Global creative platform 99designs has announced that designer earnings on the platform will reach $250m USD by the end of the month—with a quarter of this all time total ($50m USD) paid out in just over a year.
The accelerated growth in designer earnings is largely thanks to the company’s investment in its direct work product in the past 12 months. This newer way of working on 99designs allows clients to hire one designer for a specific project as an alternative to running a design contest where multiple designers are invited to submit concepts for consideration.
Design contests, which were pioneered by 99designs in its early years, are still a popular way of working on the platform, particularly across categories like logo design and book cover design. However, the company’s push to facilitate long-lasting, ongoing relationships between clients and designers on the platform through its investment in direct work has proved successful. In the past twelve months, over a third of all work done on 99designs has taken place between clients and designers with an existing relationship on the platform.
To date, 250,000 direct work projects between designers and clients have been completed on 99designs, the scope of which includes everything from quick design tweaks to in-depth specialist app design. Pricing for these projects can range anywhere between fifty and several thousand dollars depending on the type and scale of work required. In Q3 of this year, 35 percent of total designer earnings came from one-to-one projects. This is a significant increase on 2017 figures, and the upward trend has continued strongly in Q4.
This investment in direct work has also had a positive impact on agency sign-up rates for the 99designs Pro service, with the company onboarding 4x as many agencies per month than last year.
“The team has worked really hard to ensure 99designs evolves to better serve the needs of both our designers and our customers, and it’s gratifying to see this growth in direct work pay off for our community,” says 99designs CEO Patrick Llewellyn.
"To see a 25 percent increase in all time earnings on the platform in just over a year has been super satisfying, and it’s great to experience this kind of growth a decade into the company’s journey. We’re excited to continue advancing the direct work experience on 99designs and supporting our talented creative community in building strong, long-lasting working relationships.”
99designs is a global creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create designs they love. Founded in 2008, 99designs has grown from a small, online forum into a worldwide community of talented designers that is now the go-to solution for businesses, agencies and individuals.
Profitable since 2017, and backed by Accel (investors in Facebook, Dropbox, Etsy) 99designs generates over $60m USD in annual revenue. Designers from 192 countries are active on the platform, and at any given moment there are 10,000 designers online to tackle projects across 90 categories from logos and book covers to web design.
With headquarters in Melbourne, Australia, 99designs also has offices in Oakland, California and Berlin, Germany.