Final Image Preview
You have a great opportunity to make some money by doing the real orders on 99designs.com. Yes, it is a contest, but I'm pretty sure that you have good chances to win a prize. In addition, this contest is a good school for designers. Beyond no doubt, it will improve your skills and enrich your horizons. I took part in one of such contests so I present you my report about it.
One Saturday evening I was making some similar images to upload it to microstock websites. I was so bored with it that I decided to challenge myself. And what can challenge a designer? Of course, a contest is a good chance to show up! Especially when you have a chance of winning a good prize. I advise you to register on 99designs.com. This is the right place where you can compete with some other designers.
Now you can choose a contest in which you want to take part. The topic of icon design is one of my favorite, so I start looking for a suitable order. Such orders are usually in Art& Illustration category.
I think you should find an interesting task to begin with. Your task should not require a lot of work because the outcome of the competition is still unknown. You don't want to waste your efforts, do you? In addition, I choose my competition so, that in case I lose I can still upload the resource file to microstock websites. In the table of open competitions we usually see the time remaining till the end of the competition and the prize pool.
After some searching I've chosen the Icon or Button design for Zapper with $420 prize. This was a blind contest, which means that you won't see the icons of other designers until the contest is over. It's intriguing, isn't it?
When I decided to take part in this contest I had only 4 hours to be done with my work, which sparkled my passion even further.
On the contest page you can see the number of uploaded works and number of designers who are currently taking part in it. I don't think it will help you to appraise your chance to succeed because you don't know how good the other works are. Make sure to read customer's comments at the bottom of the page, this will help you to get some additional information about the order: "Please could you also try and put the icon you have created in the context of other applications on the phone so we can see what it will look like on the phone. Thanks".
Now go to the "Design brief" tab and read the task attentively.
I had to create an icon for the application which can scan QR-code. If you don't know what it is, the omnipresent Google has the answers to all questions. While I was looking for the answer I have also found a free GR-code generator, which can also help me in my icon designing. I decided to create an 114px icon. This is one of the standard application sizes. Unfortunately, I didn't have much time to generate a lot of ideas. Look at the picture below and you can estimate the level of my creativity.
It seems to me that I should have made my icon bigger, but we will talk about it a bit later. I was creating my icon in Adobe Illustrator, that's why I saved it for Web&Devices; then I submitted my design.
My icon appeared on the Entries tab and as you guessed, it was only visible to the customer and me.
As you can see, some of the icons also have already its rating. In such a way, the customer observes favorites. Keeping in mind that the customer wanted to see the icon surrounded by other icons on the display of the cell phone and having some time left I've decided to upload one more image. To create my image I used the service which allows visualization of the icon on the phone display. Click on the following link to use this service.
The contest is over, the customer chooses the finalists. Now begins the final round, for 3 days the finalists have an opportunity to show some new designs of their icons.
Unfortunately, I didn't get to the finalists; the notice was sent to my email. It is curious to see the creativity of other designers. So, now, finally the images were opened. You also can appraise the level of the works by the following link. On the figure below you can see some of the icons that got 5 stars.
A few days later the winner is determined.
Analyzing the works of the finalists I made a conclusion that the image should be of a bigger size after all. And it is even better when a couple of icon's images are uploaded. One of the finalists uploaded the image that had the following icon's sizes: 36x36px; 57x57px; 72x72px; 96x96px; 144x144px; 512x512px; 1024x1024px. Hopefully, you will be more successful than me. I wish you only victory!