99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (2023)


99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (1) As a small business owner, your brand cannot be overlooked. It’s the first impression that you will make on your potential customers, so it’s important that you get it right.

Unfortunately, coming up with the right image for your brand is hard.

Especially if you lack the creativity or the skill to come up with your company’s branding yourself. And as a small business, it’s unlikely that you have the resources to have an in-house designer that can create something for you.

So what can you do?

99Designs Review

First Published on: Nov 11, 2014
Last updated: Sept 7, 2015

tl;dr Summary

99Designs is the largest crowdsourcing design marketplace for getting any type of graphic design work done. What we like most is the amount of options it gives us before picking our favorite design.

You could do some research and try to hire your own design company that can create a brand identity for you. With so many choices though, how can you pick a good one without working with them first?

Getting a great design done can be a very expensive proposition, and it’s easy to be left disappointed.

Luckily, there are some alternatives in the form of starting your own design contest on a site like 99Designs, DesignCrowd or crowdSpring. Each of these sites offers you a way to tap into their own community of designers who will compete to win your project.

It’s an excellent, affordable way to to generate a wide variety of design concepts to pick from, and in the end, get a design you are happy with.

(Video) My Honest 99designs Review and Walkthrough

Out of all these sites, 99Designs is pretty much the dominant player in the market. It’s the biggest and most popular of these crowdsourcing design marketplaces by quite a bit.

I actually first learned about them a few years ago, back before 99Designs really took off.

I was looking to get a new logo designed and I remember searching around for 99designs reviews and getting excited by this post (since updated) that was published by my friend Josh Kotsay about it. So I tried it out and was really happy with the results I got from my very first logo contest.

Nowadays though, everyone uses 99designs.

Tim Ferris has used them to design the cover of one of his books.

Docker used the site to crowdsource their logo.

Here are some other examples of the type of designs you can expect to see.

99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (2)

99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (3)

99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (4)

How It Works

To get started with 99designs, you first should know what kind of design you need.

Fortunately, there are a wide variety of design categories to pick from, each with different price points such as:

  • Logo Design – Starting from $299
  • Business Cards – Starting from $199
  • Website – Starting from $599
  • Banner Ads – Starting from $199
  • Product Packaging – Starting from $399

The starting prices listed above are for the lowest tiered Bronze package.

(Video) Logo Design: 99Designs vs Fiverr (in 2023)

You can also opt to go with Silver, Gold or Platinum packages at higher price points.

The better the package, the higher the prize money for the winning designer which will in turn attract more people to participating in your contest.

The next step is launch your contest and go through the design brief wizard. This is important as it gives prospective designers a more clear idea of your requirements.

What I like is that 99Designs has really improved and refined this process to really make this process simpler.

As a non-designer, it’s often not easy to articulate in writing exactly the kind of design you want.

So 99designs has made this easier by making everything more visual.

When you launch a logo design contest, you are first asked to select 3 logos from a gallery of existing logo designs to give your designers an idea of the style you want.

99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (5)

The next 2 steps allow you to describe your brand’s style via interactive sliders and then pick a color scheme you like.

99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (6)

Finally, you fill out what name you want for your logo and give a brief description of what your company or product does.

If you have any examples of similar designs you want people to reference you can upload them as well.

The last step is to pick the design package you want. If you don’t like the 4 available price points, you can actually name your price as well if you want, although even design type has a minimum price point. (ie. $299)

(Video) Disappointed by 99 Designs- they changed!

99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (7)

Standard contest length is 7 days, but you can pay more to have shorter turnaround times if you want.

Once your contest is live, you will start getting designers submitting there designs as early as the next day, depending on how complicated your requirements are.

The key to a a successful design contest is to leave feedback for every submitted design. This gives designers an idea if they are on the right track or not and encourages them to keep improving their designs. You can rate each individual design and leave a comment.

