99Designs has been a trusted online marketplace for businesses seeking graphic design and illustrations since 2008. But as your needs grow, you might find yourself looking for a more robust solution to grow with you. 99Designs alternatives aren't exactly hard to find. But with so many on the market, making the choice can stop at not knowing where to start.
Also, crafting a captivating and lucrative brand story is no walk in the park. Much of it revolves around the graphics and personalized aesthetics that breathe life into your brand, leaving a lasting impact on every interaction with your customers.
Whether its your company logo design, the visuals on your social media banners, the artistry of your ad campaigns, or the finesse of your UX/UI design, each element plays a pivotal role in forging emotional connections with your customers. A 99designs alternative needs to live up to that standard.
Outsourcing Graphic Design
For startups to mid-market and beyond, taking on the burden of managing graphics and design work in-house (and without a solution like 99Designs) can be a time-consuming and expensive task.
In reality, a substantial part of successful design operations just lies in delegation.
To keep it simple, it's about entrusting these crucial design tasks to seasoned professionals who skillfully take your creative brief and bring your vision to life, ensuring that your graphic designs resonate with your audience and follow guidelines or design cues within the brand.
Outsourcing a graphic designer who you can do this often leads to one big headache, especially in a market saturated with various different graphic design services. When the service and design quality of these services range so wide from bad to amazing, the search for competitive designers suddenly becomes even harder.
For those not knowing where to start, or for those who just fancy a little window shopping, we've put together our best 99Designs alternatives for you to browse new solutions below.
Why Consider 99Designs Alternatives?
While many businesses and individuals still heavily rely on 99Designs for graphic design services, some think it curbs a designer's creativity. I think we can all agree that not all talented and creative minds can perform at the fullest under the pressure of competition.
An important disadvantage of using a designs contest is the guarantee that the winner will meet your requirements. Businesses and teams often spend large portions of budgets on a design contest, only to find that the selected graphic designer didn't deliver up to the mark even after the final edits.
This poses a huge risk of design bottlenecks that often leave marketing teams stranded.
Additionally, the design operations of a growing business may become far too complex for a service like 99Designs, slowing the team down and blocking creativity. More and more brands are searching for a solution that offers more control and clarity each day.
Overview of 99Designs
99Designs is a popular graphic design company by Vistaprint, founded in 2008. More than one million designers and 444,000 business and individual users have used their services since its creation. It offers two models simultaneously to help find your ideal freelance graphic designer.
1. Profile Browsing
Like Fiverr and many other freelancing platforms, 99Designs allows you to browse hundreds of freelance graphic designer profiles in a few clicks. Once you think a profile matches your needs, you can directly chat with them regarding project details and budget.
2. Graphic Design Crowdsourcing
You can create a design contest for your design using the 99Designs crowdsourcing model. After creating the competition, a freelance graphic designer proposes a concept. From there you can filter designers and pick and choose the ones you want to work with.
The auction-based model gives you no control over how many designers submit their proposals. The greater the prize you set for the contest, the greater the number of bids you'll get.
99Designs Alternatives: Best Option
We might have some bias, but Teamtown's Creative as a Service (CaaS) solution has proven itself time and time again to be one of the best 99designs alternatives.
From a dedicated design team to flat monthly fee billing, Teamtown is a design solution built for marketing teams that need design consistency and predictable budgets. Let's take a closer look at the details.
What is Teamtown?
Teamtown was established in 2020 as a lifeline to marketing teams in need of straightforward design support. By providing scroll-stopping design for a flat monthly fee, marketing teams are free to build out predictable budgets and robust campaigns to satisfy the boldest of CEOs.
Teamtown is global vetted design team made of some of the most top notch designers from all over the globe. Having previously worked at top agencies, these designers bring visually-stunning designs to brands at scale. Each designer on your team has a specialty - be it logo designers, web designers, and even specialists in mobile app design.
Using our team model, brands can take advantage of having multiple professional designers with different specialties under one roof. When you're not separately working with a million freelance designers, you avoid brand inconsistency and allow the designers you work with to build context around your business, just as an in-house designer would.
Dedicated and professional graphic designers supporting ambitious marketers, just as it was meant to be!
Teamtown offers the following packages:
- Starter - $945 per month
- Super - $1995 per month
- Studio - $2995 per month
How Teamtown Works
Say farewell to the never-ending scroll through designer profiles and the frustration of logo designs and that logo design contest that often leads nowhere. Teamtown is a one-stop solution for dedicated design support.
Here's how to start:
1. Start With 1 Month
Try out any of our plans for 1 month. All of our plans come with a 15-day money back guarantee, so we can part ways without any hard feelings if it isn't the right fit.
