Want to start it

I want to ask for opinions

I have participated in several contest designs in the crowdsourcing system for a month without winning … but I am sure there are the best designs of the hundred designs that I have made can this be used as a portfolio to start freelance designs? at least I want to start first

What are your qualifications to be a freelancer?

I can be on time for a project, and can set the time to do it

I most likely still face some problems in client satisfaction because in crowdsourcing systems, I haven’t won a single one and haven’t faced a client discussion, so maybe I should learn to start

I can set a time to be at my Dentist’s office, and be on time, but that doesn’t make me a dentist.

Are you schooled? It sounds like you totally do not have any real world experience.
Any student work for your portfolio?

While putting pretty pictures of “contest designs” that aren’t real jobs may give people some indication of what you can do as far as looks go, it won’t prove to them that you can gain any return on investment by hiring you. Graphic Design is all about the bottom line. If a client hires a designer, they expect a skill level that will gain them back the money they invest plus a whole lot more.

Contest designs are not considered work experience.

Freelancing is usually considered only after one has been in the industry for a number of years, preferably working for someone else who has skills they can pass down to you. It’s about developing contacts and experience, learning what works and what doesn’t, and knowing how to navigate the output world (web/print/whatever) without having to reinvent the wheel at every step.

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Sometimes it helps on this forum to mention where you live since work situations differ so much from one part of the world to the next. Here in the U.S., crowdsourcing logo designs is not a viable way to earn a living. Designing logos is typically just one part of larger visual and branding identity projects. This mostly entails a 4-year college degree and lots of experience leading up to it.

Where you live, it might be different.

I actually quit school
because of a personal problem in the real world
For the statement “It sounds like you totally don’t have any real world experience”. That is true, I can’t argue with that

I started all of this from self-taught to start something that I hadn’t started, maybe it wasn’t realistic
I started everything completely without anything but learning about this design

I have not had any relation or other issues and work experience at all … there is no experience at all in the real world, because I have health reasons to get out of the house

Sorry if this is too personal for my answer

to make an account in crowdsourcing that I followed I have passed a long test, it took me a long time but I succeeded because I tried … at that time I still did not understand anything about design

By your own admission, you know nothing about design, yet you want to take people’s money by offering a freelance design service.

You need to do one of two things; get an education (which it seems is not possible), or get a junior design job and learn the ropes from the bottom up.

Sorry, but this gets me more than a little irked. How on earth do you think you can be a designer without any knowledge?!

It is fine to have no knowledge and a desire to become something. You then have to find a way to acquire knowledge.

If I want to be a chiropractor, I can’t just sick a sign outside my door saying I am one.

Learn your craft.

Right, I’m going for a beer!

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Thanks for the advice that really helped me to think well in choosing my steps

I do not expect more crowdsourcing, maybe I will use it to expand the portfolio while competing trying to win the contest while learning to follow the seniors while improving

  1. I want to find an experience first, it might be a bit difficult to move fully online
  2. When there are a few that I win maybe I can put in a proposal in finding a freelance job

This may seem difficult, but I will find some solutions for myself

In my opinion you should start working on freelancing because if on freelancing platform you have chances to get long term projects and by doing those projects you can earn a good amount for living. Good Luck for future!

Of Course you can, and by participating in contests you’ll learn a lot and you can compare your designs with the wining designs in this way you got to know that what you was missing, use of proper fonts, layout compositions. color schemes. The contests is always the best way to improve your work.

Asher, I completely disagree with what you’ve written. Here’s why.

Good design does not come about from giving clients what they think they want, which is how most contests are structured. Good design arises from paying attention to clients’s thoughts, studying their problems, asking questions and digging deeply beneath the surface to discover the real issues they’re often not even aware exist.

Clients are typically not designers. They are business owners or people who came up through the company ranks in areas that have little to do with design. They’re not especially sophisticated about the subject, which is why they hire us. It’s our job to discover what they need, even when it involves us convincing them to step out of their comfort zones.

Contests do a terrible disservice to our profession and to the clients who use them. Contests depend on naive clients simply picking what they like rather than what they really need. I suppose it’s a better than nothing approach for small business owners looking for cheap work, but it’s not good design.

Maybe you live in a place where submitting entries for online contests is a viable option for earning a living, which is understandable. I get that. However, simply fine-tuning one’s ability to give clients what they ask for is not a recipe for good design. It’s a recipe for creating superficial solutions that cater to their ignorance and lack of sophistication regarding what they really need.


I agree with Just-B on this, I once had so little confidence in my ability to make something nice that I thought about entering contests. This was for illustrations. It is nearly not possible to live from illustration around here anymore (though the people who are already in that world kind of do since they consist of the group of illustrators to go to for books and more). I can see how it can be difficult to be confident and to ignore all those insecurities (because in my opinion you are still unsure about your skills and whether you can make money with your work, that’s why you’re competing in a contest)

Contests are always destructive to an industry, whether it’s for design or illustration or something else. Unknowingly you’re participating in dragging down the industry and motivating clients to disrespect the people who spend hours doing the work. They’re actually saying well we don’t want to spend money on this because we don’t value the field of work you do, so we decided to put out a contest where we won’t pay the winner but they have the honor to mention our name in their portfolio. In some cases I even think they tell the designer that they’re no longer able to use the design because it was made for them. These companies don’t work for free. So you shouldn’t either.
If you take yourself seriously in your craft, then I’d not recommend entering contests, you don’t learn anything from them for the professional world, you’re wasting your time with them.