Eventually as your design contest winds to an end, there will be a few designs that will probably become your favorites. Picking a winner is the fun (and hard) part. If you are having a hard time deciding you can take advantage of the poll tool to invte your friends to vote on their favorite designs to help you out.

Finally, once you have your winner, the designer will transfer the design’s rights over to you and 99designs will pay the designer the prize money. You will then be able to download your design and start using it!

Don’t want to launch your own design contest…?

While 99Designs seems to be all about launch design contests, there are a couple of alternative, little known ways to get a great design with them without having to go through the design contest process.

The first is the 99Designs Logo design store. 99designs has its own marketplace of thousands of ready-made logos created by their designers. Logos are searchable by category and keyword.

99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (8)

Find one you like? You can directly purchase the logo and have that logo’s designer add your business name and slogan to it within 24 hours.

You can also request minor changes to the logo like color changes, resizing certain elements and changing the font.

For those on a budget, you can purchase a non-exclusive license to any logo in the store for $99.

However, if you want to use one of these logos for your business I would recommend getting the exclusive license. This means only you has the right to use the logo. This will cost you $298.

(Video) 99designs Review

You can also work with any designer on the site 1-on-1.

It’s a little known feature, that’s kind of hidden away. But it’s a pretty cool feature.

Every designer on the platform has their own profile where you can see their portfolio and browse what services they offer and price.

You also see their stats on 99designs, so you can view how many contests they’ve won, number of 1-1 projects they’ve done, and even reviews from past clients.

99Designs Review: Why You Should Crowdsource Your Next Design (9)

Since 99designs has the world’s largest pool of designers, this is a fantastic resource if you prefer working with a single designer.

99Designs Pros

Choice of designs – This is probably the #1 reason to go with a crowd-sourcing platform like 99designs. Instead of working with a single designer 1-1 who you may or may not like, you get a chance to evaluate a wide variety of different designs. Especially when you don’t have a clear concept of what you want in your mind. More choices makes it more likely you will be able to find a design that you are happy with.

Intuitive Design Posting Process – It’s hard to specify a visual style in words only. The 99Designs design brief process makes it simple for non-designers to specify what they want in their design. This means you get more designs in your contest that match or exceed your vision.

Huge Pool of designer talent – As the #1 design marketplace, 99designs has attracted the very best designers to its site. At the time of this writing it has over 1 million designers signed up as part of its designer community. Sure, not everyone is great but you can easily filter out the bad designs in your contest. If you go with a higher prize package, you will attract some of their best, high quality designers.

Affordable Design – 99Designs is not the cheapest option to get design work done. But cheapest is not necessarily best. High quality design is expensive. 99designs gives you flexibility by giving you different price points to pick from that will fit your current budget.

Money back guarantee – On the off chance that you don’t get any designs you like, you can always get your money back. So there really is no risk to starting your own contest.


Finding a good designer can be a difficult and time consuming process. So if you are looking to get any sort of graphic design work done, 99Designs should be one of the first places you try out.

Whether you want to launch a design contest, or work with a designer 1-on-1, 99Designs gives you that option, at an affordable price.

(Video) How to use 99 designs to crowdsource your book cover

What I like most about 99Designs is that it’s easy to use, and I get a lot of designs to pick from. It makes narrowing down the eventual winner a lot easier when I can compare and contrast between different designs.

Coupled with their money back guarantee, I don’t see any real reason not to try 99Designs for your next design project.

Try 99Designs Today


1. 99designs review | My Experience Using Their Services
(Crunsh Base)
2. 99Designs Review and Overview
(King Prime)
3. What is 99Designs and How it Works | Review
(99Designs Review)
4. 99Designs Review - New Site I Found To Get Designs (Anik Singal)
(Anik Singal)
5. 99Designs Review | What I Have Learned
(Reva Clay)
6. 🔴 99 designs review A completely honest review of 99 designs from a graphic designers perspective.
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated: 03/29/2023

Views: 6473

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

Phone: +9316045904039

Job: Future Coordinator

Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.