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I've got a small app I wrote, which is open source. I'd like to put a nice looking icon on the app; one that isn't going to be used by every other program on the face of the earth for being a stock icon.

(If I can't find something I can pay for I'll probably have to just use something from The Noun Project )

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closed as not constructive by JonW May 15 '12 at 7:36

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a good question for Quora, btw. I would recommend you try 99designs. that way you'll get people competing for your project. –  Assaf Lavie Oct 21 '11 at 16:39
    
Assaf is right here. More a Quora question. –  JohnGB Oct 21 '11 at 16:50
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99designs = really crappy designers competing for your project –  DA01 Oct 21 '11 at 17:30
    
Avoid 99designs and all spec work sites like the plague. –  Matt Rockwell Oct 28 '11 at 12:37

4 Answers 4

I've had good experience with oDesk and eLance.

That said, you can't just throw the job at anyone there and expect to get a good result. Look at their feedback, and portfolios first. Narrow the choice down to 2 or 3 candidates. Then give each of them a 1 hour task to put together something rough for the icon. From there choose one to continue further work on the icon.

I've had good success with that method. Then after the first time, if you have good experience with them, it will be much simpler to get the second one done.

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Everyone has given you great advice so far. I would also add that a really good creative brief will go far in the success of your icon project. If you take the time to specify exactly what you want, what styles you like, what your application does and provide some examples of other app icons you like, you will give your designers a huge head start.

I have had great experiences crowdsourcing creative work in the past, and I have had not so great experiences as well. A lot of the variance had to do with how much work I did up front.

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Go to dribbble.com or other similar portfolio site. Find a portfolio of icon designs that you like. Contact the designer.

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I think the comments already made cover a lot of the ground, but whatever places you use, find a designer whose work you like, who understands what you are trying to do and the ideas you have.

And once you have found a designer who you engage well with, keep in contact. Remember that it is something of a personal thing - it is about the right person for you and your project.

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