What the press is saying
"At the time, 99designs had 10 staff in Melbourne and four in the US. Now, there are about 90 staff spread across the globe including 46 in the US, 34 in Melbourne, eight in Berlin, and two in Paris."
"Never fear: 99designs released this competition last month in celebration of the new album, with some very aesthetically pleasing results."
"It’s one thing to build a successful startup in one country, but it’s an entirely different ballgame once you go beyond those national borders."
"...99designs clearly has its fair share of fans. So far the company claims it has hosted over 200,000 graphic design contests and has paid out $52 million to designers."
"The electronic duo will release new collection Random Access Memories next month, and an unofficial competition has been launched to create unique promotional posters for it."
"Melbourne has great local universities, which helps foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship," says CEO Patrick Llewellyn."
"The guerilla campaign launched by the online graphic design hub 99designs called for budding designers to have their best go at a Daft Punk-esque artwork."
"... San Francisco-based design website 99designs has launched a competition for its hugely talented design community to put together unofficial Daft Punk tour posters."
"99designs makes it dead-simple to find talented designers. For designers, they can browse through numerous different opportunities for work."
"At 99designs, chief operating officer Jason Sew Hoy says that for play to work at work, the company puts immense focus on the recruitment process. In the new workplace, your resume may not matter if your personality doesn't seem to fit."
"As a result of our decision to go with open source, we've now got offices in both Melbourne and San Francisco, over 70 staff and tens of millions of visitors to our website every month..."
"We have to continue to strive to do the best we can and hope people will understand the message."
"...99designs is launching in Latin America with support for Spanish and local currencies. In addition, 99designs is also releasing a localized version for Spain, as well as a site for United States-based Spanish speakers."
"The 99designs competition has already attracted more than 1,300 entries..."
"Some could, were I posting this anonymously on a forum instead of here, convince you [these PS4 logos] were the real deal."
"There are already more than 2,000 submissions..."
"We wanted to get as many great ideas as we could from 99designs’ design community, including some of Colin’s designer fans."
"...the decision to let the design of his website up to a contest on 99designs to decide the new look will only improve his standing with the fans."
"An online community of fans and graphic designers, 99designs, has launched a competition to create the best concept for the Dolphins' next logo."
"In honor of NOLA becoming the Pelicans—not official, still awesome—designers drew up some logos. Here are the best."
"Enter 99designs.com, a community-based design website that is currently holding a contest to create a logo to fit the team's new name."
"...check out SI.com’s five favorite Pelicans logos from the [99designs] design contest..."
"Not for Profit organisations around the country are being given the chance to win free design work as part of a new Christmas initiative."
"At 'marketplaces' like 99designs, you can put your project up for thousands of talented designers to bid on."
"Number of the day: $43 million. That's how much 99designs has paid to its winning designers since the San Francisco company was started in 2008."
"[99designs] has 'ramped up' employee numbers in the past 12 months, bringing the team to 43 in the US (and 75 in total)."
"At 'marketplaces' like 99designs...you can put your project up for thousands of talented designers..."
"[HitFix] placed the challenge on 99designs.com, a crowdsourcing graphic design marketplace."
"Crowdsourced design site 99designs has launched a version of its site in French, several months after acquiring [12designer] and launching in German language as well."
"We started by building the "front door" to our service...with designs sourced from crowdsourcing platform 99designs."
"99designs has had quite the year in terms of expansion..."
"99 Designs is a good place to look for designers if you want a quick turnaround and good results."
"...99designs surveyed 2,379 designers from around the world on everything from what motivates them to how they deal with difficult clients. The results were quite revealing."
"The largest and fastest-growing is 99designs, which has, according to Chief Marketing Officer Jeff Titterton, a community of more than 175,000 designers worldwide."
"Australian-founded online marketplace for graphic design, 99designs entered the European market by acquiring German counterpart 12designer in August 2012."
"Australian-U.S. startup 99designs, for example, has paid out $40 million to some 180,000 graphic designers."
"So 99designs, a crowdsourcing graphic design firm that connects designers to customers looking for affordable designs, launched a contest asking its community to create a better marque for eBay."
"Patrick Llewellyn, CEO of online marketplace 99designs, offers tips on how to compete for clients in crowdsourced graphic design contests."
