There are plenty of freelance platforms out there, but not all of them are reliable. If you don’t want to waste time and money, you should only use freelance sites that protect you, the employer, with secure payment and job management features.You don’t want to end up with a design that turns out to be plagiarized, or with a designer who runs off with revisions undone and the work half-finished. You certainly don’t want to pay for a design you can’t even use.I’ve scoured the web to find the best freelance graphic design platforms out there, and examined and compared their features and benefits to create this list of the top six. My personal favorite is Fiverr, where you can find countless professional designers. But every option is different, so read on to determine the best freelancer site for you.
In a hurry? Here’s where to find the best freelance graphic designers in February 2023:
Fiverr – The best option for businesses on a budget, with professional designs starting at only $5 per project.
Upwork – A large freelance website with versatile hiring options; great for establishing long-term relationships with designers.
DesignCrowd – Access to a global pool of graphic designers who work for reasonable prices.
Fiverr is one of the best-known freelance marketplaces around, owing to its large user base and variety of service niches. After just two minutes of browsing, I was able to find graphic design services for business cards, brochures, flyers, logos, brands, and more. There are hundreds of thousands of freelance design gigs on the platform, so you’ll have a lot to choose from.
One of the great things about Fiverr is its versatile price options. If you’re on a budget, you can find affordable designers starting at $5 a gig.Or you can browse designers on Fiverr Pro. Pro verified designers have all been carefully vetted, so going pro gives you a strong guarantee of receiving high-quality designs.
Wondering if you can get good quality for such low rates? So were we, so my teammate actually tested several Fiverr logo designers at different price levels. See the surprising results in ourin-depth Fiverr Logo Design review.
Here are some of the features that make Fiverr worth your time:
Experienced designers: A seller’s level corresponds to how much work they’ve successfully completed on the platform. The higher the level, the better your chances of getting a service you’ll be happy with. Plus, you can check out designers’ full profiles to see details of work completed and customer ratings and reviews.
Budget-friendly options: Fiverr made its name on affordable freelance services, so there are lots of designers offering packages at a low cost. If money is no object, you can also check out Fiverr Pro, for even more experienced designers who’ve been personally vetted by the platform.
Time-saving filters: Fiverr’s robust search engine makes it easy to find the right graphic designer for you. After clicking on the service you want or searching for a keyword, you can filter options by type of design job, seller level, budget, and delivery time.
Security: Your payment is held in escrow till you’re happy with the work. So, if a seller fails to deliver, your money is safe.
Upwork is one of the most versatile and well-organized freelance marketplaces I’ve used. You can post jobs, review profiles, and hire designers the traditional way, or browse Upwork’s “Project Catalog” for thousands of design gigs. Where other platforms zero in on quick one-off jobs, Upwork offers a slew of management tools that encourage long-term collaborations. Navigating all of the features does take some getting used to, but it’s definitely worth the effort.Upwork’s absolutely gigantic talent pool is nothing short of impressive. The search engine comes with some very advanced filters, and there are dozens of graphic design categories (e.g., 2D or 3D animation, AR/VR design), deliverables (e.g., social media, infographic), and styles (e.g., minimal, contemporary, art deco) to choose from. If you want to get the job done, you really can’t go wrong with Upwork. You can learn more by checking out ourUpwork review.Here are some features that make Upwork stand out:
Super-detailed designer profiles: Every Upwork profile is like a complete resume, listing everything you need to know about a designer to help you make an informed decision. This level of detail isn’t something you often see on online hiring platforms.
Work-related tools: Upwork doesn’t just connect clients with top talent. It does everything it can to make sure the job reaches completion. It offers its very own time-tracking app that comes equipped with chat functionality, file exchange capabilities, a zoom integration, and more. Work diaries and advanced reports help you stay on track.
Low fees and secure payments: Upwork charges a low 3% fee on every payment you make and doesn’t release your funds until you approve the submitted work.
3. DesignCrowd – Good Value Design from around the Globe
DesignCrowd is a good middle ground between budget graphic design on Fiverr and more expensive options on 99designs. You can hold designer contests similar to 99designs, but for a lower price (and less features). The platform aims to help you get the design you want at an affordable price.
