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99designs refutes claim crowd-sourcing is contributing to tough conditions for freelancers

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 11.49.33 AMCrowd-sourcing design site 99designs has refuted claims by The Loops’ Pip Jamieson that crowd-sourcing websites are contributing to tougher conditions for creative freelancers, saying the site solves many freelancing “pain points”.

On the back of survey results revealing freelancer designers face trouble landing permanent roles from contract work, Jamieson said sites like 99designs and Freelancer.com were making conditions tougher for contractors, adding: “These types of platforms exploit creatives, devalue their work and create an environment that encourages fast turn-around at the expense of the quality of the work.”

But 99designs PR coordinator Emma Maidment hit back, telling Mumbrella “We help designers find work, we have paid out more than $US2million a month to designers who can pick and chose from thousands of open projects. All the work on 99Designs is pre-paid so the designers are guaranteed they will get paid.

“99designs is a platform based on merit. It doesn’t matter what your resume is, where you’ve worked before, it’s based on the quality of the design you submit. It levels the playing field for everyone involved.”

While Maidment couldn’t provide any statistics on the number of designers which find fulltime work as a result of freelancing on the site, she drew on anecdotes designers have told the company, adding they provide tools to help designers find work on, and off, the site.

“During our contest model we find a lot of designers will meet a client through there and the client will really like how they work, and so we have built our one-to-one projects tool which allows designers to engage in project work with a customer,” she said.

“We’ve got so many stories of designers going on to be co-founders of startups, making full-time jobs or getting an in-house job as a result of meeting someone through the site,” she said. “A designer said to us that at least 50 per cent of his contests result in follow on work with the company.”

Since the site’s inception in 2010, 28 million designs have been uploaded to the site – that’s one every three seconds – with $US63 million paid out to designers.

“We’ve got really happy customers who are getting really great quality work and we’ve got designers who are able to get freelance design work which is a really difficult thing to do.”

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