Where to Find Affordable Design Services Online

Eric Binnion —  September 20, 2012 — Leave a comment

At every stage of your business, you will most likely need some sort of design services – Anything from a logo to a complete branding of your company. Sure, you have dozens of business contacts in your local community, but where do you go to find affordable, reliable design services online?

Today, I’d like to show you three online marketplaces where you can get the design services you need at affordable prices.

On a side note, before I send you off on a quest to get your website, logo, or t-shirt designed… Let’s talk about some fair prices when it comes to design. The marketplaces below will allow you to get several bids before choosing a specific designer. If a designer bids low, be sure to check that designer’s reputation before continuing. If a designer bids much higher than the others, that designer is likely very talented… But that designer may not be the right fit for you.

Elance – Great Talent On Demand

Elance Screenshot

Elance is definitely the most recognizable in this list. Elance is an online marketplace that will allow you to find talent of all sorts. You’ll be able to find programmers, designers, marketers, writers, and more at Elance. So, if your business needs a bit more than just design, Elance may be the way to go.

On Elance, you can post a job for free. You can choose to pay by the job, or by the hour. For hourly jobs, Elance will track the hours of your contractors and will even provide screenshots as the contractor works, so that you can verify the contractor was working diligently. For contract jobs, Elance will help you set milestones, hold money in escrow, and pay the contractor as milestones are completed.

So, how does Elance make money? Elance includes a 6.75% – 8.75 fee in the price that the contractors quote you. When you pay Elance for work done by the contractor, Elance will deduct the fee, then pay the rest to the contractor.

Elance is a great place to find talent online, but it can be a bit overwhelming if all you need are design services.

CrowdSPRING – 110+ Designs in Days

CrowdSPRING Screenshot

How would you like to post a job, name your price, and have an average of 110+ custom designs to choose from? Well, this is what CrowdSPRING offers. CrowdSPRING is a marketplace that is dedicated to design services and company naming.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Post your project. During this step, you will choose a category, describe your project, name a price, and choose a deadline.
  2. Submissions roll in. After you’ve posted your job, you can sit back as the designs come in. You can give feedback and see revisions.
  3. Choose your favorite. After seeing several designs, you can work with a designer to perfect your favorite design. They don’t get paid until you are happy.

Sound easy? Well, it is. And this process ensures that you get great design talent working on your project. And, CrowdSPRING offers a money back guarantee. If you aren’t happy with your design project, they will refund any awards and their 15% project fee – the only money you are out is a listing fee. This is much more secure than a typical contractor relationship.

99 Designs – Designers Compete For You

99 Designs Screenshot

99 Designs is very similar to CrowdSPRING. The way it works is:

  1. You start a design contest. This is where you outline what you need.
  2. Designs roll in. Designers submit concepts to compete for your prize. You get to provide feedback to make sure you get exactly the design you need.
  3. Choose your favorite. You get to choose the best design and award the designer. You then get the final design and original art work. Ex. – Photoshop document or HTML.

Truth be told, 99 Designs is my favorite when it comes to getting design services. I like browsing through completed contests to see what projects have recently been completed, and at what cost. Often, I’m very surprised at how cheap some of the designs are!

Bottom Line

Creating a professional presence is not hard for small businesses. With these 3 resources, you can now afford to have a professional, well-designed website and logo that you will be proud to show off.

If you have any questions, or would like to let us know how your experience turned out, leave a comment below!

Eric Binnion


This post was written by Eric Binnion. When Eric is not online, he is usually volunteering in his community or enjoying time with his family. You can find Eric on Twitter.

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