In the previous post I wrote about how cool and important is to get deeper into 99designs thing, because your attempts to win the contests become wiser and finally have the rules to be based upon. I see many designers who simply take part in any contest they see and I think it’s really a big waste of time and their ratio proves my point (usually it’s like 2-3 wins/350-800 attempts). With such a strategy those winnings are completely casual and out of any control, plus they lose so much time that would be worth much better spending. Trying to find the rules this system works according to I quickly came to the point where 4 of my 5 designs really get noticed and find their way to the final stage. I would call it a success :) Sure, not all 4 of those designs win, but my chances are really high. So here are these rules.Read More»
The days go by and I mainly spend them in work. I try to take part in a contest on 99designs.com every day and it already started to give something back: I won 2 contests in September and already have some hope for another 2-3 projects. This contest thing just thrills me, not only just because of excitement and passion and a kind of game feeling, but also because I started to understand the rules :) You see it’s like playing Lineage II for the first time – it’s cool and exciting just to run around and kill monsters, but it get wa-a-a-a-ay better when you finally start to understand all the rules about armour sets, spell macros and so on. It takes time for sure, but when you get into all this stuff you start to enjoy the game as fully as possible. Same thing here – when you really get into 99design’s rules and features it becomes way more interesting to play… hm.. I mean work :) When you start to really feel what contest you should take part in, develop your own strategy and special tactics. It’s fun and I really should write a separate post about it soon.Read More»
Today I’ve got my first victory at 99designs.com! Great, because I already started to think it would never happen. I took part in 27 contests (11 just for August) and I thought it was more than enough for not the worst designer in the world to finally win something. Well it seems you should learn a lot to win there, you can’t just win at once. When you get there for the very first time it looks like there’s nothing easier, but this place has its certain specificity.
It sounds like a cliché, but you must feel the place, get the vibe and develop your own strategy which is far beyond “just taking part in everything”. One thing is a concrete stone – it’s always better to be first or one of the first 10 designs to submit your designs, because the customer will really remember your design and at least consider to accept it. Somebody thinks it’s better to post after everybody else, but I don’t think so.
The most designers take part in the guaranteed contests only, i.e. when the contest holder guarantees he will choose something from the uploaded designs and will pay money for it. When the contest holder doesn’t want to guarantee anything, usually it means he’s just not sure if anybody’s going to offer something really good. I prefer this kind of contests, because I’m pretty much sure I can make something really good and there’s no such crazy competition like in the guaranteed contests. If a contest is guaranteed there can be 50 and even more designers and there’s only up to 10 of them there if it’s not. I’d call it a better chance, though there’s also a chance not to get anything, because the customer has a right to say “I didn’t see anything interesting enough here, so I’m just leaving”. It happens.Read More»
Speaking of the web-sites with the design contests there are lots of them out there, but it looks like many people still don’t know they exist. The main idea behind these web-sites is to let designers take part in the contests for the best design. For example you need a design or your web-site, you create a contest and then get about 100-200 designs from the designers from all over the world. Sometimes you don’t get what you want and just delete your contest, but if you guarantee you’re going to choose a design you’ll get way more designs.
As a designer I tried to take part in several contests, but unfortunately didn’t succeed. That’s the main minus in all that – it’s all about luck. Even if you do exactly what’s described in the brief you still can lose. One time a contest starter wanted something light and web 2.0 and eventually chose a dark and very old-fashioned design. So the only thing you can rely to is your grit and luck.
There are about 20 of contest web-sites, may be more, and they all have their features and bugs. Some of them are or logo design contests only and some of them do literally everything – web-sites, name finding, texts, logos, banners, posters, illustrations etc. They also have the different price policy. In the end of the day I chose two of them…Read More»
SEO is not just a popular modern word, it’s a thing your self-repayment and profit depend on. Not more, not less. Too many people make their web-sites and wait the people to come over, buy things and stuff and then get depressed because nobody comes. That happen because it’s not enough to make a website, you must be at least aware of how the stings work: now the visitors find your web-site, why a web-site is much more popular than another one etc. The questions are easy and the answers are not hard at all: the most visitors come from the search engines like Google and everything depends on how good is your project accessible for search engines, i.e their robots. For example the Google robots come to your web-site everyday, helping Google to index each and every page and it’s your aim to help them as much as you can, because the better they work with your web-site the higher you’ll be in the search index. The same is with all the other search engines and you really need to optimize your web-sites (maintain your SEO – Search Engines Optimization) to let the potential visitors know about your web-site.
If you’re interested I would highly recommend to contact some SEO-professionals, the work is hard and must be done by the experts. It doesn’t mean you can’t do some simple thing by yourself though. Let’s name some things you really can do without an expensive helping hand.Read More»
Being a designer I see many various web-sites every day and this adds a certain amount of stress, because when I don’t like a web-site I can’t help myself starting to think what I would change to make it look better :) So here in this article I would like to touch a subject which can be considered as a big problem for many designers and especially or the people who choose to make their web-sites my themselves – colors.
You see my observations tell me too many people tend to forget about the colors and their combination. As a result they have the web-sites with too many main colors or with the main colors that simply don’t suit to each other. The root of this problem is old and weird “everybody can make a web-site” which is exactly as odd as “everybody can control a space shuttle”. But if you need to be a perfect expert in physics, astronomy and many other things to be a spaceman, you need to SEE the colors to make a good web-site. And the smart people just wouldn’t say “Ah it’s simple, just put that dark blue text on the black background and it will be alright”, because guess what – dark blue text will be almost invisible on the black.
Even the professional designers usually don’t trust their eyes enough to design a web-site in a hit-or-miss fashion. Fortunately we have the special software to see what colors would look perfect together and I highly encourage you to use it.Read More»
Two days ago I had to close Festivallica for a week or so, because well I didn’t like for 100% what I’ve done. It wasn’t flexible enough and functional enough to live long enough. The task is especially hard for me because I’m not a programmer and I don’t program any language, it’s simply not my thing. So I can only hope for good and look or some paid solutions, because let’s face it – not all the free stuff at wordpress.org is good and even if it works fine it looks like it’s author has never wanted somebody to actually use his product. Every single solution must be seriously changed in the visual way and I even don’t say about the graphic design – I say just about spacing between the objects, general styling etc. In 99,9999% cases they look awful. What’s great with the paid plug-ins and themes is they look great (what you saw in the demo is what you get) and you can use the normal support which is great, because if you want to make not a simple blog, but a web-site with various features and stuff you’ll need it anyway.
For Festivallica I bought a special event theme. Its look will be different, but it’s the functions what I really needed. So what can you expect from Festivallica 2.0…Read More»