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Design online: Making big branding affordable

Jessica Rowe
Culture Journalist

Jessica Rowe is a Melbourne-based writer with a passion for not-for-profits, the digital world and making a difference

Jessica Rowe
Culture Journalist

Jessica Rowe is a Melbourne-based writer with a passion for not-for-profits, the digital world and making a difference

You don’t need a million dollar budget to get the best logo. Start-ups and small businesses now have access to world-class designers thanks to dedicated online marketplaces.

It doesn’t matter how big or small your business is, it needs an identity, a personality. It tells your customers who you are, what you do and helps them identify you in a market that’s saturated with products and messages. But when budgets are small, how do you find a brilliant designer that doesn’t cost the world? Put simply, on the internet.

Envato and 99designs are two companies leading the way in how we connect with great graphic designers. Their digital services have transformed the branding process.

Most famous for pioneering the “design contest”, a competition where a dozen designers compete to offer you the best design, 99designs prides itself on variety with a quick turnaround. Likewise, Envato, voted one of the world’s top 88 websites, trades in digital assets and offers online education in digital design and development. 

Computer on desk with design software on screen

A global marketplace

Today we live in a global marketplace. The internet has removed the need to find talent within your local area and opened opportunities for businesses to explore options for freelance workers from all over the world. Facilitating these connections is what’s made Envato and 99Designs so successful.

Jason Sew Hoy from 99designs believes the power of the internet has not only enabled design to be much more accessible to a global audience, but allowed businesses without big budgets affordable and easily accessible logos and branding they love.

“You don’t need to be restricted to the graphic designer within your suburb anymore.”

“Through 99designs we can basically help people run a design contest and find the designer somewhere in the world that can produce the best logo for their business,” he says.

Small businesses with big ideas

Online and on top of their game, both companies offer small businesses access to unrestricted creativity for prices that won’t set you back a fortune.

Layla Foord, general manager says Envato was created to help small businesses connect with talented designers and developers all over the world. “It gives them control. It’s great that small businesses can work directly with a designer so it [the project] becomes their vision and what they want. And it also helps them to manage their own timelines and access talent and skills.”

The global markeplace opens up opportunities for small businesses to compete in new markets and realise growth opportunities. But new markets often mean more competition, and your brand needs to capture potential clients and reflect your company’s personality.

For Layla, first impressions online really count.

“Branding is essential to be able to stand out from the competitors and also for your customer to remember you.”

A clear design brief, or at best, ideas that reflect your business is the first step to your brand identity. 99designs “prompt[s] people to write in their business name, select colours that they might already have in mind for their brand and describe who their target customer is,” says Jason Sew Hoy, its chief operating officer. 

Quality and quantity

But cutting down on cost doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing on quality, and the importance of getting it right isn’t lost on Envato, which is why all their freelancers are handpicked.

“Not anybody can apply to be on the platform and offer their services, we actually invite them. So any [freelancer] that you work with is going to be high quality” says Layla.

The same can be said of 99designs. With the idea of the company coming organically from designers, “we hold our design community right at the heart of everything we do. And to strip it all away, we’re here to basically create opportunities for the one million talented designers we have on our platform”.

So confident are they with their talent pool, they offer a 100 per cent money back guarantee if dissatisfied. The opportunities for business looking to rebrand have never been so attractive.

  1. Make the most of the worldwide workforce. A global marketplace eliminates postcode restrictions and gives you instant access to the best of the best within the industry
  2. Big branding doesn’t need to cost big bucks. Crowd sourcing talent allows for unrestricted creativity for competitive prices
  3. Competitive price doesn’t mean compromising on quality. Having access to a variety of options can mean you’re more likely to find a design that suits your needs and your budget
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