When you’re a business owner or simply someone who wants a brand or project presented in the most professional way possible, graphic design becomes a must.
Unless you have the design skills to design your own logo, web design, and visual materials, you will need to hire an in-house designer –not doable with a tight budget– or use the freelance services from graphics designers.
Hiring designers can get expensive and complicated quickly. The web is too full of graphic designers offering their services, and in-house design has its costs. Platforms like 99Designs surged to simplify this process and provide graphic design services cheaper, easier, and faster and they usually also have great designers with the best designs like your own logo, custom design, file format you need and your design preferences. You can usually also invite designers and have competitive designers create designs which leads you to finding the best designers at the most competitive price. If you start out as graphics designer as your trade, then this platform might be a great starting point since they also have good platform's vetting process.
But there are other companies offering comparable services, and they’re certainly worth knowing. So today, we present you our pick of the best 99Designs alternatives, next.
99Designs Alternatives Quick Directory
Our list of 99Designs alternatives has multiple options and details for all of them, but if you don’t have time to read through it, here is a shortcut with the best alternative according to your needs:
- Cheaper than 99Designs: Fiverr – Here, you can get a logo for between $30-$50, for example.
- Quicker than 99Designs: DesignPickle – This service offers 1-2 business days turnarounds in their most economical plan and even same-day turnaround for the Pro plan onwards.
- Better quality than 99Designs: Designbro – This company has only top-notch professionals on board, which shows in the quality of the designs they deliver.
That is just a quick overview, though. We have a few more alternatives worth exploring and more info on each of these sites. Read on!
Why a 99Designs Alternative for Graphic Design?
99Designs is an excellent resource for people looking for a graphic design service they can hire immediately and get professional results delivered to their inbox as soon as possible.
It is an online platform that connects professional creatives –graphic designers, web designers, etc.- with businesses and individuals requiring their talent to create specific materials, such as logo design, adverts, packaging, brochures, websites, etc.
How does it work? Through a hand-guided process:
- You submit a design brief, a descriptive text with the main details of what you need to create –for example, a brand name, a logo style you like, any colors you need to be used, etc.
- Then you can opt between browsing designer profiles, opening a design contest for designers to submit their ideas, or getting a one-on-one consultation with a 99Designs representative to help you find the ideal freelance graphic designer to work with.
- Once you pick an artist, you have different channels to provide feedback and fine-tune the design before it’s handed over to you.
Sounds good, right? So why would anyone need an alternative to 99Designs? Well, there are three main areas in which you may feel this service doesn’t quite do it for you:
- Price – While a lot cheaper than big-name designer studios, 99Designs still has a considerable cost: the most affordable logo design contests cost $299. You may be interested in sites with a similar offer but at lower prices.
- Design process – 99Designs has a straightforward system, but it’s still a particular one, with a series of steps that you have to take to get a design made, and it takes about two weeks from brief to completed design. If this doesn’t work for you, an alternative with a different process or quicker turnaround times comes in handy.
- Designers’ portfolio/quality of designs – On this platform, you can count over one million designers with different levels of seniority and experience and distinctive graphic design styles. But if you feel that the quality of work they display or produce on spec isn’t what you want, you may want to explore other online communities and see if their designers work better for you.
Best Alternatives to 99Designs for Freelance Graphic Designer
Without further ado, here are the best 99Design alternatives for small and medium-sized businesses and individuals.
Fiverr – The Most Economical Option for Graphic Designers
Fiverr is a freelance online marketplace that came to life as a low-cost service to get things done (not just graphic design, they also have creatives in digital marketing, writing, video, music, programming, and more). It still has the lowest prices across the board. However, in later years they’ve shifted the service to include a Pro tier –at higher price points– that has higher-level designers and offers access to premium content as a result. Right now, here, you will find entry-level freelancers and seasoned artists. As a bonus, they provide an online logo maker.
Price: Fiverr lets the designers set up their prices, and many of them have tiered packages and costs per project type (no hourly rates). Overall, you can get small and simple designs made for as little as $5 even; just keep in mind that quality follows price.
Money-back guarantee: They offer refunds into your Fiverr balance; you have to request it if you want your money back to your selected payment method.
How to Get a Design Made/Hire a Designer: On Fiverr, you have the main menu with the different fields of services they cover. Within the Graphic Design tab, you find a long list of categories and subcategories to choose from. Once you select one, you are prompted to pick design styles and set up filters for file formats, designer level, language and location, a budget range, and desired delivery time. Armed with this input, the system will show you designers that meet your criteria, and you can pick them to create your design. You can collaborate on the platform itself, so you can provide feedback and get edits until your design is finished.
Most popular design types: Logo design and brand identity, web, and app design, seem to be among the most sought-after categories. Visual design –things like Photoshop editing, presentations, or resume designs– are popular too. You will find great logo designers here to create a custom logo for you.
Design quality: If you opt into the Fiverr Pro tier, you’ll find top-notch designers. But there are considerably fewer designers here than in 99Designs. Overall, the freelancers using this platform are from an ok entry-level to a semi-senior status.
Fiverr vs. 99Designs: Fiverr has more and better ways to filter designers that match your needs and at much lower prices. But 99Designs is a design-specialized service; it has more designers on board and of a higher professional level.
DesignPickle – The Fastest Turnaround Times
DesignPickle is a subscription-based, creative work solution for businesses. In addition to graphic design, they also offer illustration, presentation design, and motion graphics creation services. They have over 500 graphic designers on board from all over the world, and their plans give you access to unlimited designs and unlimited revisions, which is very interesting. The best feature is the quick turnaround times: 1 to 2 days and even same-day delivery, depending on which plan you get.
