CrowdSourcing our Logo

Published on 5th November 2008 by Peter | Post a comment

Gambrinous is something we are running in our free time, so we were paying for all business setup costs out of our own pockets. Our budget didn't stretch to traditional design agencies, so we were forced to seek out an alternative route of getting design work done. We eventually decided to try a CrowdSourcing site called crowdSPRING.

The concept is quite simple. You post a project on the site with a brief and a set budget, and based on that information, designers will contribute designs which you can rate and provide feedback on. Ultimately, you pick one clear winner and they are awarded the full budget. It is possible to add second and third place prizes, but we decided against this.

The Budget

Having researched projects on crowdSPRING, we decided that $300 was enough of a reward to tempt designers of high enough quality to submit designs to our project. When starting a project, you pay the full budget up-front, plus a 15% commission. The site ultimately acts as an escrow service between you and the winning designer.

This has one major benefit for anyone hoping to submit designs to a project. They know that you have already paid the cash for the project, so they don't have to worry about not getting paid at the end of the day; the cash is safe.

The Brief

We wrote the brief, which proved to be quite open in the end. This was mainly because we were open to any creative idea, and didn't have any set ideas ourselves as to how the logo should look. I was slightly concerned that this may pose a problem for designers for a couple of reasons:

  1. Since we were unsure of what we wanted, designers might be reluctant to submit designs without any idea of whether they would be on the right path or not
  2. The word Gambrinous is quite ambiguous, so it really wouldn't have pushed the creative process along.

Here is the brief:

Gambrinous is a game development company and we are looking for a logo design. The logo will be used as the basis for the branding of our website, but will also appear stand-alone in splash screens for games that we develop.

We really don't have anything specific in mind, I know this can be both a blessing and a curse, but being a game development company, we would generally like something that's a bit edgy and cool. It would ideally include a clever illustration or incorporate a symbol of some sort into the name. We would even be open to a symbol representing the whole name (like the Half Life 2 logo for example).

If you want to submit some early unfinished concepts we can give you some pointers or let you know if you heading in the right direction.

The Final Result

As it turned out, I had no reason to be concerned. We recieved 91 entries to the project, roughly 10 of which were considered for the final logo. Both myself and Colm were pleased with the quality of the work submitted and we definitely had a tough time deciding on the winner.

Here are the four designs that made it to the final round:

After sitting on these designs for a few days and asking friends and colleagues for their opinions on the logos, we eventually settled for the logo in the top left of the image above. The winning design is a well balanced logo, that looks a little different. The interlocking G design is also something that works well in the logo itself and also stand-alone as a distinctive design icon.

You can view the fully completed project and all the entries on the crowdSpring website.

Posted in: Company News | Tags: ,

Thanks for reading! Now check out Guild of Dungeoneering, a game I'm making where you build the dungeon instead of controlling the hero! \o/
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  1. Hi Peter,
    Just wanted to reach out to you and say thank you so much for posting a project on crowdSPRING!

    As a new / developing business, we share many of the same concerns as our small business, entrepreneurial, and startup buyers.

    We're so happy that we could provide you with a great logo, and if you ever need stationery, website, or other design needs, we hope you come visit us again! :)

    All the best,
    crowdSPRING's Community Manager

    Posted by Angeline on November 5th, 2008 at 8:11 pm
  2. Hey guys,
    Great to see the blog up and running, good choice on the logo!

    Best of luck with everything!


    Posted by Clodagh Kelly on November 6th, 2008 at 12:00 pm
  3. This is a particularly good article for me. I'm in the middle of starting a project and I need a logo. I've been checking out online various agencies and bribing friends with beer and pizza to help me design a logo for my soon to be company.

    (In case you're interested, it's a social media interactive marketing company for indie and small developers)

    The first time I heard of you is when you followed me on twitter, and seeing the logo intrigued me, I knew that it wasn't some random person… but someone who took some time and effort into their web presence. I appreciate you sharing your experience with crowdsourcing. With your good effort (and Angeline's excellent community management… ) I think I'm going to go with crowdSPRING.

    Cheers & Thanks!

    Posted by JP Sherman on December 3rd, 2008 at 4:48 pm
  4. Thanks for the comment JP.

    Reading back on the post, there is something important that I missed. Once we launched the project on CrowdSPRING, I actually took a look around the site at other projects that were going on. If I saw a submission that I liked, I contacted the designer and asked them if they would be interested in submitting a design for our project. Ultimately, the winning design was submitted by someone who I had approached and asked to submit.

    Hopefully that tip will help you out a little more!

    Posted by Peter on December 4th, 2008 at 12:24 pm
  5. [...] have desperately been trying to find a logo for this site. After checking out a blog post over at Gambrinous, we decided to put a bit of money into crowdSPRING and croudsource our logo. For those of you who [...]

    Posted by Bit Battalion » What’s news at the Bit Battalion HQ on January 28th, 2010 at 8:14 am
  6. Personally, I am quite on the fence regarding the use of a crowdsourcing site for a logo design. It is still a touchy issue for most designers who said that crowdsourcing is a no-no for obtaining a logo design. I have tried crowdsourcing before and I know the risks involved but it comes within the territory. But there are other no-frills logo design websites online such as,,, etc. which are actually great in getting a professional logo design at a fraction of the price and minus the risks of crowdsourcing (plagiarism is one of them). Seeing that there are no consultation services, the price is significantly lower than that of conventional design firms. For instance, I have tried and the experience was indeed a positive one. I managed to get my business logo design at an affordable price and the turnaround time was great as well. Highly recommended. Although crowdsourcing for logo designs could be a bane for some, many find it to be a viable alternative to get a fast logo on the cheap. It all depends on the individual actually.

    Posted by Dean on July 20th, 2011 at 2:46 am