99designs is an on-demand marketplace where companies seek to find their dream design by running design contests (anything from business cards, to logos, to websites…I could go on). Many companies also use 99designs to curate their own on-call virtual design team. Think: The Avengers, but for teams of super-designers handpicked by you.
“Projects” is useful for large or unexpected campaigns with tight deadlines, where agencies have the benefit of being able to access the best talent — quickly, easily, and securely. Let’s take a look at how that works exactly.
Step 1: Discovering Designers
Finding your dream designer (or dream team of designers) is the first step. Begin by navigating to /discover (link in the menu), where you’ll see an endless list of stunning designs. Your designer is here, somewhere. Let’s find them.
Next, click “Show Filters” (on the right-hand side) so that we can narrow our search a little bit — these filters are instrumental in refining the relevancy of your search result. We’re getting closer, our first designer isn’t too far away.
Let’s see how smart these filters are:
- Categories: choose which type of designs you need (you can choose anything from book covers to Facebook covers!)
- Industries: many designers specialise in a certain industry (i.e. restaurants, technology, cosmetics and beauty, etc)
- Search: add specific keywords to your search
- Advanced: narrow your search even further by finding designers that speak a specific language, or specifically limit your options to Platinum designers, or those have won contests
Platinum designers are those that have been handpicked by 99designs. These are designers that have won numerous design contests and have demonstrated the highest caliber of conceptual thought and technical execution. Platinum designers go far beyond generic designs, and have a thorough understanding of typography, visual hierarchy, composition and colour, and use these skills to meet the client’s specific needs. These guys are like the Captain America’s of design teams.
When you’ve discovered a design that you like (you’ll probably find several, actually!), click on it to find out who the designer is. From here you can read about the story behind the design itself (the best designers talk about their work passionately, and with plenty of enthusiasm!) and also view the designer’s profile.
You don’t need to be a detective to learn more about the designer — use the tabs on the left-hand side to see more of their work, what experience they have in certain fields, read reviews from previous clients, and finally, browse through the list of pre-made design packages that the designer offers. It’s really, really easy — and pleasantly transparent.
Step 2: Building Your Virtual Design Team
When you think you’ve matched with the right designer, click the “Invite to work” button (on the right-hand side), where you’ll either be able to choose one of those pre-made packages, or discuss your custom needs. Alternatively, click the favourite icon (next to the designer’s name) to add them to your favourites, where you can then reach out at a later date.
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