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Are you a freelance graphic designer in need of some extra dough? Maybe you just like designing logos or websites for fun in your spare time?  If so, it’s possible to earn a little extra cash with web-based crowdsourcing design contests.

So, what exactly is crowdsourcing? Simply put, it’s the concept of outsourcing a task to a group of people to come up with solutions.  For example, let’s say the client is a website and needs a new logo. Through one of these online crowdsourcing design websites, the client becomes the contest holder and posts the requirements of the project, such as a description of what kind of logo he needs and a deadline. The client also decides on the amount of money that is to be awarded.

Designers participate in the contest by designing logos based on what the client wants and submitting their entries for review. Then, the client looks for the best logo to use, chooses a winner, and that designer is awarded the prize money.

Remember, with all these crowdsourcing models, it’s a contest and the competition is usually fierce, especially for the top-dollar projects. While no professional experience is needed, you should at least know your way around Photoshop or another graphics editing program in order to produce appealing and competitive designs to the clients. Check out An Idiot’s Guide to Photoshop An Idiot's Guide To Photoshop - 1 [PDF Guide] An Idiot's Guide To Photoshop - 1 [PDF Guide] Read More for some help.

Here’s 3 crowdsourcing design contest websites to make money with crowdsourcing.

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99designs

crowdsourcing design websites99designs is one of the most popular design competition marketplaces on the Web. As one of its designers, there’s always hundreds of available projects for you to choose from. Some of the design categories include logos, webpages, print, WordPress themes A Beginner's Guide To Building Your Own Wordpress Theme A Beginner's Guide To Building Your Own Wordpress Theme Read More , Twitter backgrounds A Bunch of Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Twitter Page A Bunch of Easy Ways to Spice Up Your Twitter Page Read More , stationery, t-shirts, and more.

Once you’ve decided on a contest to participate in, just read the design brief. It has everything you need to know about what the client is looking for, including an overview, the brand name, target audience, requirements, and payment methods of the cash prize for the winner.

crowdsourcing design websites

After you’ve created your design, hit the submit a design button to upload a screenshot or thumbnail for the client to review.

crowdSPRING

crowdsourcing design websitesWith pretty much the same concept as 99designs, crowdSPRING is another design marketplace. Project categories are divided into four categories: graphic design (logo, clothing, stationery, etc.), web design, industrial design (packaging, product design), and photography (custom photos, retouching).

crowdsourcing and methods

As a creator, simply find a project you can take on, read the brief for all the details, and you’ll be awarded the contest’s cash prize if your design is chosen.

DesignCrowd

crowdsourcing and methodsDesignCrowd is yet another marketplace that offers various contests for designers to take a stab at. Design jobs include logos, web, brochures, posters, flyers, illustrations, stationery, business cards, and t-shirts.

crowdsourcing and methods

Same rules apply here. Read the open brief and submit your designs for review. Some clients do offer a base payment for just participating in the contest. This guarantees designers at least some money for their work even if they don’t win. However, participation payments are usually very limited and are not even offered at all.

As for what it takes to win any of these crowdsourcing contests? First and foremost, always listen to what the client wants. After all, he does make the final decision. Pay close attention to his design description and feedback to your work. It’s also a good idea to submit different designs to get a feel of which ones the client really likes and revise the best ones to his liking. Other than that, be creative, persistent, and your hard work may pay off.

What do you think about crowdsourcing design contests? Business owners, have you given any of these marketplaces a try? Designers, have you made any money working with these sites? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credit : Anirudh Koul

  1. Ankit Roy
    December 22, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    Getting a high quality design can be really expensive.
    Most design agency prices are out of the range for small businesses with limited budgets.
    I haven't tried Design Crowd, but I launched a contest on Designhill, because I found the pricing is much affordable in comparison to Designcrowd.
    At first I didn't know how to launch a contest because I wanted a logo design for my Agency. I returned to the Designhill website and noticed a live chat support tab on the bottom left, and so I opened it and sent an instant message to the support team, they are very supportive and all the things ran smoothly.

  2. Joe
    May 24, 2015 at 1:07 am

    Sounds like a goofed opportunity for business owners but really??? Should designers really have to cut their throats on their way of earning an income which is what is happening. And where is the strong client designer relationship? Pretty much nowhere and that makes a significant difference. I know I am not expensive but I damn sure am not going to be cheap and under rate myself and allow my way of making a living be reduced. At this point I could make a better paycheck working at McDonald's part time. So though it may be beneficial to business owners it certainly is not to designers and designers should stand up for themselves and disapprove this "cut my throat and work for practically free because who cares if I starve" logic. Another question to ask is are the clients truly getting quality in design and in customer service when they are looking for cheap or severely discount work?

  3. Jelly Shah
    March 2, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Hi, Nice blog indeed, but i think something is missing, there are some sites like elance, odesk and designhill.com where people can also work as a freelancer and can earn good. i am not sure about the client that how much they are getting back what they expected and how much they are willing to pay, but does designers are getting enough? these topics are good for discussion but till keep enjoy designing. Cheers!!

  4. logo design company
    March 3, 2010 at 1:23 am

    Since you have mentioned design crowd here I would like to add that there is one more website which I found on the internet. That is : http://www.shopfordesigns.com

    This website is also for graphic design crowdsourcing. And the best thing about http://www.shopfordesigns.com is that it does not charge any contest listing fee. Its FREE!

    I got my website logo designed from http://www.shopfordesigns.com Found their services to be very good and pricing very reasonable.

  5. Lily
    February 27, 2010 at 3:02 am

    Thanks for a great info. I also recently came across a site http://www.logocontests.net/ with lots of great content.

  6. Allen Womb
    February 17, 2010 at 4:39 am
  7. chris
    February 4, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Another one is 48hourslogo.com

    I like it that it's fast and cost less.

  8. Alex Mark
    January 20, 2010 at 2:37 am

    guerra-creativa.com - really nice design, big fees
    grafikguru.com - same concept, very small fees

    • rafael
      May 1, 2015 at 5:55 am

      ei mano como funciona esse site do desingcontest tem que ser programador ?

  9. Rebecca
    January 13, 2010 at 6:53 am

    Guerra Creativa has taken design crowdsourcing to Latin America. Its in 3 languages - English, Spanish and Portuguese.

    http://www.guerra-creativa.com

  10. PeterB
    December 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    The thing I like about these sites is the ability to build your portfolio overnight. One of my designs on DesignCrowd.com is now used for a fast food chain so my portfolio looks sweet these days.
    To be honest I love how DesignCrowd is paying participation payments to designers just for submitting.

  11. Jennifer
    December 23, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    I use logobids.com. They are redesigning the whole site finally. I find what I want at a lower cost there.

  12. Jonathan Cohen
    December 23, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Don't work for free. You wouldn't expect three interior designers to come to your home and pitch you redesigns for free, just so you could pick the winning one and pay him/her would you?

    • Aibek
      December 26, 2009 at 11:04 pm

      IMO it might be a good way to start for the beginners to create a small portfolio. Once they have completed 3-4 projects they can start looking for projects on sites like elancer etc.

    • Alex Mark
      January 20, 2010 at 2:35 am

      Well actually, that's the way it happens these days. In more and more cases actually.

  13. Simon Slangen
    December 23, 2009 at 1:36 am

    Another great site is HatchWise.

  14. Stephen
    December 22, 2009 at 7:59 pm

    I lost interest in these sites once I read this:

    http://graphicpush.com/99designs-bullshit-20

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