Ready for lots of fantastic options at low-cost and in quick time for your next logo project? Here’s what worked for me and my organization — a logo contest on Freelancer.com.
So What’s a Logo Contest?
In a nutshell, you post the requirements for your logo then sit back to review the designs that are submitted. At the close, you award a winner, collect your graphic files along with a contract securing your ownership rights, then pay the winner.
Tell Me More
The objective of my logo contest was to develop a new logo for the nonprofit K2BSA Amateur Radio Association. I’m their president and I’ve been creating my own logos.
“I’m Jim and I do logos.” We needed an intervention.
It’s time to rebrand our social media platforms, website, and publications. But we also plan to launch merchandise sales. So we clearly need to ramp up our branding quite a few notches from my lame efforts.
At the Freelancer.com website I set up an employer account, verified email and phone, and connected the association’s bank account for payment – all set to hire freelancers.
Then I initiated a project with a contest brief. In my case I described the critical factors such as it must include the letters K2BSA and that we wanted blue tones. I also provided examples of our current logos.
You can see the brief in the nearby image. Click on it for a larger view.
In the project setup you can select some specific elements for your contest, often at a price.
I selected a “sealed contest,” which means that the submitted designs would only be seen by me. I felt that this would avoid copycat designs, which it did. I also selected “featured contest” that brought it more visibility on the website.
I could have guaranteed the contest, assuring freelancers that a winner would be awarded. I did not choose that option as I wasn’t sure what entries I’d get and didn’t want to commit to paying someone regardless.
Another option was to select “top contest” which invited top rated designers to submit entries. I didn’t select that either. There are other options. You can learn more at the FAQ.
The contest was open for seven days. Over that time I received 67 design entries from 24 freelancers. The entries were high quality with several contenders for the top prize, although the winner stood out from early in the contest.
The freelancers came from all over the world. The winner was from Bangladesh. The rest of the list included: USA, UK, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, Chile, and the Dominican Republic.
Managing the Contest
The system for managing all the entries and providing feedback to the designers is very sophisticated. I was able to see all the entries at a glance (over several pages as the number increased). You can see one of the pages nearby.
There is a five-star rating system so you can rate each design. You can also sort the entries based on that rating. Clicking on each design opened a dialog box for feedback to the designer. You could provide general feedback and suggestions as well as place comments directly on the design itself.
I provided feedback on nearly every design. In some cases I noted what I didn’t like (wi-fi waves) and what I did like. With the winner, I noted what I preferred from several of his early entries which resulted in a refined entry that really worked.
They also have a polling function. You can select up to eight of the designs and invite others to vote on the designs. I didn’t use this function as I had no trouble selecting the winner. But it could work well for involving a team to help select the winner.
I set a winning amount of $200. Perhaps that could have been lower. But I’m not sure it would have attracted the same quality and quantity of designs.
I was very impressed with the variety of submission approaches. Some provided simulated embossed paper, 3-D signs, and several showed their design on paper, business card, t-shirt, etc. I did reject one entry that used the Boy Scouts of America’s logo, after advising the designer why I was rejecting it (not our trademark).
You can see the winning design nearby. I was surprised that a number of designs used the same font, called Ethnocentric, but only one other attempted to style the font and only a couple used the tagline “radio scouting.”
I could have gone back to the contest brief and advised all the designers to use “radio scouting” but chose not to send the group in that direction. But I did have that option for communicating to all designers.
Cost-Effective and Efficient
All in all, I felt this was a very cost-effective and superbly efficient way to generate new logo options and to select the very best.
It’s not the right approach for every project. For example, if you have a specific task, you hire someone who can do that task. That’s what I did for my social media avatar.
I will also note that I spent a career working with graphic designers and illustrators. Generating logos or icons is a skill that not all designers have. This approach helped find those who have this skill and bring them to the top. And, it did so very cost effectively and very quickly.
Perfect project on my PathForeWord.