As a freelance designer, you’re always looking for side hustles. One of the easiest ways to put your talents to use on your terms is through design crowdsourcing platforms. These platforms, like Crowdsite, allow an individual or a company to post a design brief, telling designers what they need….from a logo, to typeface to a total re-brand. This brief is then turned into a contest, allowing any designer to submit work against this brief, and ultimately earn money if their work is chosen. It’s a great way to showcase your work, test out new styles and approaches and earn money in the process.

Here are three tips to for success when designing for crowdsourcing platforms:


No matter what industry you work in, staying up on the latest and greatest work and trends is important. And in no industry is that more true than design. Trends change. Looks shift. New star designers emerge early and often. To be ahead of the curve, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest news that could help define your crowdsourcing approach. 

Design blogs are a great way to see the latest and greatest work, follow trends from your favorite artist or gain some inspiration from someone new. Here are some of our favorites:

Design Milk

You want some daily inspiration? You can find it here. Design Milk is an online magazine dedicated to modern design. Design Milk offers what’s new in art, architecture, interior design, furniture and decor, fashion and technology.


Want to keep your pulse on the creative world? Look no further than BOOOOM. It is a global arts platform known for highlighting emerging talents and igniting young artists’ careers internationally.

Swiss Miss

A design blog run by well known designer Tina Eisenberg, highlights interesting and inspiring design & art.


Highlights awesome design ideas, blogs, other top design sites & inspiration. Also focuses on Jobs & career advice for freelance, graphic & web designers.

Great Discontent

Print publication and online magazine featuring inspiring conversations with today’s artists, makers, and risk-takers. Focusing on beginnings, creativity, and risk, they provide a memorable look into the lives of creative people via long-form interviews, short features, film-based projects, and events.

Illustration Age

A blog and professional resource for Illustrators. Features hand picked resources such as online classes, digital tools, art director contacts, competitions, books & podcasts.


Design is an ever evolving industry, making life long learning an important part of continuing to stay sharp. Skillshare has thousands of classes which will help you continue to hone your craft and hopefully learn something totally new.

Check out some of these top classes in Graphic Design to help you better prepare for submitting a winning design for that crowdsource brief:

Logo Design with Grids: Timeless Style for Simple Shapes with George Bokhua

Why Take It: George is a legend in logo design, and this class will show you how to create simple and beautiful logos that will withstand the test of time. Many of the briefs on crowdsourcing platforms revolve around logo design, so these are skills to stay sharp in.

Customizing Type with Draplin: Creating Wordmarks that Work with Aaron Draplin

Why Take It: Another legend in the Graphic Design field, Aaron Draplin brings his big personality and even bigger skills to the table to show you how to create custom typefaces with ease. This class is beneficial whether you’re working on a fun T-shirt for yourself or a design contest that calls for a total re-brand.

Mastering Illustrator: 10 Tips and Tricks to Speed up Your Workflow with DKNG

Why Take It: One word….Efficiency. The more time you’re able to save doing your awesome work, the more design contest you’ll have time to work on. In addition to creating beautiful work, DKNG are masters of their craft who have some amazing efficiency tips to share.

Demistifying Graphic Design: How Posters Work with Ellen Lupton

Why Take It: Ellen Lupton is one of the original experts in Graphic Design. This class is a great refresher to re-ground you in the fundamentals of the craft.


With contests, as in life….Half the battle is just showing up. So go ahead, submit your work to a bunch of different contests. You may not win the first time around but you’ll gain valuable experience in the process, stay sharp with your skills and may even discover that you have a passion for a new type of design.

Crowdsourcing platforms like Crowdsite have hundreds of active contests and launch new ones every day, so there is no shortage in finding a project you’d be excited to jump in and design for. So put those skills to use and go for it!

Crowdsite is a one of the largest crowdsourcing Design platforms on the Internet, featuring hundreds of daily contests and a Community of 65k+ designers.

Written by:

Scott Sullivan