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Date: Tuesday, 17 Jun 2014 10:19

Over the past few years the demand for crowdsourcing services has skyrocketed. This is particularly true for the design industry where crowdsourcing platforms such as DesignCrowd offer a cost effective way for small to medium businesses, start-ups and even individuals to get graphic design services done with very little effort. The processes are managed completely online and the platform provides the means of communication, payment and transfer of final design files.

So with highly effective design crowdsourcing sites like DesignCrowd working their magic for consumers, where does this leave the freelance graphic designer? Obviously not every single design project is run as a design contest on DesignCrowd or a similar platform, but with each passing day more and more will be.

Freelance designers now have a choice – do they choose to continue scouting out freelance work through word of mouth, referrals and other channels, or do they jump on the crowdsourcing band wagon and start entering design contests?

The answer lies solely with the freelancer and their view on graphic design crowdsourcing, however there is a significant list of benefits that comes with putting your design talents forward via a platform like DesignCrowd.

Below is a list of the benefits that freelance graphic designers will find by using crowdsourcing – by no means is this list exhaustive, but it does illustrate just how effective crowdsourcing can be for both consumers and designers.

The Never Ending Flow of Work

Crowdsourcing platforms have a large customer base – with a continuous stream of new graphic design jobs in all categories of design, from logos to flyers and all the way to 3D. What designer would say no to the chance of earning a stable income via a guaranteed work stream?

Feedback and Process Management

For many freelance graphic designers, looking after the day to day communication with clients and the continuous rounds of feedback can be a laborious task. However, by managing work via a site such as DesignCrowd you can manage your work on the platform. Submit designs, get feedback, submit revisions and even manage payments all in one place.

Risk Mitigation

A large risk for many freelancers is the fact that clients may disappear off the face of the Earth! Unfortunately this happens more than it should for freelancers, meaning the handwork they have put in is not rewarded as payment wasn’t taken upfront. Using a crowdsourcing site means that payments are made upfront to the platform, which holds the funds until the project is complete. Once a winner is chosen the funds are released and the winning designer is paid.

Experience and Design Portfolios

Building a portfolio of great design work is a must for freelance designers. They require this collateral to convince would be clients that they are worthy of their job. DesignCrowd and other platforms offer the opportunity to not only hone your craft by entering hundreds of design contests, but also keep a log of all designs via a designer’s profile. This enables freelance graphic artists to build a portfolio which is both online via DesignCrowd for example and off line by utilising the designs they’ve submitted.

Want a custom logo design like these?
Save 50% on logo contest fees now!

Author: "Clancy Clarke" Tags: "Graphic Design, Graphic Designers"
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Date: Saturday, 14 Jun 2014 08:18

DesignCrowd - Save Up To $500 on Design Projects

We know that many businesses will be looking to start this financial year with a kick! Start fresh and jump onboard with DesignCrowd. Perhaps you’re thinking of rebranding or making some visual changes to modernise your business?

If so, the good folks over at DesignCrowd, the design crowdsourcing platform are having a MASSIVE DESIGN SALE – For 1 week only, you can save up to $500 on design projects!

They’ve heavily reduced project fees and add-ons. Combine multiple projects and save BIG!

Author: "Clancy Clarke" Tags: "Inspiration"
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Date: Monday, 02 Jun 2014 04:56

By Clancy Clarke

The Traditional online logo design service is dead! There are no two ways about it – crowdsourcing design has disrupted the market, both from an agency point of view and for all those logo template sites.

In 2014, using a design agency to create a bespoke logo for your company is outrageous! Just think about it, think of all the steps required and the time it takes to get the design job done. If you’re not familiar with the process, it usually looks something like this:

  1. Find a design agency
  2. This often means hours of Google searching and trawling, looking for an agency that is both close to you and meets your requirements. You then have to browse through all their previous logo work, often to find that the style they produce might not suit your needs.

  3. Write the brief
  4. Writing the brief with an agency, isn’t really just “writing the brief”. The process is long and drawn out, with many face to face meetings which often waste peoples time and money – we know small businesses don’t have time for wishy washy meetings!

  5. The concept
  6. Before you are even presented with a logo design, a design agency will often present you with a logo concept, if you’re lucky there might be two or three concepts. Unfortunately, because there is often only one designer working on your logo design project, the concepts often lack diversity and individuality (compared to each other).

  7. The logo design
  8. Once you’ve picked a logo concept and provided feedback on the design, an agency will then develop a final logo design. The final design can take weeks to produce – not taking into account your feedback and revision time
    As you can see, those steps only scrape the surface of what’s actually involved in getting a logo designed with an agency. Many agencies claim that this process is beneficial for clients; however this is often not the case when both time and money are in short supply.

So, on the other end of the spectrum are logo templates – jump onto an online logo design service and choose a pre-made logo template. This seems like a smart choice for small businesses as its often quick, easy and cheap – however there is one thing that is often left out – the horrible design!

Online logo design service lack the ability to offer any form of creativity, individuality or personalisation to logo design. If you want something that’s going to represent your brand and make your business stand out – then you’ll need a custom logo design.

So, why would you choose logo crowdsourcing over one of the other options? We’ll for the exact opposite reasons to those above.

  1. Thousands of designers
  2. At DesignCrowd, thousands of designers from around the world can compete for your logo design – removing the need to search high and low for an agency. Additionally, because DesignCrowd offers a complete crowdsourcing platform, you can work with international designers; location is definitely not a barrier for crowdsourcing.

  3. Creativity
  4. The saying goes “many hands make light work” – well the same goes with logo crowdsourcing. When you have a team of professional designers from around the world all working on your design project, you can expect only the most creative logo designs. For designers to win logo contests, they need to create beautiful designs that customers will love – and this means creativity!

  5. Writing the brief
  6. Sure, you still have to write a good brief to get great results – but how about we remove all those fiddly steps in-between. Simply put down the logos that inspire you, what your company does, what values your business holds and how you would like customers to see you. Make some colour suggestions and let the team of designers work their magic. Each designer will interpret your brief differently, but this is the beauty of crowdsourcing – you get designs and ideas that you would have never dreamt of yourself.

So, what do you plan on doing when you need a new logo? If you’re keen to discover the benefits of crowdsourcing, use this DesignCrowd Coupon and get 50% of project posting fees!

