6 Best Sites to Hire Designers
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6 Best Sites to Hire Designers

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Finding a designer who can deliver great work, on time, and on budget can feel almost impossible. Whether you’re looking for a digital graphic designer, a ui designer, a product designer, or a print designer, the process is probably the same: you gather a short list of freelancers, click through their portfolios, and reach out to the ones that fit your style, waiting anywhere between hours and weeks to hear back.

But things have gotten a lot better. New freelance marketplaces empower you to hire designers in hours for projects that range from brochures to complete corporate rebrands. And while some of these design hiring sites are overfilled with similar-looking portfolios, others lean on tight curation specifications and AI models to find you the right designer, faster. All in all, hiring a freelance designer or full-time designer might be easier than you’d expect.

So where should you look for your next designer? We’ve shortlisted the 6 best design hiring platforms to help you make the right decision for your needs.

Pangea — Top Pick

Main features of Pangea

  1. AI-powered job posting
  2. Curated private talent network
  3. Low platform fees & no hidden fees

Hiring designers on Pangea

Pangea is a leader in helping startups hire designers, along with other categories of talent. For growing companies, the biggest blockers in accomplishing their goals are time and uncertainty; Pangea tackles both of these by speeding up the hiring process and prioritizing long-term fractional contracts. 

You have two options for hiring on Pangea. After creating an account, you’ll be led through the process of posting a job or you can start searching for the perfect candidate immediately. The job post flow uses information Panega collects about your company to generate a job description and pay range, taking the guesswork out of hiring a graphic designer. On the other hand, searching allows you to peruse the private talent network by keyword, experience level, starting rate, location, and more.

Beyond serving as a great way to find a graphic designer, Pangea stays by your side for the entire hiring process. You can track applicants, message, schedule interviews, and send contracts without changing a tab. And once you’ve started working with a freelancer, all of your invoices will be sent and fulfilled through the platform. 

How much does hiring on Pangea cost?

Creating an account and searching for talent on Pangea is completely free. The site collects a 13% flat fee as part of all transactions on the site, which is inclusive of the payment processing fee. If you decide to bring a freelancer onto your team full-time, Pangea charges a 10% conversion fee that decreases with every payment you make on the platform.

Why hire designers on Pangea?

Hiring designers on Pangea is a great way to decrease your risk, access high quality talent, and save time. Pangea’s curated marketplace of top graphic designers from around the globe lets you get to work faster, and the platform’s hiring features keep your design project on time and under budget without relying on other websites. 

Reviews for hiring on Pangea

Both clients and design freelancers have rated Pangea highly. Currently, Pangea has a 5 out 5 rating on Product Hunt with 86 reviews and has been recognized as the Product of the Week. In addition, users on G2 have given Pangea 4.6 out of 5 star rating, positioning Pangea as a High Performer in the freelance category multiple times.

Dribbble — The world’s destination for design

Main features of Dribbble

  1. Robust designer portfolios on-platform
  2. Feature talent from around the world
  3. Hire individuals or agencies

Hiring designers on Dribbble

Dribbble, founded in 2009, is well known for its “shots” that have turned it into the invite-only instagram of the design world. With countless shots in illustration, branding, and typography to name a few, searching for design talent on Dribbble can be like perusing a candy shop. 

You can start your search on Dribbble by browsing their feed, using their designer search feature, or posting a job to their job board. Accessing their premium hiring features costs $10 a day, billed monthly. Their search filters allow you to find designers based on their previous clients or employers, country, skillset, rate, and experience level.

Why hire designers on Dribbble?

Hiring designers on Dribbble lets you leverage over a decade of content to find the perfect match for your brand. For clients looking for a specific art style, Dribbble is a terrific website to find your next freelancer or full-time designer.

Reviews for hiring on Dribbble

Dribbble has garnered positive reviews from its users, notably attaining a 4.1 out of 5 star rating on G2 Reviews. The reviews mention the high quality of designer portfolios on the site, but issues with the quality of candidates received from their job posts and the company’s subscription practices.

