The votes are in!

Our minds were blown this year. From logos to books, packaging to products, you created some of the best designs we’ve seen yet. They were so good, we knew we had to create these awards.

We asked you to nominate your favorite designs from the past year and then vote on the best. Now it’s our privilege to announce the winners of the first-ever 99awards!

1. Logo & Identity
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Flytanium logo by ludibes

And the winner is… ludibes‘ for his pirate-themed logo for Flytanium!

The Flytanium logo came about when a client reached out via 1-to-1 Projects for a logo rebrand. The company was already known on Instagram by the #deadflysociety hashtag and had a realistic image of a dead fly for their logo that needed reworking.

“I had seen a couple logos Branko had done, and loved his design sense and style,” said Flytanium owner, Jacob Knudsen, “My experience from our first interaction until our last was great. He was more than accommodating when I asked for different concepts or changes. The end was result was a logo that we are both proud of.”

After a few iterations ranging from realistic to abstract, this design was chosen – and the response from followers has been great!

Here’s what Ludibes had to say about his win:

“I was blown away and – for sure – a happy dance was included. After 6 years on 99designs I still vividly remember my first days: insecurities, hopes, ups and downs – but I honestly never dreamed of getting this far. I guess persistence pays off and I’m proud of this achievement, as well as grateful to all the awesome designers whom I need to thank for guidance, inspiration and support.”

2. Web & app design
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2016 99awards winner
Primabase homepage by Fernandos

Fernandos won for his bold and modern take on this landing page for Italian sneaker company, Primabase. The dual colors and playful details (like the dangling shoe laces) make this site especially eye-catching – and won the hearts of our community!

Here’s what Fernandos had to say about his win:

“It’s like a dream. I didn’t expect it at all! I didn’t even publish my designs to my online portfolio. I’m such a perfectionist that I forget about other people’s perspectives. Thank you 99designs for teaching me how to respect my own work.

“To all of you: please don’t give up on your passion. You have to work hard for it – and don’t be disappointed with your work. I may be only 19 years old, don’t own a Macbook and may not be considered a professional designer, but I work for passion.

“If you haven’t won a contest, it doesn’t mean you have bad designs, they just have not found an intelligent person like you. Every person has many stories of failure, myself included. Thank you!”

3. Business & Advertising
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2016 99awards
Hidden Hunger Global Powerpoint by Awesome Designing

And the winner is… Awesome Designing for their compelling PowerPoint design for Hidden Hunger Global! The template was created for a great cause – providing clean water to those in need and where water is limited.

Here’s what Awesome Designing had to say about their win:

“We all know a lot of presentations out there are boring and plain. This lack of design doesn’t grab the attention of the viewer and doesn’t allow them to connect with the message. By using creativity, we were able to present the message in a way that would engage and excite the viewer. It felt awesome to receive the email saying “Congrats!” I feel honored to know that my creative work has impacted people in some way and encouraged them to vote for the design.

I started my freelance career with the help of 99designs and now my business has blossomed astronomically due to the connections and clients I have made over the years. To receive this award from 99designs – the place where it all started – is awesome.”

4. Clothing & merchandise
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2016 99awards
Children’s fabric pattern by Ivona Kisić

And the winner is… Ivona Kisić for her charming seamless bear pattern. We can’t wait to see this design all over baby bibs and leggings!

Ivona is a mom herself, and often struggles to find clothes with cute patterns for her toddler boy (or unisex for that matter!). This contest was the perfect excuse to add the aesthetic she’s been looking for to the market.

Here’s what Ivona Kisić had to say about her win:

“I’ve read the email three times – the news was mind blowing! Being the nominee was a privilege for me, but winning an award was really unexpected and overwhelming. It is always an invigorating feeling when you have feedback about your work and some kind of clarification that the effort you put into the project is appreciated by someone.

“I want to give a big thank you to everyone who voted and even more a huge hug to you, 99 team! For me, working at 99designs is like running my own studio. This is my home, now even more than before.”

5. Art & illustration
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2016 99awards
Book cover by kuziola

And the winner is… kuziola for their haunting fantasy novel illustration!