Author: "Clancy Clarke" Tags: "Inspiration"
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Date: Friday, 30 May 2014 01:21

By Clancy Clarke

Getting a logo designed for your business can be a dauntingg task. There are a million factors to think about:

  • Who do you get to design your logo?
  • How do you want your logo to look and feel?
  • What personality should the logo convey about your brand?
  • Where will the logo be used?

However, compared to the days when hiring a design agency or freelance design consultant were the norm, in 2014 you can now create a logo contest on a crowdsourcing site such as DesignCrowd. Logo contests and crowdsourcing allow you to get the benefits of a huge pool of highly skilled logo designers from around the world, with different creative talents and ideas.

Getting the most from a logo contest comes down to creating a logo contest which gives designers the best chance to meeting your brief while allowing them to use their creativity to design a logo that is both inspiring and resembles your brand values, products and services.

So, to create a logo contest and get amazing results for your business, just follow these simple steps:

Think About Your Brief

Creating a design brief isn’t as easy as putting down some logos that you think look good. You need to ask yourself a few questions and convey the answers to the designers. Make sure to think about your business products or services, your company values, how you would like customers to see your brand and obviously any logos which inspire you!

When you write the logo contest brief you need to be explicit and concise. Let designers know when they have freedom to use creativity (such as flat vs 3d design) and when they need to follow strict guidelines (such as colour or shape). This enables designers to create an amazing logo that meets the brief from the get go.

Provide Constructive Criticism and Feedback

Using the logo design crowdsourcing model means you’ll sometimes receive over 100 design concepts from designers all around the world based on your brief. Wading through the designs and picking the gems can be a tedious process (but is often the best part!). A common outcome we see from logo design contests is that customers will skip designs which meet the criteria, however are not exactly to their liking. In some instances, these designs can be the best!

It’s worthwhile looking at all the designs, thinking about the colour, layout, font and general feel. Could you tweak elements of the design to make it meet your requirements? If so, take the time and effort to provide this feedback to designers – they are happy to receive feedback and would rather put the work in to create a design you’ll love that to be eliminated completely from the contest without any reason.

DesignCrowd logo design contest review

Picking a Winner

The most common outcome from a creating a logo design contest is single logo which stands out from the crowd. The design often meets all the requirements of the brief and matches perfectly with the customer’s tastes. As a customer however, make sure you consider your customers when making that final decision – although you’re a logo meets your taste, is it going to mean the same thing to your customers. Get feedback from friends and family, from co-workers and acquaintances to help you make that decision. As external parties, they will provide valuable input.

Additionally, take into account how the designer was to work with. Did the designer understand your requirements and interpret your feedback well? If so, they are likely going to be a good match for you for future projects and will be able to provide a very efficient design process. This should also be considered when picking the winner of the logo design contest.

By following these 3 simple steps, you can create a logo contest, review the design and pick a winner which will amaze not only you, but your customers and potential customers.

 

Need a logo design?
Create a Logo Contest Today …
Get 50% Off Design Posting Fees, Start Now!

Author: "Joel Falconer" Tags: "Inspiration"
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Date: Wednesday, 28 May 2014 01:13

Cracking Skulls! The Last Gasp Logo Design Contest

By Clancy Clarke

 

In February this year the infamous Last Gasp Book Shop in San Francisco launched a logo design contest to:

“Design an original Last Gasp skull logo and claim your place in history”

Last Gasp has never really had a set logo, but rather allowed artists and authors to create their own interpretation of the Skull and Crossbones – according to the team at Last Gasp:

“The result has been amazing and varied logos from the likes of Robert Crumb, Mark Ryden, Junko Mizuno, Spain Rodriguez, and many others.”

So, to provide a little bit of ongoing brand unity the Last Gasp Logo Contest was launched. You can read the full brief here.The winners and some of the runner up entries are below.

The Winners

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest - 3rd Place

3rdPlace – Colin Anderson

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest - 2nd Place

2ndPlace – Pat Moriarity

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest - 1st Place

1stPlace – Phil Guy

 

Honourable Mentions

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Hirokichill

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Dwayne Kraatz

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Jesse California

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Skinner

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Bobby Madness

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Nicki France

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Alex Barrett

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Gabriel Martinez

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Ben Duncan

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Christopher Bilyeu

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Teia Smith

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Todd Purse

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Pat Moriarity

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Helen Vine

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Cameron Forsley

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Christoph Mueller

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Paul Arscott

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Paul Hayes

 

Last Gasp Logo Design Contest -

Paul Pot

 

View Last Gasp’s take on the entries and winners here.
How do you think the designers went? Do you think Last Gasp should have crowdsourced their new logo?

Author: "Clancy Clarke" Tags: "Contests, Graphic Designers, Inspiration"
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Date: Monday, 26 May 2014 06:47

Every year designers from around the globe battle it out for a share in prize money available via the numerous design contests run on DesignCrowd. These contests vary from logo contests, poster contest to t-shirt design contests.

Today we’re going to highlight some of the winners and top contenders from years passed for logo design contests run on DesignCrowd. The quality of the entries is always outstanding and picking a winner is never easy!

Checkout the awesome quality of logo designs crowdsourced on DesignCrowd.

2009 – Brand Australia Logo Contest

In 2009, not long into the life of DesignCrowd a competition was launched to help create a logo for Brand Australia. The competition was a roaring success with 362 logos designs submitted, 110 designers contributing from a whopping 19 countries.

The Winners

Fierce Media in the UK was strong enough to take the top spot, while second place was awarded to Freckle & Partners.

 

1st Place – Fierce Media, UK

Brand Australia Logo Contest Winner

 

2nd Place – Freckle & Partners, Australia

Brand Australia Logo Contest Runner Up

 

2010 – Innovation and Growth Research Center at Harvard Business School

In 2010 the prestigious Harvard Business School required a new logo for the Innovation and Growth Research Center. DesignCrowd provided the designers, and all Harvard Business School need to do was watch the logo designs pour in via the logo competition.

