Pretty soon you may find yourself in need of some logo work. Your business could be growing and expanding or maybe the current logo you have is starting to look outdated. Whatever the case may be, you can find attractive options through crowdsourcing your design needs. It's a cost-effective way to give yourself a fresh look.
The way it generally works is: you find a website to host your contest. After filling out some details, your contest is live and you begin to receive logo concepts from the website's graphic designers. You select your favorite as the winner, receive the files, and are along on your way. As a Graphic Designer and Community Manager of one such site, I would like to offer some helpful tips so you can make the most out of your contest.
1) Be Descriptive
It's best to tell as much as you can when filling out the contest brief about what you're looking for in a logo. Mention the type of impression you want to make, or what you want to design to say to your customers about you. The words you use will spark ideas in the designers that will work for your benefit. It's also good to mention what you do not like, that way your time and the designers time are not wasted. Also consider providing examples of logo that you think work well, not as a template for the artists to copy, but as reference for what you like. Trying to figure out someone's personal taste is difficult since you're not meeting face to face, and samples will help make up for that.
2) Be Patient
Some contests last two days, some two weeks. If you set your contest for a longer time period, do not be discouraged if you do not start receiving concepts within the first few hours or first day. Some designers like to begin working on a logo, then when time lets they'll sleep on it. This way they can take a fresh look at what they've created, then make revisions or alterations before sending it to you. This is especially true for illustrations or designs that require a lot of special effects, they may take more time to balance.
3) Give Feedback
It's helpful for you to organize the submissions as they come in. It varies between websites, but most allow you to rank the design from first to last. It will also let the graphic designers know your level of interest in their work. You can also request revisions on each submission. So if you like a design but the color's not right, ask them to change it. Or you may not like a specific font that was used, it can be changed. Communication like that will make your final design more effective.
4) Do not Copy
This is a big one I see a lot. You may see something you like one designer doing, and want to see how another applies the same idea. Most contests are blind to designers, meaning they can not see one another's work. So instead of asking one designer to copy another's design (which they are not allowed to do) you can mention in the contest's general comments section something like "I'm seeing this trend of colors and would like to see more designs using them" or "I'm finding myself drawn to this element, please try to work that into your designs for consideration." This way you get the desired result you want without putting the designers in a compromising position.
5) More than Logos
Most crowdsourcing logo websites offer more than just logo design. Having a company picnic? Hold a contest for a new T-Shirt design to commemorate the gathering! Need a stunning business card to pass out? Open a contest for new stationary. Some even offer full website design. Look over the site so you can take advantage of any parallel graphic design need you may be having.