This is a guest article from our client, Jason Gray of AeroSphere. The author’s views are his own and have not been edited by 99designs. Please note that by the time AeroSphere ran their T-shirt design contest, gold was the best-priced package on 99designs. 99designs has meanwhile increased its offer for competition packages and therefore this article has changed the word gold to platinum to address our current offer.
contest at 99designs ( can find the designs of our contest) and as a new customer we really did not know what to expect. Of course, we knew how 99designs worked, and we had already tracked a few contests from start to finish, but starting our own competition was new to us.
After completing our briefing, the first designs were quickly submitted to the competition. It was almost as if a curtain were opening and we were being transported to the engine room of a huge design ship. Suddenly we were responsible for either reaching our destination or riding on a virtual iceberg and following the other beginners in Davy Jones Locker.
Thankfully, we did not just make it to the Design Paradise Island, but even found buried treasures there! We are now very happy pirates and are planning many more contests on 99designs for our new crew members. Before we go back, we want to share our experience with you to show you why platinum pays off.
1: Why platinum?
Like other great companies, we treat our brand with great affection, which is why we do not allow anyone to “play” with our brand in such an unguarded way. When Aerosphere spends the night with a friend, we also wanted to know all about this kid and his parents. 99designs checked all the background for us by choosing the platinum competition. Thus, only platinum design could submit designs in the competition. So we knew that our brand would come home safely and happily.
2: Makes precise details in the design briefing
Remember that the Rembrandts and Picassos out there give you everything for your design concept. You do not have to be shy, because these sparkling people are professionals who know how to handle customer demands. Tell the designers exactly what they are looking for and give them examples. The more the better, and 99designs makes it all a breeze. Still, there is not total war and peace with the designers, otherwise by the time you finish reading the masterpiece the contest will have finished you and you will wonder what has just not happened.
Platinum designers are like supermodels. They stay as long as they say they are outstanding, but as soon as they get quiet, the competition looks like a fashion show for swimsuits in Siberia. As a client you are obliged to give feedback to every designer. Of course, after the second day and more than 100 designs, it will be a tedious task, but it’s worth it. When NASA took Neil Armstrong to the moon, they did not get the trajectory right the first time. It took a lot of time to correct the track and in the end the result was a big step for humanity. If you want a design that is worth flying to the moon, you will not stop to let you in on this trajectory change.
4: Guaranteed the prize money
Nothing says more than “I commit to this partnership”. We knew that we would get designs that would make us very happy with their quality, so we would definitely choose a winner. The prize money guarantee has attracted even more designers, including those who until then have only swum around the boat. That was a welcome surprise.
5: Go and say hello
My grandmother, in her eclectic wisdom, has always reminded me of the following: “A weak heart has never won the fair maiden”. Want to say: By simply writing a briefing and then sitting down, you get great designs, but sometimes, to get the best pay, you have to storm the castle and act as a brave knight. We would not say that we are the knights, but maybe we are some. The theme of knight by side, such really good platinum designers can be found in many ways, but with your proactivity, another piece of platinum will be added.
6: Sailing with professionals
If you choose platinum at 99designs, you will get a personal account manager for your contest. Once you have been contacted by your Account Manager, you are equipped with everything you need for the contest. This will give you a list of the best platinum designer portfolios and you can quickly see which of them are most likely to meet your needs. The Platinum Account Manager is also the person who is always there to answer questions and help with any problems. Back to the Knights Theory, just click and invite the “beautiful designers” to your contest. You will love that …
7: stars in your eyes
“You should not rate” is the defensive answer you hear when the competition gets tough. In this game, the thing that seems easiest becomes the hardest part. You will find yourself in the position where you are up late into the night looking at some truly outstanding designs. You then try to find out which one is best and why. Our only indication for this, and we have done so, is: rated on the basis of the briefing, be honest with the designers and take your time. You will know it, if you know it, because the right design comes into play with the right design.
We hope that you will enjoy as much fun and success with 99designs as we do – and let’s say a few words to all the outstanding talents who have submitted designs to our contest. We love you.