So, can DesignCrowd get you what you want? Well, there are about 640,000 designers in its world-wide community, so you won’t fall short of options! You can also get designs for a wide variety of categories – anything from ads, to apps, to brands, to CD covers. It’s possible to get designs very quickly after posting, sometimes within 24 hours.
As I mentioned, we ran a little design contest of our own at Website Planet, where we tested all the major logo design platforms out there to find a new logo for our site. And guess what –DesignCrowd was the winner! To see our new logo in all its glory and read about the process, hop over to our DesignCrowd review.
Designer profiles on DesignCrowd aren’t as full-featured as they are on sites like Fiverr, although you can still get an idea of ability and style. These are some other useful features:
Fast design contests: Prepare a brief and start getting design concepts from designers around the world in less than 24 hours. Then pick your favorite submission, and download your files.
Wide range of categories: DesignCrowd has dozens of graphic design categories, which you can browse using the on-site filtering tools. This makes it easy to refine your options till you find the right designer. You can also filter designers by rating, earnings, projects won, and country.
Favorite designer wishlist: When you’re browsing the platform, it’s easy to create a designer wishlist and start your design contest in just a few clicks. If you’re willing to pay extra, you can directly invite your top designers to your project.
99designs helps you find the designer best suited to your tastes by finding and presenting the style you’re looking for to potential applicants. This is awesome for people who may not know how to express exactly what they want in a design. You run a design contest based on your visual presentation and choose from freelancers whoapply. I love this, as it lets expert designers come to you!
You can run contests in over 90 design categories, including the big ones like logos, web design, and illustrations. Since 99designs is such a big platform, you could get a hundred or more bids on a contest. This can quickly become overwhelming – but to help you make an informed decision, designer portfolios include useful information on how many contests the designer has won, as well as their number of repeat customers.
Here are some of the notable features on 99designs:
Design contests: Create a brief for the design you want, and designers around the world will compete to fulfill it. Then you pick the design that best matches your needs. My colleague ran a contest of his own on his search for the best new logo for Website Planet. If you want to see the results, check out his full 99designs review.
Quality guarantee: When designers apply to join the 99designs platform, they’re manually vetted by a “Curation Team”. Once they’re in, you know they’ve met the requirements for technical skills, design principles, conceptual thought, and client communication.
Great filtering tools: You can use seller levels (entry, mid, and top-level) to help you find the right designer. You can also filter by category, sub-category, and industry to fine-tune your results. And there’s a language filter, too.
Services like Fiverr, 99designs, and DesignCrowd are a good choice if you have varied graphic design needs, but if you just want a logo, then LogoNerds is worth a look, despite the dated design of its website. You can also get designs for character mascots and small business websites. You’ll get a good design for a reasonable price (along with free revisions), but its limited file storage holds it back.
Just 10 days after your logo is delivered, the file is deleted forever off the LogoNerds site, so you have to download it fast. Frankly, this makes me nervous! I can picture either forgetting to grab my files in time or having an unfortunate coffee-related accident and losing my design for good.
Here are some of the best features of LogoNerds:
Logo design specialists: LogoNerds specializes in logo design, so you won’t have to wade through other types of designers to find the perfect one.
Affordable design packages: LogoNerds has three design packages available, with the cheapest starting at less than $30. Set your brief and you get several concepts to choose from before making your final choice.
Risk-free design process: The company will give you a new logo free of charge if you’re not completely happy with your design.
If you don’t want to wade through multiple designers’ profiles, then The Logo Company could be worth a look. It specializes in logo design (do I hear “no, duh”), but you can also get business cards, letterheads, and printing. The cost for a logo is higher than other budget options like Fiverr, but the high-quality design you get is well worth the price, in my opinion.
You can see examples of the company’s work on the homepage, or read our full review of The Logo Company to see some designs they created for us. Spoiler alert: we gave it 4.4 out of 5 stars for a reason!
Here are some of the key features of The Logo Company:
Save time on choosing designers: Instead of browsing the profiles of thousands of graphic designers, you input your brief, and the company chooses five designers to work on your project. Within a matter of days, you’ll get five concepts to look at before you pick a winner.