"Well, Bloomberg Businessweek asks four design professionals [including 99designs’ lead visual designer Kyle Lin] what they think about Arby’s new, digital-looking logo."
"After putting out an open call to artists earlier this month, Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon has picked a winner for his 99designs tattoo design contest."
"All in all, I’d consider my foray a success."
"The folk singer-songwriter...is offering a cash prize to the winner of his 99designs competition."
"The bearded singer seeks an image on his arm in the style of Czech Art Nouveau painter Alphons Mucha, Vernon says in a post on 99designs..."
"According to Bon Iver's Twitter account, the winner of the 99designs contest will win a cash prize."
"You can either spend entire weekends surrounded by bits of paper and felt-tip pens, tearing your hair out, or you can hire a freelance designer to create one for you via an outsourcing website such as 99designs.co.uk."
"...what started as a little idea for designers to help each other has attracted a $35 million injection of funds...has opened offices in North America and England and, last month, bought out its biggest competitor in Europe, the German 12designer."
"You've likely seen a few of 99designs logos out in wild — TaskRabbit and Cloudera, among others, have used their crowdsourcing contests to develop their logos."
"It is the first non-English language offering from the world’s largest online graphic design marketplace."
“We believe [the acquisition] will prove instrumental in accelerating our delivery of truly localized world-class design services to European businesses and designers,' 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn said.”
“Setting up shop in Berlin was the European equivalent of hanging up a shingle in Silicon Valley, [said CEO Patrick Llewellyn]. "It's the epicentre of Europe and the hottest tech start-up hub.”
“[99designs] announced its first acquisition tonight, as the Accel-backed startup scooped up its European rival, 12designer.”
“99designs--an online marketplace for logo and Web designs--announced on Tuesday it acquired Berlin-based rival company 12designer for an undisclosed amount.”
“CEO Patrick Llewellyn discusses the company's purchase of 12designer and its plans to bring the leading U.S. design marketplace to the Continent...”
“Australian crowdsourcing pioneer 99designs is expanding overseas…”
“Germany is 99designs' biggest non-English-speaking market, the company said, and is one of the fastest growing.”
“According to 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn...99nonprofits has the potential to 'provide a streamlined platform for evaluating requests, granting aid and working closely with participants every step of the way.”
“99designs, a marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design, polled more than 1,500 entrepreneurs...”
“Pastor Rick Warren…enlisted the help of the graphic design crowd-sourcing company 99designs to hold a contest for the book cover [for the 10th anniversary edition of his bestseller The Purpose Driven Life].”
“[99designs] reports that start-ups and other small businesses expect design to become increasingly important to their success.”
“Good design is more than just cosmetic window dressing for companies, a new survey of small business owners shows…The survey was conducted by99designs, an online marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design services.”
“…99designs is so perfectly positioned to capitalize on so many economic and cultural sea changes that the debate has become meaningless. In other words, crowdsourcing is a thing — it’s infiltrated video, advertising, photography, and design. And it will not be going away.”
“Crowdsourcing design startup 99designs is putting its own product to the test with a competition to redesign its homepage. The company, which connects businesses in need of design help with freelancers willing to compete for design work, wrote a request of its own, asking its 158,000 registered designers to revamp its site for a chance to win one of three $1000 prizes.”
“[CEO Patrick Llewellyn] says the beauty of his business is that it enables clients to start their own businesses quickly and cheaply. Instead of taking a month or more to find branding, a website design or a logo, it may take little more than a week. On the other side of the equation, 99designs is helping designers get work, build a business and, importantly, guarantee fast payment.”
“…consider the innovation contests staged through organizations such as Innocentive, the X-Prize Foundation, or 99designs.com. These contests clearly involve innovative work, and by definition are open systems, but they are anything but routine.”
“There are many ways to get a website done these days, and here is a cool addition to the list: 99designs is a platform that allows you to crowdsource your graphic design. Post your project, get bids and ideas from a slew of talented designers around the globe, and away you go.”
“99designs provides tools that make it easy to communicate what you are looking for in a design (e.g. styles, formats, etc.), mechanisms to work with the designers, and a payment infrastructure that keeps billing simple.”
“Patrick Llewellyn's company 99designs earned $35 million from venture capitalists a year ago and joins The Business to discuss the attraction to investors of high tech business.”
