99Designs launches Swiftly: where a design change is $15 an hour


99Designs launches Swiftly: where a design change is $15 an hour


99Designs, the crowd sourced design firm is now launching Swiftly a crowd sourced design-fixer firm. Billed as a place where you can get a title changed on a business card, a tweak done to a photo, headlines changed on websites, vectorizing images and other simpler tasks (provided the original fonts & layout documents are available), the idea is already unappetizing to many designers. $15 an hour is below minimum wage in Australia but a neat chunk of change in Thailand. Since Swiftly enables customers to get existing graphic design files altered by professional graphic designers within hours, it means the fonts and things needed are already in them - and half of the reason designers charge so much is already sorted. Perhaps one can set this work up so that one does several little tweak-jobs within an hour thereby getting up to a regular wage. It could be something for the unpaid design intern to do at night. Bonus! Imagine all the portfolio work you can claim!

“Swiftly is part of 99designs’ broader plan to change the paradigm for how businesses worldwide get graphic design work done and how designers earn money,” said 99designs President and CEO Patrick Llewellyn. “99designs contests have connected more than 230,000 customers with our extensive community of skilled designers. Now, with Swiftly, we’re introducing an entirely different model for businesses to get smaller design tasks done quickly and effortlessly. Swiftly’s launch underscores our determination to provide a full spectrum of graphic design solutions for customers and more opportunities for designers.”

“Swiftly grew out of our awareness that many people don’t know where to turn for a quick graphic design project, either because they don’t employ in-house designers or their designers are tied up with more substantial projects,” said 99designs Chief Technology Officer Lachlan Donald, who led the team that developed Swiftly. “It’s exciting to have the opportunity to develop a totally new service that fulfills a real need for customers and gives freelance designers another way to make money. It’s a win-win for everyone.”


Actually, $15.00 is the amount 99designs charges at the front end. Of that, a designer only gets $7.00 - $10.00 (according to some undefined barometer of 'experience'.) Accordingly, if we buy the rationale that each design 'task' should only take 30 mins (which they won't) most designers on the platform stand to earn $14.00 or less per hour.

When you put it that way it almost sounds 99designs are exploiting content creators.

If it's only obvious to me (because perhaps that is the case) the headline stipulates price from a clients point of view: where a design change is $15 an hour. Client pays $15 is the only set number we see when looking at their website that launches the service.

That said, designers who take these jobs may or may not be able to set it up in a streamlined manner so that they do several jobs in one hour, and thus getting a little more. This sounds very sweatshop to me, where you have to make X number of t-shirts in order to get an hourly wage.

It's disconcerting that you, AnonymousCoward, say that a designer gets only $7.00 - $10.00 based on 'experience' (is this within the Swiftly / 99Designs network or in real life?). Where is this info? That puts the conversation I had with 99Designs&Swiftly on twitter yesterday in sort of a new light. It seems to me that they wanted the headlines changed to underline what a designer can make, rather than what a client pays.

Hey Dabitch

How much 99designs pays Swiftly designers ("We pay designers between US$7 and $10 per task.") can be found in the Q & A area here:


The 'experience' barometer has been used in several press releases by 99designs but there's no mention of it anywhere on the site.


The plot thickens. If a designer manages six tasks, ten minutes a task, they can in theory make 60 an hour. But then since they're independent contractors they have to pay their fees & taxes on that too, right?


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