Upwork — The world’s work marketplace

Main features of Upwork

  1. Affordable talent
  2. Unique bidding system
  3. Large talent network

Hiring designers on Upwork

Upwork is well known as a site for finding freelancers. Recognizable from its super bowl commercials, Upwork features millions of freelancers in hundreds of categories, including UX/UI Design, Graphic Design, Art Direction, and Web Design. 

Posting a job on Upwork opens you up to proposals from anyone around the world who wants to take on your challenge. You can also search out freelance designers who have package deals for specific projects, like logo designs and website designs. Upwork can be great for hiring for very specific tasks, such as finding a web designer for a wordpress site or adding graphics to a marketing campaign.

In addition to hiring individual graphic design freelancers on Upwork, you can also connect with and hire agencies. The agencies on Upwork include a team, or multiple teams, of graphic design professionals who are able to scale your project higher than a single designer would be able to. With this also comes with more experience, more skills, and stronger strategy, with the tradeoff of a higher cost to account for the larger headcount.

How much does hiring on Upwork cost?

Most contracts on Upwork charge a 5% fee on the client and a 5% fee on the talent, amounting to an overall platform fee of 10%. In addition, clients are also charged $9.95 for every new contract made on the platform, added on top of the first transaction.

Why hire designers on Upwork?

Choosing to hire designers on Upwork allows you to access a gigantic pool of global talent. For more budget-conscious clients who need a fast turnaround, Upwork is a great option for getting design projects across the line.

Reviews for hiring on Upwork

Overall, Upwork has achieved a high average score from reviewers on G2, with users giving them a 4.6 out of 5 star rating. In the reviews, users have mentioned success finding freelancers quickly to fill in gaps for roles like data entry and video editing, but have also had issues with unclear moderation standards. 

Fiverr — Freelancers starting at $5

Main features of Fiverr

  1. Pre-specced projects offered as “gigs”
  2. Extremely low cost design freelancers
  3. Freelancer pages display ratings & reviews

Hiring designers on Fiverr

Fiverr is synonymous with affordable freelancers. Their name comes from the minimum price that users are allowed to charge for their services, set to a very low $5 since their founding in 2010. While Fiverr boasts over 500 categories to browse, the majority of their projects fall under logo design, website design, proofreading, copywriting, and resume writing. 

While Fiverr has certainly gained a reputation for high-volume business services, they also offer a premium experience under their Fiverr Pro product. The freelancers available as Pros are vetted and held to higher standards, and are also available at higher hourly rates compared to the rest of the talent pool on Fiverr. 

How much does hiring on Fiverr cost?

You may be wondering how much Fiverr costs to use if the talent starts at such a low price? Clients on Fiverr pay a flat 5.5% fee on all transactions, which is fairly low for the market. However, Fiverr also takes a 20% commision on freelancers’ earnings, amounting to a 25.5% fee on all transactions. 

Why hire designers on Fiverr?

Clients should hire designers on Fiverr if they’re looking for cost-effective, fast work to meet a deadline.

Reviews for hiring on Fiverr

Fiverr has received mixed reviews from 10,773 users on Trustpilot, culminating in 3.3 stars out of 5. Many of the reviewers mention issues with communication and customer service, often detailing poor experiences with freelancers.

Behance — Hire the world's best design talent

Main features of Behance

  1. High quality featured projects & hosted portfolios
  2. Feature over a million graphic designers
  3. Process payments from credit & debit cards on platform

Hiring designers on Behance

Behance is a design freelance website owned and operated by Adobe, the leading design software developer. Well known for hosting millions of design projects from around the world, the site branched out into the freelance (and full time) hiring market to help companies discover great creative talent. 

The hiring page on Behance heavily features users’ portfolio pieces, all hosted either on the graphic designers’ behance profiles or hosted Adobe portfolios. Many of these are visually striking banners that highlight illustrations, logo designs, packaging, or web designs. The page also shows how many projects the users have completed on-platform, with most numbering in the low single digits, and seem to include many teams and agencies. 

How much does hiring on Behance cost?