Price: The starter plan is $499/mo and gives you access to graphic design and custom illustrations, an unlimited number of designs and revisions, and 1-2 day turnarounds. More advanced options (at a higher cost) include access to more services, having a designated designer, real-time collaboration, and same-day turnaround, among other perks.
Money-back guarantee: Yes, they offer a 30-day guarantee if you’re not satisfied.
How to Get a Design Made/Hire a Designer: Depending on which subscription you get, you can launch graphic design requests or choose a graphic designer to start working with. The process is simple, and the key difference is that Designpickle assigns you designers that meet your criteria, rather than letting all of them submit their concepts. Then the designers submit their graphics so you can finally see them. They usually match your design request and you can then pick one.
Most popular design types: Logo design, branding, social media graphics, adverts, infographics
Quality of designs: They seem to have medium to pro-level designers on board, delivering high-quality work
DesignPickle vs. 99Designs: The process is somewhat different. Whereas 99Designs is more straightforward, DesignPickle has speedy turnaround times and additional services. It comes at a higher price point, though.
Designbro – The Most Professional
Designbro is a digital design service that provides access to a network of only professional designers. The company prides on accepting only 5% of applicants to their platform, ensuring only the best artists fulfill your creative needs. In addition, the site has a few helpful design tools, such as a brand name generator, an email signature generator, and an online logo maker. A cool thing they do is award money to the top three professional designers from a request, with the one you choose getting the most significant sum.
Price: They work with clearly tiered pricing structures that range from a starter –3 to 5 designs from at least three different designers, unlimited revisions– to a Pro package that means 10-14 designs and priority support, among other things, but price points for each vary depending on what you need designing. An Instagram post starts at $99, while a logo design starts at $249.
Money-back guarantee: Yes, you can request a refund within five days of launching a contest if you’re not satisfied. The refund is forfeited if you select a winner design.
How to Get a Design Made/Hire a Designer: You can start a contest by submitting a detailed design brief, choosing three finalists (who will all receive a money prize), and picking the winner's design –the artist gets the most extensive money sum–. Or, you can browse their designer directory, check artists’ portfolios and start working with the one you select.
Most popular design types: Logo designs, branding, web design, social media graphics
Quality of designs: Due to the strict vetting policy, only very high-level designers work on this platform, and their work shows it. Here you find very high-quality designs.
Designbro vs. 99Designs: Their services, processes, and pricing are similar, but Designbro focuses on the high-end of the designer spectrum, so if you want top-notch content, this is a better choice.
Designhill – A Lower-Cost Alternative
Designhill is a complete design platform, covering all aspects a business may need graphic solutions. It is also a very flexible service with multiple ways to collaborate: you can run contests, hire a designer for one-to-one projects, and even post freelancing jobs. Their site includes an AI logo maker and a print shop service.
Price: Design contests start at $299 for 20+ designs submitted. You can set your price for one-to-one hiring and negotiate with your chosen designer, while the platform cuts a 5% commission on the agreed price.
Money-back guarantee: Yes, there is a 100% money-back guarantee for design contests, up to 60 days from the payment date and provided you did not select a winning design.
How to Get a Design Made/Hire a Designer: You can launch a contest by submitting a brief with your requirements and receive conceptual drafts from interested designers to choose your favorite. You can also hire a designer directly by browsing Designhill’s directory with over 270k artists, filtering by category, industry, expertise, and status within the platform, and inviting them to work on your project.
Most popular design types: Brand and identity, including logo design, business, and advertising, packaging, and label, plus websites and apps, are the most popular categories here.
Quality of designs: The community seems to have many medium-level and advanced artists and about 360 pro designers, including design studios that work on the platform.
Designhill as a 99Designs alternative: The two sites operate very similarly. Designhill has slightly lower prices, though, and a couple of valuable add-ons in design tools and related services.
DesignCrowd – More Designs per Request
DesignCrowd is an online marketplace for digital design that operates as a contest-based platform where freelance graphic designers propose their design ideas for your creative briefs. It has over a million freelance designers signed up. You can browse its directory by specialty and region and further filter them by parameters like the number of projects won, reviews, ratings, and more.
Price: The prices depend on the design project. Important! This platform has several hidden charges, including a posting fee of $29 and up to $129 (!) and a 4% transaction fee, and a 20% project management fee for design projects over $200 (!).
Money-back guarantee: Yes, they will refund you up to 60 days after launching a contest if you’re not satisfied and no design files have been delivered to you. They do not refund posting fees nor any additional fees incurred, though.
How to Get a Design Made/Hire a Designer: You place a creative brief and budget, and any freelance graphic designer proposes their design, from which you can pick a winner. According to the site, you can expect anything between 25 and up to 100 submissions per contest.
Most popular design types: Logo design, web design, smaller graphic designs
Quality of designs: The designs range from entry-level work to more professional results
DesignCrowd is a 99Designs alternative: It has pretty much the same work process as 99Designs, and the prices would be technically lower… if it weren’t for the added fees in most cases. It does promise more design submissions per contest, though.
Get your Creative Designs Done with the Best 99Designs Alternatives
Now you know these many alternatives to 99Designs, there is no excuse to get what you want from a professional designer, without breaking the bank and waiting long weeks for the final files.
Ready to find your new favorite designer on these freelance services? Let us know which is the chosen one!