Crowdsourced Design: What Is It?

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.

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What is Crowdsourced Design

What Is Crowdsourced Design?

Crowdsourced design is a process in which an individual or a company solicits design ideas from a large group of people, typically through an online platform or competition (also called contests). This allows for a diverse range of ideas to be generated and considered, rather than relying on a single in-house design team or agency. The final design is often chosen based on a combination of factors, such as creativity, feasibility, and alignment with the organization’s goals and values.

Why do we use it?

Crowdsourced design can be used for a variety of purposes, such as creating logos, branding, marketing materials, and product designs. It can also be used to generate ideas for new products or services.

By tapping into the collective creativity and expertise of a large group of people, crowdsourced design can lead to innovative solutions that would not have been possible with a traditional design process. Additionally, crowdsourced design are cost-effective, as organizations often get a large number of design concepts to choose from without having to pay a large design team or agency.

Where To Get Crowdsourced Design?

As a client, you can outsource graphic design through crowdsourced marketplaces, such as 99designs, DesignCrowd, and CrowdSpring. All of these companies are very similar in the type of services they offer. But they differ in the pricing, quality of designers, and additional features.

Advantages of Crowdsourced Design

There are several advantages to using crowdsourced design:

  1. Increased creativity and diversity of ideas: Since people from all around the world can pitch and you’re not limited to a team of in-house designers, you get access to more innovative and unique designs. This is particularly beneficial for organizations looking to stand out from their competition or those looking for ideas without clear expectations.
  2. Lower costs and faster development: Crowdsourced design is more cost-effective than traditional design processes, as you can solicit designs from many people without paying a large design team or agency. Additionally, crowdsourced design can often be completed more quickly than traditional design processes, as more people are working on the project, thus competing among themselves.
  3. Flexibility and Scalability: Crowdsourced design can easily adapt to the organization’s needs, whether it is a one-time project or an ongoing initiative. It also allows organizations to scale up or down the number of contributors depending on their design needs.

Challenges of Crowdsourced Design

There are several challenges that organizations may face when using crowdsourced design. One of the main challenges is maintaining quality control. With a large number of designs being submitted, reviewing all of them and asking for revisions is time-consuming. It can also make you lose the thread about what you were looking for.

Another challenge is intellectual property rights. When individuals submit designs, there may be confusion or disputes regarding who owns the rights to the designs. This can be difficult to navigate and may require legal expertise. However, crowdsourced platforms make this easier by acting as mediators between you and the freelancers. The property rights are determined before you even submit a contest.

What Can You Crowdsource?

The crowdsourcing principle can be applied to the field, much like freelancing. For example, Wikipedia is a crowdsourced online encyclopedia. But in this post, we focus on design, which includes graphic design, web design, and logo design.

In the realm of design, crowdsourcing can be applied to a wide range of specific tasks. Some examples include:

  • Graphic design: Crowdsourced graphic design can be used to create logos, brochures, posters, packaging, and more.
  • Web design: Crowdsourced web design can be used to create website layouts, wireframes, and overall user interface design.
  • Logo design: Crowdsourced logo design can be used to generate a wide range of options for a company or organization’s logo.
  • Product design: Crowdsourced product design can be used to generate ideas for new products or to design specific components of a product.
  • Packaging design: Crowdsourced packaging design can be used to create packaging for consumer products, such as food, cosmetics, toys, and other consumer goods.
  • Industrial design: Crowdsourced industrial design can be used to create industrial products like equipment, tools and other machines.


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