Unlimited revisions: This is a biggie, as many platforms charge extra for multiple revisions. The Logo Company guarantees to revise and redraw till you get a logo you’re happy with, which brings peace of mind that whatever happens, you’ll get a logo you love.
Multiple design packages: You can go for the logo only, or packages that include business cards and stationery. You can also add extras like Microsoft Word templates and social media designs to get your new brand off to a good start.
Ready to dive into a rewarding freelance graphic design career? Here’s how to get started.
Create Portfolio Pieces. It’s okay if you don’t have any previous clients, you can create mock-up projects for your freelance design portfolio. This lets potential clients see if your skills are a good match for their projects. Cover a range of designs and styles, including print collateral, social media graphics, and website graphics.
Set Up Freelance Website Account(s). Bring your portfolio pieces over to freelance websites – I highly recommend Fiverr. You can include add-ons and tiered design packages to suit each clients’ budget and project scope. Over time, you can adjust your prices to earn even more as you build a solid reputation as a talented and reliable freelancer.
Apply for Freelancing Opportunities. Don’t just sit and wait for the work to come – you want to seize every opportunity to build your experience, too. Search around and apply for design jobs posted by companies on Fiverr and other freelance sites. Some sites offer paid contests for logos, banners, and more. 99designs is one of the most popular contest platforms – with guaranteed money for the winners. Even if you don’t win, you can showcase contest entries and mock-ups on your portfolio page; this can help you bring in new (and repeat) clients.
Promote Your Work on Social Media. You can keep repeating steps 2 and 3, but another way to build clout as a freelance designer is to promote your work on social media. It’s also a great way to build a network of clients and fellow design professionals who can help you land long-term freelance contracts and extra work.
If you want to establish long-term relationships with your designers, Upwork is the best choice for managing hourly contracts. It also features many advanced tools that simplify management and improve communication, helping you – and your hires – stay focused while work gets done.
If you’re not sure what you want, and would like to test a range of design options, then the design contests on 99designs or DesignCrowd might suit you. You’ll have the chance to see and compare multiple concepts before making a final decision. Of course, since Fiverr has plenty of affordable freelancers, you could also hire several designers there and run a little contest of your own.
And if you just want a logo, consider more of a niche website, like LogoNerds or The Logo Company. After all, if logos are all the company does, you’re likely to be dealing with specialist logo designers.
Here’s a quick comparison table so you can see the differences between the platforms at a glance. If you need additional freelance services, don’t miss our list of the top freelance websites.
There’s a wide variety in freelance graphic design pricing. If you use Fiverr, you can get a professional design for as little as $5, which is great for businesses on a tight budget. But many other graphic design prices range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on your requirements.
Can I get a freelance graphic designer for my logo?
Yes, it’s easy to find a freelance graphic designer for your logo. The sites in this roundup give you a good starting point, and Fiverr’s always a good bet for a range of design services.
Why should I go with a freelance graphic designer versus an agency?
Hiring a freelance graphic designer is a great way to find a specialist expert, so you get the perfect design. You can also keep your costs manageable by only hiring the freelance services you need and cutting out the middleman. In contrast, if you go with an agency, you’ll likely be locked into a contract, and team members’ skill sets may not be precisely what you want.
What information do I need to give to a graphic designer?
The graphic design brief is a key tool in helping you achieve the design you want. You’ll need to let your graphic designer know if you have a particular design style in mind, what the design will be used for, and where it will be used. And you’ll need to be clear about size, file format, and so on.
The more information you can give, the better your designer can help you realize your vision. Don’t be afraid to give a basic concept to a professional designer, even if it looks a little rough – you might be pleasantly surprised at the design you get back.
Do edits cost extra when you work with a freelance graphic designer?
Most freelance graphic designers include a certain number of revisions, usually one or two, in a design quote. Very few offer the unlimited revisions you get from The Logo Company as standard. So you should expect to pay more if you need multiple revisions to your design. The way to avoid that is to spend more time upfront making sure the design brief is clear.
Sharon Hurley Hall is a professional writer and blogger. Her work has been published on Jilt, OptinMonster, CrazyEgg, GrowthLab, Unbounce, OnePageCRM, Search Engine People, and Mirasee. Sharon is certified in content marketing and email marketing. In her previous life, Sharon was also a journalist and university journalism lecturer.