“In our first four years, 99designs hosted about 120,000 design projects. Our hopes for 2012? To surpass 200,000. And it all started with a single discussion forum for designers.”
“San Francisco-based 99designs, which connects designers looking for work with small businesses, is also enjoying the boom times…’Demand for design is only increasing,’ CEO Patrick Llewellyn says. His site is now paying out $1.5 million a month to designers -- twice the volume it had a year ago.”
“Like all entrepreneurs, Mark Harbottle has an eye for opportunities but what sets him apart is his capacity to run not just one business but many. Although all five finalists in this year’s Entrepreneur of the Year competition have outstanding and successful businesses, Harbottle stands out for the repeatability of his approach.”
“Patrick Llewellyn is chief executive of crowdsource business 99designs, which last year attracted $35 million in first-round funding…”
“99designs, one of the world’s most prominent online crowdsourced design marketplaces, has launched a UK-focused portal as it looks to ramp up its international growth efforts.”
“99designs, which runs crowdsourcing contests for graphic design projects, drew attention with its work on the Occupy movement’s logo and controversy around its business model. But until now there hasn’t been much written about the cloud infrastructure that has expedited more than 100,000 projects in four years…”
“Occupy.com, the soon-to-be-launched website for the international Occupy protest movement, has turned to the online graphic design marketplace 99designs to find a logo…The winner will get $1,000 and, most importantly, a ton of exposure.”
“The four-year-old company...has doubled the run rate of new contests from a year ago and is on track to surpass 200,000 design contests by the end of 2012. That’s serious. It’s disruptive . . . and awesome.”
“Crowdsourcing outfit 99designs says it’s on track to surpass 200,000 design contests by year end after doubling the number of monthly design contests held on its site year over year.”
“99designs chief executive Patrick Llewellyn says 2011 was a standout year, from rapid growth in contests and payouts to the launch of localised versions of the site in Australia and Canada.”
“Some of 99design's top designers are earning more than $10,000 per month, and the company says it will pay its community $1.5 million in January alone.”
“The highly controversial marketplace for crowd sourced designs continues to march through the torches and pitchforks to build a pretty interesting business…I talked to a few designers who’ve built staggering businesses off 99designs.”
“This is not the minor league for graphic designers. A 99designs competition produced the logo for errand-runner TaskRabbit, a finalist for the 2011 Crunchies (awards put out by TechCrunch, GigaOm and VentureBeat). The cost to TaskRabbit? $396.”
“99designs has doubled its staff numbers to over 50 and employed Jeff Titterton as chief marketing officer and Caroline Moon as chief financial officer. According to CEO Patrick Llewellyn, 2012 is shaping up as another ‘stand-out year for 99designs.’”
“Accel Partners led the round, and was joined by angel investors like Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck), Dave Goldberg (SurveyMonkey), Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace)”
“Accel Partners, an early investor in Facebook Inc., Groupon Inc. and other white-hot companies, has led a $35 million Series A investment in graphic design marketplace 99designs”
“This huge market makes it simple and cheap for business owners and individuals to get custom sites and logos quickly and on the cheap.”
“More than 90% of 99designs’ customers come through word of mouth. Imagine if the company actually invested in sales and marketing.”
“Rapid growth of job postings on freelance web sites for highly skilled workers, including 99designs.com, is fueling the trend.”
“99designs - thousands of designers compete for clients who need logos, websites or anything else designed for their small business.”
“This is a story of an overnight success that was a few years in the making. 16 months ago, 99designs launched and quickly became a marketplace that facilitated $5 million in design work.”
“Try crowdsourcing to leverage the larger community of design talent.”
“99designs is a crowdsourcing marketplace where individuals and small businesses can post graphic work that they need done. Within hours of a project being posted, designers from all around the world compete by uploading fully completed concept designs, which are than reviewed and rated by the project poster. At the end of the project period, a winning design is chosen and paid out the prize money.”
“While waiting to get into the Mashable party, I caught up with Jason to find out how 99designs is doing a year later. The big news out of 99designs is the launch of their logo store. Designers who have won at least one competition on 99designs can then create stock logos and place them in the logo store. Companies and small businesses can quickly select a logo for DKK99 with non-exclusive rights (or they can pay DKK300 for exclusive rights) and then the designer will customize the logo with the company name, etc. in 24 hours.”
