New Trend Of Crowdsourcing Graphic Design Rapidly Gains Popularity With Small Businesses

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Mixing up the traditional process of working one on one with a graphic designer, design contests get thousands of designers competing against one another.

Hatchwise is a marketplace for crowdsourcing creative services

"Seeing your company's new brand through the eyes of scores of designers is an enlightening, and many times exhilarating, experience."

The April issue of Inc. Magazine includes an article that chronicles the journey of small business owner Steve Whitesell, as he utilizes the services of several internet based design services to re-brand his company.

Steve Whitesell, who owns a home-based marketing company in Park City, Utah, shopped around at multiple internet based design companies in his quest to develop a new logo for his business, Radian (previously known as The Whitesell Group).

The services that Whitesell tried ranged from free online "logo generators" to a more conventional logo design firm, although the logo he eventually settled on was created through Hatchwise, an online marketplace for crowdsourcing creative services.

Hatchwise boasts an international community of over 4000 designers, and projects are run in a contest format, where multiple designers create custom artwork for the project, but only one ultimately gets their artwork purchased by the client. Designers participate as much for the experience and fun as for the chance to win cash. Projects can be started for as little as $29 and may receive thousands of submissions.

Whitesell's logo design project received 219 custom designs created by 46 designers. In his words "From Hatchwise, I received the most entries. They were also the highest caliber. By the fifth day, I found four or five designers I really liked and started working intensely with them. When I posted a comment for one designer, all the others could see it, and it felt like they were learning about my preferences as a group. I also liked that Hatchwise let me rank the logos as I went along." He selected his favorite and purchased it for $429 after providing the designers with 7 rounds of feedback over a 10 day period.

Steve Whitesell's experience is quickly becoming typical of small business owners, with many choosing to "crowdsource" their design projects in lieu of taking them to more traditional design agencies.

Hatchwise founder George Ryan explains: "Companies enjoy not being tied down to having to choose from designs created by just one or two designers, but instead being able to work with literally thousands of designers from all walks of life. Seeing your company's new brand through the eyes of scores of designers is an enlightening, and many times exhilarating, experience."

Although many designers enjoy the democratization and opportunity that crowdsourcing provides, some are quick to criticize, claiming that design contests devalue design and ultimately provide a disservice to the client. Grassroots campaigns have sprung up in opposition, and tempers have flared across the web as the subject of spec work and design contests is hotly debated.

Ryan explains the rationale behind Hatchwise: "We agree that design contests aren't for everyone; if you are looking to have a completely hands off approach to branding your company, don't run one. Design contests require you to dive in and become your own art director. For designers, it isn't a case of one size fits all. For some, design contests provide much needed opportunity and experience. For others, their time is more wisely spent pursuing other endeavors."

About Hatchwise
Hatchwise is an online marketplace for crowdsourcing creative services that connects businesses with thousands of freelance designers and writers from all over the world. The variety of services that can be crowdsourced through the site range from logos and websites to song lyrics and resumes.

For more information please visit http://www.hatchwise.com

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