99designs®: The Crowdsourcing Spot For Graphic Designers
Leading a growing trend on the Internet for groupsourcing, the group 99designs® has set up a very popular spot for SMB's (small to medium businesses) and graphic designers to come together on projects. The idea is very simple: the business sets up a "contest" through 99designs and graphic artists from anywhere in the world can compete to win the contest. There are hundreds of contests going on at a time.
The idea for 99designs started by three Australian web designers, who wanted to create a level playing field for all graphic designers in an open marketplace where clients could get their projects completed in less time with less hassle than working with a design firm... and with a budget they can control!
The client posts a graphic design job -- anywhere from stationery design to complete magazine cover or entire web site design -- describes as much as they can about what they are looking for, and posts the budget for the job. Postings are generally listed for a week. The client chooses the winner and pays! 99designs will even help the client get an ad set up. All this for $39 client fee per listing, plus a small commission on the award, and the designer pays nothing.
More and more, clients are pre-paying the award fee to 99designs, so there is only a short turn-around time until the designer gets paid, but this pre-payment also assures that payment is guaranteed, a really nice protection for the designer.
99designs was a winner of the Australian SmartCompany Awards for 2008, and recently opened an office in San Francisco to help with the Web-load!