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Getting Exactly What You Want

I just wrapped up a week long logo design project at 99Designs, with an intellectual property transfer agreement.  Flash back to August 2009, when I was watching Episode 13 of This Week in Startups. In it, there was an interview with the founder of a disruptive startup which connects passionate designers from around the globe with savvy clients who need design projects completed in a timely fashion without the usual risk or cost associated with professional design.  The company is called 99Designs.  With less than 30 days from our startup launch, it was time to complete a scheduled task titled Get logo for HueCubed.

Because this is a bootstrapped effort, my budget was very low.  With a mere $150 to award to a designer, I was told it could go a long way on 99Designs.  As the contest sponsor, I answered a few questions about what the logo was for and any preferences that could help designers create original artwork to meet my needs.  The website was very straightforward. What was very helpful was it allowed both a public comment board and private comment board for your contest.  With 106 logo submissions, we narrowed it down to 3 designers.  Mictoon, Richard Scott Design, and mèrshî

With permission from two of the designers, I wanted to post submissions that made it to the finals.

Mictoon submission

Mictoon was the first to submit to the contest and continued to provide revised logos up until the end.  This designer was impressive in responding to every request we had.  I would post a comment about what I liked and what I did not like and we would get new submissions within a few hours.  I greatly appreciated the efforts made.  But with all contests, there can be only one winner.  Still, if you’re ever on 99Designs, I would recommend you send a direct message and invite a submission.

Richard Scott Design Submission

Another very impressive designer was Richard Scott Design.  Within just a few iterations, this logo was as professional as it could be.  Again, the designer was very responsive to our requests.  That’s the one thing I think made this effort such a success.  There was a huge volume of communications from both the designers and us.  I’ve never seen a successful project, when people operated in a void.  The more communications, the greater probability for success.

And this brings us to the winning submission.  mèrshî made the submission below and we were kind of taken back.  It had balance, clean lines, and nice colors.  The graphic could stand alone or could be paired with the font.  We made sure the font was under GPU/GPL so we wouldn’t have to pay anything extra or hit a legal snag.  Within a few hours of winning the contest, multiple high res versions of the logo were provided to us, and we signed the intellectual property transfer agreement.  Again, 99Designs made it very easy to take ownership.  We really want to thank mèrshî for being so very accommodating, ensuring we had everything we needed.

Winning submission from mèrshî

I would greatly recommend 99Designs to anyone who needs a graphic.  As a disclaimer, I am not being compensated by 99Designs in any way for the review I am writing.  To the contrary, I paid them!

When you’re bootstrapping a startup, you do what you can with the resources you have.  Thank you to Jason Calacanis for creating and hosting This Week in Startups.  Without the show, I might not have heard of 99Designs.

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

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