Crowdsourcing design sites are useful if you want a logo designed, but overkill if you have a more basic task that requires simple graphics software expertise. Swiftly offers access to graphic designers who will perform simple tasks such as resizing, vectoring, logo tweaking or simple photo retouching for a flat $15 fee.
Built by the team from 99designs, Swiftly draws on designers who also use that site and who are available for simpler tasks in between major projects. It’s the same idea as a site like Fiverr, but with (arguably) a more pre-qualified set of suppliers.
I’ve been testing Swiftly ahead of launch, and the experience has been good. All the jobs I uploaded were quickly grabbed within minutes of posting, and in most cases I had the finished task in well under an hour. You can ask for simple revisions, but not for repeated changes. Designers don’t get paid until you approve their work, though if you wait longer than 72 hours to approve they’ll be paid automatically.
I asked for a vectorised version of the Lifehacker logo and had one delivered very quickly. Seeking the same with the Gizmodo logo produced less impressive results; it features a lot of mirror effects which are difficult to resize, and the designer who took on the job said that would need an hour or more of work to fix properly. Fair enough.
I also asked one designer to add Steve Jobs-style glasses to a photo of me, which is the kind of fiddly task I never like doing in Photoshop myself. You can see the results at the top of this post.
For tasks you need to perform repeatedly, learning to use the tools yourself would save money, but for quick jobs, Swiftly could be useful.