If you’re starting up a new business and you want to take over the world, you need to look sharp, professional, friendly, smart, innovative and stand-out from competitors, all at the same time. That’s a pretty tough brief to hit from the very get go, especially if it’s your first foray into entrepreneurship.
Let’s face it, everybody enjoys a good contest. There’s something about friendly competition that draws people and gets them excited. That’s why, when you get a group of highly talented designers from every corner of the globe competing in a design contest, they are inspired to do their very best work.
So, what’s the most efficient way to leverage these experienced designers, utilise their competiveness and brand your new business to get the head-start you need? Crowdsourcing – the process of leaning on a large pool of people to complete a task that would otherwise take an individual many hours, days or weeks to complete. The term crowdsourcing was coined in June, 2006 by Jeff Howe of Wired Magazine. He put it simply as:
“Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a job traditionally performed by a designated agent (usually an employee) and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people in the form of an open call.”
Crowdsourcing has evolved since 2006, with many different fields and services available via the crowd. But, if you want to really take advantage of crowdsourcing for your start-up, then graphic design crowdsourcing is perfect.
We all know that branding is an exceptionally important part of creating a successful business. You’ll need a brand that rises above the competition and shouts to your audience in a clear, concise and memorable way. At the forefront of your start-up should be the ideal logo – simple, elegant and to the point.
A great logo conveys your business message in a concise and memorable fashion. The right logo for your start-up is one that expresses the character and personality of your enterprise. Many companies pay thousands of dollars for a new logo, crowdsourced graphics can be had for a fraction of that price.
If you go to a local artist, you have access to only one creative mind, but if you run a logo contest via a crowdsource platform, you will be able to choose from a remarkable range of creative designers and artists. Of course, running a contest still requires time, effort and attention and because most start-up owners are time poor, crowdsourcing platforms help manage every aspect of a successful design contest – from posting a brief to feedback and final design delivery.
The process of starting a crowdsourced design contest goes like this:
- Describe your project in the design brief – this should be both concise and descriptive and provide all the necessary details a designer will need
- Set a deadline – shorter deadlines usually result in fewer design submissions, however are useful for those projects where turn-around times are tight
- View and feedback on designs – provide valuable feedback to designers on what should be changed in their designs. Providing critical feedback to the designers is an imperative part of the design crowdsourcing process
- Select the design you like best and it’s yours to use forever
Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it? That’s because running a design contest via a crowdsourcing website is truly simple and very, very effective. If your small business were to hire locally, you might have access to only a handful of designers. When a business leverages the “crowd”, they have an almost unlimited pool of talented artists from which to choose.
“I had no idea what I wanted in a logo, but the designers were fearless in submitting some very promising logos within days of launching my project; with a total of 25 designer submissions before I closed the project early.” Said Teena McCane, Owner of The Natural Perspective.
The connotations associated with crowdsourcing are often of low quality work; however, crowdsourcing platforms have always got a pool of first class designers who are enthusiastic and ready to work. The competitive nature of the crowd ensures each designer submits only their best work for their chance to win, and this means for your start-up, the quality branding you are looking for can be just a few clicks away.
Clancy is the Organic Search manager at DesignCrowd, a design crowdsourcing platform making crowdsourcing more accessible for small business. Clancy has over 7 years of online marketing experience, a passion for analytics and a degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of New South Wales.