The Winners

Wakland produced the winning design for the logo contest while second place was awarded to wonderfully talented AL-AFUWW

 

1st Place – Wakland

Harvard Business School Logo Contest Winner

 

2nd Place – AL-AFUWW

Harvard Business School Logo Contest Runner Up

 

2011 – Project humble: Help Crikey help News Ltd

2011 saw the leak that News Ltd were rebranding. The cheeky team over at Crikey were looking for logo designs and tag lines to aid News’ management in their bid to rehabilitate their public image. The results of the logo contest was fantastic – check out the winner below.

The Winners

Elisha Leo hit the nail on the head with her interpretation of the brief – with this fantastic winning design.

 

1st Place – Elisha Leo

Project humble: Help Crikey help News Ltd Logo Contest Winner

 

2012 – TimesSquare.com $10,000 Logo Competition

As the years rolled by over at DesignCrowd, the number and quality of logo contest grew. Bigger, more popular brands were starting contest with awesome responses. One such contest, was that for timessquare.com. The contest worth a massive 10K resulted in 5,858 logo designs from 1,338 designers

The Winners

The very talented jovan walked away with the grand prize of five thousand big ones, with the remainder spread across 64 lucky designers.

 

1st Place – jovan

TimesSquare.com $10,000 Logo Competition Winner

 

2nd Place – reliz

TimesSquare.com $10,000 Logo Competition Runner Up

 

3rd Place – omee

TimesSquare.com $10,000 Logo Competition 3rd Place

 

2013 – Philippine Logo Design Awards Vs Livestrong Foundation Logo Contest

2013 saw two hugely success contests run – and choosing which one resulted in the best designs was just impossible. below you’ll see the Philippine Logo Design Awards winners go toe to toe with the winners of the Livestrong Foundation Logo contest.

The Winners

Two amazing designers took away top gongs for the two contest. Both winners were completely deserving of the prizes.

 

1st Place – Mr. Christer – Philippine Logo Design Awards

Philippine Logo Design Awards Logo Contestn Winner

 

1st Place – Sonya – Livestrong Foundation Logo Contest

Livestrong Foundation Logo Contest Runner Up

 

2nd Place – Pedyson – Philippine Logo Design Awards

TimesSquare.com $10,000 Logo Competition 3rd Place

 

2nd Place – BigBlueCurrant – Livestrong Foundation Logo Contest

TimesSquare.com $10,000 Logo Competition 3rd Place

 

If you’re ready to start a logo design contest, use this DesignCrowd Discount Coupon Code to receive a 50% discount on posting fees!

Author: "Clancy Clarke" Tags: "Inspiration"
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Date: Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 05:48

Looking a kicking off your brand spanking new business idea in 2014? Need some design collateral to get the thing off the ground? Or are you looking to outsource some design work to streamline the business? The team at DesignCrowd are offering a Massive Design Discount for the first project you submit!

Discount Coupon Code: BLOG-2014
DesignCrowd Discount Coupon Code 2014

Simply grab the discount code and jump onto DesignCrowd to get started!

The DesignCrowd discount coupon code can be applied to any project, including logos, flyers, web design and any graphic design job.

Check out some of the designs that the DesignCrowd community have created! And what the business owners said about the service and final designs.

DesignCrowd Harvard Business School Review

DesignCrowd Mel Marie Photography Review
Redeem your discount now! BLOG-2014

With an average of 103 designs submitted per project and the fact DesignCrowd offers a money back guarantee – you can be confident you’ll get a design you love or your money back. Prices start at just $240 for a logo design and with more than 40 categories of design services available, DesignCrowd can help you with all your graphic design needs.

Money back guarantee at DesignCrowd

Get started today! And make sure you share this discount code with your friends on Facebook, tweeps on Twitter or Googlers on Goolge+ or use it yourself

Redeem your discount now! BLOG-2014
Posted by Clancy Clarke
Author: "Clancy Clarke" Tags: "Freebies, PR"
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Date: Thursday, 30 May 2013 13:13

Creative. Colorful. Experienced. Skilled. Knowledgable. Fun. Interesting. Passionate. These are all words that aptly describe UX designer, Arun Pattnaik. Visit his website, ArunPattnaik.com, and you can read his personal story of becoming a UX design superhero. In his own words, he shows “the world remarkable things never seen before.”

Overstretched? Not really. His vision is to make an impact on the world through his entrepreneurial efforts. This passion for helping others is what truly makes him a “superhero.”

The portfolio section of Arun’s website.

Hailing from New Dehli, India, Arun has worked with InstaPress, SlideShare, PicTiger and some more startups. He also worked with the world’s youngest CEO, Suhas Gopinath, who founded Globals Inc. In the past he has co-founded Oravel & Bidray (which is now owned by DealDash). Arun currently advices startups on user experience & design apart from doing freelance UX design projects, which means that his time is very limited at the moment – another superhero move, as he somehow still found time to thoroughly answer each of the questions below.

Skills section of Arun’s website which includes an interactive pie chart.

Arun’s skills seem well-developed. Of course, his largest area of expertise is in UI and UX but his XHTML and CSS skills are also highly refined. Add to this list his knowledge of PHP and a bit of HTML5. What really caught my attention, however, in my search for a UX designer (besides the fact that I wanted to find someone not so well-known but just as talented as the big names), was Arun’s heart and passion. In scrolling through his cleverly interactive website, I was captivated by his creative story-telling and fantastic design skills. In visiting the websites listed in his portfolio, I was greatly impressed not just at his ability to create very usable websites but also at his ability to help build a startup from the ground up. His personal blog showed me just how much heart he puts into every single one of his projects, and also how much pure passion he has for helping startups grow into successful companies. This man was one that certainly deserved an interview. Hopefully his answers below will help those of you who are searching for success in your own UX designer careers.

How did you get started?

Arun: Like most other UX engineers, I come from a design background. I started off as a graphic designer in a small company when I was young. Although I had a formal degree, that never really helped. I quickly realized that you’ll learn more about design by sketching on paper than reading a dozen books on design. After 2 years of working with print and graphics, I was introduced to web design by Suhas Gopinath, usually referred to as the world’s youngest CEO, my short time former employer, and now a very good friend. I was fascinated by the way Internet worked, and was amused by the impact of design on making decisions online.

