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99designs Review: Read This Before You Sign Up [2024]

Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis Graphic Designer

99designs is one of the best logo design services in terms of customer experience, but it’s also pricey. However, if you need a long-term design provider, it’s worth the extra money just for the headaches you’ll avoid. When you start a contest on 99designs, you get dozens to hundreds of designs to choose from, and you only have to pay for the winner. Even with some duds, chances are you’ll find a design you like.


💎Service TypeHire a designer
🚀Free to TryNo
💲Starting Price$299.00
📁File FormatsUsually included, but depends on designer
🔄Free RevisionsDepends on designer
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Great-Looking Logos and Other Designs – For a Price

Simply put, 99designs does design. You can’t get services like website development, but the trade-off is that you get a boost in quality and selection from a platform that specializes in design. You can get just about anything designed, from signage to marketing emails, but in this review, I’m going to focus on the logos.

99designs is available in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, several other European languages, and Japanese. You can theoretically use any language in your logo that you can input into a text field if the designers on the other end have the right fonts installed.

Where it gets really interesting is when the time comes to pay for everything. By “interesting,” I mean “comparatively expensive.” 99designs’ packages and plans are generous, and the higher-priced options come with lots of personal attention, but you’ve got to have enough cash under your mattress.

So, why would you pick 99designs? Is the experience worth the extra money? Are the logos just that good? Well, I decided to invest some cash and run a logo design contest as part of my quest to find the best new logo for Website Planet. Read all about my experience below.



All 99designs Does Is Design (But That’s Not a Bad Thing)

99designs logo designers
It’s fun to browse through 99designs just to see all the logo samples.

Some design services want to do everything for you, from design to printing, web hosting to social media marketing, dog walking to cat bathing (not really, no one wants to bathe cats). 99designs, on the other hand, offers a tightly-focused experience, and I find that refreshing. 99designs provides two primary services for design clients: contests and individual hiring.

I went with the contest, of course, so I could gauge the design skills of multiple designers in a short time.

With a large number of designers on the website, there’s also a large variety of design styles, as you can see if you browse through the logo samples. This means you’re going to end up with a fair bit of variety with your submissions. It also depends, of course, on the plan you pay for, with higher tiers providing a higher number of submissions for you to browse.

It generally takes around a week to complete your design if you follow your contest closely and don’t ask for too many revisions in the final round (which lasts three days for a logo contest). During that final round, you can basically ask for as many revisions as your designers are willing to handle.

After the final round, the designer may be willing to perform a few small adjustments for free. Drastic adjustments will cost you more, as they should. The key is to ask nicely. And that’s easy enough, as you can contact designers directly from a general messaging center (more on that later) and from the screen where you process and rate contest entries.

Once you choose the perfect logo for your company, you can expect to receive your logo in the following formats: AI (Adobe Illustrator), EPS (an infinitely scalable format), JPG, PNG, and PDF.

You can provide feedback and testimonials about designers and you can browse designer profiles to see all of their ratings, past work, the aforementioned testimonials, and a list of all the distinct design services they provide. There are also stats on how many contests they’ve won, how many they’ve almost won, how many one-to-one projects they’ve had, how many repeat clients they’ve had, and how often they respond within 24 hours.

All in all, 99designs has got all the features you need and they’re all well-built and easy to use. I can’t actually think of a feature that I personally missed.

You Can Get Just About Anything Designed

Speaking of distinct design services, it should be noted that 99designs offers a lot more than just logos. You can get websites and apps, all kinds of packaging, book and magazine covers, clothing, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. If it can be designed, someone here will design it for you.

99designs Has Decent Add-Ons

You have to pay a bit extra, of course, but you can pay to keep your contest private and away from the big search engines. By paying a bit more, you can keep everything strictly between you and the designers – your request won’t come up on Google. You can also pay for extras like a brand guide to go with your new logo, social media graphics, and so on.

An Active Community Forum

The big draw of crowd-sourced services is the community that makes it all possible. Part of keeping that community alive is the 99designs forum, where you can get community-powered support, check out the latest 99designs news, or just talk about design stuff.

Keep in mind that the forum does seem to be mostly aimed at designers, but clients are welcome too. If you use 99designs regularly, checking out the forum could be a valuable use of your time.

99designs Pro – Have 99designs Find a Designer for You

Now according to the marketing, this feature (which is called “Pro”) is for agencies that need to get a good designer, fast. Basically, 99designs will speak with you, find out exactly what you need, and find a designer to work with you as soon as possible. But as long as you have the budget, you don’t actually need to be an agency to buy this service.

