Design Platforms – 99designs vs DesignCrowd: what’s the difference and how to choose?
- 1 Design Platforms – 99designs vs DesignCrowd: what’s the difference and how to choose?
- 1.1 99designs vs. DesignCrowd: Who’s who? –
- 1.2 Awards of design competitions –
- 1.3 Quality of designs –
- 1.4 Conduct of design competitions –
- 1.5 Find and work directly with a graphic designer–
- 1.6 99designs vs DesignCrowd: the verdict–
W hat platform do you go on when you need a design? Of the different options available to you.
The only ones that can be considered only as design platforms are 99designs and DesignCrowd.
At first glance, the service offer of both companies is very similar. But by leaning a little more on the question, we discover more differences.
And this is often necessary to examine all of this more closely to be sure to obtain a result suits you.
Many factors come into play: the skills of graphic designers. The quality of designs, competitions versus freelancers, etc.
So I thought it would be good to put everything flat so you can decide the best option for you.
99designs vs. DesignCrowd: Who’s who?
99designs and DesignCrowd are two Australian-based companies. Both of based on the principle of crowdsourcing to provide graphic designs to their customers.
And the cherry on the cake, the companies were born the same year, in 2008! What are the points on which they differ?
99designs is not only the biggest company of both. Another hand it is also the biggest creative platform for professional designers to find and carry out projects online. Here are the numbers:
- 1.4 million registered designers on the community
- $ 200 million donated to designers to date
Its size allows it to specialize in several types of products. From the most standard (web design, logo, etc.) to less known (music album, 3D prototypes, clothing, etc.).
The 99designs community is also international, and platform clients and graphic designers can be based in Argentina and Zimbabwe as well as anywhere else on the planet.
Thus, 99designs offers a service in several languages and allows to obtain designs for a multitude of different cultures.
DesignCrowd is not as big as 99designs, but also offers its own benefits. Here are the numbers:
- 640,000 designers in his community
- $ 47 million in revenue to date
Like 99designs, DesignCrowd maintains an international presence with 165 countries to its credit, although to a lesser degree than 99designs.
The difference in size of the two companies creates differences in their business model, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages.
Design Competition and Projects 1-1
At first glance, 99designs and DesignCrowd both seem to connect customers and graphic designers in a very similar way.
However, their approaches vary, especially with regard to the difficulty or ease that clients have to directly contact a graphic designer to propose a project or a contest.
The two companies also stand out from each other about the number of concepts presented to the customer and how he chooses the one he prefers.
Although both platforms allow each one to directly contact the graphic designers, DesignCrowd focuses mainly on design competitions and optimizes its services in this direction.
For its part, 99designs wants to position itself as the essential resource for online design, whatever the method chosen (a graphic design contest or a live project with a designer).
Awards of design competitions
Comparing the prices of the two platforms is not as simple as it seems.
While both platforms are priced by category and both offer several levels of quality, you need to look at the results a little closer to find out what to expect based on the price you invest. Let’s see for the logo competitions:
Logo Design Contest Prizes on 99designs :
Logo Design Contest Awards on DesignCrowd:
It is usually cheaper to get a logo on DesignCrowd. Just like 99designs, DesignCrowd offers different packages at different prices, and offers additional paid options, like making your project invisible on search engines (and therefore your competitors), or the option that allows you to speed up the duration of his project. But there are several important things to consider before embarking on one or the other platform.
The main difference is what you get for your money. On DesignCrowd, the more expensive the package you choose, the more design proposals you get, no matter what level of experience designers have. On 99designs, choosing one of the most expensive packages means getting more experienced graphic designers on the competition, so you can expect more quality results.
DesignCrowd estimates that the most expensive contests will attract about 150 design proposals. At the same price, we get about 90 proposals on the 99design Gold contests, and only 60 on the Platinum contests, even more expensive than the previous category. What explains this difference?
Judging a competition on the number of proposals he receives is clearly not enough. The quality of these proposals must also be considered. On DesignCrowd, you receive more designs, but you have no way to know the skill level of the designers who created them. On 99designs, however, you know from the start that by choosing a Gold Contest, you will receive the proposals of moderately to very experienced designers (and the more experienced only, regarding Platinum competitions). Which brings us to the next point …
Quality of designs
What you pay more for 99designs is the skill level of the designers. This does not mean that DesignCrowd designers do not have a good level, far from it! But rather than the breadth of the community and the 99designs grading system, this platform offers higher quality designs more consistently.
