99 Designs Review: The Online Freelance Marketplace For Graphic Design

Review Of 99 Designs: The Online Freelance Marketplace For Graphic Design 


Disclaimer


This blog post is for informational purposes only. I tried to make the content in this post as accurate as possible, but I cannot guarantee that this post is completely reliable or free of errors. If you don’t know Freelancing is, I would suggest checking out my other post called Overview of Freelancing.


What is 99 Designs


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99 Designs is the world’s largest online Freelance marketplace for businesses and graphic designers. It currently has the most Graphic Designers out of any Freelance marketplace.  As of now, there are approximately 1 million graphic designers with over 120 million dollars in payouts.


Categories of Graphical Designs


1) Logos

2) Web Designs

4) App Designs

5) Designs for Business and Advertising

6) Artistic Designs, Designs used for Illustrations

7) Designs used for Packaging and Labeling

8) Clothing and Merchandise Designs

9) Designs for Books and Magazines


How 99 Designs Works


As a client, finding a designer for graphic designs is simplified down to a 4 step process.

1) Describe your graphic design:  The first thing you need to do is fill out a small questionnaire. The questionnaire will ask you questions about your design. This questionnaire will be used as your Design Brief. You will provide the Design Brief to designers once you launch your design contest.

2) Choose your Membership: The second thing you need is choose your membership. Regardless of what type of graphical design you are looking for,  99 designs offer 4 different membership options. The membership options are:

  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Platinum

Design Package: Each membership is a one-time payment and offers a different Design package. The number of designs ideas you are offered from designers and the experience of the designers varies with each Design Package. The Bronze Membership offers a Design Package will less experienced Designers and fewer designs from Designers. The Platinum membership is the most expensive membership with the most experienced designers and the highest number of designs from Designers.

3) Launch a design contest: Once you choose your membership, you can launch your design to designers in the form of a contest. Designers on 99 Designs will compete against each other in order to offer you a graphical design that is most closely related to what is described in your Design Brief. Once you launch your design to designers, the number of designs you will receive all be based on the number of designs included in the Design Package that you purchased.

4) Choose your favorite graphic design: Look over the designs from the designers and choose your favorite design. Once you decide, you can consult one on one with the designer of your favorite design. You can cover different aspects of the design project including:

  • Price
  • The number of revisions your designer is willing to do
  • Preferred methods of communication
  • A time frame for parts of the project (Deadlines)
  • How you will pay your designer

Memberships


There are 4 different memberships at 99 designs. Depending on whether you are looking for a Logo for a web page or a graphical design for packaging, the cost of the memberships will vary. Here are the costs and the number of designs you should expect within each category for the different memberships.


Logos


1) Logo Design

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (60 Designs)

Gold: $799 (90 Designs)

Platinum: $1,199 (60 Designs)

2) Logo and Hosted Website

Bronze: $499 (30 Designs)

Silver: $699 (40 Designs)

Gold: $1,299 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1,999 (40 Designs)

3) Logo and Business Card 

Bronze: $449 (30 Designs)

Silver: $649 (40 Designs)

Gold: $949 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1,349 (40 Designs)

4) Business Card

Bronze: $199 (25 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (60 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

5) Stationary: 

Bronze: $199 (25 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (60 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

6) Brand Identity Pack 

Bronze: $599 (30 Designs)

Silver: $899 (40 Designs)

Gold: $1599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $2499 (40 Designs)


Web and App Design


1) Web page design:

Bronze: $599 (15 Designs)

Silver: $899 (25 Designs)

Gold: $1599 (35 Designs)

Platinum: $2499 (25 Designs)

2) WordPress Theme Plugin:

Bronze: $599 (30 Designs)

Silver: $899 (40 Designs)

Gold: $1599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $2499 (40 Designs)

3) Landing Page Design

Bronze: $299 (15 Designs)

Silver: $499 (25 Designs)

Gold: $799 (35 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (25 Designs)

