How a design contest works

1. Tell us what you need

Our brief makes it easy to describe what you’re looking for, from style to specs.

2. Get dozens of design concepts

Professional designers submit their concepts, then you can give feedback to create your ideal illustration.

3. Pick a winning design

Choose your favorite illustration, and we’ll send you the final digital and/or print files.
Illustrations by Valeriia
From classic to cutting-edge, our talented designers do it all:

Why 99designs for custom illustration?

Our tried-and-true process means you’ll get a stunning illustration you won’t find anywhere else. No templates. No apps. Just super-talented freelance creatives making design magic.

We’re a trusted design leader

We’ve got a 4.8/5 star rating from 37,560+ customer reviews. That means you’re in good hands.
Everything you need feature highlighted
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You get more ideas

Vetted freelance designers will see your brief and create dozens of concepts just for you.
10+ designers feature highlighted
by Martis Lupus

Great design, guaranteed

Get an illustration you love or 100% of your money back. It’s that simple.
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Check out our Illustration or graphics customer reviews (4.8 average from 358 ratings)

Professional illustration at affordable prices

We offer four fixed-price options on contests, so you can pick a package that suits your needs. You’ll get a great graphic illustration, no matter which package you choose. Prices exclude Sales Tax.

Design concepts (approx.)
Design concepts (approx.)
100% money-back guarantee
100% money-back guarantee
Full copyright ownership
Full copyright ownership
Mid & Top Level designers only
Mid & Top Level designers only
Top Level designers only
Top Level designers only
Dedicated manager
Dedicated manager
Prioritized support
Prioritized support

You can also work directly with a designer!

We’ve got two rad ways of working on 99designs. If a contest isn’t for you, review our designer portfolios and start a 1-to-1 project with a freelance creative whose style is absolutely perfect for your brand.
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Your burning illustration design FAQs, answered.

Everything you need to move to production. Your illustration will be uploaded in the correct formats based on your stated needs. Typically this means a production-ready Adobe Illustrator file, Adobe Photoshop file, PDF file or EPS file.

Since not everyone has the correct design programs to open these files (your printer will), you will also get web preview files in PNG or JPEG file formats.

Plus, you’ll get the full legal copyright, so the design will be all yours.
Lots of ideas! If you’re looking for inspiration, explore 99designs for fantastic examples of illustrations created by our design community.

Bring as many specifics as you can, too. Include color ideas, character descriptions, data, themes, dimensions, other art you like, printing requirements and any other specifications that would affect your design.

The more you give the designers, the better they can create an illustration for you.
Your custom illustration contest includes one winning illustration. If, for example, you need a second piece or an additional size, you have a couple of options: you can run a second contest, or you can start a 1-to-1 Project with your winning designer to create the additional assets.
On 99designs, designers agree to upload only original artwork, so each designer owns the rights to their design submissions until you choose your contest’s winner. During the design handover stage, the designer agrees to transfer the rights, and you become the owner of the copyright of that illustration.
Choose “Make your contest private” from the Contest options section before you launch your illustration art contest. This will prohibit designers from using their designs elsewhere, and your contest will be unsearchable on the web.

This will automatically attach a standard NDA template to your contest. If you prefer, you can also upload your own NDA.
In a design contest, illustrators from all over the world submit concepts unique to your brief. You choose finalists, give feedback to hone the designs and ultimately award your favorite graphic illustration as the winner. If ideation and seeing a variety of different design styles is important to you, we’d recommend a design contest.

On the other hand, if you have a clear idea of the style and direction you’d like to take with your illustration, or if you have a more complex design project (e.g. a complete book of custom illustrations), it’s best to start a project with a freelance artist.
Yes. If you have any specific images (like a logo or a photo) that need to be included with your illustration, please submit them to designers with your brief.
Absolutely (and we love it when that happens)! When your illustration contest has finished, you can start a 1-to-1 Project with your winning designer.
We guarantee that you’ll get a great illustration at any pricing level, but our higher-priced packages give you more design options and better support.

Here’s how it works: When you pay more, the prize for the winning designer is bigger, too. More experienced designers participate in your contest, so you get more high-quality designs to choose from. More options means additional time that's needed to review your designs. That’s why our Gold and Platinum packages offer dedicated managers to help streamline that process by writing creative briefs and giving your designers feedback.

When selecting your illustration contest package, think about how much time you’ll have and what experience you have writing briefs and working with designers. If you're still unsure, contact us for a design consultation.
We offer a 100% money-back guarantee within 60 days of payment on all Illustration Contests, except those with a guaranteed prize and those that have entered the Final Round. You can also call us anytime to help you rewrite your brief, reopen your project to ensure you get a good result and help you pick a winning design. Remember, if we refund your contest, you aren’t legally entitled to use any of the designs submitted to your contest.

Let's talk!

Our kind, happy and humble customer support team would love to answer your questions. Send us an email or call to speak with an actual human.

Designs ahead! Let’s ride.
Designs ahead! Let’s ride.