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Artist Tips | The Two Ways to Make Money As Freelance Designer With 99DESIGNS

Cash Tips & Tricks - 99Desings purpose

99designs manages an online graphic design platform and marketplace.

The platform is designed to facilitate both businesses and designers in finding and completing design projects.

There are two make money with 99Designs: 

1 – Get hired for a 1-to-1 project

2 – Participate to a Design contest

1. Factsheet

Company typeFor profit
HQ locationOakland, USA
Founded date2008


99designs was founded in 2008 by Matt Mickiewicz (“Mickiewicz”) and Mark Harbottle (“Harbottle”) in Melbourne, Australia

The Company has its roots in a site called SitePoint, an online platform for designers and developers which stemmed from a website set-up by Mickiewicz when he was just 14.

Cash Tips & Tricks - 99Design Timeline

Business model

The platform links designers with customers seeking design services. 

Through its users, 99Designs provides:

– Logo

– Web and application

– Packaging and labelling

– Book and Magazine design services, as well as

– Business and advertising solutions

Ready-made logos can also be bought and sold.

Both parties benefit from this model.

Cash Tips & Tricks - 99Design value proposition

The platform also provides a community of professional designers to whom agencies are able to outsource work where necessary.


99designs targets three main customer segments:

1 – Companies: Services are mainly aimed at small businesses and start-ups (includes freelance and independent workers) that do not have the resources to outsource work to large design companies or to employ an in-house team and wish to add a degree of professionalism to the way they are presented online.



Cash Tips & Tricks - 99Design Types of customers

Top competitors

Besides 99designs, there are competitors in this field. The most popular are DESIGNCROWD, DESIGNHILL, FIVERR, DESIGNBRO, CROWSPRING and DESIGNEVO among others.

2. How to make cash

How does 99Designs make cash

99Designs has three lines of revenue:

Cash Tips & Tricks - 99Designs Lines of revenue

1- Sale of design work:

99designs’ revenue is generated primarily by the sale of design work provided by its users. At the lowest, 99designs takes a 5% commission on its jobs. This commission can go up further, depending on the package chosen by the client, with gold and platinum packages costing more than basic bronze and silver packages.

2 – Design contests:

The majority of the Company’s revenue comes via its design contests, in which clients provide a brief to the community and receive numerous designs from the platform’s users from which it selects a winner.

In these cases only the winner receives payment. Clients can also pay to upgrade their contest-listing making it more visible to designers.

3 – Off-the-shelf design products:

99designs also generates revenue through the sale of off-the-shelf design products via its online logo store.

How do YOU make cash

There are two ways to make money with 99Designs: 

1 – Get hired for a 1-to-1 project

2 – Participate to a Design contest

Cash Tips & Tricks - Two ways to work with 99Design

You can participate in Design Contests to challenge yourself with interesting projects, sharpen your design skills and grow your client network.

1 – A company submits a design brief

2 – Your application is reviewed and hopefully selected

3 – You get the financial reward set by the company

Cash Tips & Tricks - How to make money with 99Design - Contest

If you don’t win you retain full copyright of all unsold work, which you’re free to use any way you see fit. You can still add your winning and non-winning entries to your portfolio to increase visibility and connect with prospective clients.

3. Admission process

Ways are pretty simple.

To sign-up to 99Designs, you simply need to follow the steps of registration.

99designs is free to sign-up and start freelancing. 

Cash Tips & Tricks - 99Design admission process

4. Expected income

Rates and rewards vary depending on the type of design work.

When you start working with a new client, 99Designs charges a USD$100 introduction fee (spread out over the client’s first USD$500 charges) to cover its cost of matching you with clients. 

They also charge a platform fee based on your designer level on every project to provide you with support, secure payments, fraud protection and more.

The platform fees are:

Top Level: 5% platform fee

Mid Level: 10% platform fee

Entry Level: 15% platform fee

You’ll be paid in three business days (or less once you become a Top Level designer).

5. Feedback

99designs has won awards for providing great user experience. Since their initial launch the global platform is committed to providing users with a very cost effective way to nab the design they want without going over what their budget can afford.

They work hard to maintain the quality and trust of their global community, which is why they diligently curate all of their designers based on their professionalism, creativity and technical skills.

Take your time and work when you’re most productive.

Why not becoming a contributor then?

6. Site preview


Dan is contributing to cashtipsandtricks by providing his expertise as an investor and entrepreneur.

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