Find the best sites to hire graphic designers

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The Top 11 Platforms to Hire a Graphic Designer Online

1

Toptal.

Toptal has transformed the freelance marketplace by creating a highly curated experience with customer satisfaction guarantees. Whether you are looking for a freelance graphic artist or want to hire a graphic designer more long term, Toptal can ensure that you are matched with a designer specific to your needs, interests, and timeline. Critical to the platform’s model is ensuring they only match customers with the best freelance graphic designers AND make sure that the match works for you and your team. Toptal’s intensive screening and testing process identifies the best talent in both design and customer experience.

Toptal

Pros

  • With only the best graphic designers selected from Toptal’s pool of candidates, you can rest easy knowing you’ll have highly-vetted designers working on your project.
  • The no-risk trial period allows you to explore the platform and try out the selected designer before making a commitment.
  • Save time and get matched on your timeframe. Rather than pouring through potential candidates, Toptal will match you with a designer that fits your need profile.

Cons

  • Because Toptal only selects the best designers and maintains active customer service, their rates are higher than some competitors.
  • If you want to search for graphic designers by sifting through designer profiles yourself, you’re paying an unnecessary premium for the custom matching service provided by Toptal.
  • Toptal is not a good fit for small projects that only take a couple of hours to complete.
Visit Toptal
2

Upwork.

Upwork is probably the most well known of the freelance marketplaces. With over 17 million users and 3 million jobs posted each year, the platform serves as a marketplace for skills of all kinds. Additionally, Upwork has inherited the experience and project management systems from the two previous dominant players in the market that merged to form Upwork. With its long history, Upwork is a platform that designers of all levels use to find work.

Upwork

Pros

  • Upwork has 90% of customers re-hire, pointing to strong customer satisfaction across their diverse clients.
  • With designers at all experience levels, you’ll be sure to find a graphic designer to fit within any budget.
  • The project management tools allow you to mitigate risk by paying only once certain project milestones are completed.

Cons

  • Upwork is not known for its customer service, so if you encounter a problem or have a dispute, you may be on your own for figuring it out.
  • Because Upwork hiring happens through a bidding process, It is common for designers to use boilerplate responses to bid on as many proposals as possible, which makes proposals imprecise and not very helpful.
  • Even with the level tests the designers can choose to complete to demonstrate proficiency in different skills, it is very difficult to control for quality.
Visit Upwork
3

Dribbble.

Dribbble is a community created specifically for designers. Originally invite only, this platform provided space for designers to show their work, meet, share ideas, and find a community. More recently, it has become open to anyone that would like to join and has developed a job board, operating in some ways as a freelance graphic design marketplace. You can explore portfolios and reach out directly to designers about work, post on the job board, or use Dribbble’s Talent Partner solution.

Dribbble

Pros

  • The Dribbble community has designers of all types, and is a great place to find a graphic design artist.
  • With the community format, Dribbble designers can provide each other feedback, so you can draw from the talent of the community.
  • Dribbble Talent can save you significant time when looking for graphic designers by giving you access to a smaller, more qualified group.

Cons

  • Project management occurs separately from Dribbble, which means there is more risk involved in that you must determine payment mechanisms independently and the designer has no additional accountability to keep them engaged in the process or ensure that you are happy.
  • Unless you have experience in graphic design, selecting a graphic designer by sifting through portfolios can be challenging.
Visit Dribbble
4

Working Not Working.

Working Not Working (WNW) has taken the stale old job board and given it a fun twist. With the title “UnJobBoard”, WNW has established a site where both freelancers and creatives looking for full-time work can find positions that work for them. With a magazine as well, the platform looks to elevate the status of the creative. Freelancers can mark their calendars as Working or Not Working, so you can sift through designers available in your time frame.

Working Not Working

Pros

  • There are graphic designers for hire at all different skill levels and with all different specialties.
  • WNW is trying out a concierge service, Human, which can save you time and risk by helping identify the right candidate for the job.
  • WNW does not charge commission, so it is a great place to hire graphic designers for long-term projects or full-time staff.

Cons

  • Now open to anyone, the talent pool has become diluted, meaning screening for designers has become a more time-consuming process.
  • You’ll need to manage your hire independently from the site; as such, you take on all related risk with regard to freelancer accountability, ensuring safe payments, and finding a project management system that works for both sides.
  • The number of “Vetted Badges” awards are limited, and the process is somewhat random, so it can be challenging to identify the top talent on the site.
Visit Working Not Working
5

Behance.

Behance is an online graphic design marketplace that was acquired by Adobe as a place for Adobe users to show off their work. You can explore beautiful portfolios and works of art by both graphic designers and artists. If you’re interested in hiring through the platform, you can sign up for Adobe Talent through Adobe Creative Cloud or with a monthly package.

Behance

Pros

  • Behance is open to artists of all types, so there’ll be a graphic designer that meets your specific project needs.
  • If you’re looking for an independent graphic designer using the Adobe Creative Cloud, this is the place to go.
  • Public job posts are free with an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription.

Cons

  • Hiring through portfolios can be challenging if you don’t have a background in design principles and sorting through them is very time consuming.
  • You either need an Adobe membership or will have to pay for a platform membership, which can be quite expensive.
  • The interface makes it difficult to determine the skill level of different designers, as well as their performance on previous jobs.
Visit Behance
6

People Per Hour.

