99Designs Alternatives: Do You Need Designs? (2021)
Find out the best 99Designs Alternatives Below!
Table Of Contents
Solid branding requires a good logo and other graphics, yet not all entrepreneurs know how to design by themselves. That’s why hiring a graphic designer can be a huge advantage when starting and even down the line.
Logos, flyers, business cards, and even book covers are common needs in your online ventures—even in the real world. To cover for this need, the internet is filled with platforms where designers can sign up and look for work, and anyone can outsource their needs to them.
With that in mind, I’ve gathered a list with some of the best places you can look to solve these needs, and there’s something for everyone along these entries.
The premium option: 99Designs
99Designs is, by far, one of the most popular platforms when it comes to hiring graphic designers. It’s a freelance platform founded back in 2008, and it connects anyone in need of a good design with designers from around the globe.
Is know for both its safety and excellent service, especially because it offers an agency service. You can work directly with a designer you like, or you can host contests for participants to submit their entries for you to pick the best one.
You can find all kinds of services here: logos, cards, website and app design, branding, and labels are just part of what you get. Regardless of your needs, you can work together with your designer like other options here.
If you want to ensure you get the best results, you can hold contests and choose the entry you like the most. Blind contests also restrict participants from looking at other entries. It lets you find a good designer right from the start, but it’s a significant investment you need to consider.
The agency service also lets you take advantage of the platform to run the graphic design tasks for your own marketing agency. It also comes with a personal manager for premium support.
You also get a money back guarantee and excellent customer support for all account types.
You have 4 options when it comes to your 99Designs subscription:
- Bronze users pay $299 for up to 30 designs as well as full ownership over all designs.
- Silver users pay $499 for twice as many concepts.
- Gold users pay $899, and they get 90 unique concepts from the best designers in the platform.
- Platinum users pay $1,299, and they get the dedicated manager, customer support priority, and your contests are solely for the highest-level designers.
99Designs works in several ways, and the ability to set up contests is great to find excellent designers even if it’s your first time outsourcing these tasks.
However, 99Designs is a very expensive platform, as you might have noticed. It’s definitely a premium service for larger companies and entrepreneurs with a big budget.
Is that the only option?
Naturally, not everyone can afford 99Designs, and that’s why it’s not the only recommendation in this list. If you’re on a tighter budget, you’ll be glad to see the other entries in this article.
When it comes to 99Designs alternatives, DesignCrowd is definitely the best in general when it comes to what they offer and pricing. It also started out in 2008, and it’s also among the industry standards for graphic design solutions in the market.
You can also run contests, just like 99Designs. It works in the same way: publish contests, receive entries, and pick out the best concept. It’s not hard to find a good designer since DesignCrowd is filled with professionals in different design categories all the way to web design.
You can also skip the contests and just choose a designer. It’s faster if you know what you’re looking for.
DesignCrowd has a huge community with more than 700,000 individuals spread around the globe and into different fields. There isn’t a way to really assess how many designers are actually inside the platform, but you’ll have a hard time not finding someone.
DesignCrowd also lets you organize your search results for more accuracy when hiring. You can filter these results depending on your own needs as well as location and even earnings; this is particularly advantageous since it lets you find someone from your own country or even with a lower-value currency for cheaper rates. The earnings filter also lets you verify the performance of your prospective designers.
Similar to the earnings filter, DesignCrowd also ranks all freelancers based on how many contest they’ve won and average customer rating among the different categories.
Finally, you have plenty of payment options once your work is done. You can pay via credit card, PayPal, and more.
DesignCrowd has 5 payment options for different needs and business sizes. They all come with mostly the same features, and the only major difference is the amount of designs and designers you have access to.
- The basic account is $109. You get up to 3 designs from a single designer as well as 3 revisions and full copyrights over one of the designs.
- The second account is $229. You get up to 6 designs from 3 designers as well as unlimited reviews, plus all previous features.
- The third account is $319. You get 50 designs from as many designers as you want, plus all previous features.
- The fourth account is $499. You get twice as many designs as the previous plan. This plan lets you highlight projects as well as 250 business cards.
- The last plan is $739. You get 150 designs as well as all previous features. You also have twice as many business cards and the ability to feature projects.
DesignHill is another excellent choice for any entrepreneur. It works very similarly to our previous 2 options: design contests and working directly with your designers.
You already know why design contests are useful, but work directly with your preferred designer has plenty of advantages on its own. DesignHill lets you negotiate rates and specific requests directly with your designer.
