type of designer
are you looking for?


UX designers

UX designers are the champions of a user’s needs. They are the architects of your product, making the underlying structure intuitive and functional.

UI designers

UI designers keep the focus on the website, making the appearance of a product as easily understood and used as possible.

Web designers

Web designers are generalists who make websites look impeccable. Or at least they do for the sites you actually like to visit!

Mobile app designers

Mobile app designers bring your app ideas to life. They may tackle the user interface and build out the apps in addition to addressing all visual elements.

Visual designers

Visual designers are masters of user experience, user interface, and web design, thinking about each to improve your product’s UX and communicate your brand’s unique voice.

Graphic designers

Graphic designers arrange type, form, and images to effectively communicate ideas and experiences across print and digital media.

Brand designers

Brand designers manage the full set of experiences around your company to craft a unique visual identity and user experience.

Animation designers

Animation designers bring your digital products to life, making sites and apps more intuitive with transitions, highlights, and indicators.

Logo designers

Logo designers capture the essence of your brand in a distinctive symbol that will identify your product in a crowded field and serve as your company’s calling card.

Illustration designers

Illustrators provide intricate artwork for mediums ranging from magazines to websites; while not as tech-savvy as a graphic designer, illustrators will provide top-notch imagery to build a brand around.

Product designers

Product designers create amazing new software and digital products while balancing company objectives, budgets, product requirements and the UI/UX designs.

UX researchers

UX researchers are cross-functional collaborators, working across development, design, and marketing teams to evaluate user needs and trends.

The Top Websites to Hire The Designers You Need:

Based on the facts publicly available as of 01.01.2020

1. Toptal

Toptal aims to be the best in quality and service. As such, the Toptal network of designers must undergo a rigorous vetting process to prove they will perform exceptionally for clients. Toptal then personally matches you with the right freelance designer or team for your needs. Toptal has served large companies and rising startups alike, and is great for hiring designers on a individual and team basis.



  • Toptal vets every designer in the network, so you’ll be matched with only the highest-quality freelancer creative talent through the site.
  • The personalized matching service (where you have a one-on-one call with a Toptal rep to determine the needs of your project) saves time by making sure you’re connected with the right person for any given job.
  • The no-risk trial ensures that you pay only if satisfied with your designer hire.


  • To provide this premium level of service, Toptal has to charge a bit more for each designer hire than other platforms.
  • For very simple and short-term projects (especially those that will only take a few hours of work), the premium quality that Toptal guarantees is probably overkill.
Visit Toptal

2. Upwork

Upwork is the most well known of the online freelance marketplaces. With its roots in two dominant competitors in the field, Upwork provides many different features around project management and customer-freelance interactions. Most recently, Upwork has introduced Upwork Pro and Enterprise, which provide access to more highly qualified freelancers and support for larger business needs. If you need to hire freelance designers, you should be considering Upwork.



  • With freelance designers from around the world, you can hire freelancers for any budget.
  • The different project set ups and payment systems ensure that you can find a situation that works for your set up.
  • If you are paying hourly, you can see your designer hire’s workspace to make sure that they are working.


  • With freelancers from every corner of the world, levels of English vary greatly which can pose challenges around communication.
  • Hiring creative designers can be very time consuming and risky unless you opt for Upwork Pro.
Visit Upwork

3. 99designs

On 99designs, freelance designers submit their ideas for your project, and you can hire the designer who created the design you like the best. You can start with the package that works best for you, depending on your budget. 99designs also has the option to skip the contest format and just hire designers directly on the site with different terms for how the project is managed.



  • The contest format means you get to see lots of different ideas on how the site or project could look.
  • 99designs is very structured, so it is unlikely that you will encounter a dispute or issue around project management.
  • The process is very streamlined, so if you need a quick outcome, 99designs can be a great option to hire a designer online.


  • Because the contest format is entirely driven by visual productions, other important factors to product development are ignored.
  • The contest format creates a lot of risk for the designers, so keeping high quality designers is tough.
  • There is not much communication on the front end, which can add steps to ensure brand consistency.
Visit 99designs

4. Dribbble

Dribbble was created as a community and showcase for designers. The portfolio style allows you to search and evaluate the collection of designers’ work. Dribbble began as invitation-only, but has expanded to allow anyone to apply. It now has a job board and an option called Dribbble Pro, which provides access to a more select group of designers.



  • As a very intentional community, Dribbble designers can source and receive feedback from the community—allowing more input on your design.
  • On Dribbble Pro, the Dribbble team can help you find a freelance designer who best fits your needs.


  • Because the work of your project happens separate from the platform, you take on all risk for the designer hire yourself.
  • With Dribbble, you will need to set up payment and contracts yourself with the freelance designer.
  • Dribbble has become a great place for early-stage freelance designers, but is not as utilized by more experienced designers.
Visit Dribbble

5. Working Not Working

Working Not Working (WNW) tries to make the hiring/job search process with freelancers more entertaining through its “UnJobBoard” and other quirks. The platform began with 300 of the top designers and has since become open to anyone that wants to join. You can hire freelance creative designers identified by the “Membership Board,” who have been voted on to receive a “vetted” badge. One signature item of WNW is that freelancers mark whether they are working or not working—essentially whether they are available to take on jobs.