PeoplePerHour is a freelance marketplace built for the European market. With a focus on small businesses, PeoplePerHour(PPH) has lower rates and affordable graphic designers for hire. You can pay by the hour or pay a set rate per project. If you aren’t sure how much time is required for a fairly straightforward task, you can also hire people one-off for “hourlies”. The platform has project management tools to help you with the project, but does not have a service to assist in hiring.

People Per Hour

Pros

  • With a wide variety of designers available, you’ll be able to find a graphic designer online to fit any budget.
  • There’s significant flexibility in the type of hire you can make, whether you want to post a job that pays hourly or by project, or you would rather hire through “hourlies” posted by the freelancers.
  • You can save time by hiring through a representative project posted by the designers, so that you don’t have to write a job description or sort through applicants.

Cons

  • Pay attention to additional fees that may begin to stack up. There are complaints from buyers about charges they received that they did not specifically authorize, but that are hidden in the terms and conditions.
  • There isn’t much customer service available if you encounter a challenge with your hire.
  • Since your freelance graphic design artist could be located anywhere across the world, you’ll need to be sure you can communicate effectively with your hire across time zones and language barriers.
Visit People Per Hour
7

Freelancer.

Boasting over 30 million users, Freelancer is the largest of the graphic designer freelance sites. The platform charges a flat fee of 10% for most projects. With the Preferred Freelancer Program, you can access a group of more highly qualified candidates for a rate of 15% from the platform. One interesting twist is that both parties pay fees for starting a project, which helps distribute accountability and ensure interest and follow through.

Freelancer

Pros

  • Hire graphic designers through the method that works best for you, whether its a contest, posting a job, searching through profiles, or choosing a pre-existing package.
  • There are affordable graphic designers that can meet any budget.
  • The payment management system, which includes paying by milestone, helps mitigate risk.

Cons

  • Customers have complained about dispute resolution support when they felt the freelancer’s product was subpar or different from what had been agreed upon.
  • Some people call this type of graphic design marketplace a “race to the bottom,” as freelance graphic artists try to underbid each other, causing higher quality designers to leave.
  • There are many customers frustrated with the customer service.
Visit Freelancer
8

99designs.

99designs crowdsources graphic design ideas to meet your request. When you post a job, you may find hundreds of designers submitting their ideas on how to proceed. This system allows you to find the design that you like best before committing to work with a designer. You can also skip the contest and choose to work directly with a single designer. For that option, you get to choose from a pool of more experienced designers.

99designs

Pros

  • View many different takes on your proposal to see what you like best.
  • Design packages are affordable, and give you the opportunity to pick and choose the services and experience of designers that make sense for you.
  • Designs are turned around at the pace you need, so you can stay within your project’s time frame.

Cons

  • Because of the high risk for designers each time they submit an idea, more experienced designers tend to find work on other platforms.
  • The crowdsourcing system makes it tough to fully communicate your needs upfront, and you may not be able to establish prior to hiring how well you can communicate with the designer of your choice.
Visit 99designs
9

AIGA.

For U.S.-based talent, AIGA is a great place to look. AIGA is the professional association for design in the U.S. With 70 chapters across the U.S., it is the hub and support for many design professionals. While AIGA has a collection of different resources on the site, the job board is a great place to look for designers. Although not geared toward freelancers, it is a good tool for finding graphic designers in the U.S.

AIGA

Pros

  • You receive two free job postings per company, so there’s no harm in trying it out.
  • Candidates are AIGA members, so they’re committed enough to the field to pay for a membership (although that is the only requirement to join).
  • If you want a full-time on-site designer in the U.S., this is a great place to look.

Cons

  • AIGA is an old fashioned job-board, so there are no quality controls for the designers searching for work.
  • There is no risk mitigation, either in the hiring process or in the payment of your hire.
  • AIGA is not a great place to look for online freelancers, and you should expect to budget for standard U.S. salaries.
Visit AIGA
10

Design Hill.

Design Hill describes itself as “a combination of a crowdsourcing custom design marketplace and a creative platform for designers to learn and showcase their creative work.” The crowdsource model means that you get to choose from dozens of designs each time you submit a proposal. Alternatively, you can select a monthly package which allows you to make as many requests as you would like in a month, or negotiate a single project directly with a designer.

Design Hill

Pros

  • With a collection of affordable ways to hire, you can find the package that works best for your needs.
  • The contest option means you can see many different perspectives on your project.
  • With the monthly membership, you can send as many requests as you would like in a month. If you have lots of basic design work that needs to get done, this could be a great option.

Cons

  • Design Hill openly admits that they are only structured for very simple graphic design tasks, and for more complex jobs they recommend hiring elsewhere.
  • Many submissions to the contests are entirely unrelated to your proposal, which can make the evaluation process challenging if you’re not well-versed in design.
  • Once you select a design, you may face a language barrier as you go through revisions.
Visit Design Hill
honorable mention

DesignCrowd.

DesignCrowd uses the power of crowdsourcing to give you a collection of options for your designs and selecting a designer. By hosting a contest for your particular need, you will receive submissions from dozens of designers from which you can select the design that you want to continue working on. Prices start at just $99. There are all sorts of opportunities to customize your order to your particular needs.

DesignCrowd

Pros

  • DesignCrowd is a very efficient and affordable way to get graphics designed.
  • The money-back guarantee lowers the risk of entry.
  • Due to the site’s structure, cases in which dispute resolution is required are minimal.

Cons

  • You won’t know ahead of time if you communicate well with the designer that you select.
  • The designers tend to be less experienced due to the structure of the site and the risk involved in participating in a contest and not getting selected.
Visit DesignCrowd