Meet rickshow – a dedicated designer with a love and passion for art and design. After 174 successful contest wins, Rick thanks 99designs for helping him build his design business and clientele.

Name: Rick Campbell
Location: USA
99designs handle: rickshow
Projects won: 187


Right logo: Miami Dolphins redesign community contest

How did you get started in design?

When I was young, I would draw constantly and fill notebook upon notebook with sketches and drawings – helicopters, cartoon bears, anything! When high school came, my Art Teacher was instrumental in providing me with the right outlets and avenues to explore art and design to where it became all I wanted to do.

In 2003, I received my Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, but my first jobs outside of college were not in the design field. It would take five years before I would find my opportunity.



Logo: Family Travel Association

How do you get your design inspiration?

Like a lot of designers, I will read a brief and draw from my background and knowledge of a given business or industry first. Usually, my first step is to sketch ideas and see what concepts come from it. Even though I might have decided on a direction to take a logo, sketching is a great brainstorming tool.


Just over three years ago, I was in a salaried position at a Fortune 500 Company in Minneapolis. I was applying my design background to small in-house jobs but was working mainly out of my field. When the economy crashed, the company issued sweeping layoffs and eventually I was out of work. I wanted to get back into design. One day, I was searching design blogs and a designer mentioned 99designs. I was intrigued by the competitive aspect and thought it would be a great way to build my portfolio with fresh work.

I didn’t know it at the time, but this would be the start of building my own design business.

Many of my current clients are returning customers from 99designs or referrals from those customers.


What are three things designers can do to have success at 99designs?

1. Enter a good amount of contests but not so many that you can’t use client feedback to update your designs to more suit the contest’s needs. I try to enter 10-15 active contests at any one time.

2. Ask questions and do research before and during a contest. You can never know too much about who or what you are designing for.

3. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Taste is subjective and even if you think you may have nailed a design in a given contest, there is no “right” answer to any design solution, but don’t stop searching.


What do you love most about being a designer?

Design is never boring and always evolving. You set your own ceiling for great design or bust through it.

I set my own hours and work when I want. That can have its pitfalls, but no one can tell me how to run my business.

Lately, when friends ask how I’m doing, I’ll say “Livin’ the dream.” And though that response sometimes draws a laugh, it’s true. I love what I do.

What do you think of Rick’s work?