And that was the time when I started taking an interest in UX design. While working with SlideShare, which is among the 250 most visited websites in the world & the world’s largest presentation sharing community, I learned how little details impact user behavior. The metrics give you quick feedback on what’s working and what’s not, whether the users like a red button or a green button, where to have ‘ok’ & ‘cancel’ buttons and where to have ‘yes’ & ‘no’ buttons. In fact that’s the basic idea behind UX, you learn how actions are affected by the smallest of details. You connect to users emotionally.

Slideshare pricing plans page.

What’s your education background?

Arun: I was never a good student. So my answer is not really encouraging for youngsters. Although I have a formal degree (with specialization in Animation & SFX), what I do currently is completely different from what I was taught. I was trained for 3D animation & visual effects in movies but that’s not something I believe I would have enjoyed to work on. I took a different career path and here I am making a lot of stuff easier to use.

I believe my instincts have been right so far. I love what I do and I’m not doing a bad job at it either.

Hiring page for Zeebo, Inc.

Zeebo gaming console: registration page.

How do you differentiate between UI design & UX design?

Arun: User interface is a part of user experience. Although UX in it’s best form is curated, it still needs to be designed.

UI design is entirely visual. It’s mostly about aesthetics and deals with what the different parts/sections of a product look like. The design of a UI will be heavily informed by the UX design.

On the other hand, UX design is a broader term. In addition to the visual appearance, UX deals with what a product feels like, how difficult is it to obtain, how easy is it to use, and whether it adds value to the end user. For some products, not necessarily web products, UX could encompass sales and support as well.

The UI can be a component of UX, but many user experiences don’t have UIs. Some have invisible UIs. For instance, I have once worked on the UX of a telephonic customer support product and it didn’t have a visual UI. A phone caller won’t get to see anything but he still expects and deserves a good user experience.

A very casual way of explaining the relationship between UI & UX would be -

“In the ultimate analysis, the goal of UI is to deliver sex, while the goal of UX is to deliver orgasms.”

Can crappy design still provide excellent UX?

Arun: Of course! Design merely acts as an enabler of UX, good or bad. My favorite web examples are Craigslist and Facebook. From purely a visual design point of view, the sites are very basic, if not crappy, but they still manage to provide great user experiences which can be explained by the popularity of the platforms.

Among physical objects, something as mundane as a wooden chair or a spoon could be an example of crappy designs with excellent user experiences.

Screenshots of the Zeebo Inc. website.

What resources do you reach every day when approaching a UX gig?

Arun: Most of my work comes from personal contacts, past clients, referrals & Dribbble. Although I have gotten a couple of projects from visitors of my website (www.arunpattnaik.com), the quality of those leads have been terribly low, due to the fact that the industry is yet to understand the importance of UX design.

Apart from Dribbble, some of my peers score UX gigs from the following websites:

http://www.uxjobsboard.com/

http://jobs.smashingmagazine.com//

What does the future of UX look like in your head?

Arun: I believe UX, as an industry, is going to be one of the largest in the near future. Companies, both big and small, are starting to invest heavily in creating amazing user experiences by innovating in their respective fields. The product companies have learned to put customers first. As recently as five years ago it was hard to find a user experience designer in a company. Ironically it was handled together by the CEO/Founder and the visual designer of the product. And now it’s common to see teams of user experience designers in companies, either as a separate department or working together with the product managers. Users are now part of the product’s building process. Internet startups are considering UX as their most powerful tool. So I’d say the future of UX is very bright.

Graphic of Dribbble invites Arun made almost completely of free PSDs found on Dribbble.

How will approaching design change?

Arun: Designs are now being done by putting the user first. Engineers are putting more focus on what the user expects to happen instead of what’s cool. Designers are putting an effort in what works best instead of what looks shiny. So the approach to design has taken a different turn. It’s a two-way process now. We learn by the user’s needs & behavior and then design our products according to it. Then we observe the user again. If we find the design didn’t work, we iterate. Repeat. User Experience should be seen as a continuous thread that runs through an entire organization, from one project into the next always pushing to make a person’s entire experience better.

Login section on the left panel of a website for a cabs booking company called Meru Cabs.

What technologies will be standard in future?

Arun: have always believed that technology merely acts as an enabler of what you actually want to do. So I would frame this question as “What methods will be standard in future?” Talking to the users is always the best method of improving your product. The success story of Dunhill is my favorite example of keeping the customer involved in the product’s development process. More and more corporates are taking this approach to design their products, and I am very sure that this will become pretty much the standard for product design. So a typical product release cycle would look like:

1. Find the problem.

2. Ask the user if it’s a problem.

3. Ask the user how has he tried to solve the problem in the past.

4. Solve the problem.

5. Ask the user if his problem is solved. Confirm that with metrics.

6. If not, go back to step 4.

If yes, ask him what did he find annoying and how can you improve.

7. Improvise. Repeat.

How does mobile fit into the future of UX?

Arun: Mobile has an important part to play in UX in the future. It already has, especially with the latest innovations in touch and geolocation technologies in place. Most of the successful businesses, both offline and online, have mobile apps which help them extend their service to users. Mobile is no longer just a communication device. It has now become an important part of our daily lives.

Mobile brings an always-available feel to technologies, which is partly true. But unfortunately we have gotten into the habit of presuming that mobile means on-the-go, desktop denotes a desk, and tablet is on the toilet. But we fail to see the blurring lines on where devices are being used and how they’re being used in unison. And that adds to the user experience regardless of the nature of your business. With mobile technologies, you no longer have to call up and ask friends about directions, journalists don’t have to carry equipment all the time to capture news, twitter has changed the way we communicate and receive news, we no longer have to wait for an important email because we are traveling. These are small but revolutionary changes. We’re saving time and money to do things which are more important. And all this has been made possible by mobile [devices].

Screenshots of the Stealth Android App.

Landing screen of the Stealth Android App.

Superhero UX Designer

Many would agree that a superhero is anyone with superhuman skills and a passion for helping and protecting the weaker members of society. Maybe this is why Arun Pattnaik likes to refer to himself as a superhero of sorts on his website. So, maybe his skills aren’t exactly superhuman, but they are definitely at an expertise level. Maybe he doesn’t fly around the world in spandex and a cape, but he does like to help other entrepreneurial businesses succeed. In my opinion, these descriptions are close enough for me to call him a superhero UX designer that deserves a moment in the spotlight.

