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crowdSPRING is a freelance marketplace for graphic design, web design, and logo creation services.

While other freelance sites try and be everything to everyone, Chicago-based crowdSPRING focuses on these creative niches. The company was founded in 2008, and has attracted a userbase numbering in the tens of thousands from all over the world.

How CrowdSpring Works

crowdspring reviewThe way it works is you post a description of the work you need done, and talented designers submit their ideas.  On average, projects receive over 100 submissions so you’re sure to get a range of designs to choose from and find one that fits your vision.

Designers on crowdSPRING have created graphics for a wide range of applications, including company logos, business cards, stationary, product packaging, marketing materials, t-shirts, banner ads, you name it.

Essentially it’s a winner-take-all design contest you’re sponsoring for a fixed fee.  Once you’ve picked the winner, the designer gets paid and you’re covered by crowdSPRING’s money-back guarantee.

Posting a contest on the site would be an alternative to hiring a graphic designer locally or bringing on a part-time virtual employee for design work.

If I were a designer, the 100+ submissions would be a major turnoff – a lot of talented people are putting in the time for a less than 1% chance of getting paid. But hey as a business owner looking to source some great design work, it’s a great set-up.

One way crowdSPRING differentiates itself from other sites like oDesk is they set a “floor price” for each type of project. For example, logo design starts at $269 (slightly less than at 99designs); web design from $729.

You can raise your price to (in theory) attract higher quality creatives.  This eliminates the race-to-the-bottom bidding system you might find elsewhere, and lets you view the work before forking over the cash.


crowdSPRING also works as a marketplace for writing services as well. These projects might include article writing, business naming, resume/cover letter writing, technical writing, and others.

crowdSPRING writing projects all start at $269, but for some of the examples given it’s not entirely clear what your deliverables would be. For that reason, I might stick with HireWriters or CopywriterToday for writing projects.

Your Turn

Have you worked with crowdSPRING? If so, please leave a quick review of your experience below.

One Review

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    Experience with Naming Contest on crowdSPRING


    I did a naming contest to come up with a brand name for a new website that I’m planning.


    The concept of crowdsourcing brandnames in general is definitely effective and worthwhile. There is no way I could have come up with so many names by myself.


    I chose a platinum package, which only allowed “Platinum Creatives” the option to participate. I’m not sure, but, apparently this keeps out a lot of noise from the project.


    In the end, the results you get depend on how clear and well thought out your brief is and how much feedback you give:
    – I feel that my brief was clear and well thought out. I also worked with a professional naming consultant who helped refine my brief.
    – According to the system’s ratings and the feedback from crowdSPRING staff, I gave an unusually high level of feedback to the creatives, which I believe is what resulted in my getting so many entries.


    They have two ways you can buy an entry:
    – Awards: this is a one-way transaction.
    – Offers: you give the Creative an offer and they have the option to refuse or negotiate. Offers is where things get messy.

    crowdSPRING rules are such that you are not allowed to register a domain name for a brandname that you want to purchase until the transaction is done. This puts you in a very precarious position because they seller could theoretically snatch it and try to sell it to you at an inflated price.

    So, if you go ahead and register the domain, this is grounds for crowdSPRING to terminate your account.

    Due to these rules, I had one transaction pushed off the platform and we eventually did the deal, but it would have been so much easier and cheaper if they had just let us do it on the platform.


    The crowdSPRING UI was buggy, clunky, and missing basic functionality such as the ability to search among the naming entries. It needs a lot of work and doesn’t seem to have evolved much since I first used it in 2009 for a logo project.

    If your credit card has reached its limit, the crowdSPRING UI will not allow you to change or update your payment details. You have to call their support and get them to do it manually.

    Apart from the top page, the site is not responsive, so you might want to go elsewhere if you are a mobile device user.


    They only offer support during Chicago business hours, so this meant that I had to wait up to three days sometimes for a response if I sent them a message on a Friday.

    I cooperated with their support reps and gave them a lot of detailed feedback (actually wrote up and sent them two documents with details on what they need to improve). I believe I was polite, professional and clear in my communications. I was, however, very vocal about my frustrations both via support tickets and on Twitter.

    In the end, they decided that I was too much trouble and terminated my user account.

    Furthermore, they posted a tweet about my personal financial status. I had properly paid all fees and feel this was a violation of my privacy and trust as a customer. You can see the tweet here (unless they delete it!):


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