2. Request a Design
Next, take a look at your upcoming campaign and what designs you'll need.
Once you're ready, submit a request in the design portal. Your dedicated design team will take it from there, using your design brief to bring your vision to life.
3. Collaborate with Your Design Team
Once connected with your design team, you can communicate seamlessly and collaborate to refine even the most intricate graphic design ideas. The best part? Your designs will be in your hands within an impressive 24 to 48 hours, with unlimited revisions available to ensure your design is tailor-made to perfection.
Throughout the process, you can collaborate with your design team on Slack. Bounce ideas, get updates, get and provide feedback, all in real-time.
4. Quality Assurance
Every time a design of yours is finished, a Quality Assurance Manager will meticulously review it, ensuring that all your requirements are met and the quality is up to par. If it isn't, the QA team will work with them on bringing everything up to standard. No need for the infamous triple check.
5. Download Your Project
As your masterpiece takes shape, you can download it directly to your device. The Teamtown portal offers downloads in various formats, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your needs. With your brand story beautifully crafted into a visually stunning design, it's ready to be showcased to the world.
Common 99Designs Alternative: Hiring a Graphic Designer
A common alternative to 99Designs is, of course, the tried and true solution of hiring a designer.
Hiring a designer in house is the most traditional route out of the bunch. Brands retain the most control, but not without hidden costs.
Here we'll compare hiring a designer to using 99Designs and take a look at why hiring a professional designer could or could not be the right solution for supporting your graphic design needs.
Hiring a Designer vs 99Designs
1. Personalized Creativity:
When hiring a designer, you're not just obtaining a service but forging a creative partnership with an in-house designer. Designers work closely with you to understand your vision, values, and brand identity.
This personal touch ensures that every design is uniquely tailored to your own design preferences and requirements, resonating authentically with your audience.
2. Seamless Collaboration
Collaboration is key to a successful design process. Hiring a designer allows for real-time communication and the exchange of ideas, fostering a dynamic partnership where your feedback is directly integrated into the design.
This level of interaction can be challenging to achieve in a contest-based platform like 99Designs.
3. Efficient Turnaround
Designers are dedicated to your projects, often keeping a cadence of quick turnaround times. In contrast, contest durations on platforms like 99Designs can vary widely, potentially delaying your project.
While 99Designs can be great for one-off projects, some 99designs alternatives are better equipped to handle teams with ongoing design needs.
4. Ongoing Relationship
When you hire a designer, you can establish a long-term working relationship. They become intimately familiar with your brand, ensuring consistency in your all your design materials.
In-house designers is as dedicated as it gets, and can consistently produce impressive results under the right leadership. This is something that lacks with services like 99Designs, with businesses finding themselves working with different freelancers each campaign.
5. Quality Control
Quality assurance is an inherent part of the process with a dedicated designer and team. Designers take pride in their work and strive to meet your expectations, resulting in high-quality designs and a higher likelihood of achieving your desired outcome.
But even the top designers make mistakes, having an in-house designer provides you with the control you need to implement quality control.
Pros and Cons of Hiring a Designer:
- Tailored designs that align with your brand and vision.
- Seamless collaboration and ongoing feedback.
- Faster delivery of design projects.
- Maintaining a consistent brand identity over time.
- A commitment to meeting your expectations.
- Hiring a designer can be more expensive upfront compared to contest-based platforms.
- It requires time and effort to manage the designer-client relationship.
- One designer may have a particular style, limiting design diversity.
- Designer availability may vary, potentially causing delays in urgent projects.
Honourable Mention: Fiverr
Using a freelance platform like Fiverr is always a good choice when hiring a Graphic Designer at a low cost. Under one roof, you can meet some exciting talent, from top web and graphics designers, and freelance graphic designers to logo makers.
Fiverr, the freelance website, was initially created to assist businesses in launching their projects at a lower cost, not limited to graphic design. It has maintained its reputation for offering services at relatively affordable rates.
Over time, Fiverr has evolved its offerings by introducing "Pro" levels, which come with higher costs but bring aboard top-tier designers and premium content creators. Today, the platform boasts a diverse pool of experienced freelancers and talented designers who can cater to various project needs.
Additionally, Fiverr provides an online logo maker tool, further expanding its toolkit of resources for businesses seeking creative solutions.
99Design Competitors: Top Picks
In addition to Teamtown, several other noteworthy 99designs alternatives exist on the market. Whether you're a startup needing a striking brand logo or an established business owner seeking a talented designer for your upcoming digital marketing campaign, the following CaaS platforms offer fantastic solutions.
Say goodbye to the hassles of traditional designer hiring and hop on board with these graphic design platforms.