He writes about design here. You should get in touch with him on Twitter at @arunpattnaik where he is always willing to answer UX & design related questions.

Author: Tara Hornor

Tara Hornor has a degree in English and has found her niche writing about marketing, advertising, branding, web and graphic design, and desktop publishing. She is a freelance senior editor at DesignCrowd – a marketplace that helps businesses outsource or ‘crowdsource’ custom design from over 100,000 designers worldwide. In addition to her writing career, Tara also enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. Connect with @TaraHornor on Twitter.

Author: "josabin" Tags: "Featured Creatives, Inspiration, Intervi..."
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Date: Thursday, 30 May 2013 04:55

Global design marketplace, DesignCrowd.com, has launched an unofficial $500 logo design contest to design a new 21st Century Fox logo, after the mixed response to the new logo from the international design community.

21st Century Fox Logo in Blue/Grey

The New Logo

Earlier this month, owner Rupert Murdoch unveiled a new logo for 21st Century Fox, the (new) parent company that owns the Fox broadcast and entertainment brands.

Some in the design  community described the logo, created by Pentagram, as mimicking an ’80s telecom’  logo. Under Consideration said it was ‘underwhelming‘ and Design Taxi remarked “the new company logo is much like a minimalistic version of production studio 20th Century Fox’s logo.”

21centuryfox-designcrowd-banner

DesignCrowd's Contest

DesignCrowd launched the 21st Century Logo Design Contest to its own community of 120,000 designers, offering $500 in cash prizes to be shared between three winners.

Owner Rupert Murdoch says the new logo “signals the promise of the 21st century.” If you disagree then submit a new design in the DesignCrowd contest.

Get in quick, the contest closes on  June 15. Check out the brief and entry requirements here.

Author: "Jo Sabin" Tags: "Contests, PR, 21st Century Fox, designcr..."
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Date: Thursday, 30 May 2013 02:15

3D is a useful and important tool for graphic designers. Not only it is highly useful for prototypes, interior and construction design, it also comes in handy for graphics and logos. While you can have raster and vectors mashed up in a graphic design, a logo and a t shirt design has to be strictly vector. You can create 3D in Illustrator but the engine is not up to the mark and the dedicated 3D programs render in raster formats but still you can try vector exports; alas they will disappoint you again. So if you want a perfect 3D vector for the logo project or T-shirt design project you are working on you have come to the right place.

In this tutorial you will learn how to create a striking 3D vector logo. I used Cinema 4D as my 3D software but you can use any 3D program. This logo was created by me for a band called “Traced in Shadows”.

Step 1 – Render settings…

Having the correct render settings is very important. These are the render settings I used for my project:

Output : 1920*1080 at 72 ppi.

Save: Format- PNG with Alpha Channel on (this will render without a background).

Anti Aliasing : Best at min. and max. 16*16 each.

Apply Global Illumination

NO Ambient Occlusion please.

1ea495626eb6e05f3a81d9a6b7056d2f

Step 2 – Model the Logo …

The first step is to model the logo. And here is what mine looked like.

..

Step 3 – Apply the materials …

This is a crucial step because how you edit the materials will determine the quality of your vector. Don’t apply any specular or colors just apply a luminance which will give your logo perfect color and make it easier to vectorize. Here is how my “Material Editor” looked like…

Step 4 – Add a camera object…

This is relatively simple, just go to “Scene Objects” and add a “Camera” object

Step 5 – Lighting

Lighting is important too but we do not want realistic lighting because it will ruin the vector. So I found out the trick for perfect lighting:

a) Create a Sphere.

b) Enlarge it so that it engulfs the subject of your logo.

c) Apply a plain white material(only luminance) to it.

d) Apply a composting tag to it and disable the “Seen by Camera” option in the the “Tag” panel.

Step 6 – Rendering.

Render out your logo and now you are halfway through…

Step 7 – Open up the PNG file in Adobe Illustrator.

Open the render in the Illustrator.

Step 8 – Live Trace the image…

Yes you read it correct; Live Trace the image. It is the easiest and fastest way to vectorize anything and because your logo is without shadows and stuff, the trace will be perfect. Be careful about your tracing presets and choose them according to the number of colors you have in your logo. Also, go to Advanced Trace Settings and check the “Ignore White” box. This will give you a transparent background…

Play around with the settings until you get the perfect trace and then go to Object>Live Trace>Expand which will give you the paths.

This is my trace…

7320b06d9b92c7a71613c941282295b7

Step 9 – Saving

Save it as an AI file and EPS file. These are the formats most clients require and which you need for submitting designs on DesignCrowd.

Conclusion

So now you know how to create a perfect 3D vector using Cinema 4D and Illustrator. This tutorial will come in handy for a lot of 3D logo projects, t-shirt projects and what not. So thanks for bearing with me. Hope this was helpful and enjoyable.

Sarao Arts is a freelance graphic designer from Winnipeg, Canada. See his DesignCrowd portfolio here. If you’re interested in hiring Sarao Arts for a design contest, then start your first project using a DesignCrowd discount coupon.

Author: "lucasng" Tags: "Graphic Design, Inspiration, Tutorials, ..."
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Date: Wednesday, 29 May 2013 02:04

Guest post by BrandCrowd graphic designer, Anghelaht

All web designers love to have cool stuff at their disposal, ready for instant use. Although 100% custom work is always the best approach, sometimes ready-made is the only choice when faced with the challenges of a deadline. On the internet, there are tons of high-quality designs available for purchase, but today we thought to provide you with a small collection of 44 awesome web and graphic design freebies, gathered from all around the web. The collection includes icons, textures, vectors, patterns and other various goodies for you to grab for your library and use in logo design or web projects. We hope all of the following will prove to be useful with your web design or any other professional or personal projects. Feel free to share your thoughts or other freebies with us, by leaving a message in the comment section. Have fun, everyone!