Working Not Working


  • WNW use to be invite-only, and they still try to keep high quality talent on board by through limiting the number of “vetted” badges offered.
  • You can identify which freelance designers’ availability fits your timeframe so that you are not wasting time trying to hire designers who are already busy.
  • Human, WNW’s concierge service, has started accepting some requests for a more personalized matchmaking process.


  • Now open to all freelance creatives, there is more risk in the hiring process than before.
  • WNW is more focused on large companies with frequent hires than smaller agencies or one-off hires.
Visit Working Not Working

6. Envato Studio

Envato Studio is one of the many Envato offerings. In the Studio, you can find packages around many different online services including web design, development, and so forth. Packages, offered by freelancers and agencies, are clear cut and straight forward—and tend to be a very affordable way to hire a designer online.

Envato Studio


  • Envato studio has quick, ready-made or easily-adjusted design options for a very fast turnaround.
  • Services on Envato generally cost $10-$100 and go as high as $2000.
  • The hiring process is very structured and straightforward.


  • Envato does not offer much customer service, and your contract is between you and the seller.
  • Prior customer ratings are really the only way to determine quality ahead of time.
  • If you are looking to hire a designer online for something highly customized, Envato Studio is probably not for you.
Visit Envato Studio

7. DesignCrowd

On DesignCrowd, you can submit your needs to a contest for freelance designers to compete with their ideas. You select your favorite and proceed on to revisions with the designer you hire. The platform offers contests starting at $99 or you can pay more to hire a designer from a more select pool. The process is very structured and straightforward.



  • The contest format provides a very low cost way to source lots of different options for how to visualize your project.
  • With DesignCrowd’s money-back guarantee, you only lose the overhead fees if you decide not to go with any of the submissions.
  • Designs are turned around quickly and on a set time frame.


  • Due to the focus on the visual aspect, user experience and interface concepts may be ignored.
  • Because of the risk for designers, many find work elsewhere if they can, leaving a lot of new freelance designers for hire.
  • The contest format does not allow a lot of planning and communication on the front end.
Visit DesignCrowd

8. Behance

Developed by Adobe to provide Adobe Creative Suite users with a place to display their work, Behance is a portfolio platform that allows hiring designers through memberships. Users can display art and design works of all types. With a membership, you can post jobs and explore the platform.



  • Behance designers can include animated or video presentations of their work which allows you to really see functionality.
  • There is no better place to find designers online using the Adobe Creative Suite.


  • It can be challenging to hire designers through portfolio’s without significant design knowledge.
  • Behance does not provide assistance with job matching, making it a very time consuming process.
  • The platform can feel very overwhelming and unfocused (though beautiful!).
Visit Behance

9. People Per Hour

PeoplePerHour (PPH) is a UK-based freelance platform particularly focused on the European market and small businesses. With “workstream” you can manage all parts of your projects on the sites. In addition to posting a job, you can select “hourlies” or pre-priced hourly services offered by freelance designers for hire when the number of hours is unclear or sporadic.

People Per Hour


  • With freelancers from around the world, you can find a freelance designer that can meet a small budget.
  • If you are a small business, then PPH might be a great fit.
  • Select an “hourly” to save time on the project start.


  • PPH does not offer a lot in the way of customer service.
  • Be on alert for a lot of hidden fees.
  • Variable levels of English mean that there may be some communication issues if you hire a designer who is not a native English speaker.
Visit People Per Hour

10. Freelancer

Freelancer is the largest freelance marketplace. There are many options in how you hire a freelancer. The site charges both the freelancer and hire for initiating a project, which establishes shared responsibility. The Preferred Freelancer Program identifies the top freelancers on the site.



  • Freelancer lets you hire designers through contests, job posts or searches.
  • No matter how small your budget is, you can find a designer to hire for your project.
  • The site allows a very quick sign-up—even just through social media.


  • With freelance creatives of all levels, and ways to beat the tests, it can be difficult to guarantee a great hire.
  • Freelancer has been known to shut down accounts when disputes emerge.
Visit Freelancer
honorable mention


Fiverr is known for its low cost options. Originally, every “gig” on Fiverr cost just $5. While freelancers can now charge more, the prices remain low. Fiverr Pro provides an option to search in a more qualified group of freelancers as well as more available community service. The freelancers post their services. You can select the best fit from the marketplace rather than post a job and sort through bids.



  • Fiverr provides project management tools to track projects and interact with your designer hires.
  • Fiverr Pro can save you significant time and risk in selecting a designer for your project.


  • You will need to be on the lookout for scams on the site.
  • Fiverr is not known for great customer service, so be prepared.
Visit Fiverr
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