99Designs Review: How Does This Graphic Design Platform Stack Up?

By Bill Acholla September 15, 2021

This is my honest review of 99designs platform.

In this review I’ll do a deep-dive into what this design service offers, including:

  • Best (and worst) features
  • A review of their support
  • How the platform works
  • Pricing
  • Lots more

So if you want an in-depth review of 99designs, this post is for you.

Let’s dive right in.

I was planning on starting my own brand and while I did have a fair bit of knowledge about the background of web development, I was completely not aware of how graphics work.

I struggled a lot with finding a good designer and also someone who would understand my pain points.

I was starting out just then and it didn’t make sense for me to splurge every last penny on just a logo design for the website and my brand.

That’s when I did stumble across 99designs and while I was skeptical at first because of the freelancing gig, the results did stand up to all the expectations.

In a world where a lot of people are indulging in getting their hands on their own blog and exploring the world of entrepreneurship, it is not surprising that the online media is playing a quintessential role in it.

Given the fact that the audience around is constantly reading reviews and seeking authentic websites to indulge in, it is not surprising that social media and design are starting to become a very important part in the same.

Engaging website content to the graphical logos that you encounter, everything does have a purpose to it. But, developing one is not everyone’s cup of tea.

With the growing demand for web design and graphic design, the price point for these services is on the constant rise as well.

99design is actually a good enough option for you to look into if you are on a tight budget but need a good result altogether.

Full Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through these links, at no extra cost to you. You can read my complete disclosure statement here.

What is 99designs, Exactly?

As we are talking about 99designs, let us explain what this is and how it can be beneficial for someone who is starting out their gigs right from scratch.

This is mainly a platform where anyone with any kind of graphic design project can seek qualified and experienced freelance designers to get their job done.

Every single one of the registered designers on this platform is known for their accuracy and precision of the work they are producing and not just that, they are also known around to provide the deliverables by the assigned deadline.

They have their global community of freelance designers who cater to all the client needs and provide the very best output at the end of the scale.

If you are still wondering about the authenticity and genuineness of this great design service, you will be glad to know that one brand, Rollworks does swear by the kind of services they provide their clients with.

Rollworks has been in constant touch with their platform to help grow their platform with interactive pieces of illustrations that the audience connected and interacted with the most.

And now it’s time for my in-depth 99designs review.

01) How much is 99designs?

Next, when we come down to talking about the pricing, there are four tiers of subscriptions or services one can avail.

The least starts at $299 and the highest being $1299 which is pretty hefty but you are compensated well for the same as well.

The four tiers of services provided by them include:

  • Bronze – $299
  • Silver – $499
  • Gold – $899
  • Platinum – $1299

Each of these design packages does have its fair share of work and best services involved.

The highest paid ones tend to be done by the best and most experienced designers while the least paid ones tend to be done by freshers or someone with mediocre experience.

The number of sample sizing and the design concepts vary a lot too which is yet another one of the difference in the price points you experience.

Apart from the normal designer collaborations, you also do get an assigned manager for the design process which makes it even more authentic.

If you find that 99designs is expensive you can try the below different designs platform:

  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • Taskrabbit
  • Wonolo
  • DesignCrowd
  • Thumbtack
  • Helpware
  • Penji.co

In my opinion, 99designs has the best professional and top designers out there.

But If you still don’t think it’s right for you, then there are many other 99designs alternatives to consider too.

02) How Does 99designs Work?

Being registered with 99designs is actually an amazing way to not just get gigs for yourself as a graphic designer but to also help the small and big companies grow their business in the best possible way.

If you are here wondering how everything under this website works, the same is sub-divided into three distinct stages.

  • Brief about the design you want to get done
  • Connect with a website designer who will cater to your needs
  • Collaborate with the designer to finally get the job done

Now that we have walked ourselves through the easy basics of it all, it is necessary we talk about it this actually works in an in-depth manner to help ease your issues and queries.

Let me show you how it works.

Proposing the brief

The very first factor about the 99designers that you need to pay attention to is the fact that the first step to this is to ensure that you propose a well-informed brief to the platform.

Having some key points and must include in the final product that you need will help the people working for 99designs to help you find the perfect winning designer meant for this job.

If you have certain criteria that need to be emphasized in the logo or the design, mention that clearly in the brief as well.

Make sure to be very clear and precise about your requirements to receive the very best services from the designers on board.

If you want a good design, the best even, maintain clarity in your brief without a speck of doubt. Here’s exactly how to do it:

Connect with the graphic designer

The next step in this is to connect with a graphic designer based on the designer’s work or even the design review they have gotten from their previous gigs.

Sometimes, 99designs itself provides with a few suggestions best suited for your needs based on the kind of brief you have provided them with.

It is very important to be very sure of the designer you are going to hire for the same because you will end up spending your hard earned money and I don’t necessarily think they have rectification or even refund policies under their terms and conditions.

The final design provided by the designer is what you need to accept and while you can put forth your own suggestions and give a fair good idea to the designer about the kind of logo or design you are imagining; the final call is taken by the designer themselves.

The main reason behind the same is because of the kind experience and goodwill each one of the designers has.

Once you feel like you have your design project in good hands, you can relax and provide them with a deadline till when you need the project to be handed over.

Sometimes, many clients even conduct logo design contests on the platform of 99design itself to get the best design according to their briefing.

This is often times a good option to venture and look into because this gives you a lot of options to choose from and also a lot of variance in the work.