Free Icons

leather texture

PSD toggle switch UI

Switches

6 Greek / Roman Pixel Patterns

Hand Drawn Web icons

iMac free PSD mockup

business card template

12 Blurred Backgrounds

wood texture

Slider

Free PSD synthesizer

Free PSD simple emoticons

Social Media UI Buttons

41 Social Media Icons

Retro Portfolio – Full free PSD pack

Pretty Little Progress Bar

Slabstatic display free font

Moonshiner free font

Pixel UI Icon Set

Newap – Free PSD website template

Marketplace buttons

6 wood patterns / backgrounds PNG PAT

Free PSD USA map

10 High Resolution Rusty Metal Textures

Push-Button

Carbon Fibre Photoshop Patterns

Black Wall Texture

Pattern Kit One: “Ribbon Dancer”

Butterflies

Share Buttons PSD

Google Drive

Replacement iOS Icons

Mimi Glyphs Icons

Crisp Icon Set

Blanka website template

iphone ui

Calendar icon

gemicon

Cart widget

Dark Itunes

Clock

IPhone wood UI

Minimal Calendar

What awesome design freebies did we miss for logo design, graphic design and other design disciplines? Do you use free or purchased ready-made graphics in your design process? Tell us what you think.

Author: "josabin" Tags: "Freebies, Icons, Inspiration, Showcases,..."
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Date: Thursday, 21 Feb 2013 05:01

As its still early in the year we thought we’d turbo-charge your creativity by featuring a collection of 50 mighty logo designs gathered from well known online logo galleries. All are designs that show a display of power and might and vary in tone from serious to humorous and masculine to feminine in execution. This roundup features a nice mix of design approaches that cleverly use shape, color, negative space and typographic marks to make a statement.Get challenged and inspired!

Curzon Decor

1-mighty-logos

strong coffee

2-mighty-logos

Strive Studio

3-mighty-logos

Strength&Conditioning

4-mighty-logos

Occupy

5-mighty-logos

Trojack

6-mighty-logos

Power to the Pencil

7-mighty-logos

Army Gear

8-mighty-logos

Epic Comments

9-mighty-logos

BULLMAN

10-mighty-logos

Protected Legacy

11-mighty-logos

House Hold

12-mighty-logos

Silver Gold Bull

13-mighty-logos

Green Power

14-mighty-logos

Warriors

15-mighty-logos

Ultra Fitness

16-mighty-logos

Zeus Fight Wear

17-mighty-logos

Now Make Me A Sandwich

18-mighty-logos

Praemittias

RAMM

19-mighty-logos

VAQUERO

20-mighty-logos

Picthor

21-mighty-logos

Gans Tatverk

22-mighty-logos

Iron Guerrilla

23-mighty-logos

CHOKLAD BUDET

24-mighty-logos

FLYING STAG

25-mighty-logos

Stronghex

26-mighty-logos

Athletic Performance Academy

28-mighty-logos

Mouthscle

29-mighty-logos

Pump ups

30-mighty-logos

Silverback

30-mighty-logos

Templars

32-mighty-logos

Stargym

33-mighty-logos

atlas

34-mighty-logos

God’s Gym

35-mighty-logos

PRYM8

36-mighty-logos

Wellfit

37-mighty-logos

BODYFORCE

38-mighty-logos

VIKINGOO

39-mighty-logos

Power Impression

40-mighty-logos

Truckers fitness gym

41-mighty-logos

Hanuman Shakti

42-mighty-logos

Globull

43-mighty-logos

Gladiator Fitness

44-mighty-logos

Rhinotes

45-mighty-logos

Prevalent Marketing

46-mighty-logos

Muscle Cloud

47-mighty-logos

Silverback

48-mighty-logos

Gryphonism

49-mighty-logos

Growcase

50-mighty-logos

What’s your favorite pick from this roundup of mighty logos? Maybe it didn’t make the list, share your feedback in the comments below.

Author: "josabin" Tags: "Graphic Design, Inspiration, Showcases, ..."
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Date: Sunday, 17 Feb 2013 10:19

When it comes to logo trends, transparency seems to be having something of a moment. It’s a brilliant way to bring branding to life. A well executed transparent logo can add the next level of colour variation and depth. It’s an elegant technique that designers also use to introduce a sense of perspective to a logo.

It can suggest organic growth to a digital mark and add development, connection, continuity and smooth, subtle transition between individual elements. What’s more, transparency can help to make the design brighter, lighter and create the effect of an illuminating the mark. Not convinced? Take a look at this showcase of creatively applied transparency and overlaying techniques to see what we mean.

Logo Design by Jared Milam

This candy-coloured logo is by graphic designed Jared Milam. Look at the way the letters overlap to create new tints of each shade, and the beautiful textures that using transparency adds.

Logo design by Are Sundnes

This is a stunning example of transparency applied to a typographic mark. It’s for Paranaiv, a blog and magazine about photography and style and makes excellent use of layering to create depth, interest and colour variation.

This is a stunning example of transparency applied to a typographic mark. It’s for Paranaiv, a blog and magazine about photography and style and makes excellent use of layering to create depth, interest and colour variation.

Logo design by Fogra

Here’s an example by Sean O’Grady for Pangur Glass Craft. It uses transparency to add a sense of perspective to the stacked bowls. It also helps to suggest that the bowls are made from a delicate base material; incredibly appropriate for a company that supplies glassware.

logo design by joan pons moll

In this example graphic designer Joan Pons Moll uses transparency to create texture on the bird’s feathers and beak.

logo design by tmiint

We love the way that transparency can add a sense of fragility to a digital mark, as can be seen in this example by Mattia Moretto. Check out the way the accent colours are repeated over both the letter I’s for attention to detail.

Logo design by FireBrand

With a seriously reduced colour palette and clever use of transparency, Firebrand, the designer behind this treatment, creates a metropolis of intensity and a real sense of city-scape perspective.

logo design by NEXQUNYX

The company is called wraparound, the designer has used transparency to create a brand that wraps around itself to build depth. Simple, effective and super-smart.

Written by Nicky who works at whoishostingthis

Author: "Nicky" Tags: "Inspiration, inspiration, logo design"
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Date: Friday, 11 Jan 2013 07:46

10000 Oomph App Contest Banner

The tablet app development platform Oomph has launched Oomph Marketplace, an app marketplace for self-service customizable app templates. Like Themeforest is to Wordpress templates, designers can create and sell their templates in the Oomph store.

Oomph will be launching new functionality in the coming weeks so Designers can sell templates they have created in store.