Penji is a much cheaper alternative to 99Designs. It offers all kinds of graphic design solutions under it's hood. Penji is best suited for startups and small-scale businesses as it offers many affordable plans starting from $499 per month. Additionally, they provide a 30-day money-back guarantee, instilling confidence in their service quality.
One of Penji's key advantages is unlimited print and digital graphics, a valuable resource for creative projects. They also boast a swift turnaround time, with designs typically delivered in a day or two, and the Agency plan even offers same-day turnaround.
With that said, Penji lacks a free trial and does not accommodate one-off graphic design requests, and some reviews suggest that it might not be the optimal choice for larger marketing teams and companies.
Manypixels is another alternative to 99Designs best suited for small business owners. With packages starting from $549 per month, you can use various design subscription services such as unlimited graphic design and web design services.
It's important to note that the service of Manypixels is available to US Eastern, Central European, and Indochina timezones only.
Kapa99 comes with one of the most affordable prices and graphic design tools that resonate seamlessly with your business needs. The starter plan for business starts at $349 for the first two months, and clearly tiered pricing structures for the remaining plans.
Kapa99 is an original of the unlimited design services, but may be suited for smaller teams, agencies, and business owners. Graphic design services with an extremely competitive price often lose quality and attention as a result, leading to rushed designs and graphic designers under pressure.
Established in 2016, Flocksy offers various creative services, including voiceover, copywriting, web development, and graphic design. With subscriptions starting at $499 per month, small business and startups can get their services on the go. Like a design contest, higher budgets will result in bigger results, which is why competitive pricing may result in more varied quality compared to 99Designs.
5. Design Pickle
Design Pickle offers creative solutions tailored for small businesses through subscription-based services. Their agency extends its expertise to include illustration, presentation design, and motion picture design support, diversifying its offerings to meet various creative needs.
An intriguing aspect of the service is the inclusion of unlimited drawings and revisions, providing flexibility and room for customized editing. Notably, Design Pickle stands out with its impressive feature of a rapid turnaround time, with designs often delivered within a single day.
Many founders have unpackaged different aspects of Design Pickle, creating a long list of Design Pickle alternatives to accommodate brands and teams of all sizes.
In terms of pricing, their starter plan comes in at $399 per month, granting subscribers access to unlimited design submissions and illustrations, unlimited design revisions, and the advantage of swift 1-day delivery times.
DesignCrowd is a platform that empowers digital design businesses to submit their creative concepts while providing a space for graphic design companies to present their designs crafted to your own design brief.
With a vast pool of over 100,000 freelance designers, the platform offers a diverse directory categorized by specialties and regions, allowing you to filter and select the most suitable talent based on factors like the number of project wins and review ratings.
On pricing, it's important to note that costs can vary depending on the complexity of the design project. However, be aware of potential hidden expenses, including posting fees ranging from $29 to $129. These costs should be factored into your decision-making process when using DesignCrowd's services.
Alternatives To 99Designs: Key Features to Look For
Even with the world's longest list of alternatives to choose from, you'll still need to watch out for key features that could make or break a graphic design service being a fit for you and your team.
Here we'll take a look at some of the key features you should be keeping your eye on to lock in a successful partnership.
Exclusive and Specialized Graphic Designers
One of most important features of a 99design alternative is a a diverse design team with a wide range of talent. It reduces the risk of unsatisfactory designs, often the case when hiring a freelancer or running a contest. These designers should work with you consistently each day, growing and learning with what you like and don't like.
With your design projects in the hands of a reputable graphic design service, you can sleep restfully at night to find your designs ready in the morning.
Effective Project Management
As discussed above, working with the best graphic designers and design services is like having an in-house graphic design team at your office.
These design services allow you to submit multiple project requests at a time, which helps you manage your projects effectively and ensures price effectiveness. Think about hiring and managing 4 different freelancers at a time; even the sound of it seems unmanageable.
When working with graphic design services, you don't have to watch video tutorials or wait in line to reach the customer service representative just to generate a request. Popular services have responsive 24/7 customer service available to help you at each step.
Alternatives to 99Designs: Try Teamtown
If you're still confused about 99Designs alternatives, give Teamtown a try. With monthly packages starting from just $947, you get access to a world-class team of graphic designers specializing in web design, motion graphics, UI/UX design, logo design, video editing, and anything else a marketing team needs.
All our plans come with a 15-day money back guarantee, for a no-commitment trial. Not a fit within 15 days? We'll refund everything you paid and part ways without any hard feelings.
Subscribe to the one-month package or book a demo with us to give the best-suited 99Designs alternative a shot!