You Should Know: 99designs by Chelsea Knorr, Editor, Dentaltown Magazine

You Should Know: 99designs
by Chelsea Knorr, Associate Editor, Dentaltown Magazine

99designs might be the world’s largest online graphic design marketplace. Dentaltown Magazine caught up with 99designs’ Marketing Manager Lauren Gard to learn about some of the things you probably didn’t, but should, know.

What is your background in dental?
Gard: 99designs has helped thousands of dentists grow their practices by providing an easy way for them to get customized logos, business cards, brochures, websites and other branding and marketing materials designed. We’ve witnessed a significant uptick in the number of dental industry customers in the past year. We think this is because practices are increasingly aware of how important it is to appeal to patients and prospects with a clear and compelling brand identity. It’s not enough to have a nice sign in the window, an ad in the Yellow Pages and simple business cards anymore. Dentists these days need a professional presence online and off to project a modern image and differentiate themselves.

Tell us about what 99designs provides.
Gard: 99designs is an online marketplace that makes quality graphic design accessible to everyone. We offer a full spectrum of design services, including our popular contest model where dozens of designers compete to deliver the best design for a project. We’re a great solution for businesses looking for unique and affordable logos and other designs, and a perfect partner for designers looking for their next client.

We connect business owners around the world with great graphic designers. Anyone who needs graphic design work done can launch a crowdsourced “contest” to our global community of graphic designers on 99designs.com. Customers decide how much to pay, with prices starting at $299. In the course of a week, customers receive dozens—sometimes hundreds—of creative designs, provide feedback to designers, and ultimately select and retain the copyright to their favorite design.

We began as a little startup with big ambitions in Melbourne, Australia and we’re now based in San Francisco with more than 100 staff around the world. Since 2008 we’ve hosted some 300,000 design contests and have paid out $75 million to our design community.

What is the philosophy at 99designs?
Gard: Our philosophy is centered around our belief that quality design should be accessible to everyone. We’re passionate about connecting entrepreneurs with designers and believe that by doing so, we’re empowering both sides of our community to succeed.

What would you consider to be the “best kept secret” about 99designs?
Gard: Perhaps our biggest “secret” is Swiftly.com, a site we launched in August 2013, for customers who need an existing design altered but don’t have the technical skills to do it themselves. For a $19 flat fee, customers can upload a design file of any kind and indicate what minor changes they need. A dental office, for example, may upload an existing business card design and request that a new employee’s contact information be added, or that the color or font be changed. Or, perhaps a dentist wants to make a few changes to an appointment-reminder postcard—update it with new information or swap out a seasonal illustration. A designer active on the site completes the request changes in less than an hour, making it a great solution for businesses that need fast, affordable fixes.

What kind of service can dentists expect when they pick up the phone and call you? Do you also work with orthodontists?
Gard: Our friendly support team, comprised of people passionate about design and marketing, would be happy to help dentists or orthodontists get started. Whether you need help choosing a pricing package or filling in the online brief, we’re here to make sure you get a design you love.

What else should we know about 99designs?
Gard: We’re passionate about quality and stand behind every project with a 100 percent money-back guarantee. To see examples of some of our favorite dental practice logo designs, we invite you to check out a recent blog post we published. (http://99designs.com/customer-blog/dental-logo-inspiration/)

For more information, visit 99designs.com or call 800-513-1678.

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