“You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” or so goes the old axiom, and even though most do — it isn’t often you find yourself judging covers for your book. Over the past week I had to do just that, using a contest hosted by 99design.com. I am very proud to present the winning submission here, in all its glory, but for the full “cover story” scroll on!
99design.com is a website which hosts contests for graphic designers, and, I imagine, budding graphic designers, to compete for prize money and bragging rights. The preliminary scheduled timeframe for the contest is a week, though one may elect to “fast track,” (3 days) or, alternately, extend that length to allow for a less harried pace.
Contests such as this can prey upon the innocent and, in the beginning, I confess I did have some misgivings about using 99design at all. A quick google search and clever use of my space bar was all it took. (Type 99design into your browser’s search engine, press space and notice the words “99design scam” as a search suggestion.) Dutifully following said link took me to a forum for graphic designers, each listing reasons I shouldn’t use 99design — reasons you can probably figure out on your own; the low prices offered at 99design, combined with the fast pace, have the potential to hurt an industry predicated on getting to know the client intimately, time to understand their needs, and learn the nature of the client’s business for proper “branding” etc. All the stuff of deep integrity. And deep pocket books.
If you are an Indie author, 99design is a godsend. The talent on display was wonderful, the designs beautiful, and the artists collegial. I spoke with a design consultant over the phone who explained participants are well aware of the rules, understand the contest can be terminated at any time and there is no guarantee the prize money will even be awarded. (99design offers 100% satisfaction guarantee to its customers, you select how much you’d like to pay, then keep it if you are not 100% satisfied with one of the submissions.) All in all, it sounds very much like the audition circuit — a process with which I am very familiar.
As the entries began to roll in, I sat, amazed to see different concepts take shape. This was an unexpectedly thrilling experience and I want to again thank all who submitted, and 99design!