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How ZillionDesigns Closed 50k+ Design Clients: Q/A with CEO Zaheer Dodhia

How ZillionDesigns Closed 50k+ Design Clients: Q/A with CEO Zaheer Dodhia

Roberto Popolizio
Welcome to another interview by Website Planet. Bringing you insights on how the best companies are solving the current challenges in their industry and preparing for emerging trends coming in the near future.

Our guest today is Zaheer Dodhia, founder and CEO of ZillionDesigns, a crowdsourced community of 100K+ international graphic designers that has served over 50K business owners with custom branding solutions to this day.

He explained why AI and DIY solutions are probably NOT going to replace human designers – quite the opposite…

What are the key challenges in your industry right now?

I’ve been in the graphic design industry for more than two decades, and one thing which I have observed is that change is a constant. Currently we are witnessing one of the most rapidly changing trends in graphic design, and it is challenging to keep up.

Let’s start with technology…

The plethora of online do-it-yourself solutions, and AI design tools have made it difficult for mid-level to small sized agencies to survive. These tools have leveled the playing field with template based designs that customers can easily go online and download literally in minutes.

Then there is the influx of dissatisfied graphic designers. Previously, designers were inducted by established marketing or advertising agencies or large organizations that have bigger budgets. But now “budget” agencies have opened up, and they hire more designers at a lower salary scale. For this reason, the charm of a nine to five job no longer affects graphic designers.

Clients have a diversified range of design needs:

  1. Traditional brick and mortar businesses continue to demand for designs from marketing agencies
  2. Medium and small sized businesses require different types of branding to cater to both offline and online audiences.
  3. More and more social media and online startups also have robust demand for digital branding.
To cater to a diversified range of demands and budgets is challenging for a single agency, especially if they have a specific business model.

How are people trying to solve these issues, and why are these solutions not ideal?

Previously, the industry was focused on custom designs which were resource intensive and costly for the design company, which channeled the cost to the client. While the demand for custom design has continued, the question is how much is a comfortable price to pay, and how fast can graphic designers provide the final designs for companies to brand, when time is an important currency for business owners.

As a result, DIY design solutions emerged and became a hit a decade ago. Indeed DIY was (and it still is) a cheap, easy and fast solution, but there’s a catch:

Customers actually get only to buy the use of the design template, not the design itself.
This makes DIY the way to go only for startup owners who are just experimenting, whereas many business owners who are serious about establishing and growing a brand identity steer away from DIY design makers.

How do you solve these problems in a better way?

Is there a better way? I can’t say for definite but the Zillion Designs’ way is one that will help solve some burning issues.

Our core business is to provide custom brand designs through a crowdsourcing platform where hundreds and thousands of graphic designers from around the world sign up with us to provide their services to clients. They have varying types of skill sets and levels of expertise.

We have clients with varying budgets requiring brand identity designs (redesign) to launch their business, organization or event. They want custom design but are not able to pay a hefty amount for a handful of design concepts from agency type companies.

This is where ZillionDesigns comes in… Here’s how it works:

  1. We connect the clients with the graphic designers through our platform
  2. Clients set the price and launch a contest
  3. Designers participate in the contests by submitting design concepts
  4. If their concept is selected, they win the gig.
It’s that simple.

Business owners, especially startups, who want to own their brand identity, can get custom designs at a more affordable price. A typical logo contest starts at $200 while a stationery design at $100. They get to work with more designers as compared to individuals at a creative agency or design firm.

On the other hand, most of the graphic designers are freelancers who have day jobs and want to have side hustles, or they want to quit their day jobs and become independent business owners. Either case, with ZillionDesign they are free to decide who they want to work with and when.

What we get out of this is a small commission or processing fee that we charge the designers and contest holders. This is a small price to pay for the variety of outclass designs, fast responses, expert designers, and customer support. We also weed out poor quality designs, check for copyright issues, secure and deliver final files, and make sure clients are satisfied with what they walk away with.

That’s how we have closed more than 50,000 clients (and most are repeat customers).


We are more than a logo design company because we offer so much more.
We are like a one shop where you get everything designed and printed to launch your brand.

What new challenges and opportunities do you see coming in the future?

The most pressing problem that we are foreseeing is the flooding of AI generated graphic designs launched by some of our major competitors. To be honest, we’ve also jumped onto the bandwagon with our own AI logo maker but that is not our core service. We still put emphasis on custom design because it is the best solution for brands that want to have ownership and ensure a lasting brand identity.

👇 Take a look at the Free Logo Maker by ZillionDesigns 👇
What I foresee is that the noise created by AI design makers will eventually level out and customers will realize that it is a good option for designing social media content, but it can never be used for custom brand identity designs such as digital banners, flyers, brochures, logos, etc. because they render low resolution images. For editing and printing in high-res or HD quality, you need design files in AI and EPS.

I foresee a future where customers prefer human graphic designers. But if we can work with AI rather than relying on it entirely to create custom designs, that would be a great amalgamation.

How do you plan to adapt to these changes?

We are already working on a project with the faculty members in the Marketing Department at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management that reflects this idea. The project involves graphic designers working with an artificial intelligence model to create custom designs based on the AI’s input. It will be launched soon and we are excited about this project because we feel that instead of resenting or shunning AI, it’s wise to embrace it to make ourselves more efficient.

Where can we go to learn more?

Website: https://www.zilliondesigns.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/zilliondesigns

Twitter: https://twitter.com/zilliondesigns

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zilliondesigns

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zilliondesigns

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