99 designs Review: Is The Logo Service Worth Your Time & Money?

9 min read

This is a comprehensive review of the logo design service 99designs. You will find out what logo services they offer, the quality of the work vs the value for money and what my recommendation is if you are looking for a logo for your business or brand.

read on to find out all the details about 99designs as well as tips to create a design brief the RIGHT way.

Quick Search Contents

how 99designs works                               99designs Cons

99designs Pros                                          How to make a design brief the RIGHT way

99designs Cost                                          Conclusion

99designs time efficiency                        Logo Design Checklist

99designs quality guarantee

How 99designs Works

99 Designs have a large community of designers that work hard to earn your decision to choose their design. The process can be explained in 3 simple steps.

  1. Brief: Creating a simple brief to give designers a guide for creating a design to your specifications.
  2. Connect: You can ask 99 Designs to help you find a designer to collaborate with you and your design brief. Alternatively, you can start a contest where your design is available to the entire design community at 99 Designs. Designers submit their best designs based off your brieg and you get to pick the one you like most. All designers are vetted for quality before being able to join the platform for your peace of mind.
  3. Collaborate: Finalize your design with the candidate you have chosen and release payment to them only once the project has reached completion. The product files are ready to be used digitally and  for printing purposes, the copyright and ownership is all yours.

 

99designs Pros

-A large community of professional designers

-Design experts available to contact via phone if you want that human contact element during your project

-Perfect for people who want to explore ideas, styles, and concepts of a design that they’re looking for via designer contests.

-100% money-back guarantee

-Design experts in over 90 skill sets

-Designers are vetted for quality standards

99designs Cost

There is a range of pricing options for different design project types. The table below lists the pricing for logo design contests but to check out all of 99 Designs pricing options you can see them here(Aus).

There are 4 fixed packages to suit different budgets.

99 designs pricing
Screenshot: Will Lawson, https://99designs.com.au/pricing

99 Designs Range Of Designer Styles

If you want to search for an individual designer and style you can search through the designers one by one navigating to the “find a designer section” as seen below:

screenshot find a designer 99 designs
Screenshot: Will Lawson, 99designs.ca

A major plus of 99 Designs is the range of design styles you have available to you especially with starting a contest as seen below. Quite often when you hire a designer you are limited to their style and experience but with 99 Designs you literally have access to thousands of designers who differ in style.

 

99 designs start a contest
Screenshot: Will Lawson, 99designs.ca

99 Designs Time Efficiency

Every project is different but smaller projects have a quick turnaround for simple tasks such as revisions and small changes or design tasks whereas big projects will obviously have longer timelines understandably.

99 Designs Quality Guarantee

99 Designs offer a 100% guarantee you’ll be happy with your design but there is a range of different guarantee options that allow for more interest in your design contest.

A Guaranteed design contest means that you commit to guarantee the price to the participating participants but forfeit any option for a refund.

These types of contests definitely receive more interest from designers because it guarantees they get paid. Naturally, you will often get a much higher standard of submitted designs from these types of contests.

 

99 Designs Cons

-Writing design briefs can be daunting (don’t worry I have covered the best tips to writing briefs below)

-Contests mean you don’t have back and forth with the designer themselves unless you pick them to be the winner of the contest. This is where picking a single designer option can be helpful too though which is an available option.

– Non-guarenteed contests mean that designers don’t get paid for their submitted design concepts. I guess this is combated by the option to guarantee the prize for contests but this is more a benefit for the customer than the designers who work on the platform.

 

How to Make a Design Brief for 99 Designs

First, what exactly is a design brief and why is it important?

Design briefs are crucial to any successful design project and it communicates what a client needs and expects from a designer. It explains the purpose of the project, who the target audience is, company information  and specific requirements they want to see in the design.

Lets use a logo design brief as an example.

