99designs vs DesignCrowd (2023)

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.
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99designs vs DesignCrowd thumbnail

The Verdict – Winner: 99designs

The main difference between 99designs and DesignCrowd is that 99designs is the larger of the two, with 1.4 million registered designers in its community and over $200 million paid out to designers to date. 99designs also offers design contests and the ability to hire designers directly, while DesignCrowd mainly focuses on design contests. Additionally, the more expensive packages at 99designs tend to attract higher-level designers.

Our experience: 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 unsatisfied. 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.

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
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?

About 99designs

99designs is an online design service that provides graphic design work through crowdsourcing. The company was founded in 2008 in Australia and has grown to become the largest creative platform for professional designers to find and do work online.

99designs has a community of 1.4 million registered designers and has paid over $200 million to designers. The company offers a wide range of design products, including web and logo design, as well as more specialized fields, such as music album covers and 3D designs.

99designs is a global community with clients and designers from many countries, ensuring that a diverse range of languages and cultural styles are represented within its community.

About DesignCrowd

DesignCrowd is an online design service that provides graphic design work through crowdsourcing. The company was founded in 2008 in Australia and has a community of 640,000 designers. DesignCrowd has a global presence, with clients and designers in 165 countries.

Unlike 99designs, which offers design contests and the ability to hire designers directly, DesignCrowd primarily focuses on design contests. Although it is not as large as 99designs, DesignCrowd’s smaller size allows it to offer competitive pricing and a more personalized experience for its clients.

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 lets you work directly with designers.

There are some differences between the two platforms, but if you’re familiar with one, 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.

99designs pick a design type
Getting started with 99designs is simple and inuitive

The most difficult aspect of entering a contest is articulating your requirements in a way 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 30 seconds on 99designs.


Takeaway: DesignCrowd’s cheapest plans cost approximately half of what 99designs charges for similar results. However, DesignCrowd’s cheapest plans do not allow clients to run a full design contest and only offer help finding a designer for their project. Additionally, clients must pay extra to access DesignCrowd’s top designers. On the other hand, 99designs’ cheapest plans are more expensive but allow clients to run a full design contest and receive more design concepts to choose from. However, the cost of 99designs’ plans may increase depending on the add-on services selected.

It’s tough to say how much cheaper or more expensive 99designs is compared 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.

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 a more affordable option for logo design or other types of designs. 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. However, the design quality is important when comparing prices between the two platforms. With DesignCrowd, you get more designs for your money, but you have no control over the quality of the designs. With 99designs, you can choose a more expensive package and get access to higher-level designers, which may result in better-quality designs.

The most expensive plan from DesignCrowd will get you around 150 designs, but the quality of the designs is not guaranteed. 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.

In general, 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 99designs and DesignCrowd offer a 60-day refund policy for project budgets. However, 99designs offers a full refund of all expenses, while DesignCrowd keeps between $29 and $129 from the posting fees. With DesignCrowd, clients can only receive a full refund if they do not receive any designs, which is unlikely to happen. In terms of refund policies, 99designs is the better option.

Additionally, some fees are non-refundable with both companies, such as upgrade fees for private projects or feature upgrades if the contest is marked as guaranteed or if the client reaches the last round of the contest.

Design Quality

Although you may pay less for DesignCrowd, it doesn’t mean 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 may be higher on 99designs compared to DesignCrowd. First, 99designs has a more selective process for accepting designers into its community, requiring them to complete an application and portfolio review.

As a result, only experienced and skilled designers may participate in projects on the website. 99designs offers designers more support and resources throughout the design process, such as a dedicated account manager and design tutorials. This may help designers create higher-quality designs on 99designs.

Finally, 99designs has a higher average project budget than DesignCrowd, which may incentivize designers to create higher-quality designs to be paid fairly for their work.

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 design you need. This will take you to a page where all designers are listed according to keywords, experience level, language, and industry. Narrow your search to a few candidates by reviewing 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 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.


  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.


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