A logo design contest can go really great or just fall flat; much of the outcome is in your hands! I have created or managed dozens of logo contests over the years from various different sites such as 99Designs and my favorite 48HoursLogo; despite the site I have found when I am the most active and encouraging in the contest that I get the best results from the designers.
When creating your contest ensure you provide specific details on what you do and do not want to see. While you can provide examples of logos you like, I have found it is better to avoid providing logo examples (as this can limit creativity) and instead provide descriptive text of what you would like to see in the logo.
If you have not already chosen your colors, go over to color.adobe.com to pick out a color swatch. Consider choosing a font from Google Fonts or if in doubt just go with Helvetica 😉
As logo concepts start be be submitted it is important to provide timely feedback. Using star ratings help give the designers a sense of what you are and are not looking for. The following is how I view the star system.
Rating with 5 Stars:
It is recommended to refrain from rating logo concepts with 5 stars in the early stages of the contest as this discourages new submissions and breeds copy cats. I typically do not rate a 5 star until I have selected the final concept.
Rating with 4 Stars:
A 4 star rating would mean you are very near to selecting this design. Be sure to provide specific feedback at this stage to further refine the concept. Consider colors, effects (shadow/gradient), font types, spacing etc.
Rating with 2 & 3 Stars:
Use the 2 & 3 star ratings to classify early concepts. Be sure on these ratings to encourage the designer to come back with additional concepts and thank them for their time.
Rating with 1 Star:
If the quality of the logo looks like it was made in MS Paint or they are just clearly not following your instructions rate them with a 1 star to discourage them from submitting anything more. Leave a message such as:
Thank you [Insert Designer Name] for your submission. I think we are looking for something more [Adjective] but I appreciate your time!
When leaving comments be sure to call out designers you really thought did a great job! In a logo concept I created through 48 hours logo for my personal logo I created notes such as:
OGDesignFirm – Way to rock the house!
coolRed – Thank you for the diverse concepts and leading the charge with the most totally viable logos!
ITDude – Ultra creative, your #54 is so rugged yet refined… amazing
MugWag – Perfect submission, exactly what I was hoping to see for that concept!
Majid_B – Thanks for coming back with the killer second round!
BryantDesigns/Xiaolanmoa – Thank you for your creativity!
Half way through or near the end post, leave a public message letting designers know you are still actively engaged in the project. This will encourage additional concepts. Consider a message such as:
Hi everyone! I really appreciate your time and creativity so far! The submissions are getting better and better each day. Please accept my apologies for delaying my selection as I wish to give as many designers a chance to submit as possible. I intend to bonus the final top 3 designers for their hard work. Thanks again!
There is a feature which allows you to award bonus to submissions which you do not ultimately select as your final winner. Remember that unless they are selected they do not get paid, so by adding a bonus for the top 3 finalists you will show your appreciation for their efforts and likely increase the energy spent on the project.
Go start your Logo Contest today!
Rob Bertholf is a guest blogger and Marketing Technologist.