I am lucky to have found a great graphic designer who has helped me with a number of projects over the last year and a half. I initially found Mike after holding a logo design contest at 99Designs (formerly part of Sitepoint). I wrote a creative brief, added a cash award for the winner, and somewhere around 15-20 designers participated. It turned out to be much easier to find a designer than I initially thought it would be.
I would like to suggest another way to find a great web or graphic designer using 99Designs as well. Search through either current or past design contests, which can be found on the home page. Many of the top design contests have dozens of designers, all of whom submit one or multiple entries. You can search multiple public design contests to see which designers seem to have a style that you’d like for your project.
You can then look at the profiles of your favorite designers, and see what other contests they’ve entered and recently won. Additionally, many designers have their external portfolio website listed on their profile, allowing you to contact them outside of the 99Designs website. You can also send the designer a private message via 99Designs asking for a price quote for your project.
If you prefer to keep things more trackable and on site, you can set up your own design competition, and using what I suggest above, send private messages to the designers asking them to participate in your contest. 99Designs is a great site to find designers who will compete to complete your website design project.
And for those real cheapskates out there you can do the same thing using the contests section of Digital Point forums.
The quality is not as good as 99Designs, but it is significantly cheaper. I get plenty of logos for less than $30. If I am buying multiple logos I can get them for $10.
99Designs is a great site for quality designs. I remember watching Sahar’s contest for his logo for “conceptualist.com” back before I even knew who Sahar was. It was only later that I found his blog and realized that I had actually seen the logo contest for that logo=).
This is exactly what I tell others to do when looking for a logo. Just like Troy commented, I send people to the forums to post contests. The work is usually less expensive and still a decent quality.
I forget the brand but I remember the slogan, when they compete you win. I think that’s lending tree. But the same principle applies for development. You get a dozen or so designs to choose from with each designer putting their own twist on things. I love it!
Crowdspring.com is also pretty cool for design contests.