DesignCrowd, a community-based design service, has built a fairly respectable community of over 700,000 designers. They’re all ready and waiting to make a logo for you. Actually, DesignCrowd does it all: logos, business cards, T-shirts, website designs, cartoon character design, and even envelope design. The full list is massive, so it’s safe to assume that DesignCrowd can design just about anything for you. The site supports English, French, Spanish, and German, and you can have a logo designed in just about any language. All packages are paid packages, with no free samples. Fortunately, everything is pretty affordable (more on that below). But will they make the logo you need? Will they make it at a price you can afford? Would you be better off hiring a designer for $5 on Fiverr? Or are you going to get a fancy logo that will make your company the next Amazon? The answer to that last question is no. Only you can do that. But after testing DeisgnCrowd as part of my quest to find the best new logo for Website , I do have answers to the other questions. But before we get into that, I should mention that the logo I got from DesignCrowd was the winner! It is now the new official logo for our site. And that says a lot.
There’s Everything You’d Expect from a Site Called “DesignCrowd”
But it’s not what you or I would call “simple.” I’m sorry to say this, but there are legal contracts that are better and more simply explained than DesignCrowd’s UI. Economics might give you an easier time. Not math, though. Math is still my nemesis.
Anyway, you can post a “project” to be taken on by designers who may be interested. The number of designers who show up will depend on which design package you buy for your logo project. We’re going to explain the nature of these projects, because DesignCrowd’s website doesn’t (or at least, it doesn’t do a very good job of explaining).
DesignCrowd’s cheapest package, also known as a “One Designer Service Project,” runs for seven days, from designer selection to logo finalization. You can have DesignCrowd pick your designer for you, or you can browse the selection of designers and invite one. This is the package we used for testing, and we bought the “Top Designer” add-on so that DesignCrowd would pick a high-rated designer for us.
The second package is a “Mini Contest.” There’s a one-day submission round to get three designers, and a seven-day finalization round to get your revisions. This project is available only to a pool of designers rated at least 2.5 stars (out of 5 stars). You can’t invite designers to the project yourself.
The third, fourth, and fifth packages, which are obviously the most expensive, are the regular “Contests.” There’s a seven-day submission round during which an unlimited number of designers can apply, and a seven-day finalization round. You can also invite designers of your own choosing to participate.
The regular contests are open to all designers, and they’re designed to promote competition. You can run polls to gauge the popularity of the submissions you get, interact with the designers, and generate buzz around your project, assuming you haven’t paid for any of the privacy add-ons (more on that below).
DesignCrowd has a massive community of freelance designers. As you can see just by browsing through the logo design samples, you can get a logo in pretty much any possible style. Now, the number of options you have to choose from entirely depends on how much you pay. Other things that depend on your willingness to part with your cash include:
- How quickly you get logos to choose from (the average time seems to be a few days)
- How long you can keep a project open
- How many revisions you can get
- How many times your parents say, “Are you sure it was worth all that money? Your cousin makes logos in MS Word.”
But what do you really get in the end? Well, these are the deliverables for any logo you choose:
- 1 EPS vector file, which can scale to any size and be opened with any vector program, like Inkscape (which is free)
- 1 large JPG file, for use in high-quality documents
- 1 small JPG file, for use on the web
- 1 PNG file, for use on the web
- The original source file, which is normally an AI (Adobe Illustrator) vector file. While this can also be scaled to any size, it requires that you own an app like Adobe Illustrator, which is very expensive.
If you want to learn more about your potential designers, you can check out their history, past work, and star rating. You can even see how much they’ve earned so far on the DesignCrowd platform. And you can see all of this info on the site, even if you haven’t started a project yet.
DesignCrowd’s Community Is Its Biggest Feature
Like many online vendors, DesignCrowd relies on its community to do all the actual work, create the “product,” and drive traffic to the website. The site itself acts like a facilitator or middle-man, and now there’s a truly massive community of over 700,000 designers. It’s not the largest community out there, but it’s large enough that you’ll likely find a designer who can meet your needs.
You Can Pay Extra For (Nearly) Guaranteed Higher Quality
Since DesignCrowd is a community-based site, some designers will be better than others. I have yet to find any designers I think are actually “bad,” but obviously, you’re not going to be in love with every logo you receive.
Some logo projects are just more interesting and/or better-paying than others, and the more interesting and/or better-paying ones will surely attract better designers. If you invite a designer to your project directly, you have to wait to see who’s interested in working for you. This puts some of the smaller, cheaper projects at a small disadvantage, as cheaper projects may not be seen as “worth someone’s time.”
