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99designs vs DesignCrowd: Which Graphic Design Service Is Right For You?

99designs vs DesignCrowd comparison thumbnail

The Verdict – Winner: 99designs

The main difference between 99designs and DesignCrowd is the quality of the designs you receive. With 99designs, you’ll pay a bit more but you’ll be able to pick the quality of designers. DesignCrowd is overall cheaper but doesn’t give you the same level of control over who can participate in your contests. Both companies offer crowdsourced graphic design services with a variety of design types.

We turn to 99designs when we need an on-demand design because we get better submissions and they offer a 100% refund if we’re not satisfied. If cost and time are your primary concerns, choose DesignCrowd. If you value design quality and getting a higher caliber designer, 99designs is the way to go.

Service99designsDesignCrowd
99designs logoLightroom iconDesignCrowd logo
Photutorial Rating4.8/5.04.3/5.0
Best ForGreatest control over the quality of designsA large number of designs
Project DurationOne-timeOne-time
Talent LevelBeginner to professionalBeginner to intermediate (a few professionals)
VettingNone; Based on customer reviewsNone; Based on customer reviews
Guarantee60-day money-back60-day money-back
Cost$79–$1,299+$129–$1,100+
Pros– Easy to submit designs.
– Exceptional 60-day money-back guarantee.
– You may keep the submission hidden.
– A fixed fee regardless of how long the project takes.
– You can get hundreds of design pitches for one project.
– Up to 180 designs per contest.
– 60-day money-back guarantee.
Cons– No subscriptions that could reduce the price.
– You cannot vet and precheck designers.
– Even the minimum prices can be high.
– Unfriendly customer support.
– Platform is as intuitive.
– No way of picking designer level.
Reviews99designs review
Try 99designsTry DesignCrowd

Who are 99designs and DesignCrowd?

99designs and DesignCrowd are both Australian crowdsourced graphic design services founded in 2008 and 2007, respectively. What are the main differences?

99designs is the larger of the two companies in terms of size: It has 1.4 million registered designers versus DesignCrowd’s 640K and has paid out $200 million to designers versus DesignCrowd’s $47 million.

The question here is whether four times more business and twice more designers equals better value for money.

99designs vs DesignCrowd: How do they work?

99designs and DesignCrowd work on the same principle: they match clients with designers for projects on demand. However, they differ in how easy it is to start a new project (called a “contest”) and how you connect with designers. DesignCrowd, for example, focuses exclusively on design contests, while 99designs also lets you work directly with designers.

There are some differences between the two platforms, but if you’re familiar with one of them, you’ll be able to understand the other quickly. However, we’ve found that it’s much easier to submit a contest on 99designs because their submission process is more detailed and user-friendly. Plus, the overall look of their website is nicer when it comes to design contests.

The most difficult aspect of entering a contest is articulating your requirements in a way that designers understand. The key is to provide as much detail as possible. We have found that the quality of the instructions we give is directly proportional to the quality of the designs we receive.

While it’s simple to submit a contest on DesignCrowd, 99designs makes it much easier to specify your requirements. For example, 99designs asks more questions and lets you use sliders to specify whether you want to design a classic/modern, mature/youthful, feminine/masculine, playful/sophisticated, economical/luxurious, geometric/organic, or abstract/literal logo. These hints are of great use to designers and can be set in just 30 seconds on 99designs.

Pricing

It’s tough to say how much cheaper or more expensive 99designs is in comparison to DesignCrowd. They both quote prices by design type and offer various packages at different price points. It’s hard to compare their project categories accurately because they’re all priced differently and might not include the same services. So, for the sake of this comparison, we’re just looking at the price of designing a logo—which is the most common type of design.

Logo design pricing at 99designs:

99designs pricing for logo design contest
99designs pricing for a logo design contest

Logo design pricing at DesignCrowd:

DesignCrowd pricing for logo design contest
DesignCrowd pricing for a logo design contest

DesignCrowd is generally cheaper for logo design (or other designs). Both 99designs and DesignCrowd offer different tier packages, which differ in price and number of designs. You can get started with just 1-3 designs for $109 at DesignCrowd, while 99designs delivers around 30 designs for $299.

DesignCrowd is usually a more affordable option for logo design or other types of designs. Both 99designs and DesignCrowd offer different packages at different price points, depending on the number of designs included. For example, you can get started with 1-3 designs for $109 at DesignCrowd, while 99designs delivers around 30 designs for $299.

The design quality is another important factor to consider when comparing prices between design crowdsourcing platforms. With DesignCrowd, you get more designs for your money, but you have no control over the quality. With 99designs, you can choose a more expensive package and get access to higher-level designers, meaning better quality designs.

