Best Freelance Websites For Designers

January 2020 · 8 min read

Finding the right freelance website can be a daunting task for both graphic designers and the companies looking for design work. With so many websites touting top talent and an endless well of gigs, how do you know where to start?

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The Top 11 Freelance Websites For Graphic Designers

An online freelance marketplace offers designers the flexibility to work anywhere, at any time. For companies, freelance websites provide an ideal venue for finding the perfect designer for each project, without the complications of long-term contracts.

A freelance marketplace is the perfect meeting point for companies and freelancers to collaborate with ease. The beauty is in the options; freelance websites make it easy to find expert graphic designers to meet any budget and timeframe.

Finding the best designers for your project shouldn’t be a guessing game. Companies, don’t waste your money on subpar work and unresponsive customer service. Designers, join a marketplace with high-quality projects that match your unbeatable talent. Below, we’ve separated the wheat from the chaff and listed the top 15 freelance websites.

Toptal offers what other freelance marketplaces can't: the top 3% of freelancers in the world. This highly curated, rigorously vetted platform is the perfect option for businesses large and small who want to take the guesswork out of hiring expert designers for projects of any scale. All applicants undergo an unparalleled vetting to ensure their customer service and project management skills are up to Toptal’s exacting standards—ensuring a seamless process from start to finish.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

Matched with a designer that fits your team’s culture, making communication easy and saving you time.

The high caliber of designers and personalized matching service means Toptal doesn’t cut any corners in finding you the best talent for the job. With Toptal’s no-risk trial, you don’t need to settle for anything less than ideal.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

Because of Toptal’s rigorous standards, your talent won’t go unrecognized in a sea of mediocre portfolios. Find meaningful projects that utilize your unique skill set.

Visit Toptal

Freelancer is the largest graphic designer site on the web, with over 30 million users and a host of different hiring options and payment plans. The site has an interesting model for incentivizing quality work and follow-through; while access to the site is free, both the freelancer and the client pay an upfront fee for beginning a project. Fixed price projects cost 10% for freelancers and 3% for employers. Freelancer’s Milestone Payment system allows employers to release payments based on specified goals, or only once they are completely satisfied with the deliverable.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

-Because millions of small businesses use Freelancer, you’ll have no trouble finding a high volume of jobs that suit your skillset. Given Freelance’s emphasis on budget-friendly packages, Freelancer is a perfect starter venue for new freelancers looking to build out their portfolio. If you prove yourself, you may be eligible to join the Preferred Freelancer Program. The platform charges a 15% flat fee, as opposed to the standard 10% fee, for access to this group of highly qualified candidates.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

Options, options, options. As the largest freelance marketplace, there are many ways to find a designer—you can hire one through a contest, job post, or by combing through profiles.

Visit Freelancer

Spend just a moment browsing through the site’s gorgeous featured projects, and you’ll see why Dribbble has earned a reputation as one of the leading online destinations for designers. Originally invite-only, Dribbble attracts the world’s best talent to display their work, look for inspiration, and build a community.

Find your next freelance designer by posting on their job board, or use Dribbble Talent, the site’s creative staffing solution. For a monthly fee, you can gain access to pre-vetted, ready-to-interview candidates. While the portfolios are beautiful, and the community vibrant, this marketplace has one large caveat: project management and all payment mechanisms must be determined independently.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

-Dribbble is a creative haven for the world’s leading freelance design and creative professionals. Many talented designers and companies looking for skilled designer will post jobs here.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

-This is where all of the top designers go to for conversation and to show off their work. You’ll see hundreds of amazing portfolios and you’ll get a glimpse of the artist’s style immediately.

Visit Dribbble

Much like Toptal, Superside tests all of their designers on skills and abilities. Superside also makes it simple to choose projects based on very specific projects--such as a Powerpoint design or brochure. And no matter if you’re a client or talent, you’ll have a dedicated project manager handling all of the details.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

Superside is targeting enterprise and SMBs who need quick turnarounds. Any designers who make it through their testing protocol should have a reasonable and steady flow of work.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

-This is where all of the top designers go to for conversation and to show off their work. You’ll see hundreds of amazing portfolios and you’ll get a glimpse of the artist’s style immediately.

Visit Superside

Designers are available in more than 90 skillsets, in areas such as logo design, website app development, packaging, UX...and even tattoos. You invite freelancers to submit ideas and bid on your project. Then, you can choose the one you like based on their style and price point. Or if you’re confident in your selection, you can skip the contest and hire directly.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

99Designs provides a showcase for your work, while also connecting you with interested entrepreneurs and companies.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

Invite multiple designers to bid on your project, giving you a wide selection of talent to choose from. They take the hard part of finding and sourcing talent on your own. You can also filter designs by specific industry, seeing relevant designers who have done work in those areas.

