Real talk; no BS: In my experience, Toptal is the most reliable way to find a talented and dependable graphic designer who consistently delivers quality work. Answering the questionnaire and speaking with a Toptal representative before you are connected with a designer may be lengthy. Still, it’s faster than hiring an in-house designer or replacing an unreliable freelancer mid-project. The hourly rate of $80–$150 (about $110/hr is the sweet spot) is on the high end, but the results are worth the extra cost, in my opinion.
If Toptal is too expensive for you, you can try 99designs for one-off projects – you’ll get 30 to 90 concepts – or ManyPixels for ongoing graphic design needs. I tested all three and was very fond of them and would use them again. I would also recommend them to a friend, family member, and you!
You can also try Fiverr if you have a small budget, but I can not vouch for the results (I have had good and bad experiences).
What to Consider
When searching for a freelance graphic designer on a marketplace, you should look for someone with the necessary skills and experience for your project and who can deliver high-quality results at an affordable price. It’s also important to consider the designer’s reliability and communication skills. Look for someone who has a track record of completing similar projects and who can communicate their ideas and process.
- Portfolio quality: When looking for the best sites to hire freelance graphic designers, pay close attention to the quality of the portfolios, be if a portfolio of an individual designer or an agency. Look for various examples of the designer’s work, including logos, branding materials, web design, print materials, and other relevant projects. This will give you an idea of the designer’s style and the level of quality you can expect from their work.
- Pricing: If I am being candid with you, pricing often directly correlates with the designer quality – when a designer is legit. Such designers usually cost $60 to $150 per hour, including the site’s service fee. If it’s any more expensive, you might get ripped off, while cheaper might not be good enough.
- Contract terms: Before hiring a designer from a particular site, review the contract terms carefully. Make sure you understand any exclusivity clauses or other restrictions that may impact your ability to work with other designers in the future. You should also check whether the contract outlines the work scope, timeline, and payment terms.
- Reviews and ratings: Look for sites with positive reviews and ratings from previous clients. This can give you an idea of the level of customer satisfaction you can expect when working with a particular designer or site. Reading reviews and ratings can also give you an idea of the professionalism and reliability you can expect from the designers on the site.
Best Sites for Freelance Graphic Designers 2023
- Price: $80–$150/hour; no additional fees; $500 deposit, which is refunded after completion
- Vetting process: only 3% accepted after a 5-step vetting process
- Free trial: 14 trial period with each designer
Why I picked it
Toptal is the best marketplace to hire graphic designers due to its competitive pricing, reasonable deposit requirements, and rigorous vetting process. The hourly rates for Toptal designers range from $80-$150+, depending on their skill level and the project’s complexity. The service fees are already included in the price, so there are no hidden costs. Additionally, each project requires a $500 deposit, which is refunded upon completion or if the trial is canceled.
The vetting process for Toptal designers is extensive, consisting of five steps: language and personality tests, skill reviews, live screening, test projects, and continued excellence. This ensures that only the top 3% of designers are accepted into the network.
Additionally, each time you begin working with a new designer, you get a 14-day trial period where you can cancel the collaboration at any point without being charged. This allows you to test the designer’s skills and see if they fit your project.
Overall, the quality of Toptal designers is well worth the higher costs. In our experience, they save you time and deliver results that you may not get with a cheaper designer. If you want to work with the best graphic designers in the industry, Toptal is the marketplace for you.
Our review: Toptal review
- Price: Toptal graphic designers cost $80–$150+/hour, depending on their skill, experience, and project complexity. Toptal’s service fees are already counted in the price, so you don’t get charged extra.
- Deposit: Each project requires a $500 deposit, which is refunded upon completion or if you cancel the trial.
- Discounts: There is no way to get a discount through Toptal other than picking a cheaper freelancer over a more expensive one.
- Vetting process: Toptal has one of the most stringent vetting processes. It consists of five steps: language and personality tests, skill reviews, live screening, test projects, and continued excellence.
- Free trial: Each time you start working with a new designer, you get a 14-day trial period. Within this time, you’re free to cancel the collaboration at any point, and you won’t get charged.
- Quality: In our experience, Toptal designers are worth the high costs because they save you time and deliver results you would never get with a $20/hour designer.
How to hire freelance graphic designers through Toptal
The process of hiring a freelancer from Toptal is different from those at Upwork and Fiverr. Most notably, it’s much more personalized thanks to the questionnaire you have to answer first, which quickly matches you with the most relevant designers without having to browse the marketplace yourself.
- Answer a questionnaire to specify your project details and desired freelancer skills and experience.
- If a suitable freelancer is available, provide your contact information for a call with a Toptal representative.
- Schedule a call with a Toptal representative to discuss your project and the matched freelancers.
- Sign a non-disclosure agreement and provide a deposit to begin working with the selected freelancer.
- Work with the freelancer on your project and review and approve the final deliverables.
- Release payment to the freelancer through the Toptal platform.
