Crowdsourcing: How to get custom graphic design for your small business, on a budget

Looking for an affordable way to get custom graphic design for your small business? Today’s guest post by Sergey Epifanov covers the basics of what crowdsourcing is and how to choose a crowdsourcing website.

A graphic designer can be an important asset to any small business – either by creating your company’s logo or branding materials, your website, business cards, or even t-shirts and signage. For many small business owners, finding the right designer can be a tedious process. Whether you’re looking for someone to complete a one-time project or to design on an ongoing basis, your designer should understand your business, match your design style and aesthetic, and be able to work within your budget and time constraints. How do you find the right designer? Try crowdsourcing.

So, what is crowdsourcing?
In a nutshell, it’s asking many people to do a single job and picking the one you like best. It is tapping into the creative potential of thousands, sparking a healthy competition that demands greater performance from each participant, with the result being the best possible choice from hundreds. Crowdsourcing has become wildly successful in the design industry as the world becomes more and more connected and the need for good design becomes more and more relevant.

Crowdsourcing for graphic design has achieved explosive growth due, in large part, to small and growing businesses and their need for high quality, custom design on a budget. It can be a difficult, lengthy, and expensive process for small businesses to find a graphic design source they are happy with. Clients may scroll through many portfolios, browse websites, or even pick a name from the phone book and hire a single designer for their project – but what happens when they aren’t satisfied with the designer they choose? With a single designer or even a design firm, a client is typically presented with a few design options based on their wants and needs, they may be allowed a few rounds of revisions to the concepts presented, but ultimately are stuck with whatever design is created for them.

Are there different types of crowdsourcing?

There are several crowdsourcing resources available to small businesses looking for a freelance designer. Often, a client will post the needs for a particular project, and designers will bid on the project. However, again, this method means you’re choosing a designer first and hoping for the right design in the end. With spec-design crowdsourcing, you choose the perfect design first, and only hire the designer that works for you.

With spec-design crowdsourcing, qualified designers have the opportunity to present their design concepts to a client based on the client’s design brief. A logo contest, for example, may receive upwards of three to four hundred entries. Instead of a single designer or design firm submitting only a few design concepts, or a client picking a single designer based only on their bid,  designers from around the world present the client with hundreds of options, each custom created, in hopes of winning the design contest. The client chooses the design he likes best and pays only for that one. And, the entire process is handled over the web, in your time frame and on your budget.

How do I find the right crowdsourcing website?

While there are dozens of design crowdsourcing sites available, it’s important to find the right one. Look for a site that has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau, offers a risk-free, money back satisfaction guarantee, has a support staff on hand to answer any questions you may have, pre-qualifies all of their designers, and has a team of moderators reviewing contest entries for originality, creativity and skill, to assure that you end up with an original, custom-created graphic design.

So, whether you’re in need of a logo for your new business, a website that perfectly captures your brand’s message, or a new letterhead design, save your valuable time and money and find the right graphic designer for your small business – through crowdsourcing!

About the Author: Sergey Epifanov, born and raised in Russia, currently resides in France and attends Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Toulouse and Mirail University where he has already earned a BA in linguistics and is studying Fine Arts. With a passion and interest in graphic design, Sergey founded DesignContest.com in 2003 to create a global community of graphic artists and a platform for clients to get a design they love. DesignContest offers a distinct advantage over other crowdsourcing sites, allowing clients to continue to work with a particular designer on an ongoing basis.

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  • http://www.connectture.com herman

    Crowdsourcing your graphic design work. It’s bad for you. I have proof http://bit.ly/mDBxJH

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  • http://ledropelight.puregreenpress.net/2011/05/20/finding-an-attorney-news-2/ Hari priya Kunda

    Hello.This post was extremely interesting, particularly since I was browsing for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

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  • Dido

    Personally, I am quite on the fence regarding the use of a crowdsourcing site for a logo design. It is still a touchy issue for most designers who said that crowdsourcing is a no-no for obtaining a logo design. I have tried crowdsourcing before and I know the risks involved but it comes within the territory. But there are other no-frills logo design websites online such as http://www.logobee.com, http://www.logodesignstation.com, logoyes.com, etc. which are actually great in getting a professional logo design at a fraction of the price and minus the risks of crowdsourcing (plagiarism is one of them). Seeing that there are no consultation services, the price is significantly lower than that of conventional design firms. For instance, I have tried http://www.logodesignstation.com and the experience was indeed a positive one. I managed to get my business logo design at an affordable price and the turnaround time was great as well. Highly recommended. Although crowdsourcing for logo designs could be a bane for some, many find it to be a viable alternative to get a fast logo on the cheap. It all depends on the individual actually

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