Behance has a complex fee structure that depends on the overall cost of the transaction and budget of the project. Clients start out with a 10% (+ flat $2 fee) for the first $500 transacted, then 5.5% until $2,500, and 3% after, calculated in brackets. Similarly, talent are charged 5% until $500, 2% until $2,500, and 0% after that, along with the processing fee of either 2.9% if paid via Slack or the regional Paypal processing fee (2.99% in the US). However, if the freelancer you hire pays for Behance’s Pro subscription, all platform fees are waived. While this fee structure is better for both clients and talent when it comes to high-value projects, it can be hard to wrap your head around when compared to other freelance design websites.

Why hire designers on Behance?

Hiring designers on Behance lets you leverage years of graphic design projects to find the right design freelancer for your project. 

99Designs — Grow with great design

Main features of 99Designs

  1. Project-based design freelance website
  2. Matches clients with designers based on project brief
  3. Unique “Design Contest” option

Hiring designers on 99Designs

99Designs was designed to help clients hire designers for discrete projects. Originally developed as a graphic design content website, they’ve grown to also match designers directly to briefs. These two methods of attracting designers give your company the option of choosing between a number of designs and pick which one best fits your product, or get work at an accelerated schedule.

Top graphic designers on 99Designs choose what types of briefs they want to work on, and clients can select these categories like on an e-commerce store. Projects can range from creating a visually appealing brand identity to advertising designs to drawings for your website. 

Designers’ portfolios are screened for quality when they apply to 99Designs and split into Top, Mid, and Entry levels. In addition, soft skills like attention to detail and communication with customers are gauged to ensure a great experience. These levels are used to determine how much a designer can charge for a project based on sliding minimum rates.

How much does hiring on 99Designs cost?

Hiring on 99Designs starts around $199 for their cheapest contests, which result in around 30 concepts delivered to you in under a week. Contests can scale to 4 to 5 times the price of the cheapest tier, adding in priority support and limiting the briefs to higher-level designers. A contest is always cheaper than directly hiring a designer on 99Designs, and will run your team 25% to 100% more than the equivalent competition. 

Deliverables like brochures, logos, and product design start in price from $329, $299, and $349, respectively, and can cost as high as $2,499.

Why hire designers on 99Designs?

Companies should hire designers on 99Designs if they have a fully fleshed out idea and want to see a variety of art styles, or are willing to pay to access premium talent.

Reviews for hiring on 99Designs

Users have rated 99Designs as Great on Trustpilot, awarding it an average of 3.8 out of 5 stars. Reviews note that the end product is often very high quality, but there is no way to talk to the designer (or designers) during the early stages of a project. 

3 things to look for in a designer

1. A great, easy-to-read portfolio

The quality of a designer’s portfolio is the end-all and be-all of their level as a freelancer. A great portfolio should not only be filled with creative examples of their work, but should also be easy to use and showcase their skills as a whole. When a graphic designer develops their site, they are speaking directly to clients like you, so their efficacy at this should reflect their ability to design for your target audience.

2. Stellar communication skills

Design is about more than just pushing pixels, it’s also about communicating something to a consumer or viewer. And of course, this starts with how they talk to you. Whether you’re emailing back and forth, chatting through a platform’s messenger, or talking directly on a video call, an ideal candidate should clearly communicate what they bring to the table. Selecting a designer with great soft skills like these will save you time and money down the line as you work through final revisions to your project.

3. Reviews or testimonials from past clients

While you can glean a lot from the projects a designer has done, hearing from past clients will give you the full picture of their professionalism. If you’re hiring on a platform like Pangea, experienced designers will have an average success rating and reviews from past projects, and many designers will include quotes from project stakeholders on their portfolios.

Conclusion

Finding great designers shouldn’t be a herculean effort. With this guide to great freelance design websites, you’ll have a list of options to choose from for your next project. Whether you’re looking to bring on someone to be a partner to your team, or just create a logo before a deadline, you can rest assured that you’ve made an informed decision on your next hire. 

At Pangea, we pride ourselves on being a global leader in contract-to-hire and fractional hiring, especially for graphic designers. We’ve helped thousands of startups, from founders working in dorm rooms to unicorns, connect with the right talent for their needs. You can book a free consultation with our team to see if we’re the right fit for your startup.