99designs could make this clearer on the page where it advertises this service, but I guess they must not have many non-agency clients take advantage of this service.


Ease of use

99designs Makes Things Simple – Provided You Know What You Want

99designs delivers a somewhat limited feature set (compared to other services), making the whole experience feel clear, simple, and focused. It wants you to get in, find a designer, get your thing designed, and get on with your life. It does, of course, have the add-ons I previously mentioned, but it doesn’t offer any big alternative services, like social media marketing or in-house printing services.

This means that the user interface is clear and clean, and is generally intuitive. Setting up a contest is super easy thanks to 99designs’s UI, as the whole process is guided. It feels fast to use even on my paltry 5Mbs Internet connection, and I never got lost. Calls to action (i.e., big buy now buttons) are kept to a convenient minimum and don’t constantly get in your way.

99designs review - color options
You pick styles and colors you like when setting up your contest, which makes it really easy for you to a) figure out what you want and b) communicate that to designers.

My Experience With 99designs

Note: As I write these reviews, I have been tasked with getting a whole bunch of different logo options for Website Planet, one of which became the new logo for the whole website.

Starting the contest was pretty easy, all things considered. First, all you have to do is choose from several logos to establish your preferred style.

Screenshot of the 99designs design process asking 'Which designs do you like?'
Selecting logos you like helps guide designers in creating something you actually want – just watch out for lazy copycat submissions.

The next step is to move some sliders around, to further specify what your tastes are. You also get to select which colors you want prospective designers to focus on.

And finally, before you pay anything, you have to actually write up a brief, upload any reference images, and so on.

After that, you simply choose which contest package you want and pay for it. Normally, when reviewing a service like 99designs, we pay extra for access to the top-rated designers. We decided to run a little experiment this time around, by, well… not doing that. We went with the Silver plan, which is quite a bit cheaper than the previous plan (Bronze) and does not guarantee access to the top designers.

Now, design quality will always vary when you’re running one of these contests. That’s how this kind of service works, and this contest was no exception. Some people submitted very similar designs, as in very slight variations of the exact same design. All in all, it was definitely a mixed bag.

Screenshot of 99designs' logo design submissions for Website Planet
You can rate each design submission, which helps guide other designers, as well as keep track of your choices.

Within five days, we had over 40 designs to work with, and I got to work narrowing them down. With the built-in rating system, it was easy enough to narrow our number of choices down from 41 to 18, to 11, to 6.

I do feel silly now, for two reasons: One, I forgot to screenshot the final round, where I chose our winning logo. Two, I went into this contest with the objective of giving less “planet-focused” logos more consideration and ended up giving myself a bit of analysis paralysis, since the best logos were planet-focused.

In particular, I really liked this one:

logo created by a 99designs designer for Website Planet featuring a planet icon
Having so many logo design options makes it really easy to visually compare them.

But because of my previously-stated intentions, I didn’t just go for it. I gave up on making the decisions on my own and sent a poll around the office to ask for more opinions. Of course, the logo I should have picked all along got rated the highest.

So I chose that logo and asked the designer (known on 99designs as Jatmiko – nice work!) for a few simple revisions to the layout of the text. Then I picked the actual, final winner:

A logo created by a 99designs designer 'Jatmiko', for Website Planet
I was able to get a revision after selecting a winning design, which isn’t always the case with crowdsourcing platforms.

All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with the experience of using 99designs. I never got lost, and things went smoothly. If you don’t have the budget for the more expensive plans, I’d say don’t worry about it because chances are you’ll get some pretty good logos in any case. Of course, the more specific you are with your brief, the more likely you will get exactly what you want.

You Can Save Your Projects Before You Buy

If you’ve read any of my other logo design service reviews, you know what I’m about to say. If not, here’s the gist: in every review, I talk about the ability to save a contest or design project before you go through with it. It’s that important a factor, and it’s not difficult to implement. Luckily, 99designs lets users save their designs (and come back to them later).

There Are Excellent Entry Processing Tools

If you’re running a contest and you get a lot of entries, 99designs makes it very easy to quickly rate, process, favorite or decline them, and optionally provide feedback. Other platforms have similar features, but there were times when they slowed me down. Not so with 99designs; the process was quick and even kind of pleasant.

You Can Easily Manage Existing Contacts

There’s a specific section of the website that allows you to stay in touch with designers you’ve hired in the past. It’s separate from the usual “message center,” and you can see the designers you’ve worked with, their overall rating, what projects you worked with them on, and what contests they won.