The way DesignCrowd makes up for this is by offering a “Top Designers” add-on. If you buy the add-on, the platform will assign one high-rated designer to your “One Designer Service Project,” or three high-rated designers to your “Contest” (mini or regular). You can’t pick which designer(s) will work with you, but depending on their rates, working with them may be a cheaper option than hiring a designer directly.
You Can Keep Your Projects Private
DesignCrowd offers a number of extra features you can add to any project if you’re willing to pay extra. One of the nice add-ons is that you can hide your project from search engines, competitors, and other clients!
You can also have everything made for your project protected by an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement), which keeps your designers from telling anyone what they’re working on. So, if you want to keep the new logo a surprise until you’re ready, you can make that happen.
DesignCrowd Holds Design Contests Just for Fun
Once upon a time, a site called Worth1000.com ran photo manipulation contests just because it could. The site is now gone, and the community is part of DesignCrowd. Luckily, the contests are still running, and they actually serve a dual purpose.
For designers, they’re fun! Designers can score points on a global leaderboard, and who doesn’t like bragging rights?
For customers, they can be a great way to find designers who are darned good at Photoshop. If that’s a requirement for your project, consider checking out the contests (as well as the normal designer portfolios).
My Experience with DesignCrowd
Once I started a project on DesignCrowd, the process got a bit simpler. As I mentioned earlier, we got the cheapest package, with an add-on that I hoped would net us a top designer. It took a day or so before I was matched with a designer by the username of ArtTank, also known as Khent (no last name provided).
Spoiler alert: I (platonically) love this person.
Khent was professional, polite, and fast. He had very little time to create something that looked great for this very site, which, as you may remember, is called “Website .” It’s a good, memorable name, and I (platonically) love the people I work with, but the name leaves designers little to work with in terms of visual cues.
Just sayin’, please don’t fire me. And do prepare and space-based imagery in this review.
All things considered, I think Khent did very well. He said “Hi,” then immediately got to work on logo concepts based on the brief I had provided. The first three concepts were a little rough around the edges, which is to be expected:
DesignCrowd Could Be Much, Much Easier to Use – But It Could Be a Lot Worse, I Guess
The DesignCrowd user interface is like navigating an old neighborhood after being away for ten years: You have a general idea of where you want to go, and how to get there, but the specifics are sometimes unclear. And for some reason, there are buttons everywhere, and everyone’s trying to sell you something.
What I’m saying is that the truly massive number of options can sometimes get overwhelming, and make the UI a bit confusing. The way “forward” isn’t always apparent.
One thing that confused me is the difference between a project and a contest. (Again, the website doesn’t explain it, and I had to ask customer support to clarify.) In case you’re still not sure about these terms, let me clarify: Project is the umbrella term, and a project can be a “One Designer Service Project,” a “Mini Contest,” or a regular “Contest.”
Also, the help center could be more intuitive. Advice for clients and advice for designers aren’t kept separate. I found things more easily by Googling “DesignCrowd [my chosen keywords].”
Lastly, the site hasn’t been updated properly. Several pages, for example, seem to offer services that are actually obsolete. At the footer of the site, there are links to “Design bids,” “Design jobs,” and “Design crowdsourcing.” Ignore them. In the help center, “Design jobs” are called “Freelance Jobs.” Ignore those articles, too.
That said, once you get used to the site (and do some Googling), things will start to fall into place. At least it’s not as hard as being a new player in Warframe. (If you’re not into that video game, just ignore that last sentence… It’s a long story, like everything else in Warframe.)
Here are some very good points about the UI:
You Can Save Your Projects Until You’re Ready to Pay and Launch
This feature is important enough that for every logo design service that has it, I will mention it. If all logo design services have it, so much the better. Being able to come back to a project at a later time — for example, after you’ve obtained the necessary funds, or decided what you truly want, or finally finished writing a good brief — is essential. It can save you a lot of frustration.
It’s Easy to Keep Working with a Designer You Like
When you’ve got a designer working on a project for you, the UI will show you other services they offer. It’s a small feature, but it helps if you want to use the same designer for more than one project — which is an easy way to keep all the designs looking consistent. You can find a link by clicking on the “Manage Project” button for the project in question.
DesignCrowd is a pretty good option, all things considered. The massive community means that there’s something for everyone, but also that quality will vary. The user interface can be very confusing at times, but the packages are reasonably priced, and can actually be worth it. If you need more than a logo, then DesignCrowd has you covered for just about every possible graphic design need.
If you don’t want to pay that much, though, there’s a good chance you’d be better off hiring a logo designer on Fiverr for as little as $5 – and a good chance you can get equally high-quality results.