You also have plenty of service design categories. DesignHill includes even t-shirt designs to its catalog.
The most interesting feature in DesignHill is definitely the sheer amount of categories you can find, easily rivaling 99Designs. You have standard categories: web design, billboard, business cards, and flyers—but more special categories include t-shirts and even email design.
Another neat inclusion in 99Designs is a comprehensive design toolkit. If you know anything about design, you can save money by doing the work yourself. There are many builders available, each with its own features: from logo and banners to social media headers and email signatures.
While the contests feature is definite not unique, DesignHill offers an interesting twist for premium users: paid invites. You can send invitations starting at $20 to your preferred designers. This is a huge incentive if you want to bring your favorite designers and professionals to your contest.
Finally, all contests in DesignHill work with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) so that no one can discuss your contest.
DesignHill is also fairly unique in how it categorizes its pricing tiers. Sure, they offer several of the same features, and it’s basically still a tier subscription model, but each one caters to specific categories.
- The basic plan is Fast Track for $249. It comes with 20 designs but unlimited designers; you can ask for up to 4 designs from the same individual.
- The Standard account is $399. It comes with twice as many designs, and it includes social media and newsletters.
- The Executive account is $699. It comes with 60 designs, and you get to work directly with expert designers, and it includes blog design with a few basic features.
- The last plan is the Premium account. It comes with 80 designs from the best designers in the platform. You can highlight your contests, and you also get a free paid invitation.
Fiverr is unlike the other entries in this list. It’s not a design platform exclusively; instead, it’s a global marketplace for freelancers among countless categories: from writers, translators, and designers all the way to musicians and even models.
Therefore, if you can’t find what you need in Fiverr, then it’ll be hard to do so in any other platform.
What really sets Fiverr apart—even from similar platforms like Freelancer—is that prices are simply insane. You can find countless offers for $5, including packages. Of course, there are more chances to find low-quality work with cheaper rates, but you can request as many revisions as you want; Fiverr won’t release the money until you’re satisfied.
The only issue with Fiverr is how it can be difficult to sort out good freelancers from bad ones. You can only use customer reviews and ask for samples individually, which can take a lot of time.
Likewise, you can’t hold contests, either. You find someone, contact him, and either start working or go for someone else.
Naturally, the main highlight is simply the huge amount of categories you can find. You can find book and blog writers, translators, music producers, app designers, models, photographers, and more. Just for design solutions, you can find websites, blogs, logos, flyers, banners, business cards, and lots more.
It sounds overwhelming, but another excellent feature from Fiverr is its advanced filters system for the search bar. You can sort them through categories, location, language, and even availability.
These filters also adapt to the service category. Since we’re looking for designers in this case, you can expect in-depth filters like style and file format. You can look for 3D, signature, and minimalist logos—among several others—as well as what format you want to receive your files in.
Of course, you can also look for specific seller levels: from new sellers all the way to the top tiers. It also lets you filter your results depending on pricing, with a minimum and maximum budget.
You can also communicate privately with all freelancers. This is great for requesting work samples and discuss the terms of your work before hiring them. You can also request custom rates and even updates on the work before delivery.
There’s also Fiverr Pro, which lets you browse through professional freelancers. Turning on this feature filters out all designers outside the professional category (even higher than top level). Results are pretty much guaranteed, and it’s usually cheaper than other platforms, yet more expensive than regular Fiverr users.
You can join the platform for free, and you only pay for the services themselves. Fiverr makes money by charging commissions to the sellers, but you still get the usual prices. Other than that, prices are solely determined by the marketplace.
The cheapest price for any offer is $5, and anyone can price their services however they want. Therefore, it’s not really a guaranteed.
It’s usually a safe bet to say that cheaper work has higher chances to be worse than more expensive one. However, you can find $5 designers with far better results than others priced at $10 or more.
DesignBro is a design community focused on crowdsourcing, and it lets you post contests for everyone to partake in. You’re then free to decide which idea is the winner—fairly standard methods.
You can go ahead and pick the closest concept to what you want and then request a few modifications.
That being said, contests are the only way to outsource your work and hire freelancers. Strangely, there’s no option to work directly with someone like with other platforms.
The main advantage when using DesignBro is quality. Despite the name possibly feeling “juvenile”, DesignBro actually has very high quality standards; many designers actually have a hard time joining the platform.
Even after making it inside, every designer is expected to give their best and even improve constantly. That’s one of the advantages of focusing purely on contests: everyone needs to win.