You also don’t even have to sign up or log in to start looking for a designer for your next project. There’s a handy designer search function that lets you sort by design category, industry, designer level, language, and designers who were recently active.

The contests themselves are easy to manage, with a simple step-by-step wizard to get your contest up and running. You only need to provide a general brief, some idea of the style of logo and colors you want, and any relevant reference images.

At the very least, you should have a very general idea of what you want before you start. The process of starting a contest might actually give you some ideas, but you should probably do your research first.



99designs’ Support Is Competent and Readily Available

If you do happen to get lost, you don’t have to struggle on your own for long. 99designs has a few support avenues you can go to for help.

There’s email support (which is a ticket system), and phone support for all of the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Note that while the email support runs more or less 24/7, phone support is confined to fairly standard business hours for the region you’re calling.
There’s also a fairly extensive and helpful wiki/knowledge base. You can navigate straight to it or access it via the little Help button in the lower left corner on just about any page. You can search all of their articles right there for in-context help.

99designs help support page
If you’re not sure where to start or have any questions, check out the 99designs wiki for a rundown of the whole process from posting to payment.

There’s a blog as well, but it mostly focuses on general design and marketing advice. It’s still useful stuff, but it won’t necessarily help you navigate the website or run a contest.

99designs Email / Ticket Support

Well, I actually had to contact support before I could even get started, as some years back, I signed up for 99designs as a designer. You can’t run contests with a “designer” account, so I asked support if they could change my account to a “client” account. They could, and they did.

an interaction with 99Designs' support team requesting a switch from a designer to a client account
I emailed 99designs very late, but still received a response in about 4 hours!

Later on, I asked them if I could find my bill or invoice anywhere on the website, in case I lost the email. Turns out you can absolutely do that.

Email reply from 99designs customer support (screenshot)
I sent my second email a little earlier, and got a response from support within the hour.

99designs Phone Support

I called 99designs’s U.S. line to ask, specifically, if the aforementioned “Pro” service could be used for non-agencies/anyone who had the money to spare. As I said above, yes you can.



99Designs Can Get Pretty Expensive

Now, it’s an overall great service – easy to use, the quality of design ranges from decent to brilliant, and there are some great business-focused features. If you have the budget and plan to use a service like 99designs regularly, it’s probably worth the extra money to save the time and headaches other services might provoke.

Compared to hiring a big-name designer or agency, 99designs is fairly cheap. Compared to similar services on the internet, it’s… not. Their packages cost double or more than some of the competition depending on the services and add-ons. From the perspective of the designers, this is fantastic. From the perspective of clients, it’s something to think about carefully.

99designs’ cheapest logo contest plan offers (approximately) 30 designs. The more expensive plans can get very pricey, but they offer access to more highly rated designers, more designs to choose from, and more personal attention/priority support.

There are no free samples and no cheaper plan for non-commercial use. This is a premium service and that includes the prices that come with a word like “premium.”

Now, it’s an overall great service – easy to use, the quality of design ranges from decent to brilliant, and there are some great business-focused features. If you have the budget and plan to use a service like 99designs regularly, it’s probably worth the extra money to save the time and headaches other services might provoke.

The choice comes down to this: Do you have more money than time (in which case go for 99designs), or more time than money? If it’s the latter, you might be better off with a cheaper alternative like Fiverr.

You can pay for 99designs with most major credit cards, PayPal, and SOFORT (region-specific).

As previously mentioned, you can get some small revisions after getting the final version of your logo, but it’s definitely up to the designer. However, if you don’t get that far, there is a money-back guarantee. Basically, if you haven’t signed up for a “Guaranteed Contest” (one where you’ve promised to pay out), and if you haven’t gone into the final round or selected a winner, you can get your money back.

Of course, forfeiting all rights to utilize any logos from your contest is a necessary outcome. If you are dissatisfied with your available choices but wish to avoid closing the entire contest, reaching out to our support team enables you to initiate a kind of “reset” for your contest, resulting in its reopening. This avenue provides you with an additional opportunity to pursue the logo you’ve always envisioned.

Usage Rights

In my experience, usage rights are always the most contentious issue with logo makers like this. Thankfully, as long as you’ve selected a winner and signed the Copyright Transfer Agreement, you get full intellectual rights and distribution rights. The design you get is completely yours, so go forth and make money with it.


How does 99designs match up to the competition?

Fiverr Logo DesignCompareOur Score4.9Compare
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99designs is one of the best logo design services in terms of the customer experience, but it’s also pricey.

