Help, declined and deactivated for this

Hello fellow designers, thank you for existing!

I’m looking for advice on crowdsourced design contests, specifically logos, typography and design.

Basically, I’ve been a graphic designer in various forms for many many years. The aspects I most enjoy are designing logos, banners, stationary (when paper was a thing) and branding graphics for clients. To scale up this work, I decided to participate in logo contests and somehow, within 1 week, managed to get banned from 2 sites! Fast work eh!? So I’ve now been banned from 99d and design crowd and I don’t understand what I need to do in order to move forward.

The final nail was this;

Resulting in;
Your account has been deactivated
Your design has been declined - Poor design quality and execution

Other submissions included;

So I have 2 questions:

  1. Is there something fundamentally wrong with my style? I’ve learnt to follow the client brief, my palette and kerning are technically fine, are my submissions too boring? too simple? too old school?

  2. What is the best way to get started? Clearly 99d and desgincrowd are a negatory! Before I get a hat trick of bans, where is good?

I understand the controversy around low paying crowd sourced logos, but it’s a path I’ve chosen to tread, so I’m just looking for advice on how to get up and running. Many thanks! xx

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Generally, in this forum, there’s no “controversy”. Contests and crowdsourcing are simply not recognized as a legitimate element of the profession. Having already submitted work, you have more experience with it than just about anyone here who’ll reply to your post. As far as I can tell, there’s no universal standards or reasons for various failures and refusals, and likewise no telling why you’ve been rejected.

You could build your own site to host a portfolio and send it to some local businesses in your area. Go out and knock on doors if you can and present some samples. Getting a foot in the door can be key - and a face to the name in the locality or surrounding areas would be a plus.

Are there any other designers/freelancers or companies in your area? Any industry events you can network with. You could meet like-minded folk with similar issues as yourself. Likely what happens is that you could meet a web designer or another professional - where one of you gets a client and you can share the design work so the web designer concentrates on the web site and you can do the other bits needed. As it’s likely there can be some upselling in onboarding new clients.

Reach out and communicate with design agencies, you could get holiday cover/maternity cover, or simple tasks or overflows. It’s very common in print logistic places that don’t have the staff on the books to outsource various elements of a project.

I can’t vouch for online services like the dreadful awful crowdsourcing options. I’d just steer clear of them.


Have you asked in Designcrowd’s user forum?

You are the second one in a week for that crowdsource site.
And if you have been in the industry for as long as you say, you really wouldn’t be using either of those sites.
And you’d know what was wrong with the logos you posted.

I really think we should Zombo that site. They’re just asking for it.

If they are really banned, they probably don’t have access to the user forum, LOL.

Ha yeah probably a bit late for that! :grin:

I really have no idea why they deactivated you, but I wouldn’t trust their judgment as being the final word on your work’s worth. I’ve seen much, much worse come out of those contest sites.

As for what you showed us, well, you could probably find plenty of people here to pick them apart with observations and suggestions if that’s what you want. Whether or not doing so would shed any light on why they deactivated your accounts, I don’t know.

Watch out it gets hot here when talking about crowdsourcing sites!.. I know many are upset about it but there is no reason for it… Honestly. Everyone has their own motivations why someone joins there. Live and let live…

The solution is:

Don’t upload logos. That’s all. Logos are not accepted no matter how good they are! Don’t ask me why…

But please do not get your hopes up too much

Good luck!:four_leaf_clover:

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The angst about it here has nothing to do with personal decisions. It has to do with economics; trying to make a solid living as a graphic designer while crowdsourcing devalues the profession and fouls the market potential for competent design. It is counterproductive to a designer’s interest to support it by participating. Likewise here, we’d be acting against our interests by condoning or encouraging it. if graphic design is to remain viable as a profession into the appreciable future, crowdsourcing must be resisted by its practitioners.

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the problem is that these things will most likely pop up here every now and then, there’s no way to prevent that. Or you just delete the post every time when they pop up. Fair enough… If it is so provocative to the most to talk about.

Creatives and artists should remember a few things

The value a graphic designer gives himself or to the service he provides is only his responsibility not others.

The success of a graphic designer starts with asking himself: "Is what I offer worth it? Why should clients come to me?

The hard truth is that the real problem is an individual one… Because it is easy to blame others or things. The tendency to undervalue oneself is unfortunately a worldwide problem.

The problem with that stance is all well and good and, in the main, you are correct. As professionals we do have a responsibility to ensure that our knowledge and experience adds worth to our clients.

