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The Top 11 Platforms to Hire Animation Designers and Animators Online

1. Toptal

Toptal has reimagined the experience of hiring freelancers. Rather than sifting through dozens of online animators to hopefully pick the needle from the haystack, Toptal matches you directly with an animation designer. You can use Toptal for more than only animators; they also have graphic designers, illustrators, web designers, motion designers, and freelancers from related fields. All the freelancers at Toptal have passed extensive vetting and testing, and Toptal works to carefully match you with a high-quality designer that meets your needs for video production, visual effects, and animated video. If for some reason you’re unsatisfied, you can change designers or even cancel the project free of charge.

Toptal

Key Points

  • Because Toptal screens heavily to select only the very best animation designers, you will have the opportunity to work with highly professional, skilled designers with years of experience.
  • Two week, no-risk trial period
Visit Toptal

2. Upwork

Upwork has millions of users and jobs posted each year. It’s one of the most well-known freelance marketplaces. The site provides comprehensive project management tools for the clients and freelancers who use the platform. Upwork is not only a site for animators or designers: they have a wide-range of freelancers. On the site, you can browse freelancers for web design, visual effects, video editors, 3D animators, logo animation, and cartoon animation. Upwork also has business and enterprise subscription tools to assist with the hiring process. As you search through Upwork, you will find animators with a wide range of experience and skill levels.

Upwork

Key Points

  • Upwork notes that 9 out of 10 customers rehire on the site.
  • Broad range of animators, freelancers and designers across skill level and geography, perfect for any type of budget.
  • With different ways to manage the project and payment, you can mitigate risk by, for example, only paying once certain milestones are achieved.
Visit Upwork

3. Dribbble

Dribbble was developed specifically for designers to provide them with a community and space to share ideas, meet, and find support. Originally the platform was invite-only, however it has since opened its doors to anyone that would like to join. Designers can create a profile and have a portfolio. Using Dribbble Hire, you can either search through portfolios or post on the job board and have freelance animators apply. Find a range of skills for video editing, storyboarding, cartoon animation, product design, character animation, and more. Alternatively, you can work with a Talent Partner to receive talent recommendations that have been screened and pre-interviewed for the job.

Dribbble

Key Points

  • Dribbble considers itself the “#1 job board for hiring creative talent,” and has the reputation as the go-to place for designers in the design world.
  • Save time and grief with Dribbble Talent by skipping the process of sorting through profiles of freelance animators—some of whom may not even be available.
  • Search by location to make a local hire.
Visit Dribbble

4. Working Not Working

Working Not Working (WNW) has reimagined the job board by creating a little fun. Their “UnJobBoard” for creative talent includes elements you might not see elsewhere: exciting job titles, an expectation of job perks, and aspirational descriptions on each person’s profile. Additionally, job seekers mark their calendars as working or not working, so it is easier to find someone who is available when you need them. The platform has recently launched Human, a concierge service which does the work of sorting through profiles for you so that you can just receive their recommendation and get your project started.

Working Not Working

Key Points

  • Open to any designer, you can find freelance animators of all different skill levels charging many different rates.
  • Human can save you time and concern around making a poor hire by ensuring you hire animation designers that are highly qualified.
  • Because WNW does not charge commission, it can be a very affordable way to hire animation designers long term.
Visit Working Not Working

5. Behance

Behance is a freelance marketplace for designers using the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of services which includes Illustrator, Photoshop, After Effects, Lightroom, and other applications. Hosted through Adobe, Behance provides a platform for Adobe’s users to share the work they have created using Adobe’s products. There are tools for social connectivity as well, like posting comments on portfolios, tagging, and following artists you like. With a monthly membership, you can post jobs and receive access to searching portfolios.

