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99Designs vs DesignCrowd

DesignCrowd vs 99designs: Which Design Contest Service Is Best?

DesignCrowd and 99designs are two of the biggest names in crowdsourcing design projects. But which is better?

The answer is, as with many things, it depends.

Here’s a side-by-side comparison so you can decide which one is right for your project.

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Key Takeaways

  • DesignCrowd and 99designs function off of a contest model where businesses submit briefs and host competitions where they receive dozens of designs from different artists
  • DesignCrowd is best for startups, as their minimum starting price is lower than 99designs
  • 99designs offers superior customer support and makes the process a bit easier and more effective
Best for:High-quality one-off designs, logo design especiallySmall businesses/cheap designs
Star rating
From $299
From $99
Unique features- Asks specific questions to help you with your posting (guidance is helpful!)
- Option to run a blind contest where no one gets to see the submissions other than you
- Truly customizable pricing
- Over 1 million designers from around the world
- Ability to choose specific designers instead of host a contest
- Customizable packages to purchase

What’s DesignCrowd?

What Is DesignCrowd

DesignCrowd is a popular crowdsourcing design site where businesses submit requests for graphic design projects and receive “bids” from artists submitting their take on the design requests.

They have over a million graphic designers from all over the world who have profiles on their site, so there’s no limit to how many designers you can connect with.

It’s generally cheaper than 99designs (you can start pricing at $99), but they do levy a few additional fees. First, you have a $59 non-refundable fee plus a 4% transaction fee and a 20% project management fee for projects costing over $200.

How Does It Work?

With DesignCrowd, businesses have a few different options.

The most popular (and what the site is known for) is to create a brief to begin a design contest.

  1. You submit a design brief detailing what type of design you want (logo, WordPress design, billboard design, etc.) Describe project requirements and really paint a picture of what you’re looking for. You can include images for reference. This is also when you will set your project budget, which has a minimum requirement of $99 (for logo design).
  2. Thousands of designers from all over the world read your design brief and decide whether they want to submit their own take on it. You can expect to receive your first design within just a few hours and expect dozens of submissions within 3-5 days.
  3. You can opt to give feedback and request edits on submissions. You can also share designs with colleagues to get their take and eliminate designs that you don’t like.
  4. Select your design and receive a copyright transfer and industry standard files.
  5. They take care of payment to the designer with the winning design and participation payments to other designers who didn’t get chosen.

How Much Does it Cost?

DesignCrowd allows businesses to set their own price for designs, but there is a minimum price starting at $99 depending on the scope and type of project.

Also, prepare for the $59 non-refundable fee plus a 4% transaction fee and a 20% project management fee for projects costing over $200.

What’s 99designs?

What Is 99Designs

99designs is another freelancing design site where users can create contests to receive graphic designs for different projects.

Clients have the option to either start a design contest where designers submit their concepts and the best one is selected, or they can directly hire a designer from the platform.

99designs caters to various design needs, including logo design, website design, packaging design, and more.

The minimum budget to set is $299, but, aside from that, you set the price.

How Does It Work?

According to the site, the process of holding a design contest is made up of three steps:

  1. Step 1: Brief- You start by creating a design brief that explains your project to designers.  The brief should relay all the specifications for your project like your preferred styles, colors, and visual elements.  (Don’t worry, 99designs has an intuitive, web-based brief creation process to help you include the right components of your design brief).
  2. Step 2: Connect—You can either hire a single designer or create a design contest in which you ask multiple designers to submit ideas and pick your favorite.
  3. Step 3: Collaborate—You can provide feedback and iterate on a design until you are satisfied with the result. Once satisfied, you can release payment and receive production-ready files for digital and print.

How Much Does it Cost?

99designs pricing varies depending on the type of design project and whether you start a contest or hire a freelance graphic designer.

