Brandstack (now BrandCrowd) is an online marketplace for buying and selling logos and domains. Sellers upload logo designs for sale or for critique with fictional brand name concepts, sometimes accompanied by a domain name as a ready-made branding package. Buyers can browse over 60 different categories of designs to brand their business or identity.
On 20 December 2011 DesignCrowd, an online crowdsourcing marketplace announced the acquisition of Brandstack. Following the acquisition, DesignCrowd changed Brandstack's name and branding and launched BrandCrowd. DesignCrowd's CEO is Alec Lynch and the firm is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.
Brandstack was founded in March 2008 and had its beginnings under the name Incspring. Founded by CEO Wes Wilson and based out of San Antonio, Texas, Incspring's branding solution caught the attention of the tech blogging community. In June 2009, Incspring changed its name and branding to Brandstack with a logo acquired within its own service. Brandstack is since trademarked as Brandstack, LLC.
Brandstack temporarily closed in late 2011, prior to being acquired by DesignCrowd.
Community and contributors
The sellers on Brandstack consist mostly of over 15,000 international designers and domainers from all over the world. As of October 2010, the designers on Brandstack have uploaded over 25,000 logos and been paid over $300,000 in logo sales.
There is much debate over whether Brandstack's service is a form of spec work for designers. The argument for it being spec work is designers do not get paid upfront for providing their work. The argument against is that most designers provide designs, not work, meaning the designs were already made for prior clients, unused and unpaid for, with Brandstack providing the potential for payment for a good which would go otherwise unpaid for. Additionally, Brandstack offers a passive income model for designers who wish to craft designs specifically for sale on Brandstack.
Brandstack launched a sister site, Upstack.com, in February 2010 for custom design work in addition to Branstack.com's marketplace for logos. Included services on Upstack.com are logos, websites, print collateral, illustrations, and basic web graphics. The two sites shared some designers, but Upstack accepted applications from designers outside of Brandstack's network. All designers on Upstack participated in a screening process.
Upstack's custom design service has been replaced by DesignCrowd an Australian-based online "crowdsourcing" company. Buyers can run a design contest or pick one freelance designer to work on a specific project. In design contests, buyers set the prize amount for the winning design, as well as smaller amounts for second and third placed designs. Buyers who run a contest have the option of setting participation payments for designers.
- Greg Kumparak, "Brandstack Pulled From The Deadpool, Acquired By DesignCrowd", "Techcrunch"
- Michelle Hammond. "DesignCrowd Acquires Brandstack, Launched BrandCrowd" "StartUp Smart"
- Mark Fulton, "Incspring - The Future of Domain Sales?", Dotsauce
- "Incspring Becomes Brandstack", Pitch Engine
- David Airey, "Brandstack Closes, Leaves Designers Out of Pocket", "Logo Design Love"
- , We're Growing! Where Do We Go From Here?
- Jolie O'Dell, "Want Crowdsourced Design Without the Spec Work? Try Brandstack", Mashable
- Chad Engle, "Brandstack Gets a New Sibling. Introducing: Upstack", Fuel Brand Network
- Ross Dawson, "Australia is Becoming A Global Hub for Outsourcing Platforms: Freelancer.com, 99 Designs, DesignCrowd", "Trends In The Living Networks"
- BrandCrowd website
- DesignCrowd website
- "Brandstack Pulled From The Deadpool, Acquired By DesignCrowd" "Techcrunch"
- "DesignCrowd Acquires Brandstack, Launches BrandCrowd" "StartUp Smart"
- "DesignCrowd Buys Brandstack.com; Launches BrandCrowd.com" "Technology Spectator"
- "DesignCrowd Acquires US Rival" "IT Wire"
- Brandstack website
- Brandstack blog
- Brandstack forums
- Upstack website
- Upstack blog