Visit 99Designs

Envato Studio is only a small part of the Envato universe. Within Envato, you can find Wordpress themes, get premium art, and even buy and sell your own assets. Envato brings it to the next level, connecting those who need designs with those that can do it. To start, search for a service, compare prices, and then select a designer to work with. You’ll send over a design brief and the work will begin.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

Envato is a robust marketplace, and not just for services. You can sell your products there too. And consider the opportunities: a future client may purchase your logo or Wordpress theme, and then offer you more work in the future.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

Designers are already creating individual works for purchase and then can step in and work on you project as well.

Visit Envato Studio

Submit your ideas and let the designers at Designcrowd take it from there. You may get way too many options from the talented designer submitting work on your brief. It’s easy for talent and companies to get started. All companies have to do is submit their ideas, and designers can review and pick out the projects they want to work on. It’s a win-win for creators and those that need them.

Many projects begin to receive designs within hours of being submitted.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

DesignCrowd provides a great place new designers or those with limited work experience to build their portfolio while working on real projects.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

You’ll find an eager group ready to make their mark on your company. Start with a few smaller projects, find a group of designers that you’re comfortable with and then go from there.

Visit DesignCrowd

Initially built by Adobe as a showcase for their products, Behance has grown into a powerful portfolio community spurred on by the fantastic Adobe tools. Designers show off their skills based on an Adobe tool, such as Lightroom or Photoshop.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

You’re already posting and looking at designs on Behance, why not check out the job board as well? Notable companies post at Behance when they’re looking for the best--including freelance.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

This is where the best and most talented designers who are familiar with Adobe tools hang out. If those tools are an important part of your workflow, then this is the place to tap into that expertise.

Visit Behance

Not to be confused with the co-working behemoth, We Work Remotely is a top job board for those that enjoy the remote lifestyle. If you’re looking to expand your freelance opportunities or snag a new position, We Work Remotely has jobs in design, programming, marketing, operation, and more.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

It’s great if you’re looking for your next freelance or remote opportunity. You will not be constrained by making local contacts or finding a nearby staffing agency. Every company who posts expects you to be a remote worker.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

Connect with a forward-thinking group of innovators and designers who are used to working remotely. This is strictly a job board, so you’ll get to set your own terms and contracts, unencumbered by a certain process.

Visit We Work Remotely

Upwork offers a lot of immediate benefits to the freelancer and the employer at the same time: steady work and affordable prices. As one of the best known freelancer platforms, you will find talent of all experiences, from all over the world and at various price points. Because of their long history as a freelance marketplace, they have perfected project management, payments, and even dispute resolution.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

Get paid how you want to. The different project arrangements allows you to work on the projects you want, the way you want to.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

It’s great if you’re working on international projects or are okay with working with designers from another country. Upwork has a worldwide pool of freelance contributors, truly giving you access to talent from around the world. This can play to your advantage: get your project done while you’re asleep!

Visit Upwork

A great site that offers both full-time design jobs and one-off freelance projects. Plus, they have a million sortable options to help you narrow down your focus. Find designers by industry, location, keyword...or just browse and see who you find! It’s also a great place to showcase work, with the community voting on their favorites.

Why It’s Great For Finding Work:

There’s so much to see on Coroflot and you can browse full-time positions, contract positions, or choose a specific freelance project that has caught your eye.

Why It’s Great For Finding Designers:

The talent on this site is amazing--they’ve really created an amazing community. If you’re unsure what to pay, you can browse their salary information for different metro areas and cities to gain an understanding of what’s acceptable and what’s not.

Visit Coroflot

Which Site Should You Choose?

Consider the following factors before you choose a freelance website when looking for work or hiring a designer.

Ratings: Look for a platform with a system that evaluates and rates designers. As an employer, this will help you see who is top and responsive. As a freelancer, it gives you a chance to show how well you’ve helped other clients in the past.

Skill tests: How do you if the designer you’ve chosen is good enough for your job? Many of these freelance websites also offer tests and assessments to help you understand their capabilities. Some sites like Toptal will test all applicants before allowing them on the platform; others like Upwork will offer assessments after sign up. If you’re not sure what you’re looking for and need third-party verification.

Matchmaking: Consider sites that will assess a client’s project and then make a recommendation. This is great for clients because they can leave it to the project manager or coordinator to really ask the right questions and drill down your business needs. It’s great for freelancers, because your matcher can get to know your work and skills to make a great recommendation for you.

Resolution and customer service: Issues may come up with a client or a freelancer, and it’s helpful to have a site that is experienced with dispute resolution and customer service. You will not get this on a job board, but many of the hiring platforms can help with this.

Payment system: Similarly, having a verified payment system helps freelancers with invoicing and makes it simple for clients to pay. This is very valuable when hiring and contracting globally.