99 Designs is not what it seems

A lot of people, including Jared Polin, suggest using 99 Designs and it is like Freelancer.com in the regard that it favors the client and screws the designer. However, it is still very popular and it seems if you learn the system, you can make some decent money there.

I have played with it just briefly (basically for this review) and submitted logos that I made for a contest. It is how they do things there. Designs are in a contest and the winner takes all. It sucks if you don’t win but that is how things roll at 99designs.

They have been around for a long time so they must have designer that like using this model but I have to say, it is not for me. I like to get paid for work. More on that later.

Understanding the Model of 99Designs

Below is the list of how much getting a WordPress down and how many different designers you can expect to try and enter into the contest. For example, you can expect you get 50 different options for a website using the Gold package and you can pick the one you like the best.

The problem with this you will have 49 designers that “worked” for free because they did not get picked. I said that lightly because it seems that many of them just swap out logos and image and re-submit to another project.

I guess this is the only way as a designer they could actually make a living on the platform. It does not look too promising.

A challenge to clients

I would like to see clients that do more than just think “it’s capitalism” and consider that designers work hard to build projects. They have to eat as well. It is going to get to the point that when you need a good developer, they can’t do work because they are flipping burgers at the McDonalds.

If you are going to a contest like 99Designs, make sure that the people in it are somehow getting taken care so they can do what they love to do for a living. A starving web designer is not a pretty sight.

I have been a client and a designer and the position that some of these platforms put them in is not a good place to be. Not good at all.

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