So consider carefully what your reasons are for entering something like this. There was a website that was pretty popular for artists and I once joined up a team in the Philippines who wanted me to do high quality work, digital paintings for $5 per painting. I said no, that is a ridiculous amount of money for what you’re asking me to do. They said well then we’ll gladly hire an artist from our own country who is willingly to do the work for that price.

It’s difficult to determine sometimes how much you can charge per country, since the value of money and the service might be very different. But I can’t survive on so little for one drawing. (even though I worked fulltime, I was making minimum wage and didn’t accept so little profit for spending my time) I can only say determine the price that is manageable for yourself so you can survive with it and earn a little extra. You need to look at the balance between available jobs and how many people are doing the job. I still need to determine mine and it might take a while before I will be able to take freelance jobs myself as I’m still working on my skills, but I know I couldn’t ask the same amount of money that some people ask for a freelance job in the US. Companies here just don’t value a logo the same as they do there usually. My indication is that my country is too small and there are too many people who hope to be getting the job. (so they ask too little or in the case of students, practically nothing)

How can anyone possibly start freelancing if they haven’t a clue what they are doing. As Just-B says, this is just the blind leading the blind, or worse, the ignorant leading the ignorant. It is exactly This is what devalues what we do. It drives down client expectation and fills the world with visual noise that adds nothing and doesn’t achieve anything. That opinionated enough? Can you tell I am not a fan? I am all for helping people achieve their ambitions, but not without the effort. I can’t say it enough. Learn your craft, then keep in learning.


That is probably the only thing you said that remotely resembles the real graphic industry (me, for one). The most blindfolded way might I add.

Without proper training and mentorship, it’s a classic case of don’t know what you don’t know.

I don’t find crowdsourcing sites to be demeaning to the design industry any more than I find online gang printers demeaning to printers.

Any client that wants that quality for that price are welcome to it.
It just means they aren’t bothering me.

If you are a serious designer, ignore the crowd and aim higher. MUCH higher.

As an aside,
I am seeing a tendency for young people these days to pick up the rudimentary skills of a craft then offer their product or service for sale: People who can draw offering their prints for sale on etsy, but using a home printer to produce them (non-archival and often quick to fade or fox,) people with low end production equipment like a hobby vinyl plotter offering cut vinyl decals online, often of trademarked logos without consideration of the legalities, people doing low-end T-shirts with desktop inkjet printers on transfer media bought from Staples, et al ad nauseam.
“Graphics” Design is just another one of those things.
It’s all about the “side hustle.”

All I can say is “more power to ‘em.”
But Buyer Beware.

Being situated where I am in the industry, I often do hear about people getting cease and desist notices when a low end logo suddenly turns out to be the property of someone else. It does happen. Far too often. And often, sadly, after a good amount of additional money has been laid out after the ‘design’ is paid for.

I’ve been a working graphic designer for about 25 years. I did not go to school for graphic design. What I did was work very hard at learning design theory and design software and the fundamentals of printing (and later, the fundamentals of web design and web graphics). I also put in several years at a company with an art director and senior designers, and learned a lot about effective design there.

I’ve run my own successful graphic design and web design business for the past 11 years. It is possible to learn to be a designer or web developer without school. It’s much easier to learn on your own today than it was when I started, and most of the information was only available in books. But you have to work at it.

I have occasionally used the design contest sites as a way to practice my skills. It’s good practice to create a logo based on a client’s design brief. I’ve never won (or really tried to win) but I have used some of my designs in my portfolio.

Yes and no, I think. You’re right, it is possible, but you and I started out during a time when companies tended to hire based on portfolios alone with degrees being an added bonus. Today, without that 4-year degree, lots of design applicants (especially those just starting out) are eliminated before they’ve even shown their portfolios. Where I’ve been working for example, no degree means no job. These people will likely never have the chance to learn from those seasoned professionals with art directors and senior designers, like you did. Today, those opportunities (at least in North America) are typically reserved for those with the pre-requisite degree.

You sort of lumped designers and web developers into the same category, which might not be entirely appropriate. Development skills, as far as I’ve noticed, still outweigh a degree. Learn PHP or JSP inside and out, and a job is waiting — with or without the degree. That’s not true for new designers where there’s a whole lot more competition.

As for it being easier to learn on one’s own today as opposed to previous decades, yes, but it’s also a whole lot easier to learn the wrong things. There’s lots more materials out there to learn from — some good and some bad — but a clueless beginner doesn’t know enough about it to know what he or she doesn’t know and needs to learn. Most people study what they’re interested in while neglecting what might be tedious or difficult, which are often the very things they should and would be studying in a formal, well-rounded design program.

In addition, the proliferation of terrible advice on homemade YouTube how-to videos with thousands of views is good evidence that self-learning beginners are focusing on the wrong things — likely because they don’t know the difference.

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As a printer I’m often aghast at what I see online for tutorials. Especially those for logos.
Even AdobeTV and Lynda have had some gaffes on file structure as pertains to output.

Even the good online tutorials are skewed toward learning software skills, which is important but does not equate to learning design any more than memorizing the alphabet makes one a good writer.

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