Leading up to the release of Marketplace, Oomph has launched a $10,000 app design competition on crowdsourcing website DesignCrowd. The competition comprises of four separate contests focussed on four popular app genres. The interactive template designs should be suitable for organisers of arts or music festivals, industry conferences, travel agencies marketing holiday destinations, retailers who want to build a rich media interactive experience for customers and branded magazines.  (See examples of tablet app covers are below.)

Brand Magazine

magazine_template

Travel Brochure

travel_catalogue

Retail Catalogue

paint

How to Enter

Click here for the DesignCrowd contest page. Read the brief and guidelines. Oomph has included template creation guidelines that are required reading. To help you design an Oomph app template, Oomph is giving away a best practice app template, icons and artwork and a blank template. Register at Oomph Marketplace and you’ll receive the free templates in your account, or take a sneak-peak at the tools and guidelines here. You can also checkout all the other logo design contest at DesignCrowd.

The Prizes

Each contest offers $2,500 in cash prizes awarded to the top 3 designs in the following contest categories:

  1. Event Apps
  2. Brochure Apps
  3. Retail Catalogue Apps
  4. Magazine Apps

Designers designers have until January 19 to submit designs to be in the running to win cash prizes.

Author: "Jo Sabin" Tags: "Contests, News, app design, Apps, iPad, ..."
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Date: Monday, 31 Dec 2012 05:09

In May we mentioned that a client of DesignCrowd launched one of the biggest online logo design contest prizes to have ever been posted. The TimesSquare.com $10,000 logo design contest.

The contest closed in August after receiving 5, 845 designs from 1,300 designers from around the world.

On 12-12-12, TimesSquare.com announced the top 5 winners on its site.  Sixty-five designers were awarded cash prizes for their efforts.

A Serbian-based designer who goes by the user name Jovan on DesignCrowd, took out the $5,000 first place prize. The winning design was one of 6 designs the designer submitted to the contest.

The top 4 designers were awarded $3,000 in cash prizes and another 60 designers of merit shared in $3,000 in participation payments.

Here is the top 5 roundup.

Winner – Jovan

Top 4 Designs …

REIZZ

OMEE

CTRL+N

LEMONCRUSH

TS-lemoncrush-5

What do you think of the winning designs? You can check out more entries on DesignCrowd.

Author: "josabin" Tags: "Contests, PR, $10000 logo design contest..."
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Date: Thursday, 20 Dec 2012 08:10

The iPhone App Store hit the internet back in 2008 and in just four years apps have been well and truly accepted into the mainstream. From getting on top of your finances to managing your personal fitness, there’s an app for it. But the most fun aspect of apps is the possibilities they present for the gaming industry. And things have come a long way in just a few years. It’s now possible to get games with console-style graphics quality on the go; video and animation you’d only expect to find in a games arcade. Here are some of the games that have swallowed our spare time in the past twelve months – our top ten games apps of 2012.

Angry Birds Star Wars

Somewhere in a galaxy far, far away, the ultimate games app just got a whole load better. Star Wars Angry Birds isn’t just the best incarnation of the game, it’s also the best movie spin off we’ve seen in a long time. Yup, you still shoot birds at pigs, but in this game you get to do it with lightsabres and lasers. What’s not to love?

Angry-Birds-Star-Wars-Wallpaper-angry-birds-32422194-1920-1200

Fieldrunners 2

The original Fieldrunners was one of the Apple App Store’s first hit games and this version takes to the next level for 2012. It’s a simple premise. Protect your tower and stop the bad guys from getting to the other side of the screen by using a variety of weapons. The more bad guys you kill the more money you get for weapons.

Fieldrunners-2-Title-642x424

Toca Tailor

The first app from Swedish interactive toy maker Toca Boca, Toca Tailor is a cool game for the over fours. This game lets users dress a variety of characters in an almost endless choice of clothes and is a brilliant game for encouraging creativity.

TocaTailor_site_pic

Toca Band

Hailed as one of the best children’s apps of 2012, Toca Band gets kids to create a song through an easy-to-use interface. All they have to do to make their music is drag and drop the colourful characters across the screen – each one has its own unique sound!

toca_band_web_pic

Clash of Clans

Clash of Clans is a cool cross between FarmVille and a war game. Build a village, train your troops and fight with other players. One of the most popular free apps of 2012 on Apple devices.

carousel_clashofclans_01

New Star Soccer

It might not look like much, but New Star Soccer is utterly addictive. Your aim is simple; score as many goals as possible while more obstacles – such as high walls and winds – are put in your way. You need to upgrade from the free version to the 69p incarnation for the real fun though. This version lets you live like a real player, earning wages and building professional relationships with other players and your club manager. Improve your skills and you make more money. You’ll also have to make lifestyle choices to help improve your fitness or, more importantly, attract your very own WAG.

xl_New_Star_Soccer_624

SongPop

SongPop is a free music-trivia app that was named app of the week by ABS News back in July. Guess song clips and challenge your friends – and there are thousands of songs on there, ranging from golden oldies to today’s top tracks.
song-pop-review-ipad-iphone-android-0

Rayman Jungle Run

The legendary console platform hero made a successful jump to mobile this year with Rayman Jungle Run. The graphics are gorgeous and the smooth touch-based controls are a pleasure to use. No wonder it was named the App Store’s Game of the Year 2012; it’s an easy game for all ages to get to grips with, but addictively tricky to master.
Rayman-Jungle-Run-Trailer-Screenshots-570x440

Waking Mars

This app was one of the biggest smashes of 2012. The narrative is one of the most engaging we’ve seen on this platform and involves the discovery of alien life on Mars and the subsequent mission of first contact. It’s an intelligent, adrenalin-fueled race against the clock to determine the fate of a sleeping planet.

waking-mars-developer-trailer_1

Batman: Arkham City

It may only have been launched last week, but Batman: Arkham City is set to be a last-minute big-hitter of 2012. It’s based on the most popular Batman video game on record and sees Batman fight some of the toughest villains ever – including Catwoman. It’s a hefty download, clocking in at 10.67 GB, so make sure your Mac can handle it before you buy.

bgd-batman_arkham_city-400

This is a guest post contributed by Neeru Pallen who writes on behalf of Print Express UK.

