99Designs Branding Services


99designs is a design contest marketplace that connects creative talent with people looking for creative services. It attracts designers from all over the world and as a result, you get a huge variety of skills.

Overall, 99Designs is aimed at small businesses and startups everywhere, who do not have the skills, internal talent or budget to go for more high-end services.

Overview of 99Designs

99designs helps businesses, freelance graphic designers, and even large studios, connect. The service leverages a design contest approach where businesses provide their specifications and requirements for the design, such as a logo, letterhead, moniker, artwork, etc. Once the design brief has been submitted, designers create designs that match your brief.

What you get is a selection of professionally crafted graphic designs with total copyright ownership over the final design. Designers whose work gets selected receive handsome payment for their design.

99Designs has more recently added video production services as an outsource solution for those businesses that need to get a high-quality intro video of their product or service.


1. Good Value

The 99 in 99Designs refers to the number of contest entries people received when 99Designs was born. Actual pricing starts at $299, which is much less than what a typical logo designer will charge you.

2. Produce a good brief

When completing a design brief try to be reasonably open and not too limiting. Tell designers what you don’t like but also be open to ideas.

3. Create a Contest

It takes about 24-48 hours before you get your first entries. Be patient.

4. Reach out to designers

You can increase the number of designers working on submissions by reaching out to them.

Search prior contests to find logos you like, and then send a message to the designers inviting them to your contest.

5. Use 99Designs Support

You’re likely to receive an email and/or call from 99Designs after submitting your contest. Their support is hellbent on making sure their paying customers are happy.

6. Blind vs Open Contest

A typical logo design contest on 99Designs is open, meaning that every designer can see what other designers submitted.

Use a blind contest, it prevents designers from participating in a form of “group think” where they all design similar logos based on what you’ve rated so far.

For some reason, your first contest on 99Designs must be open. But you can ask support to make it closed instead.

7. What to rate designs

As designs start rolling in, you can rate them from 1-5 stars.

If you start rating designs with three or more stars early on.

In an open contest, all of the other designers will start to just play off of the designs you rate highly. You won’t get many more original ideas.

8. Reduce your options

With lots of choices, it’s harder to select a winner than if a designer just presented you with three good designs to choose from.

9. Own your logo

The truth is, you’re not going to please everybody.

As someone pointed out to me: it’s just the logo. It’s not the most important thing on your site.

Try 99Designs

99designs will let help you get a custom design and branding that you’ll love.


More Resources for Startups and New Ventures

Creating a business and getting customers is hard. From nurturing your idea to taking it to market you burn through hours of time and money in the hope it will all be ok, that customers will buy your product or service.

Being unique and competitive though isn't just about your product though.

Let's face it, it isn't hard these days to copy a product or service!

What is hard is to replicate a business model - the unique capabilities you develop that set you apart.

I've put together a lot of tools to help people not just develop another easily attacked business, but to create something special - a unique business model. Use these to get started on your business model journey:

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