99Designs vs Fiverr: Comparing Top Design Platforms in 2023

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By Jacob Maslow

In graphic design, two prominent platforms have emerged as go-to destinations for businesses and individuals seeking creative talent: 99designs and Fiverr. Both platforms have unique features, benefits, and drawbacks, making it crucial for potential users to understand the critical differences before deciding.

99designs operates as a design contest marketplace where clients can create a project, set a budget, and start receiving design submissions from various designers. In contrast, Fiverr functions as a freelancing platform, where clients can browse through lists of designers and their services before directly hiring the one they find most suitable for their project.

When choosing between these platforms, one has to consider factors such as pricing, the creative process, and the quality of designs produced. As we explore the differences, advantages, and disadvantages, we aim to help users decide which platform best fits their needs.

99designs vs. Fiverr Overview

99designs and Fiverr are two popular platforms providing creative services such as graphic design, web design, logo design, and more. Both platforms offer customers a way to find professional freelance designers, but their approaches and offerings differ.

99designs operates on a contest-based model, wherein clients create a brief with specific project requirements and a budget. Designers then submit their work, and the client chooses their preferred design. This allows clients to browse multiple designs before selecting a winner. As a result, pricing generally starts at a higher range, reflecting the caliber of designers available on the platform.

On the other hand, Fiverr operates as a marketplace where clients can search for designers and other service providers by browsing through specific categories and filtering results based on pricing, delivery time, and overall ratings. Freelance designers list their services as “gigs” with a defined scope, pricing, and delivery time. Fiverr offers various pricing tiers, allowing clients to choose services according to their budget.

Some key differences between the two platforms include:

  • Pricing: 99designs’ prices tend to be higher than Fiverr’s, but the contest model allows clients to view more design options.
  • Service offerings: Fiverr provides a broader range of services, including digital marketing, writing, programming, and more, whereas 99designs focuses mainly on design.
  • Designer quality: 99designs generally attracts a more experienced and skilled designer pool, while Fiverr accommodates freelancers with varying levels of expertise.

99designs and Fiverr have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the client’s specific needs and preferences. For clients seeking multiple design options and higher-quality work, 99designs may be more suitable. However, for those on a tight budget or seeking a diverse range of services beyond design, Fiverr might be a better fit.

Quality of Work

In terms of quality, both 99designs and Fiverr have their unique offerings. On 99designs, the platform attracts professional graphic designers who produce high-quality work. In addition, since it operates on a contest-based model, businesses can choose from multiple unique designs for their projects. This model results in a higher likelihood of receiving a quality design that meets expectations.

On Fiverr, the quality of work varies significantly due to the vast number of freelancers offering their services at different prices. Some sellers on Fiverr excel in delivering outstanding graphic design work, while others may not have the same expertise level. It’s crucial for buyers to carefully review the portfolios, ratings, and client feedback of sellers before making a decision.

Here are a few factors to consider when evaluating the quality of work on each platform:

  • Design experience: 99designs generally attracts experienced designers, which could result in better quality. In contrast, Fiverr has a mix of experienced and novice designers.
  • Platform features: 99designs offers features such as design handover and file support, which ensure smooth communication and delivery of quality designs. Fiverr provides similar features, but sellers’ ease of use and efficiency may vary.
  • Collaboration: 99designs allows better collaboration between clients and designers through its contest model. Depending on the seller’s communication style and responsiveness, Fiverr’s gig-based model may limit the scope for extensive collaboration.
  • Price: Generally, quality work comes with a higher price tag. 99designs’ pricing is often higher than Fiverr’s, which could indicate better quality designs. However, some sellers on Fiverr might offer quality work at competitive rates.

Remember that the quality of work will ultimately depend on the individual designer and the client’s specific project requirements. Both 99designs and Fiverr have their merits and shortcomings in terms of quality, and it’s essential for clients to carefully assess their needs and budget before choosing a platform.

Pricing and Budget

In comparing 99designs and Fiverr, it’s essential to consider each platform’s pricing and budget options.

99designs operates on a fixed price model, with pricing packages that cater to various budget ranges. These packages include:

  • Bronze: Low-budget option.
  • Silver: Moderate budget option.
  • Gold: Higher budget option, increased designer quality.
  • Platinum: Premium budget option, top designer quality.

Each package guarantees a certain number of design submissions, with the option to select your favorite.

On the other hand, Fiverr hosts a wide range of freelancers with different expertise and price points. As a result, users can easily search for designers based on their budget and typically find services at lower prices than 99designs. For instance, Fiverr offers:

  • Basic Package: Affordable option with limited services.
  • Standard Package: Mid-range option, including additional services.
  • Premium Package: Higher-priced option offering comprehensive services.