But, it does have its fair share of risk too because what if you end up not liking any of them? If that is something that irks you, simply stick to hiring a talented designer for your work.

Collaborate with the designer

The last but not the least in the list of things to discuss is how you can finally collaborate with the designer to get what you envision for your logo, book cover design or even business cards or something else you need.

Make sure that you get direct contact information of the designer so it’s a lot easier for you to contact them.

If there is any kind of improvements or even any kind of suggestion that you need to provide the designers with, you can do it directly with them.

This is the best part of this platform because not only do you get good web designers according to spec work, you also get to work along with them through the process to ensure the maximum rendition of your imagination.

Here are my 6 tips on how to maximize your 99designs contest and improve your design skills

  • Run a blind contest so that you can stop other designers from copying your design work. This means your designers won’t be able to see the competition’s logos.
  • Create your own filter of professional designers by asking them their opinions.
  • Guarantee payment so that you can select a winner and pay out the prize money. This option will attract more designers who can deliver good work.
  • To end up with a good looking new logo or website, make sure you provide clear details in your description.
  • Set up a legitimate profile that will attract long term clients. This will help you get talented designers competing in your logo contest.
  • To avoid your design being crowd-sourced, I’d recommend you work with an individual designer on multiple designs projects.

03) Customer Support

Overall, 99designs support is excellent. And fast.

The issue I have is that it takes several steps to ask a question.

In other words: they don’t have live chat support. You need to hunt for a “help” link in the footer.

Then fill out a help form request that forces you to jump through a few hoops before you can ask your question.

This isn’t a huge deal. As I said, the actual responses that you get from 99design support tend to be helpful.

I just wish they made it a little bit easier to ask a question.

04) Things I like

Some of the pros of their services include:

  • Easy sourcing of freelance designers.
  • Experience top designers.
  • Easy connection and collaboration with experienced professional designers.
  • Reasonable pricing for the design work.
  • If you don’t love the result, your money back is guaranteed

05) Thing I don’t like

Some of the cons of their service include:

  • Might be a bit heavy price point for a small business owner.
  • Suitable for big design projects for the price point.
  • Mainly accessible for the people based around in Australia

Over to You

99designs have been in operation for quite some time now and if you wish to gain the maximum from their services, it is best suggested to stick around with this platform.

Not only do they provide with prompt services in terms of the work and connections they provide their clients with, but they also have modes to back up their services provided.

They provide specific managers for each of the successfully assigned projects which makes it easier for you to keep track of and even raise a complaint if there is an issue with the situation.

All in all, 99designs is actually an amazing platform for you to look around and get the best services catered to you as per your requirements and needs.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking logo and graphics aren’t important.

Have you tried 99designs?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.


  1. Priya sharma says

    very nice collection of all design reviews. This would be very helpful to select design for all audiences. I like your ideas about this topic. Keep posting.

  2. 99 Designs Scam – AVOID – #488917

    Order Number: #488917

    (Since an order number and proof of purchase has been supplied for this review, it is genuine and must not be removed. Any attempt to remove this review is a criminal offense.

    I hired a designer known as ANDREAS STUDIO via the 99 Designs platform, and the whole experience from start to finish has been nothing short of disgusting.

    Their support team will leave you hung out to dry! Do not make the same mistake I did – you have been warned.

    I have used Upwork and Freelancer many times with no issues. They have excellent talent way below what 99 Designs charge.

    This time I made the mistake of using 99 Designs. I had a very important project and needed it done within a few days, and since 99 Designs is a premium platform and only supposed to work with the very best 1% of designers, I decided to give it a go.


    The designer is/was so, so bad. To this day I am still fighting to get my money back. DO NOT USE YOU WILL REGRET IT.

    The designer offered to show me relevant examples of their work, it was never supplied.

    The designer tried to charge me an extra cost for putting my own logo on the design I hired him to create.

    The designer then asked ME to buy MOCKUPS for THEM to make the designs. YES!! You heard that correctly! I employed a graphic designer to make me some mockups WHO THEN asked ME to buy mockups FOR THEM to create the designs I HIRED THEM to create. Have you ever heard anything like this?

    The designer does not know how to construct an email. Emails do not start with ”hi” or ”hello” and do not sign-off with their name. To this day I still do not know the designer’s name.

    The designer then sent me very poor basic designs. Something you could make yourself of CANVA. Something a child could make. How did thsi designer reach ”Top Level” status? 99 Designers allow ANYONE to work for them. They invest a lot of money in marketing and charge very expensive rates but the work they produce is very, very poor.

    I then reached out to 99 Designs to get some support and a refund. They did not take the issue seriously, that I was being scammed by one of their ”Top Level” designers. They sent me a template reply and recommended I PAY THE DESIGNER for their work to-date!!!!!!!!!! I then asked for a complaint email along with other information under the infirmation freedom act and UK privacy law. They IGNORED MY request and refused to supply the information, which is a criminal offense.

    I am now pursuing via the Small Claims Court.

    99 DESIGNS IS A TOTAL car crash. Do not use. Go to Freelancer or Upwork, get the deisgns much faster, from a real designer who will not try to charge you extra money as soon as they have your money.

    • Bill Acholla says

      Hi Scott,

      So sorry to here about your predicament with 99designs. Let me reach out to them so that they can resolve your issue.

    • Hi Scott,

      Very sorry to hear about your issues, but I am also a designer at 99d & have never faced any work or payment issues on the website.
      I do agree that the live chat or support must be improved on 99Designs.

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