“I’m excited to reveal the details of an interesting project that our friends from 99designs.com have been working on. Introducing the 99designs Ready-made Logo Store. The idea is you can browse a catalogue of logo designs (designed by the 99designs community) and buy them “off the shelf,” customized with your business name, for DKK99.”
“99designs is on Facebook! 99designs is the #1 marketplace for crowdsourced graphic design. Need something designed? Run logo and web designs contests. We have thousands of designers competing. Stay on budget, choose the right design.”
“At a family event over the weekend, I spent some time chatting with a cousin who just graduated from high school but isn’t sure what he wants to do next. He’s enrolled for some classes at a community college and has bigger dreams of a career in child psychology. But, in the meantime, he’d like to do something with a hobby - graphic design.”
"A new generation of online service marketplaces is giving small companies more opportunities than ever to find specialized expertise and affordable labor."
“Freelance graphic artists and Web designers who create logos, Web sites, letterhead, business cards and so on are competing for projects on the site 99designs.com. Each month about DKK125,000 in business from the site goes to U.S. designers; the average payout is DKK350 per designer. Even more importantly, many designers use this as a springboard to find new clients and develop long-term relationships to build up their freelance business.”
“More than 20,000 graphic designers have registered on the job site 99designs.com. Companies want design services, but not the usual price tag. So, designers from all over the world work for free, and compete for a top prize. Our video report has more.”
“In February this year the online media company and forum operator SitePoint spun off a new company, 99designs.com, as an independent online design marketplace. According to SitePoint’s co-founder and director Mark Harbottle, 99designs.com now has annualised revenue approaching $2 million. More spin-offs will follow.”
“99designs has 20,331 designers from 134 countries, which means clients can access a far broader range of ideas than they could by briefing a local web developer. Rather than getting a handful of concepts, most competitions attract more than 50 entries.”
“‘The main thing that 99designs is about is choice,’ says Matt Mickiewicz, the U.S. office representative for 99designs, ‘It’s a fantastic model that eliminates risk for small business owners and puts designers on equal footing.’ Designers can be of any age, background or level of experience to post designs on the site, making the site a great lead-generator. ‘It doesn’t matter if you’re 15 or 60. It’s completely based on merit.’ Most participants are students and freelancers, but Mickiewicz says that several designers have managed to make a living out of the site, including a designer in Romania who earned approximately $25,000 USD.”
“The Top Website Award, sponsored by SmartCompany, was won by 99designs. Its founder is Mark Harbottle.”
“To some extent, Web 2.0 or the read-write web as it is known, is all about crowd sourcing. The idea is that the crowd can create content for you, give feedback and even have a hand in designing products they really want.
It's a tricky concept for many companies to master but the latest generation of crowd-sourced websites such as 99designs and Gooruze are making it safe for businesses to participate.”
“Fancy yourself as a creative type? Got loads of ideas and no outlet? Or perhaps you need something designed for you. 99designs can help. They aim to put creative people in touch with prospective clients and there's a lot of money to made if you're full of ideas.”
“More and more we’re all witnessing the power of the Internet and the successful businesses being built from it. Today more so than ever the possibility of packing your business along with your other hand luggage essentials and taking it with you without anyone even noticing your daring escape becomes a very viable option.”
“[99designs] connects thousand of designers from around the world with clients who need design tasks completed fast, and without the usual high cost and limited choice you get from most traditional design firms.”
“99designs is one of the few sites I’ve seen that is really making this work. They’re focused on graphic design: logos, icons, and other visual work. People who need something fill out a brief about their needs, pay $39 for a listing, and specify what they’ll pay for the final product. Then designers contribute their ideas, which the potential client can rate and comment on. In the end, the deal gets done, the designer gets the money, and the client gets graphic work that strikes them as best-of-breed.”
“1500 designs submitted every day. That’s about one every sixty seconds.”
“Forget about all those web 2.0 start-ups with no revenue and a business model that focuses solely on selling out to Google or Yahoo! as soon as possible. The real prime real estate on the web is in online marketplaces.”
“Gaining access to thousands of aspiring designers means that a small town pub or a summer computer camp can buy a logo or t-shirt design for USD 100-200. Meanwhile, designers from across the world can tap into a much larger market for their services, while building their portfolio, honing their skills and presenting to real clients.”
“There's strength in numbers, as crowdsourcing proves as it takes off around the world.”