4) Icon or Button

Bronze: $199 (30 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

5) Facebook Cover

Bronze: $49 (30 Designs)

Silver: $79 (40 Designs)

Gold: $129 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $199 (40 Designs)

6) Social Media Page 

Bronze: $49 (30 Designs)

Silver: $79 (40 Designs)

Gold: $129 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $199 (40 Designs)

7) Banner Ad

Bronze: $49 (30 Designs)

Silver: $79 (40 Designs)

Gold: $129 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $199 (40 Designs)

8) Flash Banner 

Bronze: $49 (10 Designs)

Silver: $79 (20 Designs)

Gold: $129 (30 Designs)

Platinum: $199 (20 Designs)

9) App Design 

Bronze: $499 (30 Designs)

Silver: $799 (40 Designs)

Gold: $1299 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1799 (40 Designs)


Business and Advertising


1) Other Business or Advertising

Bronze: $199 (30 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

2) Postcard, Flyer, Print

Bronze: $199 (30 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

3) Poster

Bronze: $199 (30 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

4) Infographic

Bronze: $599 (15 Designs)

Silver: $899 (25 Designs)

Gold: $1599 (30 Designs)

Platinum: $2499 (25 Designs)

5) Brochure

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)

6) Car, Truck, Van Wrap 

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)

7) Signage

Bronze: $199 (30 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $799 (40 Designs)

8) Email

Bronze: $299 (20 Designs)

Silver: $499 (30 Designs)

Gold: $799 (40 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (30 Designs)

9) Power Template

Bronze: $199 (30 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

10) Menu

Bronze: $199 (30 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)


Clothing and Merchandise


1) T-shirt

Bronze: $189 (30 Designs)

Silver: $249 (50 Designs)

Gold: $399 (70 Designs)

Platinum: $599 (50 Designs)

2) Clothing or Apparel

Bronze: $189 (30 Designs)

Silver: $249 (40 Designs)

Gold: $399 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $599 (40 Designs)

3) Merchandise:

Bronze: $189 (30 Designs)

Silver: $249 (40 Designs)

Gold: $399 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $599 (40 Designs)

4) Cup or Mug

Bronze: $189 (30 Designs)

Silver: $249 (40 Designs)

Gold: $399 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $599 (40 Designs)

5) Sticker

Bronze: $189 (30 Designs)

Silver: $249 (40 Designs)

Gold: $399 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $599 (40 Designs)

6) Other Clothing or Merchandise

Bronze: $189 (30 Designs)

Silver: $249 (40 Designs)

Gold: $399 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $599 (40 Designs)


Art and Illustration


1) Illustration and Graphics

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)

2) Card or Invitation

Bronze: $199 (30 Designs)

Silver: $299 (40 Designs)

Gold: $599 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

3) Character or Mascot

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)

4) Tattoo

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)

5) 3D

Bronze: $249 (30 Designs)

Silver: $399 (40 Designs)

Gold: $699 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $999 (40 Designs)

6) Other Art or Illustration

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)


Packaging and Label 


1) Product Packaging

Bronze: $399 (30 Designs)

Silver: $699 (40 Designs)

Gold: $1199 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1699 (40 Designs)

2) Product Label

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)

3) Other Packing or Label

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)


Book and Magazine


1) Book Cover

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (60 Designs)

Gold: $799 (90 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (60 Designs)

2) Magazine Cover

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)

3) Other Book or Magazine

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)


Other


1) Other Design

Bronze: $299 (30 Designs)

Silver: $499 (40 Designs)

Gold: $799 (50 Designs)

Platinum: $1199 (40 Designs)


Choose Logo Design By City


99 Designs also allows you to find Logo Designs by location. Here are the locations that 99 Designs offers.

1) Austin, Texas

2) Charlotte, North Carolina

3) Chicago, Illinois

4) Detroit, Michigan

5) Fort Worth, Texas

6) Houston, Texas

7) Indianapolis, Indiana

8) Jacksonville, Mississippi

9) Las Vegas, Nevada

10) Los Angeles, California

11) Memphis, Tennessee

12) Miami, Florida

13) New York City

14) Orlando, Florida

15) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

16) Phoenix, Arizona

17) Portland, Oregon

18) Salt Lake City, Utah

19) San Antonio, Texas

20) San Diego, California

21) San Francisco, California

22) San Hose, California

23) Tampa, Florida


Choose Logo Design by Industry


99 Designs also allows you to choose Logo Designs by industry. These are some of the different industries that 99 designs offers.