Here’s what kuziola had to say about his win:

“The illustration is about a girl locked in a mental hospital. She suffers from sleep disorders. Every time she falls asleep, horrifying nightmares wake her up. She has hallucinations caused by the lack of sleep. Nightmares come to the real world and she can’t differentiate between reality and dreams anymore.

There are so many great illustrators on the 99designs, so I felt really honored and happy that my artwork was awarded. This encourages me to create more.

I would like to thank the 99designs team for selecting my artwork and everyone who voted for the illustration. “

6. Packaging & label
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2016 99awards
Wine label by vepar

And the winner is… vepar for their edgy take on Legs Up wine! This design was vepar’s first entry to the contest.

Here’s what vepar had to say about their win:

“[The client] wanted a retro design, but was also open to other suggestions. So I made this version, which doesn’t have a typical retro layout. Rather I used an engraved type of illustration and also the grainy texture to get that vintage feeling.

I want to thank 99designs and everyone who voted for me and helped me win the award for the best design for 2015 in Packaging & Label category. This was an unexpected recognition of my work and it gives me the strength to redouble my efforts in designing.

I enjoy my work and I find a great satisfaction in pushing my own limits to make the best of my abilities. The last year working for 99designs has been a wonderful experience for me and I’m looking forward to do even more in 2016.”

7. Books & magazine
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2016 99awards
Book cover by ilustreishon

And the winner is… ilustreishon for his illustrative book cover.

The book is set 150 years in the future – complete with space travel, FTL ships and planetary colonies. For this cover, ilustreishon crafted a wispy woman (evoking one of the book’s protagonists) that dissolves into outer space. The style is perfect for a sequel!

Here’s what ilustreishon had to say about his win:
“I love that design. It came out super quick. I had watched Jodorowski’s Dune and wanted to create something beautiful, uplifting and with a broader sense of humanity and us as part of the universe. The client was super easy and we connected from the get-go.

It always feels nice to get some recognition based on one’s work. There is a lot of good stuff in all the categories, good designers, good illustrators. I can recognize some names, old rivalries and new friendships on the list.

I also have some advice:
1) If you do what you love, sometimes clients will change their minds and see the real potential of their covers. I rarely limit myself to their brief.
2) Try not to do stuff you’d be embarrased to show. You can get the money, but your dignity and self-esteem will take a toll. Trust me.
3) Before doing anything, drop the client a message and discuss some ideas before starting. If they don’t answer, you can tell it’s gonna be a hard ride working with them. Weed them out and know when to withdraw.

Congrats to you all. Now I want my 99designs statuette to show off to my clients!

8. Most versatile designer
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2016 99awards
Designs by Martis Lupus

And the winner is… Martis Lupus!

Martis Lupus has been an all-star on 99designs for a while now. Her whimsical style translates perfectly across packaging, book covers, logos and more.

And here’s what Martis Lupus had to say:

“Yay, I won! If you love what you do you can’t go wrong. Thank you!”

9. Most improved designer
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2016 99awards
Designs by Ghitea

And the winner is… Ghitea_fd!

Here’s what Ghitea had to say about their win:

“Some of the primary reasons I continued to rise on 99 in 2015 are the following: I tried to improve my skills continuously, I had more time to work as a freelance designer after I graduated in design, I set a goal to reach Platinum status on 99designs in 2015, and I worked constantly even when I had difficult moments.

“Overall, I’m not sure if there is a universal secret for how to improve yourself as a designer, but if you do what you love – and if you try to improve your abilities constantly – this will definitely give you a good chance to reach your goals.

When I found out that I won, the first thing that came to my mind was, “Wow, this is really cool.” I was already happy when I was nominated for this category and to win, for me, was the cherry on top.

I want to thank 99designs for the efforts of building such a great community, and to congratulate everyone who was nominated for the 99awards. Special thanks for those who voted for me. Thank you very much!”

Thank you
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And that concludes this year’s 99awards! A big thanks to everyone that participated in this year’s 99awards. We can’t wait to do it again next year!