You’ll want to include the following when submitted your logo design brief:

1.Provide vital information about your business

describe your product, target audience and industry

A well-seasoned designer has a good idea of what design styles and techniques work in different industries and for different products, this is a good point to provide detail to eliminate any doubt they have just in case. You could include your manufacturing process, customer avatars, or give examples of industry competitors.

describe your brand values: 99 designs provides a tool called a mood slider in their design brief which is pretty awesome

99 designs mood slider
Screenshot: Will Lawson, https://99designs.com.au/

Include the company slogan

This is optional, put some time into thinking if you want your slogan to be permanently included in your logo design or if you want it removable, this is important to consider. If you don’t have a company slogan it’s no big deal just an option of course.

2. Include the style you want for your logo

Design Style

Retro, Material, Handcrafted, Classic, or Minimalism? Know what these styles are and what style you would prefer for your logo design, include this is your design brief most definitely.

What type of logo

The Seven generally accepted logo types:

Lettermarks, Wordmarks, Pictorial marks, Abstract marks, Mascots, Combination marks, and Emblems.

Having an idea of what these generally accepted logos are and what grabs your interest is another great way to narrow down the design idea for your logo. Logo design is similar to a puzzle fitting all the pieces together but you have the ultimate power to decide what the finished picture and result will be.

 

Colors, shapes and letters: nuts and bolts of design

Color has become one of the most important tools for setting your brand apart from others and evoking emotion in the observer. One of the most important place for color is your logo.

A great resource to find colors that work super well together is the adobe color wheel tool

It allows you to apply color harmony rules such as complementary colors as seen below:

color wheel adobe
Screenshot: Will Lawson, https://color.adobe.com/create/

 

3. Timing and budget for the project

Timing

A designer requires a period of exploration, experimentation and a work process to come up with a design that matches your brief. Allow your designer the required time will allow them to increase the chances of you receiving a beautiful design in-line with what you were looking for.

Designers are willing and capable to rush jobs if that’s what you a looking for but make a conscious effort to plan ahead to make their job easier and less of a stressful burden. A time frame that allows for revisions (changes you want made to their design) generally 1-2 weeks is enough time to get a logo done on 99designs, but generally, it’s best to budget 2-4 weeks or be willing to pay extra for the rush job.

Budget Considerations

A necessary evil is a budget, and you need to stick to one make sure you make this clear with any designer you’re working with and especially if they are working on a per-project or hourly term basis. Paying a little extra for experienced designers will yield reliable consistent results.

Ready to start your logo project?

You can start filling out your own personalized visual logo brief on 99designs that’s perfect for your business.

Conclusion

I think 99designs is one of the best services to use for entrepreneurs who need a quality logo created for their brand and business. You have access to a wide array of experienced designers from over the world who deliver quality work through their experience and varied styles.

I know popular authors such as Tim Ferris have used the 99designs contest campaign to come up with a design for his book covers and each and everyone has been very successful and eye-catching.

I like how you can not only run contests but individually search for designers who fit with the style you are drawn to that will fit your creative ideas for your logo or if you want a range of different styles and design the contest option is definitely the way to go.

The pricing is reasonable when considering the costs of hiring a design agency and 99designs definitely has a high standard alongside their reputation for vetting all of their designers they employ on the platform to carry out the work.

Finally, I have included a checklist below to help you with your own logo design that should give you a good starting point to construct your first design brief moving forward.

Logo Design Check List

Pre-design checklist:

□ What are the top 3 objectives of your logo?

□ What is your brand’s personality?

□ What are some common threads you see in your competitors’ logos?

□ Which of the common logo styles suits your brand best?

□ What are the best colors to represent your brand?

□ What are the best shapes to represent your brand?

□ What are the best fonts to represent your brand?

□ Which of the 7 types of logos best achieves your company goals?

□ Does your design brief cover include everything the designer needs to know?

Post design checklist:

□ Does the logo personality match your brand personality?

□ What stands out about your logo after a split-second glance?

□ Does your logo differentiate itself enough from your competitors’ logos?

□ Is your logo legible from varying distances and in varying resolutions?

□ Can your logo be recreated on all your pertinent mediums? (For example, does it have color codes for both print and digital channels?)

□ Do I have the proper deliverables in vector format?

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