99designs vs fiverr: What is Better for Design?

Looking for graphic design help? Our 99designs vs fiverr review pits two of the most popular freelance marketplaces against one another in a battle of quality and affordability.

When looking to hire a graphic designer, most people turn to the Internet to seek the help of independent contractors.

The biggest freelance platforms like Upwork or Guru have their fair share of talented designers, but those looking for quality or affordability mainly turn to either 99designs or fiverr for graphic design.

99designs vs fiverr:  Which platform is best for recruiters?

Laptop and graphics design tablet on wooden table

99designs is a freelancer platform that specializes in connecting graphic designers and clients. The platform has a massive pool of professional graphic artists to choose from.

Graphic design has always been the website’s focus, and as such, 99designs has always been committed to hiring the best of the best. This quality comes with a price, however, as most of the freelancers here are priced on the higher end.

With that said, are 99designs freelancers worth the bang for your buck?

fiverr, on the other hand, is renowned for its pool of very affordable freelancers.

While you’ll find thousands of graphic artists on this platform, fiverr is also home to thousands of other independent contractors in almost every nature of business.

Affordability is fiverr’s main selling point, but does this come at the expense of quality?

For recruiters, even more questions arise:

  • Which freelancer platform allows you to hire freelancers faster?
  • Is one easier to use than the other?
  • Finally, what is better, fiverr or 99designs?

In this comprehensive review, we explored the difference between 99designs and fiverr while offering actionable tips for first-time recruiters.

See Related: 7 Best Article Writing Services for Your Business

What is 99designs?

99designs website

Those looking to compare 99designs vs fiverr must know about how each operates first. 99designs, as its name expresses, is all about graphic design.

You’ll find thousands of graphic designers in this global platform with features that help match the perfect designer to a client’s style and project criteria.  Since its development, the company has paid out over $200 million to its vast pool of designers. The platform was one million strong in 2016.

A big part of 99designs’ business is working very closely with designers so clients can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

99desgins is a platform that puts designers first among all others, with rates that help it attract top-tier designers. This may lead some companies to look for cheaper alternatives like fiverr.

How 99designs works

How do you hire freelancers in 99designs? Our 99designs vs fiverr review will walk you through your choices.

1. Select a graphic artist and work with him directly.

99designs find a designer

99designs‘ Find a Designer search tool allows you to find the right freelancer for your project.

As opposed to fiverr’s more general search function, 99design offers a more robust search tool that categorizes their designers with more specific filters including the type of media (e.g. business card, web design, clothing and merchandise, book & magazine) and industry (e.g. food and drink, business and consulting, technology, retail).

99designs only features graphic designers, so recruiters get to see multiple samples from the same designer without the hassle of having to navigate to a new page.

2. Start a design contest

99designs contest

Design contests are 99designs‘ most popular feature – something fiverr doesn’t offer. Think of design contests as a type of crowdsourcing activity. Here, recruiters answer a series of questions in order to pinpoint their branding the best style that matches it.

Next, a design briefing must be filled out which explains what the design should look like. The platform then shows your answers to their community of designers who then submits original concepts based on your briefing.

Recruiters will then be able to look through all of the submissions, rate the designs, and finally choose the submissions that they like best.

Since contests have a money-back guarantee, they’re a great way to know what you’re getting before you purchase.

99designs Pricing

99designs contest pricing

At 99designs, you can hire a graphic designer directly or choose to commission a design contest. Both methods generally run into the hundreds. For example, the most affordable cost of commissioning a logo design contest is $299.

While this is the cheapest package, it still grants you full ownership of the work produced and a money-back guarantee.

It’s worth noting that this also gives recruiters access to the work’s digital files (which you’ll need to pay extra for in fiverr).

The Platinum Package deals with Top-Level designers only and costs $1,299. You’ll notice that top-level designers in fiverr charge around this much as well.

Pros of 99designs

Our 99designs vs fiverr review found several strengths that make it a better choice for businesses looking for graphic designers. Here are some of them.

Choice of designs

99designs has over a million designers – that’s plenty to choose from. Unless you’re looking to build a relationship with a single designer, you’re probably looking for a choice of designs and not designers.

The platform’s contest format offers recruiters the versatility of choosing from a wide array of designs.

Turnaround time

99design’s contest packages assure fast turnaround time. After submitting your brief, you’ll begin receiving submissions within 24 to 48 hours. After selecting one, you can immediately move forward to the revision phase.

Guarantees

99designs gives recruiters more confidence about the work they purchase thanks to the way contests are structured.

If you run a contest and don’t like any of the designs the platform’s graphic artists make for you, you don’t have to pay a penny.

Cons of 99designs

All companies have room for improvement.

Our 99designs vs fiverr review discovered the following to be 99designs‘ greatest weaknesses.

Tedious writing briefs

When it comes to 99designs, a bad brief will almost always produce a bad design. The success of your projects in the platform largely hinges on your capability to provide a comprehensive design brief.

This means being able to communicate your design requirements accurately (and in a way designers will most likely understand).

While giving a rundown of your favorite colors and offering examples are easy, communicating symbolism and abstract ideas can be challenging especially when working with designers who do not speak your language.

Loss of Client-Agency Relationship

The benefit of hiring a single graphic designer is being able to establish a client-agency relationship. A devoted artist considers more than your brief and list of preferences while trying his hardest to tell the story of your brand with effective design.