The most expensive plan from DesignCrowd will get you around 150 designs, but you have no guarantee of quality. With the Gold package from 99designs, you’ll receive around 90 submissions from mid- to top-tier designers. The Platinum package from 99designs costs $1,299 for 60 designs, but you’ll only receive designs from the best designers.

DesignCrowd gives you more control over the number of submissions you receive, while 99designs also allows you to choose the quality of designers.

Refund Policy

Both companies offer a 60-day refund of your project budget. The difference, however, is that 99designs will refund 100% of your expenses, while DesignCrowd will keep between $29 and $129 from your posting fees. With DesignCrowd, you only get a 100% refund if you do not receive any designs, which never happens. So in that respect, 99designs is the clear winner.

There are a few other things you can not get refunded, such as upgrade fees (e.g. for private projects or feature upgrades), if you mark the contest as guaranteed, or if you get to the last round of the contest.

Design Quality

Although you may pay less for DesignCrowd, it doesn’t mean that you will receive poor submissions. Since there have numerous talented designers, there is a good chance you will find someone who can deliver exactly what you want. However, the twice as large 99designs community combined with a more advanced sorting process guarantees the best designers—this means more specialists for individual, less common categories.

On top of that, 99designs’ designers are classified as Entry, Mid, or Top Level based on several factors, including individual evaluation from the 99designs team. That helps you immediately distinguish a great designer from a good one. In contrast, DesignCrowd designers are ranked based solely on customer ratings and the number of earnings to date (which is a solid indication but not as good).

We found that the submissions from 99designs were much higher quality, no matter which plans we chose (even the cheaper ones). The designers also did a better job of following our instructions. That’s not to say that the quality of DesignCrowd was bad – it was far from it – but the experience wasn’t as great.

How does the quality of designs compare between 99designs and DesignCrowd?

There are a few reasons why the quality of designs might be better at 99designs. First, 99designs has a more rigorous selection process for designers. To become part of the 99designs community, designers must complete an application and portfolio review. This means that only designers with a certain level of experience and skill are allowed to participate in the projects on the website.

In addition, 99designs offers designers more support throughout the design process. Designers have access to a dedicated account manager as well as design tutorials and resources. This means that designers are more likely to create high-quality designs when working on projects on 99designs.

Finally, 99designs has a higher average project budget than DesignCrowd. This means that designers are more likely to be paid fairly for their work, which can encourage them to create higher-quality designs.

One-on-one Designers

If you’re looking to hire a designer for a one-on-one project, 99designs is a great option. The process is more intuitive than at DesignCrowd, and you’re sure to get high-quality results.

First, click “Find a designer” in the menu and select what kind of design you need. This will take you to a page where all designers are listed according to keywords, their level of experience, language, and industry. Narrow your search down to a few candidates by looking at their previous work and reading reviews. With this information, you can make an informed decision about who to hire for the job.

99designs finding designers
Finding designers on 99designs

DesignCrowd has updated its website design to include an easier process for finding one-on-one designers. The new system is similar to what can be found on 99designs but with a different interface.

DesignCrowd does not allow you to read customer reviews, which makes it harder to decide whether or not to use their services. You have to rely on other factors like rank and total earnings instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 99designs better for logo design than DesignCrowd?

99designs is better for logo design when you need control over the quality of your designers and get many submissions on a low budget. DesignCrowd is better when you’re on a budget or need as many designs as possible, but you don’t care about the quality of the designers.

Is 99designs or DesignCrowd better for finding high-quality designers?

99designs is the best place to find high-quality designers. There are a few reasons why 99designs is the best place to find high-quality designers. First, 99designs has a very large community of designers, so you can be sure to find a designer that fits your needs. Second, designers on 99designs are typically very experienced and have a high success rate.

What are the main benefits of using 99designs vs. DesignCrowd?

The main benefits of using 99designs are the vast number of designers available and the high quality of their designs. The main benefits of using DesignCrowd are the lower prices and the ability to request specific design types.

Sources

  1. Matt Ellis, 99designs vs DesignCrowd: What’s the difference and which should you choose? 99designs. Accessed 28/9/2022.
  2. Refund Policy, DesignCrowd. Accessed 28/9/2022.

About your guide

Matic Broz profile image
Matic Broz

Matic Broz is a photographer, graphic designer, and stock photographer. For over ten years he's been helping photographers improve their photos and graphic designers find the best images for their designs. His work has been featured by Lifewire, Skylum, and PetaPixel. In his free time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and petting random dogs. Read more

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