In terms of money-back guarantees, 99designs offers a 100% money-back guarantee if clients are not satisfied with the design submissions within a specified time frame. Fiverr, too, has a money-back policy, allowing refunds for unfulfilled services. However, the refund process may sometimes be more complicated on Fiverr due to the varying terms set by individual freelancers.

To summarize, 99designs provides fixed pricing packages catering to different budget levels, whereas Fiverr offers a diverse range of freelancer services with varying price points. In addition, both platforms include money-back guarantees, ensuring client satisfaction.

Features and Services

99designs and Fiverr are popular platforms offering a wide range of design services. They cater to clients needing graphic design, logo creation, web design, illustration, and more. Let’s explore the features and services of these two platforms side by side.


  • Design Contest: 99designs allows clients to create design contests where multiple designers can submit their work, competing for the best design. This feature enables clients to choose from a variety of design options.
  • Community of Designers: The platform has an extensive community of professional designers worldwide, ensuring high quality and variety in submitted designs.
  • Logo and Web Design Features: Specific tools and services focus on creating logos and web designs to suit individual client needs. Clients can choose their preferred designers or create contests to find the best design quickly.
  • Project Management: The website includes features to facilitate communication between clients and designers, such as email notifications and a comprehensive messaging system.


  • Gigs: Fiverr operates based on the gig system, where freelancers offer various services at different prices. Clients can browse and choose gigs according to their budgets and requirements.
  • Fiverr Pro: This feature offers access to top-rated freelancers handpicked by Fiverr for their quality of work and professionalism. Fiverr Pro assures high-quality services.
  • Wide Range of Services: Besides design services, Fiverr offers additional services such as writing, marketing, and programming, making it a one-stop shop for many clients.
  • Budget-Friendly Options: The marketplace has options for clients on a budget. With gigs starting as low as $5, Fiverr is accessible to many clients.

Both 99designs and Fiverr offer distinct advantages to their users. While 99designs is known for its design contest feature and professional community of designers, Fiverr provides budget-friendly gigs and a wide array of services beyond design. Clients can choose based on their needs, preferences, and budget constraints.

Portfolio and Designer Selection

99designs and Fiverr provide access to a diverse pool of talented freelancers, including graphic designers and illustrators. However, their approaches to portfolio presentation and designer selection differ significantly.

On 99designs, clients can browse designers’ portfolios before initiating a project. In addition, this platform categorizes designers based on their expertise and experience level:

  • Top Level Designers: These professionals have a proven track record of producing high-quality work and maintaining client satisfaction.
  • Mid-Level Designers: Designers at this level have demonstrated good design skills and provide a reliable service.
  • Entry-Level Designers: These freelancers are relatively new to the platform but show potential for growth and development.

This tiered system enables clients to make an informed decision when selecting a designer for their project. In addition, 99designs offers design contests, where clients can post a brief and receive multiple submissions from interested designers. Clients can then choose their preferred design and work with the creator for refinements.

On the other hand, Fiverr lists available freelancers in a directory format with individual gig offerings. Each freelancer has a unique profile containing the following:

  • Portfolio: Featuring samples of their previous work.
  • Rating: A score based on the client’s feedback.
  • Pricing: The freelancer’s fees for specific services and deliverables.

To find the best match for their project requirements, clients can filter freelancers by various criteria, such as experience level, skills, and delivery time.

Both platforms provide ample information for clients to evaluate designers’ work and expertise. However, while 99designs focuses more on categorizing designers by quality and experience levels, Fiverr emphasizes its freelancers’ offerings and customization. Ultimately, the choice between 99designs and Fiverr will depend on the client’s specific needs and preferences in finding a suitable designer.

Project Workflow and Client Satisfaction

When it comes to project workflow, both 99designs and Fiverr have distinct processes in place. 99designs focuses on design contests, where customers create a brief, and designers submit their proposals. Clients can provide feedback, request revisions, and choose a winning design. On the other hand, Fiverr offers a marketplace where clients can browse through service providers and hire them directly for their projects.

Customer service plays a significant role in client satisfaction. While 99designs offers 24/7 customer support through live chat, email, and phone, Fiverr provides support via their help center and ticketing system, with response times that might vary.

Revisions ensure that the final product aligns with the client’s expectations. On 99designs, clients can request multiple revisions from designers during the contest. With Fiverr, the number of allowed revisions depends on the service provider’s specific offering, with some freelancers even offering unlimited revisions.

Submissions and ratings are essential components in maintaining transparency and professionalism. For example, on 99designs, designers submit their proposals in response to contests, and clients can leave public feedback in the form of star ratings. In contrast, Fiverr allows clients to leave feedback and ratings on a freelancer’s profile once the project is complete.

