99designs Celebrates a Decade of Design Connections

MELBOURNE, Australia
14 Feb 2018
Ten years ago, the iconic Obama HOPE poster was designed, the iPhone 3G came out, the App Store launched, and everyone was mad about the Facebook news feed.

At the same time, a group of designers connected online for the first time as part of an informal competition, sparking the idea for a dedicated, on-demand marketplace for design. This initial connection exploded into a global network of ideas, inspiration and motivation, marking the conception of 99designs.

To date, the platform has seen almost 900,000 projects launched, and has served nearly 500,000 customers.

The past ten years have seen 99designs establish itself as the world’s largest design marketplace, achieve profitability, and grow from a humble meeting place for designers to a global one-stop-shop for all design needs. 2017 saw 99designs surpass AUD $250 million in designer earnings and relocate its HQ back to Melbourne after seven years in Silicon Valley.

99designs satisfies every design need, from logos and t-shirts to websites and book covers. Its client base is just as diverse, servicing everyone from individuals and small businesses to agencies and Fortune 500 corporations.

On the growth of 99designs, CEO Patrick Llewellyn notes, “Over the past decade we have done a great job of opening the world up to design in a meaningful way. 99designs has facilitated many entrepreneurs’ first connection with a designer, and we have helped build designers’ careers all over the world by putting more than $250 million into their hands.”

“When it comes to the next 10 years, I would like to see 99designs become the global work platform of choice for businesses and individuals with any creative need or skill set. We will build on the work we’ve started with our new ‘designer search’ feature to leverage our significant data sources and understanding of how creatives and their customers communicate, to enhance and spark the creativity connection that occurs when humans collaborate together to solve creative problems and to help foster long term meaningful working connections,” Llewellyn adds.

While still running its popular design contests, almost 25% of 99designs’ revenue already comes from projects where a customer works directly with an individual designer. To mark this evolution in the way people naturally collaborate on the platform, 99designs has launched a new ‘Find a Designer’ tool that allows individuals, agencies, and companies to browse and select a designer based on their needs. This functionality is the first step in the platform’s next 10 years of growth as a creative services marketplace.

Llewellyn comments, “We’ll continue to break down borders and champion the talent of creatives everywhere. Our platform will move into the corporate mainstream, as we, like many other service marketplaces, expand our audience from primarily servicing the consumer and solo entrepreneur to supporting agencies and the enterprise.”

  • Each month, 99designs puts AUD $4.7 million into the hands of designers using the platform
  • 99designs is an international community promoting seamless global collaboration: designers from 184 countries have used the platform in the past twelve months
  • 875,552 design projects have launched on the 99designs platform
  • The past decade has seen the team grow from 10 to 120+ employees
  • 99designs has offices on three continents with approximately 50 people in Melbourne, 50 in Oakland and 20 in Berlin
  • The fastest-growing element on the 99designs platform is its direct collaboration projects, which now generates just under 25% of 99designs’ revenue. The new ‘Find a Designer’ tool aims to build on this growth, propelling the business into its second decade.
  • The fastest growing customer segment on 99designs is marketing agencies. Through 99designs’ recently launched Pro for Agencies, agencies have access to top talent, exclusive onboarding and training, and features designed to help streamline their projects.
The past 10 years have seen 99designs supported by the likes of Matthew Dellavedova, Bon Iver, Hallmark, Nikon, Lufthansa, Quiznos and Hard Rock Cafe, and a myriad of design connections made through the platform. Even a love story!

For all of these stories and more, head to https://99designs.com/blog/community/10years/.

About 99designs
99designs is the world’s largest on-demand design marketplace, connecting a global community of freelance designers with businesses of all sizes to complete their design needs. Created by designers for designers, 99designs began with a group of designers who were competing together to create the best designs. In 2008, that friendly competition grew into a unique design marketplace that has now become the world leader in online graphic design. 99designs is changing the lives of designers around the world by providing them with an opportunity to access customers globally, to earn income, and to build their portfolios. 99designs has operations in the USA, Australia and Germany.
For more information, visit https://99designs.com/
Media contact:
Caitlin Collins
The PR Group for 99designs
+61 400 958 887