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Elance - Do you use it and have you had any success?


Senior Member
Because I'm ramping up the process of getting work for myself, I decided to try and get some work over at Elance. I'm sure you've heard of it, but for those who haven't, it's basically like eBay for graphic designers, with potential clients posting jobs and the lowest bidder getting it.

I've now been on there for roughly a month and I've found it to be quite a depressing place, really. Prices for logos seem to range from £50 to £75. A £50 logo? Dear lord.

As I'm sure you all know, a logo requires research, then paper development, then digital and then any final touches. It's an entire process. It's not to be taken lightly, when a logo can mean the difference between a company looking great or it looking terrible. However, some of these jobs request that the logo be done within three days sometimes.

Now, while this is possible, I don't believe for £50 any graphic designer should spend more than 3-5 hours on it and in that time, I don't believe you can get a well rounded logo that includes all of the above stages to a satisfactory level.

It annoys me to see so many graphic designers (many of whom are actually talented) giving their services away for next to nothing when their skills are worth a lot more. Elance seems more like the kind of place where you go if your business has a very limited budget and you want a naive designer. But of course since I signed up, I must be naive too.

I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on Elance. Have you used it? Do you still use it? Have you had any success winning jobs? And for what kind of price? I'd be really interested to know.


Active Member
Anagoge said:
Now, while this is possible, I don't believe for £50 any graphic designer should spend more than 3-5 hours on it and in that time, I don't believe you can get a well rounded logo that includes all of the above stages to a satisfactory level.
That's ridiculous the studios I've worked in charge £50 - £75 per hour. There is no way I would do a logo for that I dont understand why ppl are selling themselves out so cheap. You wouldn't get a mechanic bidding on how cheap they'd fix your exhaust.


Senior Member
Absolutely, tbwcf. However, there are some on there who have balances of in excess of $20,000.

I totally agree with you that it's stupid money for such an indepth project. Any sort of design is. Sadly though, there are people out there willing to accept such a pittance and there are people out there who are only willing to offer a pittance.
First i've heard of Elance like.

Sounds a good idea in principle - but in practice £75 does sound pretty cheap - there seems to be a fair few East Asian based designers on there - and with currency exchange rates - they can probably afford to come in cheaper.

You had much work from this Elance then Anagoge?


Senior Member
I haven't no, because there's so much competition on there. I also seem to have made the mistake of charging REASONABLE instead of LUDICROUS prices for my work, hence I've been undercut many times. It's quite depressing, really. I may not renew my account for a second month.


Senior Member
I've checked out this forum and I'm as disgusted as everyone else!

£50 logo?!?! AND 2-3 hours!?! No way.

I spent quality time and as everyone else does; research the company and the placement of the logo. And £50 will kill off the competition, yes. Quite easily if clients hear of it. But they'll take the market down with no style at all.


Senior Member
Yes Ross, I decided to sign up at a price of $9.95 for 20 "Connects". i.e. 20 chances to pitch for a job. I've used all of them this month and out of those 20 connects I've won...zero jobs.


Active Member
Hi guys,

I'm surprised many of you haven't heard of sites like elance, there's plenty of similar sites around now, although many don't charge a membership fee to join and tender for new work. When I first started I used to take part in a few design contests as I thought it was a good way to boost my portfolio, if I knew what I know now I wouldn't have bothered. You'll always find these types of sites are dominated by cheapest supplier wins, which means that a designer based in India can beat you on price time and time again. As already mentioned in this thread, they will pick price over quality, hence why they're putting their new company identity in to a bidding contest! rather than researching designers and choosing a designer suited to the job.

I would recommend avoiding bidding sites like this at all costs, spend the time and effort in marketing your services to local clients and building up your work through word of mouth and referrals.

Also check out the information at No!Spec it runs through the disadvantages to bidding sites like elance, and the design competition sites I mentioned earlier.

eLance is a scourge upon the design community. Like spec work and crowdsourcing design contests, the only long-term effect that it can have is to devalue the professional, expert service that we provide by reducing what should be an in-depth, communicative and investigative proposal/costing process to a 'lowest bidder wins' scenario.

There is no way that I could make a living from matching the rates that generally win the commissions on eLance and its ilk, which makes me think that the bidders must largely be teenagers working from their bedrooms with no overheads at all, or sweatshops where the employees are working below minimum wage.

Either way, it drives down the public's appreciation of design as a specialised skill where you tend to get what you pay for, and leaves them thinking of design purely as a commodity where a lower price = WIN!

In case you guys missed it, the city of Portland, Oregon recently announced that it was going to overhaul its civic website. Rather than hiring a professional design firm from their own talented design community (many of whom are going out of business due to the recession) they chose to announce it as a design competition, with the first prize being... a credit line. For one year.

Crowdsourcing is theft.


Senior Member
I've seen sites like this, if they were free and I was desparate for money I might consider it. But luckily I'm not desparate for money!

Paying to tender for a job does seem like a bit of an insult to the designer though.


Junior Member
mrp2049 said:
Paying to tender for a job does seem like a bit of an insult to the designer though.
I couldn't agree more.

I also find it very frustrating these days where clients are more interested in how much something will cost than the actual quality of a final piece. What happened to being chosen to do a job by how competent you are as a designer and how relevant your experience is to that particular job?

I am a firm believer in you get what you pay for.