Transparency is upheld on both platforms through distinct mechanisms. 99designs ensures transparency by publicizing contest submissions and communications, allowing clients and designers to see each other’s work and interactions during the contest. Service providers maintain transparent profiles on Fiverr by showcasing their services, customer ratings, and project history.

Safety and security are critical aspects of any online platform. 99designs and Fiverr utilize robust safety measures, such as secure payment systems and dispute resolution mechanisms, to ensure a safe and reliable experience for clients and freelancers.

Delivery time, an essential factor in any project workflow, varies between the two platforms. 99designs’ contests typically run for up to seven days, after which clients have another week to review submissions and request revisions. Fiverr’s delivery time is determined by the freelancer’s offered turnaround time, ranging from just a few hours to several weeks.

Comparison with Other Platforms

99designs and Fiverr are popular platforms for outsourcing design tasks, but other alternatives are worth considering. Among these are Upwork and Vistaprint. Each platform offers unique features and benefits, so the choice depends on individual needs and preferences.

Upwork operates through a bidding system, where freelancers submit proposals for a specific project. This allows clients to review and compare various offers before selecting the most suitable candidate. Like Fiverr, Upwork offers various services beyond design, including writing, programming, and marketing. However, 99designs is more specialized in design tasks, particularly logo and branding services.

Regarding pricing, Fiverr and Upwork are typically considered lower-cost options compared to 99designs. On Fiverr, services or “gigs” start at $5, while Upwork offers a variety of hourly and fixed pricing models. Conversely, 99designs employs a contest-based approach, where clients set a design brief, and designers submit their concepts. These contests tend to come with higher price points, starting from $299.

Vistaprint is a less-mentioned but viable alternative for those seeking design and print services. Known for its customizable business cards, Vistaprint offers a broad range of printed products and promotional materials. However, Vistaprint’s design services are less comprehensive than the other platforms mentioned. It mainly serves clients seeking ready-to-print templates and customizable designs.

To find a suitable platform, it’s essential to consider factors such as:

  • Project scope and complexity
  • Available budget
  • Preference between pre-made templates or custom designs
  • Need for a print service

These factors help users identify which platforms (99designs, Fiverr, Upwork, or Vistaprint) best fit their project requirements.

Earnings, Fees, and Additional Services

99designs and Fiverr cater to different needs and budgets, as evident in their earning structure and fees.

99designs primarily focuses on design contests and design projects. Their pricing model consists of tier-based packages:

  • Bronze: Starts at $299
  • Silver: Starts at $499
  • Gold: Starts at $899
  • Platinum: Starts at $1,299

These packages include various options, such as the number of design concepts and the quality of the freelance designers. Consequently, designer earnings depend on the chosen package and the number of awarded contests or projects.

In addition, 99designs charges a platform fee (around 5-10%) for design projects that connect clients directly with designers outside of contest offerings. Businesses seeking additional services, like copywriting or custom designs, must be negotiated directly with the designer.

Fiverr, on the other hand, offers a multitude of professional services, from design work to copywriting, and divides them into three pricing tiers:

  • Basic: Typically ranges between $5 and $100
  • Standard: Typically ranges between $50 and $200
  • Premium: Typically ranges between $100 and $500

Earnings on Fiverr depend on the number of completed projects and profile ratings. As a result, it’s not uncommon for freelancers to charge a lower initial price to gain traction on the platform. Fiverr takes a 20% commission from freelancers’ earnings.

Platform Earnings Fees Additional Services
99designs Contest & Project-Based 5-10% (Design Projects) Negotiated with Designer
Fiverr Completed Projects & Ratings 20% (Freelancer Commission) Available through tiers

In summary, both platforms have different approaches to pricing, earnings, and available services. Therefore, businesses must assess their needs and budgets to decide between 99designs and Fiverr when seeking professional design or creative services.


What is the main difference between 99designs and Fiverr?

99designs specializes in design-focused services, whereas Fiverr offers many services, including design, marketing, writing, and more.

How do the pricing models differ?

  • 99designs: Charges fixed prices for design contests, varying prices based on the design category.
  • Fiverr: Services (gigs) are available at a range of price points, starting at $5, with customizable options.

Which platform is better for finding specialized design talent?

99designs, as it focuses exclusively on design services, tends to attract experienced and skilled designers.

Is it possible to work one-on-one with a designer on both platforms?

Yes, both platforms offer the option to work directly with a designer through individual gigs or projects.

How do the refund policies compare?

  • 99designs: Offers a money-back guarantee during certain stages of the design contest.
  • Fiverr: Refunds are typically issued as Fiverr credit, with some exceptions based on the platform’s Terms of Service.

Can you access international talent on both platforms?

Yes, both 99designs and Fiverr host a diverse range of professionals and freelancers from around the world.

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos