Graphic designers touch nearly everything we see, from the billboards you drive by on the way to work, to the packaging of your toothpaste, to the website you’re looking at right now (hello!). If you own a business, chances are at some point you will require some sort of graphic design work. And while it can be tempting to DIY or rely on a friend with photoshop, hiring a freelance professional is usually the way to go.

A professional graphic designer will not only make your logo, website or brochure look great, but they’ll also make sure it gets you results.

The different options for graphic design work

There are multiple ways to get graphic design done online, and depending on what you’re looking for, one may be more suited to your needs.

Design contests

Design contests are great for ideation! You create a brief and designers from around the world pitch you concepts specific to your project. You pick your few favorites and work with those designers to hone the look, feel and message. And then you pick one (or more) as the winner.

We recommend design contests for logos, t-shirts, book covers, landing pages and anything else where you have clear, set deliverables (e.g. one logo) and want to generate multiple ideas to help you find the perfect design.

Decided a design contest is right for you? Get one started today! ->

Working directly with a freelancer

Working one-to-one with a freelance designer is the best option when you’ve got a complicated project, or if you are very clear on what you want. This method allows you to iterate on one project until it’s exactly right, or to expand scope as needed.

We recommend working directly with a freelancer for websites, app designs, book layout, illustrations and any projects where there are a large amount of deliverables (e.g. many web page designs) or there are complex details that need to be explained.

Want to work directly with a freelancer? Read on!

The 10 best freelance graphic designers to hire in 2018

Top Level
5.0
( 85 )
  • Other design
  • Logo design
  • T-shirt
  • Product packaging
  • Logo & business card
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Product label
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Sticker
  • Poster
  • Banner ad
  • Stationery
  • Signage
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other business or advertising
  • Other art or illustration
  • Social media page
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Merchandise
  • Menu
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Icon or button
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Character or mascot
  • Business card
  • 3D
Top Level
5.0
( 59 )
  • Logo design
  • T-shirt
  • Logo & business card
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Product label
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Other design
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Card or invitation
  • Signage
  • Product packaging
  • Other business or advertising
  • Other art or illustration
  • Facebook cover
  • Stationery
  • Social media page
  • Poster
  • Other packaging or label
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Infographic
  • Business card
  • Brand guide
  • Banner ad
Top Level
5.0
( 50 )
  • Book cover
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo design
  • T-shirt
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Signage
  • Poster
  • Other art or illustration
  • Magazine cover
  • Other design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Banner ad
  • Stationery
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Other business or advertising
  • Merchandise
  • Card or invitation
  • Car, truck or van wrap
  • Brochure
  • Logo & brand identity pack
Top Level
5.0
( 35 )
  • Logo design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Logo & business card
  • Print or packaging design
  • T-shirt
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Stationery
  • PowerPoint template
  • Brochure
  • Web page design
  • Signage
  • Other design
  • Business card
Top Level
5.0
( 44 )
  • Web page design
  • WordPress theme design
  • Other design
  • Landing page design
  • Product label
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other web or app design
  • Business card
  • Email
  • Product packaging
  • Print or packaging design
  • PowerPoint template
  • Other Graphic Design
  • App design
  • Facebook cover
  • Banner ad
Top Level
5.0
( 32 )
  • Logo design
  • Other design
  • Logo & business card
  • Web page design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Product label
  • T-shirt
  • Other business or advertising
  • Icon or button
  • Business card
Top Level
5.0
( 54 )
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other design
  • Logo design
  • Banner ad
  • Email
  • Web page design
  • Landing page design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Poster
  • Facebook cover
  • Stationery
  • Signage
  • Logo & business card
  • Infographic
  • Flash banner
  • Product label
  • Other web or app design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Icon or button
  • Business card
  • Brochure
  • Web page design
  • WordPress theme design
  • Other web or app design
  • Landing page design
  • Banner ad
Top Level
5.0
( 80 )
  • Logo design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Stationery
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Product packaging
  • Product label
  • Other design
  • Web page design
  • Menu
  • Logo & business card
  • Business card
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other web or app design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Icon or button
Top Level
5.0
( 39 )
  • Illustration or graphics
  • T-shirt
  • Character or mascot
  • Book cover
  • Logo design
  • Product packaging
  • Other art or illustration
  • Other design
  • Product label
  • Poster
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Other book or magazine
  • Merchandise
  • Logo & business card
  • Logo & brand identity pack

How did we choose these as the top graphic designers?

At 99designs, our goal is to connect you with the best designer for your project. We want to make sure you have the information you need to confidently select that graphic designer. When choosing the top graphic designers for this list, we looked at a couple of things:

1. Design skill

3D Tiger
By Dee-Excetude™ ◕‿◕

All designers on 99designs have their portfolios reviewed by our in-house design experts. This team looks at design concepting, technical execution and knowledge of design principles and assigns the designer to one of three levels:

  • Top Level designers are experienced creative professionals
  • Mid Level designers have shown good examples and are working on establishing themselves as experts
  • Entry Level designers show promise, but are just starting to develop in their careers

Each designers portfolio will show you their level so you have a better understanding of who you’re working with when choosing a designer.

2. Professionalism

Design chops are obviously important when you’re a designer. But so is professionalism. Which is why we also take responsiveness, communication skills and client happiness into account when rating our designers. You can be assured you’re not just getting a skilled artist, but also a professional.

What to think about when hiring a graphic designer

Choosing the perfect designer is fun, but can also be daunting. You want to make sure you hire someone who gets your project and your brand, and can help you elevate it. Here’s what you need to do to pick the right person:

Line Art Illustration
By GRKN_DESIGN
  1. Focus on the portfolio: This is a designer’s resume. You’ll want to look at the type of graphic design they do (you probably don’t want to hire a logo designer to do book illustrations) as well as the style they specialize in (are their designs cutesy? Modern? Tough?).
  2. Make sure you have clear goals: You may love vintage etchings, but is that style going to make clients feel welcome and comfortable at your dental practice? Understand the needs of your project and pick a designer based on those as opposed to your personal taste.
  3. Know what you need and how much you can spend: It’s fun to fantasize about the future of your business and pin beautiful images of your ideal website. But make sure you’re being realistic. What’s your budget? Timeline? What (exactly) do you need? Talk to designers to make sure they get what you’re going for, and you agree on the price.

Are you ready to hire an amazing freelance graphic designer?

Whether you need a 3d product prototype or the brochure to advertise it at a convention, you’re going to need some graphic design. Hiring the right graphic designer can help you stand out from the crowd.

Don’t see your perfect graphic designer above?
Search through thousands of designer profiles to find your perfect match.