99designs is a leading and most popular design contest platform out there. It has quite a few serious competitors such as DesignCrowd, DesignContest, DesignHill, DesignBro, and CrowdSpring. DesignCrowd seems like the closest competitor in terms of size but honestly speaking, the platforms don’t differ much from one another. Since 99designs has the biggest pool of designers and is the most recognized, it remains the industry leader.
Around two years ago a new crowdsourcing marketplace entered the market, called DesignBro. It describes itself as ‘the world’s highest quality affordable design service’. Finally, a platform able to compete with 99designs as it can offer a lot more than just lower prices. The main difference between the two is the focus. One puts it on quantity while the other is all about quality.
What Design Services Do They Offer?
First things first, what are the design services available on the platforms? 99designs offers almost every design project imaginable. The categories go from logo & identity, through web & app, clothing & merchandise, book, business, and packaging design. That’s not a big surprise as the platform was founded already 11 years ago, in 2008.
DesignBro, on the other hand, is young. It operates for a little over 2 years but already offers projects in the categories of logo design, brand identity design and packaging design with ambitious plans to launch a lot more in the nearest future.
Quantity at 99designs
The great thing about 99desings is that a client will certainly receive a lot of designs to choose from. The term ‘a lot’ is, of course, relative but in comparison to DesignBro, the quantity is much higher. Looking at the logo design pricing, the client should receive at least 30 logo designs with the Bronze package. Bronze is the cheapest option and starts at €269.
There are four different packages, the most expensive one being Platinum for €1,199. 99designs’ website says that, in return, it will provide the client with approximately 60 logo designs, all done by top-level designers what assures about their quality.
The maximum number of designs comes with the Gold package (€819). These are done by mid and top-level designers so it is safe to assume that the project may not be as impressive quality-wise as the client would want.
Although the website says there will be a maximum of around 90 designs delivered, many of the featured projects on 99designs had more than 400 of them submitted.
The reason for such high numbers is the enormous pool of designers on the platforms. But since there is only one winner who gets compensated, many designers enter many of the available contests hoping to win and receive some payment. Considering relatively small chances of being picked, they try their luck in as many competitions as possible.
So, as a client, if you hope for a big choice, head to 99designs. It will provide you with both a high number of designs as well as designers.
Quality at DesignBro
DesignBro puts quality first. It offers a lot fewer designs to choose from, precisely between 3 to 10 for each of the design projects. As for logo design, the prices start at $199 and go up to a maximum of $479, depending on the number of designs the client wants to receive and pick from.
Similar to 99designs, one designer gets paid for his or her work. In comparison, DesignBro’s prices are lower than 99designs ones but, in return, there is a smaller number of delivered logo designs.
However, before digging more into quality assurance, is it important to mention that the competitions held by DesignBro are all blind. That means that the designers on the platform can never see each other’s work what assures that there is no way for them to get ‘inspired’ by the work of another designer.
If you’ve ever started a project on 99designs or searched the website a little deeper to find project examples, you have probably noticed that there may be as many as 200 designs submitted to a given project but since the designers could view each other submissions and were allowed to get inspired, the result could have been that there were only 10 completely different and original design concepts.
Benefits of DesignBro
DesignBro has a zero-tolerance policy towards plagiarism in any sort of way. If the platform’s design team notices a designer trying to be sneaky, they are eliminated. The mission of the platform is to provide only original and high-quality designs done by professional graphic designers, all for an affordable price.
Overall, DesignBro has a smaller pool of designers than 99designs but it has a very good reason for it. The platform has a rigorous selection process and carefully considers every designer application before accepting anyone into the platform. This way it can assure that the client will certainly be happy with not only the results but also the process.
Since there are smaller design projects (up to a maximum of 10), there is a higher probability for a designer to be picked as a winner. This gives each of them a motivation to deliver the best work possible and work with the client until they are satisfied.
Because of the big differences on each platform in the number of delivered designs per project, it is impossible to compare the two in terms of quantity. It is possible, however, to compare the offers that result in the same quality. Since DesignBro assures only top-level designer work on every stage, the highest quality starts already with the cheapest logo design project ($199).
99designs, however, assures the same quality only with its Platinum package (€1,199). The monetary difference is enormous but is it fair to compare them in such a way? The two marketplaces have certainly different business models. Despite both targeting similar audiences, the satisfied customers of DesignBro and 99designs probably prioritize the quantity and quality matters a little differently.
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