Welcome to Part Two of the ‘How to Make Money with Photoshop‘ series (you can check out Part One here!). This post is completely on time and not an entire year late, I assure you.
Last time I taught you how to use Photoshop (coupled with Illustration and Photography skills) to sell stock images on major websites. I’m happy to hear that some of you who followed my advice were able to make a buck or two! One of my referrals to Dreamstime has made over $500 selling stock! Congratulations!
Method Two: Graphic / Logo Design Contests
This time I’ll show you how to make money with your graphic skills by participating in Graphic Design Competitions. This has always been a rather touchy and controversial area – basically designers compete with one another creating graphics and/or logos for a single client. At the end of the contest, the client will choose just one entry to award a prize to, while the rest of the designers walk away with nothing. This is known as ‘Spec’ work (or ‘Speculation’) and tends to be frowned upon by the graphic design community. Etiquette can also take a beating in these types of situations – you may find that elements of your design are being copied by other individuals, so make sure you know how to protect your intellectual property.
However if you’re willing to give it a go and you don’t mind doing some work for free, design contests are a fantastic way to build up your portfolio, develop new skills, and get involved in a graphic design community. Winning a sweet cash prize every now and then is also a plus! Many of these sites set a minimum prize that clients must award, and can range from $50 to several thousands.
Without further ado, here is a list of websites which hold Graphic design competitions. Many of these sites focus on providing Logos to clients, so you will need to know how to create vector graphics in Illustrator. However there are header / banner / general web graphic categories in these sites as well, if it’s only Photoshop that you’re skilled at!
1. 99 Designs
Minimum Prize: $100 (Suggested Prizes are much higher)
Popularity: Leader in the Field
Designer Protection: Good
Overview: The brainchild of Sitepoint, an EXCELLENT webmaster resource, 99 Designs is a massive ‘crowdsourcing’ site. You will not be hard-pressed to find competitions to participate in – 20-30 pop up each day, in multiple categories (Logos, Web Page, Stationary, and T-Shirts, just to name a few). However the massive popularity of this site also means that the competition is tough as well. Be ready to fight with tooth and nail to keep your designs above the rest! The minimum prize amount is good compared to the other sites, and they’ve recently implemented some measures that help protect designers. Clients are encouraged to set up ‘guaranteed’ contests, which mean that the prize amounts have been prepaid PRIOR to the contest starting. This helps ensure that a winner will be announced, and that a client will not disappear after a contest has closed.
What I especially like is a set end date – contests cannot run longer than ten days. This stops contests from dragging on and on!
2. Digital Point Forums
Minimum Prize: None
Popularity: Well known forums, but low prize amounts keep most designers away
Designer Protection: Low
Overview: If you’re having trouble scoring a win, you might want to try out the competitions held at Digital Point Forums. No minimum prize amount is set, so you’ll likely be working for peanuts. However because of this the competition is pretty low, so if you’re decent at designing graphics you may be able to clean up here. There is hardly any designer protection, nothing is stopping clients from a) not awarding a prize amount or b) running off with your design, so make sure you watermark everything and know your intellectual property rights! Check a contest holder’s iTrader before participating to help determine whether it’s worth your time.
Head on over to the next page to see the next 4 recommendations!
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