However, crowdsource sites lower both value and expectation. If it becomes generally accepted that the way to create a brand for your company is to post the brief on such a site and accept the lowest price bid, quality will plummet, and the understanding of clients of what to expect of design goes the same way.

That said, the kind of clients who would go that route deserve what they get.

As professionals, though, it s very depressing to see this kind of low-budget, fast food approach flooding the market. It will mean there will not be enough money in design for good designers to make a living and the world will be predominantly saturated by low quality visual noise. Personally I’d rather be surrounded by beauty than I’ll-informed, uneducated and ugly. From a client’s perspective, I’d want something that actually works.

That’s where hope lies. Eventually people will realise that they get what they pay for. If they keep paying pennies and it consistently doesn’t work, perhaps the penny will drop. Hopefully…

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That’s because we know how bad these are for the industry. The client doesn’t get a good service, the designers don’t get paid - unless you’re the lucky winner, which would be rare given the amount of people submitting logos/designs.

The only one that wins is the owner of the site. Taking commission for unsuspecting business owners looking for a service, and designers who are not qualified to offer the service, and who probably most steal other designs and put the business owners at risk by submitting sub par designs that are ethically poor, badly constructed, and possibly costing the business in the long run in ‘fix-ups’ when they realise that what they paid for cannot be used.

There’s no value to design crowdsourcing.

It’s not even worth this forums time talking about it.

We’ve been around this block with you - and you just don’t seem to give a shit.

But we do.

Neither is it and have understood this. But what I want to say all the time again if you have a great expectation to win or earn there, you should not sign up there . That is all I am trying to say.

This page will continue to circulate here from time to time. Unfortunately this will not be able to change quickly no matter how upset you get.

I think it’s time to close this topic.

I absolutely believe that the people who use those sites for their brand, and the people who participate in them, belong together. They keep the riff raff out of my hair.

If the designers here think about it a bit, how often they turn down work because the client pushes all the wrong buttons, they would be maybe somewhat a tad happier such sites exist.

I don’t condone them simply because both client and designer are being taken advantage of. As Smurf said, the only people making out large are the site owners.

We don’t encourage, aid or abet those doing work for those sites. And have very little pity for those that run afoul of their “rules.” Two in one week from the same site? Even less likely.

Many normal designers who do not work for it simply find this page and are just wondering … many do not even know what they are getting into. That is the real problem. The main thing is to know.

yeah it does, I thought about it and nearly started a new thread on “are crowdsourcing sites good” to channel the angst somewhere else :smile:

I’m with you, live and let live. Your answer is the closest I’ve come to getting some actual advice, and is probably correct, so thank you!

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That’s what usually happens when someone says something you want to hear. :wink:

You’ve both dismissed everything that was said by people who are well seasoned in the industry and who are trying to protect you from predatory practices.

What’s the old saying … you can lead a horse to water …

So, if you are determined to participate with these sorts of scam ridden places, I wish you good luck.

Both of you.


@logogonk To answer your questions, respectively:

  1. No. I get that you came here looking for advice to diagnose where you’re going wrong on these websites. The short answer is that no one here can tell you what you’ve done wrong and to be honest mate: they’ve actually done you a bit of a favour. :beers:

  2. I can understand the appeal of joining a crowdsourcing website, most designers are quite shy people and they eliminate the need to find and interact with customers.
    My advice for for someone starting out is to find a friend or family member that needs your services and do it for them, then post it on Behance or Dribble along with testimonials.

Crowdsourcing sites cater to business owners that don’t value design and designers that sadly don’t value their own time.

I saw this a few weeks ago and reading your post I couldn’t help but think of you :thinking: :

You can do so much better.
Don’t sell yourself short.

Hope this helps :beers: :sunglasses:


That’s very kind of you, thank you.

It’s okay though, I’m not selling myself short at all. I’m well aware of my proficiency across my trades, I have incomes from designing pamphlets, illustrating books, photography, t-shirts, casual work in the local area and strangely enough software design as well. Unfortunately I like the last one the least but it pays the most.

Thank you for the behance and dribble recommendations, I could start there. I don’t want to post portraits or t-shirts because that distracts, so I’ll start the portfolio from scratch to ensure it’s brand focussed.

I’ve been around the friend and family route, of course they need services, but that got boring a long time ago. Now I only do favours if it’s really interesting or a good cause.

Another website recommended something called daily logo challenge which I’ll try and find, that might help me get up and running. Apparently that is a way to get all sorts of feedback.

It’s sad to see so many talented designers so bitter and wasting time venting instead of creating. So… back to the drawing board (literally)!

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