99 luftdesigns.

5 04 2010

last weekend i was quiet because i was bummed out, this weekend i was quiet because i was lost in the depths of stunning weather (78!)  feaster weekend (choco-coma), and my brand new obsession 99designs.com. it all started with this little article i read on mashable (another current obsession) about finding digital design projects online. last month when i unsuccessfully attempted to make $1,000 (i ended up with $22, but we’ll talk about that later…), one of the first things i did was think about my marketable skills. i came up with the following:

cleaning
organizing
sewing
sass mouth
general labor
bookkeeping
babysitting (as long as they can use the toilet and eat solid foods)
resume writing
graphic design
and some other crap i’m probably forgetting.

but about that last one… ok, so i’m not a real graphic designer (as evidenced by how lame my behance portfolio is in comparison to all the other stunning real professionals on the site).  i have an art degree, and i’m good with computers. i’ve done some projects for some friends (usually for free or in trade), and i do some basic design for work (making warehouse space look sexy is rough). but i am far from trained- and there is a whole lot that i don’t know how to do/could be better at. one of the hardest things to do when you’re just starting out at anything is to GET EXPERIENCE, because who the hell wants to hire some schmo who doesn’t know how to do dick? 99designs, that’s who. basically, they give businesses a low cost alternative to hiring a real graphic designer.  for a flat fee, a business seeking a logo/web design/icons/letterhead… whatever can list their project, and anybody and their grandmother can submit their designs. if they choose your design, you win a prize (usually between $100-$500).  simple simple. and even if you don’t win, it’s still a great opportunity to hone the ole craft on some real life projects.

on the double upside, a good chunk of the designs on the website are really awful, and made me feel better about my skills after behance took my ego down 1,000 or so pegs.  yet another added benefit is that even if you have no desire or interest in being or hiring a graphic designer, there is a ton of hilarity to be found soaking up the bad design, poor direction following, and inappropriate use of clipart.

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10 responses

5 04 2010
notkristina

You didn’t like the wedding design co. logo? Are you crazy? The careful overlapping of images and the strict attention to detail? It was poetry on the page, bess, poetry on the page.

5 04 2010
bessmarvin

don’t get me wrong, it was definitely poetry.

5 04 2010
m

I really like your design; it’s very clean and modern. Clean design looks so simple and easy and is probably the hardest to achieve. I am finishing a degree in Art History with a minor in Graphic Design, currently working in Marketing and Design part-time while I go to school, and then the visual internship.

That website (which got “I got 99 designs and a bitch ain’t one – hit me!” stuck in my head) is awesome! Thanks so much for posting it. I have not done much work outside assignments and my one attempt at logo design resulting in hearing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING BACK from the company. Even a “no” would have been good. And their website currently has just bland type as the logo, so yeah, nice “contest.” But this is so exciting: brb, spending an eternity browsing the site.

6 04 2010
bessmarvin

thanks! i like yours too (especially the one in the upper left)! i can’t believe they never got back to you. why would they solicit a SCHOOL for submissions if they weren’t going to award the prize. no class i tell ya, no class. i sort of wish i’d gone to school for graphic design, because i feel really behind. i do tend to lean toward simple design, although sometimes i wonder if it’s too simple. all the crazy 3-d photoshop tricks are totally beyond me (not that i think that everything needs lens flares or reflections…). anyway, you’re lucky to be learning it all now, and to have such a cool-ass internship (so jealous). it’s funny, my cake logo (which i was feeling quite confident about) totally got the ELIMINATED stamp right away (they went with “shot lab” instead). meanwhile, my other submission (which i thought was totally half assed and crappy) got 4 stars and is still in consideration! seems totally random. you should tell me when you get some work up there, i totally want to see it!! i also want to totally see us make some money. word.

6 04 2010
m

I put stuff up immediately! I have yet to be eliminated and I even got feedback about the font/colors being a little too bubbly and looking like they are aimed for children (fair enough) but that the ideas are good: http://99designs.com/users/408876

I was keeping with the whole Web 2.0/iPod stuff that was mentioned in the brief but I’ma kick it up a notch. This site is totally addictive.

I pretty much hate anything too 3D and fancy and I feel so behind on Photoshop. I tend to stay exclusively in Illustrator and love it.

Oh, and ha, are you using Arial Rounded? If so, it was another font choice of mine for this “eknow” thing. I love sans serifs. Your designs are super cute.

8 04 2010
m

Update: I’m going crazy on this site. I’ve finally stopped trying in the one contest I entered because the guy keeps giving 4 stars to the crappiest, uninspired, clunky logos of the bunch. I think I’ll move on to something else soon. It’s such good practice though. I’m so obviously smack in the middle of everyone else: I don’t use clip art and big, loud, ugly type but my stuff isn’t as sleek and smooth as the higher-level logos. It’s a nice goal to work towards.

How are your contests going? You were still in the running last you mentioned.

8 04 2010
bessmarvin

i’m definitely noticing a lot of bad taste and poor choices. i also have a very low level understanding of what makes something “web 2.0”. do you have any fucking clue? i should take a photoshop class, i’m clearly not using enough drop shadows. i think your logos are great! and you’re right, the ones they gave 4 stars to are not that nice. mostly boring. although i suppose a website that makes low cost graphic design into a contest can’t really be held to that high a standard for design. it basically screams “i’m cheap and i have bad taste!”, but whatever. i’m still totally addicted. i’ve got two 4-star designs still in the running, but i think they’re both too cute. that’s all i know how to do! http://99designs.com/users/408006

9 04 2010
m

I Googled web2.0 and it looks like it’s just that modern, sleek, simple style – think Apple. This guy thinks he wants that but he doesn’t.

Your logos are awesome and doing so well! I hope you win!

10 04 2010
bessmarvin

thanks (for the compliment and the research)! the viral marketing guys gave me 4 stars and then told me that they didn’t like my design. then they picked something totally stupid that had nothing to do with any of the concepts they had talked about. lame! i’m still in the running for the virtual mall one, but i’m not having high hopes. a logo just came up today though that’s for a coupon website! what are you working on now?

13 04 2010
m

I’m not working on any designs right now – just busy with school/work. But I’ll pick it up in the future. It’s definitely cringe-inducing when you see ugly designs get 4-5 stars. I am learning that you should not put your designs up at the beginning so everyone else can steal your (perhaps not ~*~*so innovative*~*~) ideas for their own designs and usually do it better. I will wait and see which ones are eliminated and which ones are given higher stars before I put that much effort in next time around.

Any luck with yours? Are you working on the coupon one?

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