Author: "Neeru Bhangu" Tags: "Showcases, The Hotlist, angry birds, App..."
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Date: Wednesday, 19 Dec 2012 07:53

Yesterday Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and Minister of Parliament announced the winner of a t-shirt design contest he launched in October.

The winner is Studio71, a graphic design studio started by Shane Marchewka who discovered the contest on crowdsourcing site DesignCrowd and submitted six designs to the website’s $1,000 t-shirt design contest.

“I registered with DesignCrowd earlier in the year as a way to boost my exposure as a freelance designer. I am stoked enough to say I have a former Prime Minister as a client however the $1,000 prize money is like a cherry on top of a very sweet cake!” he said.

Mr Rudd tweeted about the contest yesterday and said, “Shane is a great guy who is putting in the effort to start his own small business. He had a range of great ideas and really embraced the spirit of the competition. I wish Shane and Studio71 all the best for taking his business to the next step. I was overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of entries, so thanks a million to DesignCrowd and Australia’s talented graphic design community.”

It’s not everyday designers acquire former Prime Ministers as clients.

Here is the winning design:

Its-Our-Ruddy-Future

Looking for your own design? Grab the discount code and submit a brief today.

Author: "josabin" Tags: "Contests, Graphic Design, News, PR, desi..."
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Date: Monday, 03 Dec 2012 23:16

In this guest op-ed Alec Lynch, the founder and CEO of DesignCrowd, a design crowdsourcing website, argues that political groups like Greenpeace are increasingly relying on the creative power of  online ‘crowds’ to drive activity and create media awareness around their agenda.

Crowdsourcing design is a proven way to generate creative ideas – from logo design to t-shirt design – and now, in an innovative twist, Greenpeace are applying crowdsourcing to environmental activism by asking people to enter an’ad contest’ for Shell Oil via a spoof website ArcticReady.com. Greenpeace’s campaign has generated hundreds of entries and a firestorm on social media.

Here are some of the funnier and more popular advertisements created by the crowd:

Example Shell Oil Crowdsourced Advertisement

Example Shell Oil Crowdsourced Advertisement

Example Shell Oil Crowdsourced Advertisement

Example Shell Oil Crowdsourced Advertisement

Example Shell Oil Crowdsourced Advertisement

It’s not the first time Greenpeace have used crowdsourcing to target an oil company. In 2010, Greenpeace ran a logo design contest to re-design BP’s logo (shortly after the BP Oil Spill) with hilarious results and a big social media impact. Thus, the current Shell Oil ad contest appears to be Greenpeace’s second attempt at crowdsourcing and (given the success they’ve achieved) probably not their last.

It’s unclear what Shell can do in response. It’s probably less an issue related to crowdsourcing and more of a legal question related to using a logo or brand to ridicule that brand (i.e. whether the crowd created these or Greenpeace it doesn’t matter – as soon as they’re published and become popular, Shell will get upset).

What is clear is that the power of the crowd to act fast and generate creative ideas is compelling. While the message is serious, some of the entries are downright funny. It will be interesting to see how the Greenpeace crowdsourcing initiative plays out (while the site be taken down or not). In the meantime, crowdsourcing remains a powerful tool for a range of organisations from small business and big brands to non-profits and activists. Brands and businesses should consider using professional crowdsourcing websites and services (such as DesignCrowd) to manage their crowdsourcing initiatives.

Author: "josabin" Tags: "News, Topical Op-ed, activism, advertisi..."
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Date: Friday, 30 Nov 2012 04:49

The first impression is always very important and quite often crucial when dealing with customers. Displaying your company or personal identity in a properly and creative fashion might be the difference between potential and real clients. Below I have gathered a small collection of 33 Business Cards that captured my attention with their style, colors and effectiveness.

Penn

Grebban

MuscleFire

Nobtaka Nukui

Renhand

Angelis

Ross

Color-Blossom

Mediastudio

Fitwise Training

Mile Deep Films & Television

formgarten

Vladislav Malkovick

Pivotshare

Sommelier

The Argonaut Hotel

Nili Studios

Emporium Pies

Grit Creative Co.

Darlene Dewell

Möbeldesign

Mackey Saturday

Joonas Paloheimo

Privax

Bright Edge Painting

Webshocker

Contreforme

Strahlend

Milky

Radity

Olivier Pineda

iPhone

Business Cards 2012

Which were your favorite business cards and why? Tell us in the comments below.

Author: "Felix Diaconu" Tags: "Branding, Inspiration, Showcases, Typogr..."
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Date: Friday, 30 Nov 2012 01:20

The need for unique visual identities has pushed both designers and ventures in capturing inspiration from unusual and common origins. Today, we showcase 50 logos with a slightly common source: logos inspired by animals that human beings have managed to domesticate during thousands of years.

Symbolism plays a significant part in logo design and extracting inspiration from friendly, trustworthy and sometimes funny looking domesticated animals is a natural place to seek creative inspiration. Although the featured animals in this post are familiar, the logos display a memorable and one-of-a-kind visual appearance. Without further ado, feel free to fuel your creativity with 50 logo designs inspired by these cute, sometimes fierce and often furry domestic animals.

Top dog training

Sheepington

oinky

Las Cabras de Mexicali

Gray Bull

Curly Cat

Great

Buffalo

Rum Donkey

Good Duck

Horses Kingdom

Pis’moved

Goosey Gander

Happy Lama

Yak Works

goldfish inc

Rabbit

Canary

Coy koi

Ratbit

Freebee

Road-Hog

Camel

Elephant Mouse

Selecore

Mack Wack the Duck

Alpine Goat Project

DogCat

White Rabbit

Midnight Donkey

truffle seeker

EMAG

Bullocked

Fatcat Coffee

Bee

Work Horse

Sheep

carrier pigeon

buffalo

Imperial Horses

Store logo in progress

Barcamp Litoral

Bravo Game

Mary Sheep

Nualz

Llama

fold dog

Burro Bar Variant

Laura Bee

Pet Nest

Bull

Which was your favorite design and why? Do you look at animals for design inspiration when you receive a logo brief? Let us know in the comments!

Author: "josabin" Tags: "Branding, Inspiration, animals, inspirat..."
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