Behance

Key Points

  • You can find an animator at the skill level you need.
  • If you are looking for independent graphic designers using the Adobe Creative Cloud, this is the place to go.
  • If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, then posting public job posts is free.
Visit Behance

6. Freelancer

Freelancer is the largest of the freelance marketplaces. With over 30 million users, you’ll be sure to find an animator that fits your needs. The platform charges a 10% fee for standard projects, unless you are using the Preferred Freelancer Program. In this program, Freelancer charges 15%, but provides you with access to a group of more experienced freelance animation designers. Additionally, both parties pay fees to initiate a project, which helps guarantee buy-in from the designer.

Freelancer

Key Points

  • You can choose the method for hiring that best works for you, whether posting a job, searching profiles, or selecting a package created by the designer.
  • There are freelance animators that charge a range of different rates, so you can find someone to fit most budgets.
  • Freelancer has payment and project management tools to help manage risk.
Visit Freelancer

7. AIGA

AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) has a job platform for U.S.-based talent. As the professional association for design in the U.S., AIGA has over 70 chapters across the U.S. and additional resources on its website. Each company can post 2 jobs for free, or sign up for additional job postings. The platform is not geared towards freelancers, but is a good tool to find full-time animation designers in the U.S.

AIGA

Key Points

  • With two free job postings per company, there’s no risk posting.
  • This is a great site to find full-time designers in the U.S.
Visit AIGA

8. Krop

Krop is a platform that provides profiles for creatives. There is a job board, for which you can pay by job post to receive applications, or you can pay a monthly rate for access to the database of designers. Designers pay a monthly fee to keep their portfolios active, and can sign up to receive alerts when a job post fits their interests. As such, the designers stay fairly engaged with the platform and are usually actively looking for work.

Krop

Key Points

  • The job alerts mean that designers can keep looking for work even while staying busy working.
  • Designers have a collection of easy to use templates to choose from which makes it very easy for them to use and maintain a portfolio.
Visit Krop

9. Folyo

The owner of Folyo describes the platform as a “private project alert service” for designers. In essence, Folyo maintains a database of vetted designers, who are guaranteed by Folyo to only receive quality vetted projects. As such, your project must be approved before it is sent out to designers. When it is approved for both content and payment rate, the request will be sent to designers whose skills match the needs. The designers that are interested respond, and the process moves forward from there. Folyo’s assumption is that by keeping quality designers happy, the quality jobs will come too.

Folyo

Key Points

  • Folyo has removed the arduous searching and vetting process.
  • The platform will send you the designers who are both available and fit your needs.
Visit Folyo

10. Guru

Guru is a freelance marketplace with freelancers of all types. Find anyone from a Dragon Freelancer to a Religion Freelancer. Structured with project and payment management tools, Guru offers flexibility in how you structure your project. Pay by milestone, by task, by the hour, or with recurring payments. As opposed to most other marketplaces, most of the cost falls on the freelancer, with a mere 2.5% billed to the employer.

Guru

Key Points

  • You have a lot of options in the project structure, so you can pick the format that works best for you.
  • SafePay ensures the freelancers that you work with that their payment will be available when they complete the job.
  • You can choose to work with someone from a specific geographic area if you prefer to hire locally or with another geographic constraint.
Visit Guru
honorable mention

Twine

Twine is a freelance marketplace where you can post jobs for free. The platform claims they then “hand pick” freelancers for the job. While there is very little information about what “hand picked” means, the point is that freelancers are recommended based on having a good match, and poor matches and proposals are screened out. You can reach out to candidates or wait for them to make a bid. You also have choices around how you want to manage the project and payment through the platform. Payment is simple. Twine charges a flat 20% commission. For more customized service, you can use Twine Enterprise and even hire a creative at a daily rate.

Twine

Key Points

  • In interviews, Twine employees have committed to screening pitches from designers before sending them on to employers.
  • Twine provides recommendations of the rates to pay by type of service, giving you some guidance on budget.
  • Because “Pro” designers pay an annual fee, they’re invested in staying active on the platform and maintaining their reputation.
Visit Twine
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