1) Accounting

2) Animal’s and Pets

3) Attorney and Law

4) Bar and Nightclubs

5) Construction

6) Cosmetics and Beauty

7) Dental

8) Education

9) Food and Drink

10) Medical

11) Politics

12) Real Estate

13) Religion

14) Restaurant

15) Technology

16) Wedding Services


Becoming A Freelancer on 99 Designs


Freelancers on 99 designs can be categorized into 4 different groups. These include:

  • Bronze Designers
  • Silver Designers
  • Gold Designers
  • Platinum Designers

When you apply as a designer on 99 designs, you start off as a Bronze Designer. As a Bronze Designer, there are certain requirements you must meet before you can become a Silver Designer.  Each position has a different set of requirements you must meet before your position as a designer changes. Platinum Designers on 99 Designs are designers are considered to be of the highest skill level and of the most experience. They are also paid the most out of all of the designers on 99 designs. Here are some of the requirements of Platinum designers as listed by 99 designs:

  •  Win at least one design contest
  • Correctly Source and Declare Stock Images when needed
  • Create a Profile page on 99 Designs through their instructions provided
  • Understand design principles such as typography, composition, color and visual hierarchy
  • Be professional
  • Don’t submit too many Generic Designs
  • Submit designs that comply with 99 designs Stock Image Policy and Concept Originality Policy
  • Create good design solutions for clientele
  • Execute well as a designer
  • Correctly source and incorporate stock images where they are allowed.

 


Alternatives


Launching a contest on 99 designs is the most popular option for finding graphical designs. If you who are not interested in launching a design contest to multiple designers, you can choose among some of the other options offered in 99 designs.

1) 1 on 1 Projects: 1 on 1 Projects is similar to the final step in launching a design contest. Instead of launching a design contest to multiple designers and choosing the designer you would like to work with, you can use 1 to 1 Projects and directly consult with the designer of your choice. This is a great choice if you already have a designer in mind. As stated above, you can work with a designer on a design project and cover things such as:

  • Price
  • The number of revisions your designer is willing to do
  • Preferred methods of communication
  • A time frame for parts of the project (Deadlines)
  • How you will pay your designer

 

2) Tasks: Another option that you could use is Tasks. Tasks allow you to consult with designers and get any small design task completed within an hour. This can be helpful if you have your own design and want a designer to help you make changes to that design. Tasks at 99 designs cost $19 per task.

3) Ready Made Logos: Ready Made Logos are logos that have already been designed.  They cost $99 each. You can either purchase a ready-made logo and make no changes to the logo, or you can contact a designer and have a designer make custom personalized changes to a ready-made logo. If you decide to purchase a ready-made logo and wish to make changes to the logo, you have to wait 24 hours.


Verdict


As a graphic designer with little experience, joining 99 designs as an entry level designer may not provide much of an income and it will take time before you can qualify as a  platinum designer. That being said, 99 Designs is an ideal place to start as a freelance graphic designer.

99 Designs is also a great place to find designers for design ideas. They have designers that specialize in many different types of graphical designs. 99 Designs also offer quite a few options. Launching a design contest is a popular option and it is great for getting design ideas. That being said, it isn’t for everyone. Being able to purchase professional ready-made logos without having to consult with a designer can be a big plus. On the other hand, 99 designs make consulting with designers on specific design tasks easy as well.  One drawback to using 99 designs is the cost launching a design contest. Depending on what graphical design you are looking for, launching a design contest can be quite expensive.