- Price: $439–$1,199/month
- Vetting process: performed by the company; you get to work with their employees
- Free trial: No; 14-day money-back guarantee
Why I picked it
ManyPixels is the best choice for unlimited access to graphic designers because of its competitive pricing and high-quality of work. With several subscription options and discounts for longer commitments, you can find a plan that fits your budget and needs. The internal vetting process ensures that you are working with talented and reliable designers, and the 14-day money-back guarantee allows you to test out the service before fully committing. I believe that ManyPixels offers some of the best value for the price when it comes to graphic design services.
Our review: ManyPixels review
- Price: Access to ManyPixels’ freelance graphic designers is available through several subscriptions, which differ in the number of daily outputs, and some additional features. Subscriptions are available in three types (Advanced, Business, and Designated Designer) and with four commitments (monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and yearly), costing $439–$1,199/month.
- Deposit: There are no deposits; you only have to pay the subscription fee once a month.
- Discounts: You can get a 10%, 15%, or even 20% discount by picking quarterly, bi-annually, or yearly plans, respectively. For example, the Advanced plan costs $549/mo when bought monthly or $439/mo when bought yearly.
- Vetting process: ManyPixels has an internal vetting process for its designers, which consists of 5 steps.
- Free trial: ManyPixels doesn’t offer a free trial, but each plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee, which functions like a free trial.
- Quality: I found that ManyPixels offers one of the highest design qualities among similarly-priced design services.
How to hire graphic designers through ManyPixels
At ManyPixels, you don’t hire a freelance graphic designer per se. Instead, you pay a monthly subscription to ManyPixels, which then outsources your requests to their own vetted graphic designers.
- Create an account and pay the monthly subscription fee.
- Submit your first task, providing as much detail as possible.
- Wait for the designer to complete the task.
- Review the results and accept the task as complete or ask for revisions.
- Price: $299–$1,299 per contest + optional boosts that can result in better results
- Vetting process:
- Free trial: No; 60-day money-back,
Why I picked it
99designs is the best site for crowdsourced freelance graphic designers because it offers a wide range of design types at a competitive price. With four design packages, you can find one that fits your budget and needs. The vetting process is not as thorough as some other design services, but you can see rankings and reviews from previous customers to help make your decision. While there is no free trial, the 60-day money-back guarantee allows you to test the service before fully committing. The quality of work varies based on the designer tier, with top-level designers delivering the best results. 99designs is a reliable and cost-effective option for finding talented freelance graphic designers.
Our review: 99designs review
- Price: The cost of running a 99designs contest depends on the design type and the package you pick. The lowest design prices start at $79 for web & app designs and up to $249 for book covers and packaging. The are four design packages: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, which cost from $299 to $1,299 for logo design. They differ in the number of concepts your receive and designer skills. You can also pick several add-ons which expand your contest’s reach.
- Deposit: There are no deposits; you only have to pay the package cost.
- Discounts: There is no way to get a discount with 99designs.
- Vetting process: 99designs doesn’t vet its designers, but they rank them into low, mid, and top tier. You can also see scores and write reviews from previous customers.
- Free trial: 99designs doesn’t offer a free trial, but there is a 60-day money-back guarantee with each new contest you run.
- Quality: The quality varies based on the designer tier, with top-level designers delivering the best results.
How to hire graphic designers through 99designs
99designs is a crowdsourced freelance designer marketplace, meaning when you submit a contest, several (30–90) designers apply by submitting their ideas. You then get to review the ideas and work with the best one.
- Create a free account to start your first project.
- Select the type of design you need from a variety of options.
- Define your style and provide reference images and a brief.
- Select a content package with options including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.
- Wait for design proposals from qualified designers.
- Choose your winner and request revisions if needed.
- Price: $5–$1,000+/project + 5.5% Fiverr’s service fee
- Vetting process: None. You can read reviews and filter by ratings.
- Free trial: Money-back if the designer doesn’t deliver.
Why I picked it
Fiverr is a budget-friendly platform for hiring freelance graphic designers, as designers set their own prices ranging from $5 to several hundred dollars per project. There are no deposits required on Fiverr, and a 5.5% service fee is included in every transaction. While no discounts are available, you can choose a cheaper designer to save on costs.
The vetting process on Fiverr is based on seller level, rating, and customer reviews. While Fiverr does not vet its designers, you can review profiles and portfolios to make an informed decision. If the designer does not deliver promised results, you are eligible for a refund within 5 days.
- Price: Graphic designers set their own prices on 99fiverr, ranging from $5 to several hundred dollars per project. In addition, every transaction includes a 5.5% Fiverr service fee. At the end of the project, you can also tip the designer, but you’re not obliged to do so.
- Deposit: There are no deposits; you only have to pay the project cost.
- Discounts: There is no way to get a discount on Fiverr other than picking cheaper designers.
- Vetting process: Fiverr doesn’t vet its designers, but they are ranked based on seller level and rating, and you can read customer reviews.
- Free trial: There is no free trial on Fiverr, but if the designer doesn’t deliver promised results, you’re eligible for a refund within 5 days.
- Quality: In our experience, the cheapest graphic designers deliver abysmal results.
How to hire graphic designers through Fiverr
Fiverr is a freelancer marketplace, which means you can browse designers by category, skill, and price, like on Amazon.
- Create an account on the Fiverr website.