This necessary back and forth between client and freelancer is often eliminated in 99designs’ design contests.

See Related: 99designs Review

What is fiverr?

Fiverr website

Founded in 2010, fiverr is a freelance marketplace that focuses on affordable services. Freelancer rates in this platform begin at $5 (hence, the name) and can go up to thousands of dollars.

Unlike 99designs that focuses only on design work, fiverr lists “gigs” (one-off services) offered by freelancers. These gigs run the gamut from service jobs like lawnmowing to specialized work like programming and graphic design.

fiverr’s business model undercuts traditional industry costs by cutting out the middleman and allowing freelancers to set their own rates. This, however, comes at the expense of deregulation where scammers and plagiarized work abound (though these instances are few and far in between).

See Related: How to Choose a Fiverr Logo Design | Best Logo Gigs

How fiverr works

How does one go about hiring a graphic designer on fiverr? Continue reading our 99designs vs fiverr review to find out.

1. Select a gig.Fiverr gigs

Through the years, fiverr has shifted to more business-oriented operations with sellers adopting a makeshift organization. Here, freelancers can post a gig about a general service (i.e. “I will design a website for you”). The buyer must then offer more information about their requirements once they decide to hire.

To add more organization to the site, the platform is broken down into umbrella categories. If you’re looking for graphic design work, for example, you’ll have to click on the graphic design category.

fiverr graphics design

Here, you’ll have even more chances to narrow your choices down (e.g. web design, infographic). You can also filter your results by seller level, price range, time frame, or features.

Some of the most popular categories like logo design have short questionnaires that offer even more guidance in narrowing down your search results. These are optional, but they give you more personalized results.

2. Post a request

Posting a request on fiverr

Businesses may also post a custom request once they become a registered member of fiverr. To do this, you must make a request from your account menu and describe what you’re looking for while selecting the best category.

A member of the fiverr staff will review your request before it goes live. Once it gets approved, sellers may then send you bids and offers that you can accept or reject.

fiverr pricing

Cheaper prices have always been fiverr’s unique selling point.

While prices vary depending on the project and the seller, the platform’s competitive market has encouraged most freelancers to offer low-cost services.

You’ll still be able to find top-level designers here who’ll charge premium rates, but in general, most serves are priced considerably cheaper than other freelance platforms.

Hidden fees

Fiverr pricing sample

When looking for services in fiverr, you’ll find workers who’ll charge considerably low rates only to find out that there are hidden fees.

The “starting at” price is often a sales gimmick that only offers you bare-bones services. If you’re looking to get graphic design work done, you’ll most likely have to pay more for essentials and add ons.

Tiered packages

Fiverr tiered packages

A majority of designers in fiverr offer a tiered package system where the cheapest packages won’t include the most crucial features (e.g. revisions, ownership to copyright, access to the editable file).

You’ll have to select higher tiers which may cost you extra (sometimes hundreds of dollars more).

For example, the “starting at” price for a logo may only be $25. If you read the seller’s description more, you’ll find out that $25 offers you a mere hand sketch. The fully-designed digital logo actually costs $110 or $150.

Despite the click baits, the price for a full-fledged logo is still relatively affordable. Businesses are still advised to be wary about ridiculously low prices.

For example, a full-treatment logo for only $40 is something to be questioned.

If it looks too good to be true, then chances are high that it is.

Pros of fiverr for design

fiverr outshines 99designs in a variety of ways. Our 99designs vs fiverr review found the following to be the platform’s strongest points.

Better agent relationship

Being able to hire a graphic artist to work directly on your projects may guarantee a better outcome as opposed to running contests and letting strangers submit their own work.

Working with a devoted graphic artist ensures that he knows your preferences better than anyone else.

More affordable

While top designers in fiverr mostly charge the same prices as 99designs, you’ll find cheaper graphic design services overall in fiverr.

Designers in fiverr are more likely to negotiate their rates compared to 99designs which offer flat rates.

Cons of fiverr for design

First time fiverr users are advised to be careful when shopping for services on the platform. Our 99designs vs fiverr review found the following to be the platform’s most concerning drawbacks.

Scammers abound

Since fiverr is deregulated, you’ll most likely come across a graphic artist that provides dishonest services. This is most common with designers who offer services that are unreasonably cheap. Some of the most common are graphic artists who offer plagiarized work or use copyrighted images.

Misleading prices

You’ll most likely encounter graphic designers here with a lot of hidden charges, and you won’t know for sure until you thoroughly scrutinize their offerings.

When shopping for services in fiverr, always take extra steps to make sure that you’re getting exactly what you’re paying for.

See Related: Fiverr Reviews

The Verdict: What is better, fiverr or 99designs?

Laptop featuring graphic design software

Our 99designs vs fiverr review found strengths and weaknesses in both platforms, so the best between the two depends entirely on your requirements and expectations.

If you’re looking for affordable freelancers who offer more than just graphic design, fiverr is a great choice. If you’re looking for the best quality graphic designs, 99designs is the better choice.

Regardless of which you choose, there will be tradeoffs. While fiverr’s services are cheaper, you may run the risk of receiving poor quality work.

You’ll have more luck with 99designs in terms of quality if you’re willing to shoulder the hefty fees.

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