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99designs Scam?

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  • 99designs Scam?

    I have just started a flower business and don't have much budget need a good company logo through a logo design contest site. 99designs is claimed to be the top crowdsourcing site but at the same time there are different online reviews about 99designs scam.

    Can anyone tell if 99designs is a scam and if its a good idea getting logo design from them. Also, do recommend other top logo design contest sites.

  • #2
    Hi Sherly, welcome to the forum.

    You won't get much support or advice about contest sites here. REAL graphic designers spend time with their clients, getting to know the market and your customers, and developing the BRAND that's the foundation the logo sits on.

    I suggest you place an ad in our classifieds section (don't forget to include an email address!) so some of our members can give you the opportunity to work with them.

    We ask all new members to read the forum rules posted here and here. They will give you all the info you need on how the forum runs, the rules and regs, and give you some background info on our long running, inside jokes
    This post is brought to you by the letter E and the number 9. Those are the buttons I push to get a Twix out of the candy machine.
    "I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process."


    • #3
      A lot of logos I've seen produced on logo contest sites have been really poor and substandard. And some people even go as far to "steal" from other entries to add to their logo design. Some even use external copyrighted logo elements and/or clipart.

      It's really not a good place for your logo to start out as you may inadvertently be using copyrighted material, which would mean that you'd again have to go get a logo designed.

      As well as that, a lot of the "designers" on the crowdsourcing sites don't know the correct file format, and or colour space to save to. The really technical details that a designer should know, and a shouldn't should expect without knowing. Plus, you as the client don't get much interaction with the designer, or support thereafter, say for making the logo into different colours for, dark background, light backgrounds, single colour, web versions, print versions, embroidery versions, etc. I don't think the people on crowdsourcing sites would know a lot about this. At the end of the day you'll get a full colour logo that may or may not reproduce well on different materials, from business cards, to large signs, from t-shirts to table cloths etc.

      It's really not a lot of money for a logo. Plus, dealing with a local designer you are afforded the comfort of calling on them for support from time to time. Plus using someone who is in the industry professionally, and not as a hobbyist, would be better at supplying you with all the different versions and all the different file formats that you require for many different things.

      The most important thing though is, you don't really need a logo right away. Why not build up some capital towards the logo, then hire a great design company with a nice portfolio that you like and get a logo designed professionally.

      You can carry on your business without a logo.

      Or as suggested post a classifieds advert and somoene will get back to you.

      "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


      • #4
        They are NOT a scam, in that they do deliver exactly what they promise: a crowdsourced logo for a low price.

        Individual designers on that site may half-ass the job by reusing logos, or borrowing clipart or designs from other people. There was a business owner on this forum just a few weeks ago complaining about how the designer he chose was busted for copyright infringement.

        There's more to graphic design and branding than just choosing a pretty picture, but that's about all you can expect at sites like that.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Sherly View Post
          ...need a good company logo through a logo design contest site...
          You don't NEED it through a contest site. What you NEED is a logo designed to fit your budget. Even if a professional designer won't do it on your budget, you might find a student or recent grad who knows the technical aspects (file format, work in black & white, etc) that you can work with to develop an original logo that meets your needs.

          Put an ad in the classifieds and see what happens.


          • #6
            You would be surprised what you can get for your money when you hire a professional. Do some networking. You may find a designer getting ready to get married and you could trade them some flowers or something. There are always ways around tight budgets. Crowdsourcing isn't one though.


            • #7
              While I totally understand that money is tight when starting a business, one must now make the mistake in thinking a professional logo is anything other than a necessary business expense:
              It is just as crucial as just about any start-up cost.

              I would strongly suggest taking a good long look at your budget and re-examine what you think you need to set aside for a logo.
              You want something people can recognize and perhaps set you apart from competition--you probably won't get that from a crowdsource.

              But above all, spend time interviewing REAL in-the-flesh designers.

              The crowdsource places may not exactly be a scam, but they do the very minimum in promoting standards, and do next to nothing in making sure that their "designers" aren't simply stealing work from legitimate designers.
              Keep Saturn in Saturnalia.


              • #8
                Lots of students can help you out. Put something up in the classified section...and I will check my schedule. Seriously, there are a lot of us students running around here that would, most likely, be willing to help you out.
                "Go ahead, make your logos in PS. We charge extra money to redraw your logo into vector art so it can be printed on promotional product. Cha CHING! " - CCericola


                • #9
                  All the above posts are very valid and true. There's always another way (especially when crowdsourcing is involved). Post an ad in the classified section.

                  I truly hope you come back and read all this instead of visiting that site.
                  Less marketing douchebaggery, MORE TANKS!


                  • #10
                    Many of the contests on 99designs are frauds.

                    By making all these fraud contests, they make it look
                    like the website is 'paying out' $1 million per month.

                    For some reason they want to make a big impression - as if the
                    website is doing an incredible amount of business.

                    but some of the contests are real. If you are a designer don't waste your time on contests that are the fraudulent ones.


                    • #11
                      99designs must be making money. I recently started listening to a Toronto classical music radio station which tends to attract advertisers like Lexus, Rolex, investment companies. And... recently, 99designs. The copy was predictable in how it slammed 'the high cost of professional graphic design'.

                      Correction, I used to listen to this Toronto classical music radio station.


                      • #12
                        I could be mistaken about this, but I do believe that the way 99 designs operates is actually illegal, at least in the U.S. I'm fairly certain I read something that testifies to this fact within the last year. I'd be kind of curious if anyone knows about this with 100% certainty, all the legalities of this kind of SPEC site.


                        • #13
                          There was a blog article to that effect some time back. A b l o g article. Not a legal brief.


                          • #14
                            It's not a scam. It's just cheap. And you get what you pay for.

                            You're blindly going into a sale and buying a product from someone that you know nothing about and they know nothing about you.

                            The problem is really that you cannot be sure 100% that this person is not ripping you off. You have no other contact with them after the deal is done.

                            I've seen loads of crazy things happen on the "design cotnests sites", notably people stealing each others work. Stealing clipart. Stealing stock images where the EULA clearly says that it cannot be used as part of a logo.

                            I don't know how anyone can use a service for their company without knowing the credentials of the people they are hiring or to have some satiable knowledge that they are getting original work.

                            "May your hats fly as high as your dreams"Michael Scott


                            • #15
                              The original poster has been banned.
                              someone just dredged this up for their first post for some reason or other.






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