- Search for and review profiles of graphic designers.
- Contact and discuss the project with the designer you want to hire.
- Place an order and provide details about the project.
- Review and accept the designer’s proposal.
- Review and release the payment for the completed project.
Specifications: How our picks compare
- Toptal: $80–$150/hour
- Manypixels: $439–$1,199/month
- 99designs: $299–$1,299/design
- Fiverr: $5–$1,000+/project + 5.5% Fiverr’s service fee
Quality of graphic designers
- Toptal: Professional
- Manypixels: Medium to professional
- 99designs: Low to professional
- Fiverr: Mostly low, up to professional
Free trial/money back
- Toptal: 14-day free trial with each new freelancer (no questions asked)
- Manypixels: 14-day money-back guarantee (no questions asked)
- 99designs: 60-day money-back guarantee for each contest (no questions asked)
- Fiverr: 5-day money-back guarantee if the designer doesn’t deliver promised results
What Is a Website for Freelance Graphic Designers?
A website for freelance graphic designers is an online platform that connects designers with clients who need design work done. On these platforms, graphic designers can create profiles, showcase their skills and portfolios, and find and manage projects. Using these platforms, clients can find graphic designers with the necessary skills and experience, communicate with them, and hire them.
In addition to providing a way for graphic designers to find work, freelance graphic design websites can also be a useful resource for clients to find the talent they need. To facilitate successful collaborations between designers and clients, these platforms offer a variety of features, including project management tools, payment protection, and rating and review systems.
How Do Websites for Freelance Graphic Designers Work?
Freelance graphic design websites allow designers to create profiles, showcase their skills and work, and enable clients to search for and hire designers for their projects. Designers’ profiles typically include information about their education, experience, and areas of expertise, as well as examples of their previous work. Clients can communicate with designers through the platform to discuss project details and agree on terms such as scope, timeline, and budget.
When a client and designer agree on terms for a project, the designer completes it and submits it to him or her for review. The client can then provide feedback and, if necessary, request revisions. As soon as the work is approved and finalized, the client pays the designer for the work, typically through the platform’s payment system.
It is common for freelance graphic design websites to provide various tools and resources to help designers and clients collaborate effectively. Some platforms offer additional services, such as legal contracts and dispute resolution support. These include project management tools, payment protection, and rating and review systems.
Reasons to Hire a Freelance Graphic Designer
You can use freelance graphic designers for any type of design project. Most commonly, though, freelance designers are good for:
- Cost-effectiveness: Hiring a freelance graphic designer can be more cost-effective than hiring an in-house designer or a design agency, as you only pay for the specific projects you need completed rather than incurring ongoing salary or retainer fees.
- Flexibility: Freelance graphic designers are typically more flexible than in-house or agency designers, as they are not tied to a specific schedule or location. This can be especially useful if you have a project with a tight deadline or need to make last-minute changes.
- Expertise: Freelance graphic designers often specialize in specific design areas, such as logo design or brand identity. By working with a freelancer, you can tap into their specific expertise and get the best possible results for your project.
- Scalability: If you have a sudden increase in demand for your design needs, it can be easier to scale up your design team by hiring additional freelance designers rather than trying to hire and onboard new in-house staff.
- Access to a global talent pool: Freelance graphic design websites often have a global network of designers, giving you access to a wide range of talent and design styles. This can be especially useful if you are looking for a specific aesthetic or need to work with a designer who speaks a particular language.
Best Place to Get a Designer
You can get freelance graphic designers from three types of services:
- Freelance graphic design marketplaces. These connect you with a network of skilled designers who are available for hire. You can search for designers based on their skills and experience, and communicate with them directly to discuss your project needs.
- Crowdsourced design sites. Sites like 99designs and Designcrowd allow you to post your design project and receive submissions from multiple designers. You can then select your favorite design and work with the designer to make any necessary revisions.
- Unlimited graphic design services. These offer a subscription-based model where you can request an unlimited number of design projects for a flat monthly fee, which is a good option if you have ongoing design needs.
We evaluated a total of 32 platforms based on 12 data points across five main categories: quality of designs, pricing and payment, user experience, . The weighting assigned to each category is as follows:
- Quality of designs: 20%
- Pricing and payment: 30%
- User experience: 20%
- Overall reputation: 10%
Within each category, we considered a range of characteristics, such as the types of design services offered, pricing and payment models, the quality and quantity of available designers, client satisfaction ratings, and the overall reputation of the platform in the design industry. We also looked at the ease of use of each platform, the availability of customer support, and any additional features or resources that could be beneficial for designers or clients.
We awarded partial points based on how well each platform met each criterion, and our final rankings are based on the total score for each platform. In addition to our own analysis, we also took into account feedback and reviews from designers and clients who have used these platforms in the past. Our goal was to provide a comprehensive and unbiased review of the best freelance websites for graphic designers in 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best freelance website for graphic designers?
The overall best website to hire freelance graphic designers is Toptal. A more budget-friendly alternative for one-time projects is 99designs, while the best for ongoing design needs is ManyPixels. If you’re on a tight budget, you can also consider Fiverr or Upwork.
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