Why I’m not signing up with DesignRush

Estimated reading time: 2 min

There are lots of agency listing websites and directories – I have long been a fan of Chuck Meyst at AgencyFinder.com and Tom Holmes’ Creative Brief in the UK.

DesignRush logo, agency search service,

DesignRush is a nicely designed website for listing agencies allowing filtering by country and skillset.

I found three New Zealand agencies there – none of them competitors for us.  But instead of reaching out for our profile and submitting it, I decided not to go that route.


The main reason is that the site lists agencies with a price per hour as part of the filtering.  This is WRONG on many levels.

  1. Firstly, buying creativity is not like buying socks – a commodity.
  2. We sell by value, not by the hour (I’m not a solo-preneur or just getting started)
  3. This encourages viewers to buy based on price and that demeans the whole industry of creative agencies

So thanks, but no thanks for us.

Make your own mind up by answering these situational questions

  • A client approaches and asks your price to solve a problem situation.  You know the answer and how to solve it.  Does it matter if you solve the problem in five minutes of 50 hours?  Will the client be happy that the problem was solved or unhappy that you did it in 5 minutes?
  • You are asked to respond to a brief in some detail.  You do it with a written proposal which the prospect takes and uses as a bid document to ask other firms to submit prices.  You don’t get hired as a result.
  • A marketing director asks for your credentials and whether you have experience in a particular industry.  Does this matter to her – is it an exclusion or inclusion filter?  Does it affect your ability to do the work?

Coaching and learning how to navigate the new business development minefield is available.

8 replies
  1. Chuck Meyst
    Chuck Meyst says:

    Chuck at AgencyFinder.com says “thanks for the mention!” To continue, I agree with your decision for your stated reason. Nasty, unscrupulous combative agency with lowest rates – are they kidding? Interesting that they take it upon themselves to “rank” agencies as well. eHarmony and Match.com dare not; why here?

  2. Nick Gramatikov
    Nick Gramatikov says:

    We have tried DesignRush and as you mentioned the platform is designed well and it is interesting. As far as I know, the owner is actually from the agency world. However, the thing that I don’t really appreciate is their aggressive marketing approach. When you list your company they start messaging you with these last-minute super urgent emails where you need to put a link back to them so you get featured in their new press release. This is a pretty aggressive SEO strategy and it probably works for them, but I don’t believe this is the way you have to do business and build trust & reputation online.

    • Rebecca Caroe
      Rebecca Caroe says:

      Nick – it’s certainly a “style” choice they made which jars with me too. They messaged me about this post asking for a take-down.
      Kinda says it all!

      • Jim
        Jim says:

        From my experience it’s young, unexperienced designers who can’t specify their hourly rate, of course it doesn’t work with every project but every professional agency will be able to tell you how much they charge per hour. I agree designrush is agressive with their marketing and most of websites like these are pretty useless buy saying that only unexperienced designers know their hourly rate is wrong

  3. Mohamed
    Mohamed says:

    I too have a very bad experience with DesignRush. It looks like they rush in everything and end up losing values. I had a scheduled call with them, and I couldn’t attend for certain reasons.

    The next immediate thing their Client Relationship Manager did was to approach my boss and ask if I was a legit employee there. Such a reckless approach from a senior employee is to be taken seriously. Because she has my official email, she didn’t send a reminder, she didn’t even send me an email when I was not showing up for the call, above all, it is the first time.

    Later she asked for a reschedule, and I said, never.

  4. Design Rush Sucks
    Design Rush Sucks says:

    DesignRush is a scam. They had us paid $300 for design competition for a total of six entries. One of the entries was a web application which require logging in in order to even determine what the application is about. We receive an email from them with no information on how they did their evaluation. It simply says we didn’t win and that we need ti keep paying every mo to resubmit our entries for a chance to win top designers. We fell for the oldest scam in the book.

  5. EP
    EP says:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and insights. We too sell by value and not by the hour. Design Rush has emailed me twice so I was wondering what their deal is. Now I know!


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