Holding a Successful Graphic Design Contest

Let's face it: you need your business to stand out, and a good way to do that is with a quality logo or website design. But a professional design from a upper echelon design firm can cost you thousands of dollars. Holding a graphic design contest for your design needs is a great way to save a large chunk of money without sacrificing quality, and can sometimes offer you more options than using a traditional design firm.

What is a Graphic Design Contest?

A graphic design contest is a way to take your design budget and allow a number of different designers to compete over your contract. Usually held via message boards, designers post concepts for you to review and revise them based on your feedback. Contests are successfully held for almost all aspects of design, from logos and websites to business cards and letterheads.

Why Should I Hold a Design Contest?

The short answer is that you graphics contests will save you money without sacrificing quality and give you many more concepts to choose from over a traditional design company. Because a large number of designers are competing for your business, with a graphic design contest you will receive a variety of concepts that will be revised to your liking.

Let's compare a recent $100 logo contest at GFXContests.com to the base package at popular traditional logo design firm Logoworks.

Logoworks GFXContests.com
Price $299 $100
Concepts 4 15-20
Designers 2 10+
Revisions 2 2-5 per design
Time to first concept 3 days 36 hours
Time to finished logo 5-7 days 14 days

Of course, your specific experience will vary. Some logo contests get more entries, though rarely do they get less, and most designers who have received positive feedback from you will make revisions to your specifications. The length of your contest and how much you pay is completely up to you! Also, remember that traditional design firms that do not specialize in logo design like Logoworks, will generally charge much more and often have only one designer working on your logo.

The cost savings for other types of design work are comparable.

Why Would a Designer Enter a Design Contest?

You might be asking yourself why a designer would ever choose to compete in a design contest, where the money is often lower than they could get on the open market and not guaranteed. There are four main reasons:

  1. Graphic design contests are an excellent way to build a portfolio.
  2. Graphic design contests are a good way for designers to improve their design skills.
  3. Graphic design contests take the leg work out of finding clients. Designers don't have to worry about selling, only about designing.
  4. Many designers who compete live in places where cost of living is low or are still in school and have few financial concerns.