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 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.
They usually also have great designers listed, capable of delivering the best designs for your needs. From your own logo to any custom design, in the file format that you need, and fulfilling all your design preferences. You can usually also invite designers onboard.
Having competitive designers create designs just for you so easily is of great value. 99designs provides a good way to find the best designers at the most competitive price. And if you are a starter with graphics design as your trade, then this site might be a great starting point since they also have a good platform 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.
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:
- Similar to 99Designs with bonus discounts: Crowdspring – The platform works very similarly, but has bonus perks and an exclusive $35 discount from Stock Photo Secrets.
- 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!
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 use, 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 to find a Freelance Graphic Designer
Without further ado, here are the best 99Design alternatives for small and medium-sized businesses and individuals.
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.
Recently, Fiverr partnered with Shutterstock to bring high-quality stock assets onto their platform, making it very easy to test-edit and license stock photos, videos, and audio files to use in your projects.
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; just keep in mind that quality follows price.
Money-back guarantee: They offer refunds to 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.
Crowdspring is a platform that seeks to democratize access to professional design by connecting designers and customers through a simple and straightforward, online process. Its website hosts 220,000+ designers from 195 countries and claims to have served over 60,000 customers so far. The pride in having an award-winning, customer support service, and in providing custom legal contracts that give you full intellectual property rights over the designs you buy through the platform. The website includes useful design tools such as a Brand Studio to make custom design templates.
Right now, we have a special Crowdspring discount for you that gives you $35 off your logo design just by clicking here!
Price: They have different tiers for the project posting service, and the price points vary depending on the design. Most of them, like logos, posters, or business cards, start at $299 in the lowest-priced, Silver tier which includes dozens of design submissions and their dedicated customer support. Bigger projects such as product design start at more than $1000. Hiring a designer for one-on-one projects has a minimum fee of $200, but the pricing is negotiable with the designer beyond that.
Money-back guarantee: They offer a 100% money-back guarantee for design projects posted, valid as long as you request it within 30 days of your project closing. However, they claim to contact clients directly to try and work on the issue before proceeding with a refund.
How to Get a Design Made/Hire a Designer: You can post a project by answering an interactive Q&A about your design needs and preferences, selecting the tier, and paying the fee. You can expect dozens of design submissions for up to 7 days (though you can reduce that time, or extend it for another 7 days for free if needed), rate and send feedback on the submissions, and finally, choose a winning design that you want to buy. Alternatively, you can hire a designer from their database to work one-on-one.
Most popular design types: Logo and brand identity, naming and branding, and product and packaging are amongst the most popular segments here.
Quality of designs: They have a lot of five-star ratings but many of them highlight customer support more than the designs. However, an overview of their designer directory shows most of them are semi-senior to senior professionals, so you can expect high-quality results.
Crowdspring as a 99Designs alternative: The two sites operate very similarly and have very similar prices. Crowdspring adds value with its custom contracts and its first-class client support. Plus you can benefit from our exclusive discount.
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 is a digital design service that provides access to a network of only professional designers. The company prides itself on accepting only 5% of applicants to its 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 winning 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 monetary 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.
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!