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99designs is the crowdsourcing design marketplace that is probably first-to-mind for most people. I first learned about the company at a conference in 2008, and since then the Melbourne, Australia-based business has grown by leaps and bounds.

In fact, 99designs has thousands of active design contests and pays out more than $1.5 million to designers each month!

99designs reviewIn any freelance or crowdsourcing platform, the level of activity and engagement from the community is paramount. The worst feeling is to go through the trouble of creating an account, paying the fee to escrow, and then hearing the crickets chirp when no one submits any responses.

At the time of this writing, 99designs contests are receiving an average of 110 entries, so you should have plenty to choose from.

How it Works

As the name suggests, 99designs specializes in crowdsourced graphic design work. The platform is a good place to turn for logo design, web design, print media, mobile apps, promotional materials, t-shirts, and more.

If you don’t have ongoing design work, it makes sense to get it done one-time at a place like this instead of hiring an on-site or virtual assistant designer.

To start a design contest with 99designs, you go through this detailed questionnaire about your business and what kind of designs you might like. I think this feature is definitely a strength. When I went through they had sample logos, descriptive words, and colors and their common associations.

You can even upload other logos you like or choose from a sample gallery. It forces you to think about the kind of design you’re looking for and gives the army of designers something to base their work on.

99designs Review

Plans and Pricing

Logo design starts at $299, and web page design starts at $599.

On the lower end of the spectrum you can find card and invitation design (like custom wedding invitations), apparel design, and banner ads all starting at $149. There are several pricing tiers, and as you might guess, the higher price points attract more designers into the contest.

99designs pricing

The turnaround time is roughly a week from beginning to end, and each 99designs contest comes with their risk-free money back guarantee. If you don’t like any of the designs you receive, you can get a complete refund.

99designs Alternatives

If these prices seem a little rich for your blood, you might check out 48 Hours Logo or Crowdspring, which both offer similar models at slightly lower prices.

Fiverr Penji 99designs Design Pickle Looka
Customer Rating
Established 2010 2016 2008 2015 2016
Minimum Cost $5 $399 per month $299 $399 per month $20
Type of Service A la carte design Unlimited Graphic Design Crowdsourced design Unlimited design AI logo design
Best for Fast, cheap designs On-going design needs Higher profile work Ongoing design needs Affordable DIY
Notes 15-day money back guarantee. 100% money-back guarantee 14-day money back trial; 30% off first month w/ code VA30 Don't pay until you love your logo
Learn more Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More

I’m in the process of experimenting with getting some banner ads done at Fiverr. For 30x the price, I expect the quality would be much higher at 99designs, but depending on your needs it might not be worth it.

If you want to try making a free logo, check out the templates and tools at Logo Garden. You can play around and generate a logo yourself for free, and you only have to pay if you need a copy of the high-resolution file.

Your Turn

Have you had design work done on 99designs? Please leave a short review below and help others with their decision.

One Review

    • 55555
    • 44444
    • 44444
    • 55555

    After having been recommended to me from a colleague, I recently tried my own 99designs contest for the first time (for Logo Design), and was very pleased with the results.

    The process itself was quite fast and expedient. The contest wraps up in 7 days, and the entire process was done in about 10 days, with the gap of the last few days primarily my own delay for outside business issues. I’m not even certain I could have researched, contacted, interviewed, and hired a logo designer in a week on my own; instead, I was *DONE* in a week, start to finish.

    Participation of designers was good – I think I had about 15-20 by the end – and I ended out with upwards of 200 designs. The more feedback you give designers, the more iterations of designs you get – so I would recommend planning the contest during a time period you are prepared to check in regularly (think several times per day) to give rapid feedback. After all, both the upside and downside of a fast design contest is that if you don’t give much feedback in a timely manner, you won’t get many design iterations and fewer submissions overall. And remember, the more detail you give in your design brief, the fewer iterations you’ll likely need.

    Overall, though, I was very happy with the experience. They weren’t the most “wow” logos I’ve seen, but my needs were relatively simple, and the pricing was quite reasonable, especially given the expediency and results.

    Would definitely recommend for basic but quality logo design needs!
    – Michael

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