Becoming a member of a freelancer website demands full commitment from artists. This is especially true for design contests, which are well-known for pitting freelancers against each other in hope of prize money. Unlike in a marketplace, the sole winner of a contest takes it all, in contrast with the client, who has the luxury of choosing from dozens of designs and who can even scout other possibilities before anchoring at one site. DesignCrowd and 99designs, two prime examples of design contest websites, are fairly similar to each other, with some minor differences in features and pricing structure.
As its name suggests, DesignCrowd is a freelancer website that brings artists to clients’ doorsteps. Just like many other design contest services, DesignCrowd is also based around the idea of providing the employer a versatile list of options through individual competitions. The website offers free registration for both parties, and they manage to cater to freelancers and employers alike. Promising new talents, who end up as runner-ups in a contest, are eligible to receive a small donation from the system, while clients can assign participation money for those who prove themselves as hard workers. This is a generous solution from DesignCrowd to help struggling artists maintain a living and improve their skills, even if they don’t win the prize money in the end of a contest. There are equally beneficial features for the buyers too, who can get a partial refund should they be unsatisfied with the results, not to mention the purchasable perks that can boost their visibility or make them eligible to arrange a private project with the most talented freelancers.
99designs is that kind of website which gives complete freedom to all kinds of graphical artists to showcase their talents and gain further experience through feedback. The site covers every field that falls into the digital art category; from logos for business cards or YouTube channels, illustrations, designs for booklets and resumes to graphical work for marketing purposes. Sadly, 99designs is not all rainbows and butterflies for freelancers, as they need to undergo a tough verification process after which they still have to prove their worth before lifting the initial limitations imposed on them. The situation is the exact opposite with buyers, who can request a free consultation before starting a project, and even ask for a full refund in certain cases. To further motivate creators (and get the desired, high-quality result), buyers have the option to announce a final round, which includes up to six entries and a guaranteed price for one contestant.
Despite their eerily similarities, it is the way they motivate their freelancers and the kind of pricing plans they offer that are the main clues which tell DesignCrowd and 99designs apart. The former provides a small compensation for talented individuals, even if they aren’t picked as the best. The site provides plans from as low as $99, but, compared to its competitor, the offered value is smaller, since you only get a handful of results this way. 99designs, on the other hand, tries to create a high-spirited contest with bigger stakes and more stages. This site’s plans start from $299, allowing bigger prize money, but if you roll with the most expensive plan (which is way over $1,000), only the best of the best will work for you.
Best Freelance Websites of 2022