For starters, there is only the 5-star system managed by users that allows seeing the quality of graphic designers on DesignCrowd.
So if customers forget to evaluate the work done by graphic designers, the system simply does not hold the road anymore. In fact, of the 600,000 graphic designers registered on the platform, only 42,000 were evaluated, or only 7%.
99designs is more involved in the categorization system, especially through its in-house teams. In addition to the 5-star system (and user comments, which are missing on DesignCrowd).
A graphic artist’s biography includes accurate statistics on the number of times his clients have come back to him with new projects.
The number of once he has won competitions and the speed with which he answers the messages sent to him.
There are also areas of specialization of the graphic designer in question (logo, brochure, mobile application design, etc.) so that you can find the graphic designers best suited to your project.
All these factors, in addition to the individual assessments made by the 99design teams, determine the level of the graphic designers.
On top of that, the community of 99designs is twice as big as DesignCrowd’s. Which means that it includes more specialists in a given field, including the lesser-known ones like restaurant menus or car advertisements. And for a service based on crowdsourcing, having more people, it really makes the difference!
Conduct of design competitions
Contests follow roughly the same process on either platform: you fill out a creative brief to present your project to the designers, and you can invite graphic designers to participate in your competition.
On both platforms, you are given a certain amount of time at the end of the contest so that you can refine the final details of your design with the winning graphic designer before definitively closing the project. Finally, both platforms will reimburse you if you are not satisfied.
There are nevertheless differences, not least. First, 99designs’ creative brief goes into more detail than DesignCrowd’s.
Which is much more standard and text-based in which customers write what they are looking for.
99designs goes further in trying to understand the customer’s preferred style and, in the case of a logo contest, the identity of its brand.
Graphic designers can count on a precise and complete brief to create designs that will appeal to customers.
But since customers are not always very good communicators.
99designs has added a creative step to their creative brief during which the customer selects the designs they like from other brands’ logos.
Thus, graphic designers can deduce, from this selection, the style sought by the customer.
Find and work directly with a graphic designer
As mentioned above, DesignCrowd focuses primarily on graphic design competitions. And much less on direct collaborations between graphic designers and clients.
Moreover, the platform does not even put forward its service “One Design Service Project” dedicated to this type of collaboration.
And I had to go through the help pages to find information about it.
Then, to work directly with a graphic designer, you must first find one on the freelance page of the site.
Since this directory has been designed to invite particular designers to participate in a design competition.
The ergonomics leave something to be desired in terms of direct collaboration.
Once you have found a designer that you like, click on his bio. Where you will find the services that this designer offers and its prices at the bottom of the page.
The experience is completely different on 99designs! From the beginning, on the home page, the goal is to help you choose the best option for you.
Whether it’s a design competition or a direct collaboration.
Also, the system of categorization of graphic designers according to their specializations.
The number of competitions they have won, and their level of skills was clearly designed with the user in mind.
Everything has been designed to facilitate contact between graphic designers and customers, whatever the purpose of the operation.
In addition, the 99designs graphical search tool contains many filters.
So that customers can sort efficiently and accurately, and find the perfect designer for their project :
- Category. These are the areas of specialization of the graphic designer. Whether large categories (for example, “web design”) or subcategories (“button and icon design”).
- Activity sector. These are the sectors of activity in which the graphic designer has worked the most. There are 42 options to choose from: “medical & pharmaceutical”, “sports”, “wedding”, etc.
- Last activity. This is the moment when the designer signed in to the platform for the last time. The “active” option is also available.
- Language. The languages are spoken by the graphic designer, among 11 languages to choose from.
- Level of competence. To target graphic designers with a particular skill level.
In addition to this, you can also perform a free search from a keyword, such as “fun”, “cute”, or “psychedelic”.
99designs vs DesignCrowd: the verdict
Now that we’ve gone through all the differences, here’s my verdict: it’s pretty simple.
If your biggest concern is the price, choose DesignCrowd. If the quality of the designs is your priority, however, choose 99designs.
This actually seems to correspond to the way each platform was designed.
DesignCrowd based its business plan on prices as low as possible.
While 99designs based its business plan on results as good as possible, thanks to the great talented graphics community.
In fact, for your next project, just ask the question of affordability is the talented quality. Now Choice is your’s
Want to try 99designs?
Contact one of the talented graphic designers to make your next design.