An Exercise in Eating Our Own Dog Food: 99Designs

hungry dog eating dog food

What does a crowdlending company do when it needs a logo refresh?

Why, it crowdsources a new design.

We recently held a design contest in search of a new look for our company logo using graphic design marketplace, 99Designs.com.

We signed up, provided a creative brief, and promptly received 25 submissions in the first few hours. We were excited as the designs started rolling in slowly, then more rapidly, and soon we found ourselves with over 250 designs from 55 different designers from around the world to review.

Sad CEO Krista!

Sad CEO Krista after her favorite was voted off the island!

Our marketing team led the effort and a small judging panel was formed to sift through the designs and shortlist the most interesting ideas and eliminate the designs that didn’t meet what we had outlined in the creative brief. We then went through all of the shortlisted designs with our entire team and whittled the list down a bit more. Once we narrowed the field to eight designs, we opened up voting on the different designs to our staff, shareholders, friends, and our followers on Facebook and Twitter. This part was a challenge for some of us who had been involved throughout the process—we had become attached to a few favorites that didn’t make it into the final rounds.

Our CEO, Krista, for example, really loved a certain design and after the first round of voting it was near the bottom in popularity.

With crowd feedback in hand, we chose six designers for the final round. They were allowed to make refinements based on our feedback at this point.

Everything, including the communication with the designers, was managed via 99designs platform

Our final choice came down to two distinct designs, each in an orange hue as well as a teal color. Orange won across both logos. We were left to decide between an evolved typographic logo and one anchored by a symbol featuring two opposing arrows. We couldn’t decide.

In the end, in true crowdsourcing fashion, we didn’t have to decide; our crowd of supporters and colleagues helped us make the final choice. Soon, you’ll see the new logo splashed around our website, collateral, social media profiles, and in other aspects of our brand identity.

Logo_finalistsEven though the typographic logo was the one chosen, one of the things we discussed at length was whether we were ready to commit to an icon or symbol at this point. We’ll likely evolve into a logo with an icon or symbol someday, but for now, check out our new look complete with a new color palette and other branding elements, and let us know what you think by leaving a comment below. 

99Designs: How it Works

  1. Visit 99designs and launch a contest based on what you need (a logo, website, all new branded content).
  2. Complete a creative brief by completing a questionnaire about your business, style preferences, branding desires, and a summary about what you do.
  3. Sit back and watch the designs roll in. You can begin interacting with designers at this point and providing direction for refinement of designs. Make sure you provide as much feedback as possible to keep your designers engaged.
  4. Do a few rounds of voting with your stakeholders.
  5. Select finalists; provide direction for refinement.
  6. Pick a winner! 

About 99designs

Crowdfunded working capital

P2Bi recently unveiled a new logo

99designs, the world’s largest graphic design marketplace, has helped over 350,000 businesses access quality design at an affordable price. 99designs pioneered crowd-sourced design contests, where businesses receive a wide variety of design concepts and choose their favorite, and expanded to provide services for customers to work 1-on-1 with individual designers, purchase design templates from the ready-made logo store, or get small design projects done within an hour through tasks. With more than 950,000 designers from 192 countries, 99designs’ suite of services helps businesses succeed through great design created by a robust community of talented graphic designers. 99designs is backed by Accel Partners. [Source: 99Designs.com]

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