Now, is 99desings worth the price? In my opinion, yes. If you want an easy hiring process with lots of logo designs to choose from, 99design allows you to crowdsource a custom design from a fairly big talent pool.

If you need a long-term designer, though, you should also check out the plans 99designs’ Pro subscription. It’s worth the extra money if you plan to use the platform often and want to avoid otherwise pricey add-ons like private and invite-only contests.


Is 99designs reliable?

Absolutely! 99designs is a legitimate design platform offering a wide range of crowdsourced services. With a strong track record and countless satisfied clients in more than 20 countries, 99designs has established itself as a reliable platform for creating logos, websites, and various other design projects.

How does 99designs work?

99designs is a global community of professional designers who create everything from logos and apps to book covers and flyers. The process is pretty simple, too, which you can read about in the ease-of-use portion of my review. You can either start a contest for your design or hire an individual designer to do the job.

If you run a contest, it generally takes around a week for your logo to be finished. You can expect to receive it in various formats, including AI (Adobe Illustrator), EPS (an infinitely scalable format), JPG, PNG, and PDF.

Is 99designs worth the cost?

99designs is quite expensive compared to other similar logo design services. However, if you plan on using it long-term for various design needs, it may be worth the extra money, as it will save you a lot of time. Check out the features 99designs offers to decide if it’s worth it or not.

How do I know if a logo is good?

A good logo should reflect your style and values and it should be an original idea. It’s also important to keep your target audience in mind, and to create a design that will stand the test of time. If you’re looking for some ideas to help you get started, take a look at our list of the best logo makers for 2024.
Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis
A freelance writer and editor with experience in digital marketing, Alex has published over 40 product reviews and comparisons on Website Planet. He has tested email marketing services, freelance websites, social media management tools, and more. Before joining our team, he worked at an Australian agency where he experimented with all things digital marketing. In addition to his work, Alex enjoys cooking and writing about games.
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Summer 2021

I did a lot of research, including websiteplanet. I was really nervous because of the negative reviews on most of these crowdsourcing sites. I ended up choosing 99designs because I found out a colleague also used them for their logo. I chose the cheapest option $299. Within 10 minutes I began receiving designs. I ultimately received about 170 over the week. The designers were very responsive and modified the images at request. About 15% of the logos were SPECTACULAR and for $299 I would have been happy with any of them. In the end, I received exactly what I hoped for - files and all. I seriously couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Michael, USA
August 26, 2021
Making fools

Logos at 99 designs are not created with unique ideas. I have examples to show that copied and 20-30% modified logos are being submitted by the designers over there. They depict that they have higher standards for a designer to allow him/her to work on 99designs. While when you see the designs submitted in contests, the submissions are not of top-quality rather they are basic or medium level. I participated in a website design contest long ago. Another designer 60% copied my design and made an entry into the same contest and won the prize.

anonymus, Pakistan
June 15, 2021
The colleague is satisfied

A good site for finding a designer. My work colleague and I launched our project and urgently needed a designer with taste, we came across this service, the cost and terms were arranged, we agreed and got an excellent job on time. Thank you very much!

Alan Perez, Russia
April 05, 2021
New project – new logo

My new project required a logo. I have been familiar with this service for a long time, once they drew me a logo for one of the projects. For a new project, it was done on time, efficiently, let's look at the reaction of customers with this logo :)

Roger, Germany
July 08, 2020
I’ve waited so long..

I was shocked by the work of technical support. They responded to my request for about 3-4 days, which is a very long time by my standards. I hope the authors of the project read the reviews here, correct this point, otherwise it is just inconvenient to use this service.

Harrison Dunn, USA
June 09, 2020
Awful Everything

They are a scam, they pay "designers" very little and they just copy logos from the internet. Logos are copyrighted, most of them from free logo generators or free templates. They have refused to refund. Do not buy you are better finding a local artist.

Argent, Albania
May 15, 2020
I liked it!

The service is quite convenient, I talked with the support guys and discussed every important moment for me. Then they named the terms and cost and started working. We managed to do it by the time, they asked if I was happy. I got what I wanted, thank you!

Parker, USA
March 27, 2020
I don`t know

I have to do a job to leave a comment about that company. I have never done business. I'm wondering and doing research. When you read the other comments, the downsides come out. I read your writes. I got some information at the end of your detailed research. Thank you. I am a Carpet designer too.

Müslüm Türkoğlu, Turkey
March 06, 2020
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