Looking for a contest / crowdsourcing type site ....

Problem: I have a product concept and an excellent electronics team that can do magic but I am looking for a design / industrial designer.

The problem is I have tried a couple of individual industrial designers with limited success. Are there any platforms where I could post a contest for a prize allowing a multitude of designers to compete at the same time ? Something like freelancer contest but more industrial design focused.

I am also willing to work with core77 but all i’ve found were the 1 hour design contest …not sure this would take only an hour :slight_smile:

Despite what you may have heard and all the contests out there, I think you will find the good designers don’t participate in this kind of spec work.


Anyone worth hiring is worth hiring based in their past work and skills. Would you work for free to get paid only if the client liked it?


Design competitions are fine, but if you’ve already been struggling with success it either means you’ve been choosing designers who aren’t able to deliver what you are asking, or you aren’t clearly identifying what you need.

If you are looking to actually bring something to production, then paying a group of students or other designers (willing to do the work for free with the chance of winning the prize) will probably leave you with more inexperienced work. You might get an awesome rendering and some great ideas, but not necessarily someone who can actually do what is needed to bring your design to production.

There are hundreds of design firms out there with decades of experience, so if you are having issues with individual designers you may want to just pony up and find a proper consultancy to partner with - one that has a proven track record in delivering the kind of designs that you are looking for. IE don’t use a firm that specializes in housewares or point of purchase displays if you need a consumer electronic.

Professional product design costs more than paying an amateur for a reason, lots of people can make pretty 3D renderings of a fancy widget, not a lot will have the experience of what it takes to actually bring that product to market.

Thanks for the insight.

The problems were indeed linked to inexperience and trying to save $ by hiring “amateur talent” that can draw up a nice sketch without real life execution experience.

As far as ponying up for a proper design firm goes, I think the budget thershold is too high for me at this stage so maybe i need to focus more on fund raising :slight_smile: instead of continuing to play the lottery with outsourcing.

Also excuse my ignorance but what are some of the more well known consumer electronics design houses ? :slight_smile: I will do my own research but maybe there are a few names that you can drop so I can benchmark.

Again thanks.

While this may be true for some it is not true for all. I work at MESH01 and our community has many talented and accomplished designers that like to compete in their spare time.

There are a lot of designers in the community that just like the freedom of a competition. It allows them to work on only the projects that they want to do, or on something a little different than at their daily job. Some designers are looking for recognition or to make extra money, others are just having fun. Either way a brand gets designers working on a project because they want to rather than because their boss assigned it.

Just because someone is a great designer does not mean that they are the best for your particular job. Design competitions allow you to find the best designer for your job.

There are design competition sites out there that do take advantage of designers, but we work very hard to differentiate ourselves from them and to be fair. We try to limit the amount of up front work required before winners are chosen, and we compensate those winners fairly. Even if a brand is only looking for one design we compensate more than just the first place designer.

Most importantly we are open to comments and suggestions as to how we can be better for designers.

Trebaxgroup: Not all projects are right for a competition. Design competitions should be fun and fair. I sent you a PM, I would be more than happy to talk with you to see if MESH01 or design competitions are right for you.

I’m going to try and run a contest for a bunch of CPA’s and whoever gets me the biggest tax refund gets paid and the rest get experience.

Design competitions don’t find you the best designer for the job they find you the best of those that have nothing better to do than enter a competition and gamble getting paid for it. I think by definition those aren’t the best designers.

Also, most competitions rarely have a complete brief and no discussion with the client about needs, how the project may fit with other products inline, manufacturing capabilities, schedule, target costs, etc. This won’t get you the best result as the design is uninformed.


Most design competitions are also based around next generation concepts, IE things that are not realistic for production but may still create ideas or will require investment by the company to bring to life - which is why they are great tools for students who are looking for experience without all of the hard stuff that is required from a professional designer.

Contests also usually have very clear legal rules for entry about who owns the IP, etc. If you create a contest where you own the IP afterwards it will often cause much less participation since students and others will not be able to use it as a showcase of their work down the road.

n old adage to keep in mind, “Advice is only worth what you pay for it.”

I suggest you start with Core77’ Design Directory. Start with the Resource Search feature. Make some calls. Meet with some principals.

Core does have a Design Events & Competitions forum, but as others have pointed out, I think you’d be wasting your resources. Setting up a contest, soliciting entries, receiving and recording, maintaining records, judging, oi… .


Just got contacted by these guys (because they’re trawling LI) Got an email saying as well as running contest with students they also invite selected professionals. What you’ve invited me to participate in a crowdsourcing competition? I am flattered. :blush:


It’s in a glossy luxury package, but it’s still crowdsourcing. There’s a lot of investment as well, 1.4 million euros.

He acted suprised when I said ‘no, because I don’t do spec work, don’t work royalty only and have never participated in crowdsourcing sites’.

He said -‘‘Ours is another opportunity to change the way of making fashion’’.

Or another opportunity to persuade designers to work for free, perhaps?

Ok the website is a bit strange, (where’s the social media integration for instance? ). But at least they write up a blurb about each designer, a bit better than some websites.

Hire a better Industrial Designer / Design Firm.

Look at their portfolio and experience.

They will likely cost more, but this is the price you pay to bring a successful profitable product into the market.

@shoenista- were you contacted by the OP?

I’ve been “invited” to participate in some crowdsourcy competition things. I alway reply promptly and say that I would love to for an upfront payment of $30,000… no one has taken me up on it yet :wink:

But is it? What is paid up front is saved in not having to correct/redesign in the design for manufacturing process. An experienced designer will want to work collaboratively through all phases of the design and development process to ensure the vision is brought to life with as much integrity as possible. ( I know you know Taylor, this directed at the OP)

Very good point, Michael. If a client hires 2-3 “cheap” low-quality designers who fail at delivering, then finally hires a quality designer to fix the mistakes and/or start all over, there will be an unnecessary and large amount of funds wasted. Not to mention, almost more importantly, the ridiculous amount of precious time wasted.

Rhetorical question: Where did you source your original “individual industrial designers” from?

I ask from the position of jobsearch using key words “Industrial+Design” and “Product+Design”. Everything from sales reps. to engineers to graphic designers to CNC machinists (latest highlight is sales staff for the Apple Store that is about to open here).

Here anyone can call themselves an “Industrial Designer” regardless of training, skills or experience. The DIA recognises/ promotes url=http://www.design.org.au/index.cfm?id=187]“Accredited Designer”[/url] as having:

1.At least 6 years of combined design education and professional experience.
2.A minimum of 3 years of professional experience relevant to their design discipline.
3.An agreement to comply with a code of professional conduct.
4.A commitment to maintain their knowledge base through connection with the information resources of the DIA.
5.A demonstrated commitment to their design profession through membership and involvement with their professional body

Depending on where the OP is, perhaps their national ID body could assist?