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UCI Division of Continuing Education Selects Winning Design For Marketingzot Blog

Design Contest and Partnership with 99designs Explores Issues, Opportunities

IRVINE, Calif. – November 18, 2013 – Crowdsourcing has created new opportunities—and new challenges—for the fields of marketing and graphic design. In October, UC Irvine Extension, the continuing education arm of the University of California, Irvine, decided to explore these issues publicly by partnering with design crowdsourcing site 99designs for a redesign of the Marketing Zot blog, the UC Irvine Extension blog associated with its marketing continuing education programs. The process of managing a crowdsourced design contest has been chronicled in real time on the blog, and readers were invited to participate in the ranking and voting of finalists as the winning design was selected.

“Crowdsourcing is no longer an unknown,” explained Melanie Mitchell, director of marketing, management and business programs at UC Irvine Extension. “In the past few years, we’ve seen crowdsourcing become increasingly adopted as a mainstream practice. Crowdsourced design presents marketers and entrepreneurs with immediate access to a wide array of designers. We wanted to both explore the potential of this resource for our own blog, and allow our students and alumni to learn alongside us. This is key to why we decided to make the entire process open to the public.”

“The end result for the Marketing Zot blog,” added Mitchell, “is a very professional, user-friendly design created through a process that reflects what we consider to be at the core of our marketing continuing education programs—to share learning and insights which prepare professionals to master emerging issues and continue their professional growth.”

“99designs is an online graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with great graphic designers from all over the world. I’m pleased to work with the University of California, Irvine and explore how our platform can be beneficial to both marketers and designers,” said Ashish Desai, Head of Product at 99designs.

The winning design for was one of 92 designs submitted by 11 designers during the course of the contest.

Free Webinar, November 21, 10:30 a.m. (PST): “What is Crowdsourcing and Why Should Marketers Care?”

On November 21, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (PST), UC Irvine Extension and 99designs will jointly present a webinar to discuss the crowdsourcing process involved in the redesign of The webinar, “What is Crowdsourcing and Why Should Marketers Care?,” will explore how crowdsourced design can impact both marketers and graphic designers, using UC Irvine Extension’s experience with 99designs as a case study. The discussion will include:

• Melanie Mitchell, director of marketing, management and business programs, UC Irvine Extension

• Scott Rutherford, director of marketing and communications, UC Irvine Extension

• Zen Yieh, marketing communications specialist, UC Irvine Extension

• Ashish Desai, Head of Product, 99designs

UC Irvine Extension Marketing Continuing Education Programs

UC Irvine Extension offers certificate and specialized studies programs for marketers at all levels of experience, offered on an open enrollment basis without any formal application process. These programs include the Marketing Certificate Program focusing on core competencies, theories and practices required of marketers, the Internet Marketing Certificate Program providing a comprehensive examination of digital marketing tactics and strategies, and the Social Media Specialized Studies Program which explores the constantly changing field of social media and content marketing. All of these programs may be completed entirely online.

About 99designs

99designs is the world's largest graphic design marketplace, connecting businesses looking for design work with more than 240,000 graphic designers from 192 countries around the world. Businesses can source graphic design work quickly and affordably by launching design contests to the community, working via 1-to-1 Projects with individual designers, or purchasing design templates from 99designs' readymade logo store. 99designs was co-founded by serial entrepreneurs Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz (SitePoint, Flippa), and is backed by Accel Partners and angel investors Michael Dearing (eBay, Harrison Metal), Dave Goldberg (Survey Monkey), Stewart Butterfield (Flickr, Tiny Speck) and Anthony Casalena (Squarespace). To learn more about 99designs, visit

About UCI Division of Continuing Education

The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) provides lifelong learning opportunities to thousands of students worldwide each year – fulfilling the school’s 60-year curriculum platform to connect degree programs to the world of work and achievement after graduation. The Division offers a broad range of certificate programs, specialized studies, and sequential courses to local, regional and global markets through online, on-campus and on-site delivery. A leader in the open education movement, the Division offers free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and content through the UCI Open initiative. For more information about UCI Division of Continuing Education, visit

About the University of California, Irvine

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation, and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 222 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $5 billion annually to the local economy. For more on UCI, visit