Meet Jurgen – he is a freelance designer who works in print, web and other digital art. He is active in the design community and goes out of his way to help answer questions for other designers.

jurgenName: Jürgen Heiss
Location: Austria
99designs handle: Jurgen
Projects won: 111


How did you get started in design?

I have loved graphic design for as long as I can remember. I was less than 10 years old when I had my first experience with Photoshop. I started with photo manipulations and restoration. Slowly, my interest in graphic design grew and I worked to broaden my skills.

I first explored color harmony. I tried to learn as much as I could about colors and how to combine them. I then dedicated myself learning everything there is to know about typography and now 10 years later… I still try to learn more and more – its a never ending process.

How do you get your design inspiration?

I get my inspiration in a variety of ways – a client with a really good design brief can be great source of inspiration all by itself. Nature is very inspiring- just walk around with open eyes and inspiration is everywhere! Things that may look like nothing special at the first can be really be inspiring upon a second look. Music and my daughter are other big resources of inspiration for me – children see the world with different eyes, listen to them and learn from them 😉

business card

What led you to start using

I think I came to 99designs like most other designers – I was browsing through a few web pages and I stumbled upon it. In the very first moment I actually wanted to close the page but something stopped me… I’m happy I didn’t.

As I read more about 99designs – I loved the concept and thought I would give it try. I won the second contest I entered and I was HOOKED from that moment on – it was a great feeling that clients loved my designs. With many of the clients I have met at 99designs I have been able to cultivate great client relationship long after the contest ends.

I also found a lot of good designer friends on 99designs such as KhingKhing (actually I’ve known him from years before I came to 99designs) Maka, Gabriella, Digital Martin and Isuk.
Guys forgive me if I forget somebody 🙂

cards2What are three things designers can do to have success at 99designs?

I’ve gotten a few emails, skype calls and chat questions from people asking me this very same question…
What can we do to win. Is there a secret… if so tell me. Ok here is what I think about this:

1. Choose a contest that fits you! Don’t choose a contest based on the highest prize. Choose your contests by your skills!

2. Read the brief. Read it carefully, think about and read it again.
Many times I write down a few key words on a sheet of paper to remember the most important things… like Portrait, Business Card, No Female Color, Clean, etc… Now if you still have any open questions – ask the client.

3. Make nice mockups! I’ve seen many cases where designers have had great designs but their presentation was bad. There is no second chance for the first impression – so sell yourself as good as possible. Try to show your design in the best light and demonstrate your professionalism to the client. If the client wants a business card with metallic foil print, than make some mockups so that the client can imagine how the card will finally look. For example you can show a gold foil to the client in this way.

A good design with bad presentation can loose against an OK design with great presentation!!!! KEEP THIS IN MIND.

4. Respect yourself, other designers, the client and of course me *lol* just kidding

What do you love most about being a designer?

My creative freedom! I love that every contest I join, every design I make is a
new challenge. I can take different approaches to reach a goal – there is no step 1, step 2, step 3. It’s just the result that counts. And as a designer, I love to chance to surprise clients with something totally unexpected.

See more of Jurgen’s work here.