Design crowdsourcing is pretty simple: Put together a request, and you can easily collaborate with artists and designers to create logos, branding, marketing materials, and more for your business or idea.
If you’re a smaller business, crowdsourcing design is a budget-friendly way to gain entrance to a wider network of talent, and if you’re part of a larger team, it can bring new ideas and perspectives to the table. Ready to get started? Read on for a rundown of the best crowdsourcing design sites out there.
crowdspring sits at the top of the list for design crowdsourcing, whether you’re looking for a logo or a complete suite of package design. crowdspring’s design network has worked with Starbucks, Amazon, and LG, among others, and can help you with anything from naming your company to designing consumer packaging.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll receive access to an enormous rolodex of artistic talent. To get started on a specific project, you’ll share your needs and preferences via a step-by-step form, and you’ll be presented with concepts from designers. You can rate and review their designs and ultimately choose your favorite for final production. Pricing starts at $299 for a logo with 60 design options, with plenty of other packages to choose from. crowdspring also offers a free design consultation if you’re not sure where to begin.
crowdspring has more than 3,500 reviews from happy clients who share that the model is easy to follow, even for new entrepreneurs or creators, that they love having so many options to choose from, and that crowdspring offers amazing customer support.
With designers in more than 90 specialties, 99designs is one of the largest crowdsourcing design services out there. Despite that massive reach, the platform is known for providing easy, step-by-step experiences. Designers can help with a broad range of design categories—from websites to clothing—and have worked with Quiznos, Univision, Draft Kings, and more.
There are two main ways to work with 99designs. First, if you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you can hire a designer directly. You’ll be able to review their portfolios and pricing and negotiate on their quote before moving forward. The other option—if you’re not sure exactly what design style you’d like and want to see a lot of options—is to create a design contest. With this approach, you’ll share a project brief, and designers in the community will submit their best work for your consideration. Design contests start at $299 for a logo, but premium packages will give you access to more options and top-tier designers.
And if you aren’t quite comfortable doing the entire transaction online, the 99designs team offers live, human-to-human support for design crowdsourcing guidance.
DesignCrowd is something of a one-stop-shop, providing everything from logo design to business cards and branded apparel. Logo and merchandise design are the most popular categories, and the platform is heralded for the amount of customization that you can dictate on the front end of the project—anything from budget to colors to use within the design.
Each job on DesignCrowd is formatted as a contest: You’ll submit a brief and your budget, and interested designers can respond with their best creations. One of the major benefits of DesignCrowd is speed—for many projects, you can expect to see options within 24 hours, and you’ll get 25-100 submissions within your designated deadline of three, five, or 10 days out.
Another distinguishing factor about DesignCrowd is its worldwide reach. While many crowdsourcing design firms have designers from outside the United States on their teams, few have as many international clients as DesignCrowd. It’s also a budget-friendly crowdsourcing design platform, with pricing starting at $99.
4. Logo Arena
Like DesignCrowd, Logo Arena employs the competition approach to help you find the perfect designer. As the name would indicate, this platform is a great choice if you’re looking for logo design crowdsourcing!
Basic packages begin at $249, and each contest will give you 50-200 designer submissions. There are safeguards in place if you don’t like the design submissions or if your contest doesn’t receive an adequate number of responses: You can receive either a full or partial refund based upon the volume of responses, and you automatically get a free extension on your contest until you arrive at a design that you love. You can also invite colleagues and advisors to the platform to help you “judge” the contest and choose who to work with.
Most Logo Arena clients are small businesses, though the platform’s designers have worked with national home inspection and utilities companies, as well.
Do you need a name and tagline in addition to a logo? Crowdsite can help. This crowdsourcing platform specializes in both design contests (for logos, flyers, book covers, and more) and brainstorming contests for brand and product names and slogans. As a fun bonus, you can also host contests for designing custom artwork, characters or mascots, or even tattoos!
This is also the most affordable option of the bunch, with design contests starting at $29 and brainstorming sessions at $59. With that lower price tag, though, comes a bit more time needed to receive your designs—you’ll need to select a deadline that is at least one week out from the date of your request. When those options do start rolling in, the platform allows you to create a poll in which colleagues or friends can weigh in on up to 10 options.
6. Cad Crowd
Cad Crowd is one of the best crowdsourcing design sites for product design and 3D printing. The major difference between Cad Crowd and other crowdsourcing design platforms is that artists focus on Computer Aided Design (CAD) modelers, rather than traditional design mediums. If you work in manufacturing, consumer product design, robotics, or any other industry in which 3D printing technology is prevalent, Cad Crowd will be able to connect you with the designers who have the knowledge and skills needed for your space.
Cad Crowd offers a few different pricing options. If you want to hire a designer from the talent pool directly, you can reach out for a custom quote based upon your project and budget. You can also hire designers on an hourly basis, and Cad Crowd will help match you with a designer so you’ve got a go-to resource. Finally, you can host a contest wherein designers can respond to your project and bid for the work. Contests begin at $300 for very basic projects, but if you’ve got a bigger budget, Cad Crowd’s designers can also develop “world class design and game-changing products.”
CAD is undoubtedly a niche area and, as such, it’s helpful to have a resource like Cad Crowd for these projects.
7. Your Network
You can also engage in crowdsourcing design within your own professional network! If you’re a creator in any sense, chances are that you know other creatives and artists. You may be able to hire a colleague to help with your logo design, or a former college classmate to help you with branding concepts. You could even check in with your local college or university to see about holding a design contest among students!
No matter your design, it’s always a good idea to look internally as well as externally when considering the best path forward. Think about who you know and whether they would be able to help with your design needs. If not, ask them for recommendations and build your own design crowdsourcing pod to serve not only your brand but also your creative community and peer network.
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