 

I hope you found this information helpful. Feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment box below. Please let me know if there is something you would have liked to have seen in this post or in a separate post.

 

Top Notch Freelance Marketplace For Graphic Design
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12 Responses

  1. roamy says:

    Hello dom
    Thanks for letting me into 99 designs.I have seen the program announced online for anyone looking to have designs or banners made but I have never really had a reason to give it a closer look till now as I need a header for my website.
    Now I must admit their prices are quite high and not beginner friendly, no struggling beginner will want to give out $299 for a landing page design.
    I wish they charged per single article, this will make it more affordable, Why would I need 30 designs of banners for $49 if I can just re-use the same banner?
    But then, maybe im talking from a broke online beginner`s perspective.
    It`s good to see you have given them a five star for quality, just disappointed I`ll not have the pleasure to try out some of their designs for now.
    Very informative, although I came to your site by looking for 99 designs review, it`s not for me.Very informative thanks for sharing.

    • Dom says:

      Thanks for the comment Roamy! When you decide to create a contest for your design, a lot of Freelancers have to be paid for their input when they all compete against one another to create a design for you. Even though you will only choose one design at the end of a contest, there can be quite a few people involved in the contest.

  2. KeldynFrancis says:

    I am after someone to do some design work on my website and from your review of 99 designs it seems like this is a fairly good option. One of my major concerns is what happens if I do not like the designs giving by the freelancer working for 99 designs, do I have the option of changing anything slightly or getting my money back?

    • Dom says:

      Hi Keldyn! 99 Designs does have a complete refund policy. If you host a design contest for your design and have not yet narrowed down a group of designers for the last round of your design contest, you have the option of getting a complete refund within 60 days of purchasing a design package. One design contest that you do not have the option of getting a complete refund with are guaranteed contests. In guaranteed contests, you can’t get a refund before the final round of your design contest. If you host a guaranteed contest, you will have to guarantee a design contest winner once you purchase a design package.

  3. Antonis Christonasis says:

    Hi Dom!

    Very interesting post! I’m in the process of building a new website and to be honest i was confused with the logo i want to use. I wasn’t sure if i wanted to design it my self, or ask a professional to do it. Now i will definately check this out!

  4. Marcus says:

    Hey Dom

    Cool post with a ton of information!

    I was looking into cool marketplaces for graphic design and saw your post. I don’t think I ever heard about 99design before, but they look very interesting. It seems to me that their main targeted audience is people who need a lot of designs. But I will check out the 1 on 1 project though.

    I was thinking, with those large design packages you might even be able to make a small business out of repackaging their services and sell to customers yourself.

    • Dom says:

      Hi Marcus! I would say that most of 99 Design’s target audience is for people who are interested in running design contests. I would prefer purchasing an already made logo as opposed to hosting a design contest. I don’t think the design contests are that affordable. Repackaging the designs submitted from a design contest would be an interesting business model. I have never heard of that , but it does seem that you could create a profitable business from selling the designs that were submitted from design contests.

  5. Thia says:

    Hi,
    This is quite interesting and I’m quite curious. There are so many interesting concepts and ideas out there. We truely live in an amazing era where the sky is really the limit.
    Let me go and check it out and quiet my curiosity. Thank you for the usefull information. You surely seem to know this area very well!

    • Dom says:

      Thanks for the kind words Thia! I wouldn’t say I am an expert in Freelancing, but I feel like I have learned a lot. I’m glad you found this post of use to you.

  6. jeffrey16201 says:

    very nice review of 99 designs, this company does have their hands in many cookies jars when it comes to designs and types of designs for many marketing purposes.

    The prices are quite high for newbies to the internet business, this article would even been better with samples of their designs to give people an idea what they were getting for their money.

    • Dom says:

      Thanks for the suggestion Jeffrey! I’ll consider adding designs to the post in the future. 99 designs definitely offers quite a variety of design packages. I also think their prices are not suited out for everyone who is just starting to invest in their website.

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