Hire a Designer for $15 on 99designs’ Swiftly
Need a cheap designer for a small project fast? The crowdsourced design site 99designs has just recently launched its new service: Swiftly, which provides consumers…
Using the 24-hour service is straightforward: Post a design request. Designer claims request. Design tasks must be generally small, e.g. a change in color to the company logo. Swiftly designers were carefully selected from the 240,000 designers that make up the 99designs community. The platform was made with small businesses in mind that cannot rely on an in-house design team or agency.
Sam Graves, who heads Swiftly's UK office, tells us of Swiftly's prospects including its potential for scale and for the individual designer. She excitedly describes one designer who is 'mopping up' the work on Swiftly, taking advantage of the sites business model.
But as with its parent company 99designs, Swiftly may annoy designers who already feel alienated and disrespected by the inexpensiveness of the system. If you consider that a Swiftly designer gets $10 of every $15 paid, designers seeking to earn a reasonable living need to complete each task in no more than 5 minutes. That doesn't seem altogether feasible considering designers must download, make alterations, upload and respond to feedback. So it is becomes very feasible that a designer will be earning less than they might in full-time employment or more typical contract work.
This issue of money is at the center of a large discussion around 99designs and its new offspring. Rob Smith, a web designer in the UK, is one of many detractors of the site's business model. He argues that Swiftly will suit people who are able to work for lower incomes like aspiring or under-appreciated designers. While experienced web designer rates typically hover around $80/hour, many people in the creative industries are forced to start from the bottom - most, work for free - and therefore might appreciate such a platform.
Swiftly is part of a large group of peer-to-peer platforms like personal photo alteration site Repixl and Casting Words, a Swiftly-like service for transcribers. Swiftly's major advantage is that it rides on the back of the success of the massive 99designs community.