

Some of my friends were building websites and I started to learn html/css as an option to provide some extra cash. I was student of Faculty of Technical Sciences, University in Novi Sad, and I saw myself working as hardware programmer – I was more geek than artist so having a creative job never crossed my mind :) .

At first I was all over the place: flash, html, css, illustrator, Maya, php … Coding and programming was very interesting and easy for me but I found myself enjoying the design process the most. I’ve started paying more attention to it and spending more and more time working in Photoshop.

It took 5 years, and 3 PC’s but now, what started as additional income has become my full-time job.

Jeep Club Web Design

How do you get your inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere. It can be my desktop wallpaper, a TV commercial, a tea cup… The main thing is not to force it, sometimes it takes days to come up with a wireframe and general idea – and in some cases a design brief is so interesting that you immediately get inspired.

CSS galleries are always a good resource for inspiration and as a way to follow design trends. You can learn a lot just by watching and analyzing other websites. Never stop learning, read as much as you can on design process and trends. Even when not inspired by the theme of the site you are working on (your 10th commercial site this month) it is important to develop a skill and to be able to produce quality work.

Hexaville Web Design

What led you to start using 99designs.com?

Sitepoint.com was one my favorite websites, and at the time the design contests were part of the Sitepont marketplace. … back in 2006. I spent some time just following the contests and then eventually decided to give it a go. 99designs has helped me develop my design skills – I’ve learned a lot through the contests and watching how different concepts are created based on the same brief. This is an excellent learning environment.

The majority of my regular clients found me on 99designs, so it is good place to find clients. This doesn’t mean you have to win a particular contest to get work, very often people will hire you based on your designs.

So don’t be discouraged when another design wins. Keep in mind, that even if you loose, quality work will be noticed, and in time you will obtain clients and a steady workflow.

On the other hand, even when I have work, it is too much fun to participate in the contests :). Measuring your work against others and trying to guess what the CH will like is very exciting. This will always bring me back to 99designs.

Cigar Info Web design

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

1) Have respect for contest holder and his decisions. When entering a contest, keep in mind that the contest holder is spending time and money, and can conduct the contest any way they choose. Treat the contest holder as a client – not as a buddy. Be aware of when the contest ends and try to submit designs in a timely fashion ( you probably wouldn’t go to your boss or client 2 days before deadline and say: ”Please, please extend!”:))

2) Choose projects based on how they interest you, not by the prize money. I understand that high prize contests can be very tempting but you will do a much better job, and probably have more success if you only enter the contests that are appealing to you.

3) Keep your integrity. If you are asked to use other people design elements – respectfully decline. In my experience – this usually results in a win ;). Your opinion matters, don’t be afraid to suggest something different to a contest holder or propose a different solution for revision request. Treat any kind of feedback as constructive criticism.

Endurance Magazine Design

What do you love most about being a designer?

First of all, I am a web designer and developer – so for me – the perfect blend of technology and creative work is the part that I love the most.

I love the variety of work – you can work on a website for children one day and do a corporate and clean style the next. Every project is different.

Also, working with different people from different parts of the world can be very interesting.

Share