Recently some of my small Business clients asked me these questions:
Is 99designs legit?
Is 99designs worth it?
My answer is yes to both. Here I will detail the answers to these frequently asked questions about getting a Logo designed on the 99 designs site.
Firstly, I have firsthand knowledge getting a logo made by 99 designs. You can come along with me from launching my logo design Contest, designer feedback, to final logo selection, during my step to step video tutorial and review of 99 designs for logos
Secondly, in addition to being a customer, I have done a ton of independent research about the company, its site, it’s feedback ratings and customer service policies. As such, I consider myself to be an expert who can advise small business owners about the quality of 99 designs as a vendor choice.
99designs is the world’s largest online graphic design, marketplace in business for over 20 years. They pioneered the concept of crowdsourcing of logo design in 2008. Its origins started SitePoint Design Contests but has been improved by protecting the rights of the graphic designers more fully. The SitePoint contests did not require buyers to deposit the prize money to launch a contest. 99designs changed that business model to ensure that designers get paid for their talents.
In 2010 the 99designs site was named a finalist in the prestigious SXSW Awards, which discovers the best new websites that are creating future trends. As of October 2011, 99,999 contests have been launched.
Customer Base and Designer Total
Now in 2017 99designs has over 400,000 satisfied customers with over a million designers globally. There are many knockoff sites, using the 99 designs business model, some better than others. You can read my comparison reviews below:
99designs vs. Crowdspring
99designs vs. designcrowd
99designs vs. 48hours logo
99designs vs. logo design guru
Feedback Ratings and Testimonials
In answering a question such as, is 99 designs legit?, I like to read the top review sites that aggregate hundreds of customer reviews for logo design services. Top sites give high ratings to 99designs.com such as; ShivarWeb 4.0 stars, SiteJabber 3.0 stars, and Trust Pilot 3.5 stars.
To fully answer the question, Is 99designs worth it?, I will speak to your commitment of time, money and energy.
Time to Logo Design Completion
Getting a logo made at 99 designs, with a crowdsourcing design contest, is a different process than just ordering a premade stock logo.
Your time commitment will include approximately one hour to use their user-friendly, and intuitive Logo Design Brief questionnaire. I found it fun to click on the images I liked, pick colors from the color chart and use the slider to indicate the look & feel (Modern to Classic, Abstract to Literal).
Then within 48 hours, you will begin to receive logo design submissions. You can start posting feedback right away or wait until you receive your total number of submissions, which in my case were 100+. Once you select your finalists and submit your requested revisions, your final logo will be ready within days.
My logo design contest, from order to final logo files took ten days in total. Note this is not business days, so it could be faster than some other sources that quote you time frames in business days. It could have been faster, by a few days, if I had posted feedback earlier.
This time frame seems reasonable to me. It is comparable to other sources of logo design, such as independent graphic designers and advertising agencies. In fact, I think it’s faster than these other options, having hired many graphic designers over my career and waiting many weeks for logo design.
Money Fees and Value
Here is where 99designs shines. Many of my small business owner clients are not comparison-shopping correctly, they are not comparing apples to apples when evaluating logo design prices.
They will compare 99 designs pricing packages starting at $299 with another site at $99. However, there is a major difference with the contents of each of these logo design programs. 99designs offers a lot of designs for that one price, along with an easy-to-use and well-managed process with a money back guarantee to boot. Those other firms priced at $99 or less, often only give a few designs, with limited revisions and only specific final file formats (only web usage – no print ready files).
In comparison, in my crowdsource logo design contest which I paid $299 (NOT given free by the vendor I bought with my credit card to remain independent) I got over 100 designs. Thus they were each $2.99, less than the cost of a cup of coffee!
Those other options at $99 who offer six designs are more expensive at $16.50 per design. Additionally, you will need to pay additional fees to get the logo files for all uses such as printing business cards, car wraps, and banner signs.
Perhaps you heard that you could get a logo on Fiverr for cheap. I tested that idea by buying two logos, one on Fiverr and the other on 99designs. The designs from Fiverr were so bad there were unusable so I lost money on Fiverr. Read all about it 99designs vs Fiverr for Logo Design Test
Moreover, some of those other sites can be riskier financially. In some cases, the advertised price does not include additional fees such as posting, listing and transaction charges. Also, many that I reviewed did not have the 100% money back guarantee that 99 designs offer.
Your Energy and Hassle Factor
Some business people have shied away from using the crowdsourcing business model because they think it will be a hassle and will take up a lot of their time and energy. I disagree.
While in the past, and on other less professionally designed sites, running a crowdsourcing contest can be confusing and labor-intensive. That is not the case and 99 designs.com
Their team has worked very hard and successfully designed a system, and stellar website, which effectively removes the hassle factor. Also, I found the process seamless and less complicated than many other online vendors that I have used.
Included in your design contest are featured in the online workspace, which streamlines your logo creation process, such as:
Voting Poll – This feature allows you to email your final designs to your team, friends, and customers to get their advice. Everyone votes for their favorite, and you get the tabulated results.
Star Ratings – you can assign stars every logo design that you receive. Then you can filter your results by the number of stars. I found this very helpful to organize the many logo designs I received. I could cull all the logo ideas and readily see my favorites so I could select my finalists were easy.
In conclusion, I wholeheartedly recommend 99 designs as a great place to get your perfect logo at an affordable price. Read about my experience of buying a logo at 99designs. But nothing will speak as loudly to the quality and creativity that is possible for your business logo than actual samples of winning logo design contest.
99designs Logo Examples
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