  • Logo design pricing starts at $299 and go up to $1,299. Higher-priced packages come with more logo concepts and higher rated designers.
  • Web page design pricing starts at $599. Higher priced packages come with more web design concepts and top rated designers.
  • Video production and photography pricing start at $499 and $299, respectively.  Both of these types of projects require you to be in the US and entail a local pro coming out to do a shoot on-site, so contests are not applicable.

Other types of projects, such as advertising materials, social media, merchandise, books, and illustrations, vary in pricing.

1-to-1 project pricing: You can also hire a freelancer for a 1-to-1 project across any type of over 90 design skillsets.  Each 1-to-1 project is unique so pricing is based on your budget and what your designer charges for the work.

As a client, you'll also pay a flat 5% platform fee to cover the cost of payment processing, marketplace protection, and customer support.

What’s the Difference Between DesignCrowd and 99designs?

Whats the Difference 99Designs Designcrowd

So side-by-side, what’s the difference between the two?

Let’s break it down by each key component of their process.


The workflow for both is very similar.

With both, you set your price, pay upfront, receive different iterations, and choose your favorite design. You can offer feedback on both platforms and pay directly just one time, so you don’t have to worry about changing pay.

Both platforms pay the designer for you, so you don’t have to worry about setting up payment.

You’ll receive deliverables and transference of copyright through the platform and can use your art as you like!


The level of communication is a bit different.

With both, you do have the ability to communicate directly with the artist, but both also offer pretty solid customer service.

99designs does provide far superior customer service and a better level of communication. In this regard, 99designs takes the win for sure.


With both services, you get multiple revisions at your request from your chosen designer.

Revisions are handled quickly, within a matter of days, but always depend on the artist you choose.

With DesignCrowd, it’s just a tad bit easier to request revisions from multiple designers, so they win this category for us.

Turnaround Time

Turnaround time for both platforms is pretty great.

You receive submissions within hours, eventually amassing dozens over the course of a few days.

Because of this, and because it varies so widely, we have to declare this one a tie as well.

Which Should I Choose?

Which One Should I Choose 99Designs or DesignCrowd

Which you should choose depends on what your needs are.

Do you need the highest-quality logo design on a time-crunch and you’re willing to pay a bit more for quality? Go with the more trusted 99designs. They offer superior customer support and better quality in general.

Are you on a tighter budget, a startup in need of a huge variety of options to choose from while remaining under budget? Go with DesignCrowd. You’ll receive dozens of different, unique designs to choose from at a lower price than 99designs.

At the end of the day, both services are fairly similar and a decent price for what you get. 99designs just has a little bit more recognition and prestige in the game.

Still, if you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars anyway, we recommend an unlimited graphic design service.

Best Quality

Manypixels Logo


  • One of the few providers to offer website and mobile design (in addition to graphics)
  • Great for agencies and digital marketing teams

Learn More

Most Output

Kimp Logo


  • Works on two tasks at once, doubling the output. Best return on investment
  • Great for small businesses, bloggers, and freelancers

Learn More

Best All-Around

Design Pickle Logo

Design Pickle

  • One of the most established and largest graphic design providers
  • Most professional systems, design and support teams 

Learn More

Frequently Asked Questions

Is DesignCrowd or 99designs better?

99designs generally offers better quality and support, while DesignCrowd may be more budget-friendly with a wider variety of design options. Your choice depends on your priorities and budget.

What’s the difference between 99designs and DesignCrowd?

The main difference between 99designs and DesignCrowd lies in their pricing, quality, and support. 99designs tends to have higher quality designs and better customer support, while DesignCrowd often offers lower starting prices but may have mixed reviews regarding quality and support.

What are the benefits of DesignCrowd?

The benefits of DesignCrowd are that it can be affordable, you get a ton of designs to choose from (great if you’re not sure what you’re looking for) and you get a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the design you receive.

What are the benefits of 99designs?

The benefits of 99designs are that it can be affordable, you get a ton of designs to choose from (great if you’re not sure what you’re looking for) and you get a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the design you receive, as well as a stellar customer support team to help you through the process.