Additionally, DesignBro doesn’t accept nearly as many newcomers as other options on this list.
Another interesting feature in DesignBro is how it lets you request all the revisions you want. There’s a time limit for decision making, but you’re free to request unlimited revisions during that period.
You’re also free to set up blind contest so that no one can find inspiration from other people’s work; this is great to promote creativity and diversity from submissions. You can also request designers to sign an NDA before accessing the contest briefing.
DesignBro works with a basic plan for $199, which comes with 3 designs and the blind feature for your contests. Other costs are just add-ons to this primary account.
If you want to increase the amount of design submissions for your contests, you can increase it as much as you want. Each additional design costs $55, but there are discounts depending on how many you request. The NDA is also an add-on; it costs $35.
CrowdSpring is also a crowdsourcing platform, somewhat similar to DesignBro. It also hosts a fairly broad selection of design categories, from logo to other creative services. It was released back in 2007, and it’s a very popular competitor to 99Designs and other services.
With over 200,000 freelancers, CrowdSpring shines when it comes to peer-to-peer work—despite what its name might suggest. You can host contests and choose the best one, but you can also work directly with a designer and skip the contest entirely.
A feature that really sets CrowdSpring apart from all of the other entries in this list is its consultation feature. You can receive help for free if you want to nurture new ideas, and it doesn’t cost anything. The team always responds very quickly, too.
If you’re an Elite or Platinum user, you also get a dedicated manager to help you manage all your work and designers. You can even ask them to help you pick a designer to work with directly.
Speaking of management, you also get a dedicated tool for your projects. CrowdSpring comes with its own project management tool, which you can use to track your designers and communicate with them.
As with others in this list, you can also ensure confidentiality for your projects by enabling an NDA for all projects.
CrowdSpring is a really unique platform when it comes to charging for its services. You have 4 different plans, with the standard tiers between Silver and Platinum. However, the price isn’t fixed, and it depends on what type of service you want.
For instance, the Silver plan can be as cheap as $299 or several times that amount depending on what you want. Categories like logo design are much less expensive than others like package and product design.
Despite the price differences, the features themselves are pretty much the same throughout the different pricing tiers:
- Silver users get 60 designs for their contests, and they get full copyrights over the winner.
- Gold users have access to 90 designs for them to choose from, and they can promote their contests to attract more designers.
- The Elite plan is better for larger businesses or agencies. It lets you get up to 20 designs from 5 expert designers; this plan also includes the account manager.
- The Platinum plan is the ultimate package, and you get up to 75 premium concepts from as many designers as you want. Besides the dedicated manager, you can also submit unlimited presentations, and you can work via team collaboration.
DesignEvo isn’t a crowdsourcing platform—or even an outsourcing one. It’s an app for making logos with thousands of templates if you want to take matters into your own hand. It’s also the cheapest option in this list.
If you’re starting your own business on a small budget, or you have some design experience, then you can save money on the short term by coming up with your own logo. You’re free to switch to a professional one as your business grows, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t keep your own logo if it’s working out for you.
You get 10,000 templates to get you started, and they’re perfect for getting ideas and reduce the time it takes to build your logo. They’re completely customizable, and you can always find one that suits your needs.
It’s also a really intuitive platform, and the interface does wonders to help you understand how everything works without any experience necessary. You can get nice designs even if it’s your first time using it.
That’s because you get many fonts and backgrounds to choose from. You can even create logos without a background if you want to.
Finally, you can use DesignEvo with pretty much any device you own. It’s fully compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux; there’s also a mobile app for iOS and Android.
DesignEvo offers 3 different accounts: a free account and 2 single-payment plans.
- The Free account is one of the reasons why it’s such an excellent platform for beginners. Keep in mind that the platform keeps design credits, and you’re limited to low resolution designs. However, you still get all of the design features.
- The Basic plan costs $24.99, and you keep all credits. You can export your designs for up to 5,000 pixels in resolution and as transparent .png files. You also get lifetime support and printable logos.
- The last plan is Plus, and it costs $49.99, and it’s basically the Basic plan with 100% ownership of your copyrights.
As you can see, all platforms cater to specific audiences despite having generally similar features. It’s all a matter of taking not of what you need and check which platform’s description comes closer to that.
If you’re on a big budget, then 99Designs might be exactly what you need, but not everyone has the same capabilities. DesignCrowd is the closest alternative to 99Designs while still being quite cheaper, but there’s little to lose by trying out DesignEvo for free or asking for samples on Fiverr.
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