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
( 38 )
  • Logo design
  • Other design
  • Logo & business card
  • Web page design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • T-shirt
  • Product label
  • Other business or advertising
  • Icon or button
  • Business card
Top Level
5.0
( 35 )
  • Book cover
  • Print or packaging design
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Other design
  • Card or invitation
  • Other book or magazine
  • Poster
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Magazine cover
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Banner ad
  • Social media page
  • Product packaging
  • Other business or advertising
  • Facebook cover
Top Level
5.0
( 98 )
  • Logo design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Stationery
  • Product packaging
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Product label
  • Web page design
  • Other design
  • Other web or app design
  • Menu
  • Logo & business card
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Business card
  • Brochure
  • Social media page
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other art or illustration
  • Merchandise
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Icon or button
Top Level
5.0
( 127 )
  • Logo design
  • Brochure
  • App design
  • Web page design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Book cover
  • Signage
  • Other design
  • Banner ad
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Product label
  • Business card
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Logo & business card
  • Social media page
  • Poster
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other web or app design
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Infographic
  • Stationery
  • Product packaging
  • Print or packaging design
  • PowerPoint template
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Icon or button
  • Clothing or apparel
Top Level
5.0
( 63 )
  • Infographic
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Banner ad
  • Brochure
  • App design
  • Poster
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Product label
  • Business card
  • Signage
  • PowerPoint template
  • Other web or app design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Logo design
  • Icon or button
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Brand guide
  • Book cover
Top Level
5.0
( 82 )
  • Logo design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • T-shirt
  • Other art or illustration
  • Product label
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Logo & business card
  • Business card
  • Other design
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Merchandise
  • Icon or button
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Logo & hosted website
  • Infographic
  • Brand guide
Top Level
5.0
( 104 )
  • Logo design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Logo & business card
  • T-shirt
  • Product label
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Character or mascot
  • Business card
Top Level
4.9
( 10 )
  • Logo design
  • Logo & business card
  • Other design
  • Product label
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Stationery
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Card or invitation
  • T-shirt
  • Social media page
  • Poster
  • Book cover
  • 3D
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Icon or button
  • Card or invitation
  • Product packaging
  • Product label
  • Other business or advertising
  • Logo design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
Top Level
5.0
( 40 )
  • 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

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.