Crowdspring or 99designs?


For crowd sourcing basically there are two main contenders, crowdspring and 99designs. I know they are both good and we can't go wrong with either one, but I am sure we can find out which one is better. What are your experience with these two? Which one would you recommend and why? I have no experience with these two, and I am very limited in budget so I would like to get people's recommendation first before deciding to choose either one.

Design Crowdsourcing

asked Feb 21 '10 at 22:17
1,342 points
  • This doesn't exactly answer the question, but I think often startups overoptimize these kinds of decisions. If you think they're both good, don't spend additional hours trying to figure out the absolute way to spend a couple of hundred bucks on design. There are about a million other things you could be doing that will 1) reduce risk and/or 2) get you closer to putting out a product, acquiring customers, and getting revenue. – Greg 14 years ago
  • There are a ton of sites for crowdsourcing. I'm guessing that you're talking about crowdsourcing logos and similar, which narrows the field a little, but not much. Do you mean, "For logo crowdsourcing, which is better, 99designs or crowdspring?" – Jeremy Parsons 13 years ago

8 Answers


We have had a single encounter with 99designs and did not quite like the process nor the result. Went out of both time and budget. Now shopping for designers locally again.

answered Feb 22 '10 at 23:36
Dmitry Leskov
606 points
  • Thanks for sharing this with us Dmitry! – Jpartogi 14 years ago
  • to be fair, the price you offered ($160) is on the low side. Hard to see how that can be considered "over budget". I did 2 icons for Windows programs, paying $300 and $400, and was quite happy with the result. Certainly cheaper than a local (i.e. US-based) designer and less risky. – Krzysztof Kowalczyk 13 years ago
  • The work was simple and I did not want to spend more than a minimum amount on the first trial attempt, but had to increase it by $60 for the extension of the deadline. I also paid $39 to 99designs, plus $20 to a designer whom I would have declared a winner if there was no that last-minute submission. For $220, I could have had it done much faster by a local designer, and would have spent less of my time on that. – Dmitry Leskov 13 years ago
  • Out of interest, how much did you end up paying your local designer and how much better was the result in your opinion? – Studgeek 12 years ago
  • We have not had much design work since. It is difficult to compare pricing with our prior experiences, because those were bigger jobs, like a 4-page booklet. But we liked the result a lot then - would have worked with that designer again if he did not move to Moscow to work for a large company. – Dmitry Leskov 12 years ago


We've used 99designs, making your contest private and having a good brief will help with the quality of the submissions (as will a higher listing price), as for crowdspring haven't used them yet - might give them a try next time.

answered Apr 11 '10 at 06:20
191 points


I just had a good experience on I ended up with 600 entries for my logo design and while a lot of it is noise you get some good results there too. You just need to be prepared for the noise and you'll do fine.

answered Feb 22 '10 at 12:19
73 points
  • how much was your prize? just curious. – Jesse 14 years ago
  • It was $500. You pay a fee as well. – Jon 14 years ago


I have used crowdSpring for a webpage banner. The result was ok with a loootttt of hand holding and feedback. I am now considering 99designs for website design. The problem I am having is $$ cut to either of the sites is $39 + 15% which ends up to over $100 for a very small site. Given the fact that threshold to enter a website contest is $500, I believe the total cost outlay is NOT that lower that Agency based custom design. Am I wrong here?

answered Oct 20 '10 at 08:09
Vlad T
31 points


I haven't used any of them but I've heard good things about 99designs (for instance, I believe got their logo from there) and it seems somewhat more popular than Crowdspring.

answered Feb 22 '10 at 07:28
Olivier Lalonde
2,753 points
  • I am not sure that using stackoverflow is a good example - since their success with designers might have to do with the HUGE following they have/had. Most people using these services won't have the same results. I have done a couple projects on both these sites and the results were pretty marginal at best. – Tim J 14 years ago


I have only had experience with 99designs, so cannot compare the two. I did however have a very good experience with 99designs, and would recommend them (and will reuse them myself). I am not affiliated with them in any way.

I think also very relevant to your questions is how to get the most out of a contest, as no doubt you could get a good result in any contest if you make the effort. Some tips I would give are (these are skewed towards my experience with 99designs, but I assume other sites are similar):

  • Make sure your brief is as detailed and clear as possible. The designers unfortunately do not get to read your mind, so their designs are based only on your brief. A good option is to look at other design work you like, and reference them for examples. If the designs are not really looking how you want, you need to reevaluate and perhaps modify the brief.
  • Review other contests for similar types of work, and take note of designers that you like their submissions. Contact these designers and let them know you have a contest running, you like their work, and would appreciate if they would consider putting in an entry.
  • Provide as much feedback as you can, and be as specific as possible. Doing this throughout the contest allows the designers to iterate their designs towards something you like. The more responsive you are throughout the contest, the more responsive the designers will be.

Using the above strategies, we received many designs for our logo and are very happy with the winner.

answered Nov 24 '10 at 14:46
Joel Friedlaender
5,007 points
  • Just an update, I have recently done another competition and used crowdSPRING for this one. The result I have gotten is also very good, which is the main thing, but I did find the website a little buggy and harder to use than 99designs. From my limited experience with both now, I suspect that there is no "right" choice, and either could get a good result if you get the right designer for your project. – Joel Friedlaender 13 years ago


The upside of crowdsourcing a logo is the cost and the variety of designers you can access. The downside is that the designer you use will have had little opportunity to learn about you and create a design that truly expresses your company's brand, products, and practices, and communicates to your target audience. That means you'll have a logo, but you won't have your logo.

So, with that said, go for whatever's cheaper!

answered Feb 23 '10 at 13:20
Wade Armstrong
181 points


We are using 99designs right now for crowdsourcing a redesign of a website. It seems to me that the quality of our "instructions" to the designers is the most important part of the process. "Quality" can be relative though, I guess. Hopefully, we will get several good designs to choose from. I'll report back after the contest is over.

answered Oct 8 '11 at 03:42
Michael Chapman
11 points

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