Top 10 freelance graphic design websites to find a job in 2022

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March 16, 2021
5 minute read

Whether you’re new to freelancing or you have years of experience, you’ve likely thought about creating a profile on one of the many freelance graphic design websites out there.

There are a lot to choose from in the design industry, all boasting their own host of benefits and challenges that vary with different freelance skill levels, experience, rates, and your general preferences. To make it easier, we’ve pulled together the top 10 freelance graphic design websites where you can find a job in 2022.

Before we get into the websites, we’ll cover some of the common pros and cons they share, along with tips for how to get things moving if you’re just beginning your freelance design career.

The pros and cons of freelance websites for designers

Freelance websites are only one of a myriad of ways you can find new work as a graphic designer—whether you're a product designer, web designer, logo designer, or something else entirely. But are any of these websites the best option for you? While many freelancers will use freelance websites at some point in their career, as a group, these websites come with a few pros and cons to keep in mind. Here are some of the most important ones,

Pros:

  • You get direct access to tons of potential clients.
  • It’s quick and easy to build a profile that pulls in portfolio pieces, unique details, pricing, and reviews—so there’s no need to build a whole portfolio website from scratch.
  • Most websites handle the payment side of things, so you don’t have to worry about finding a payment processor or chasing down clients and unpaid invoices.

Cons:

  • Popular websites have a lot of freelancers looking for work there—meaning competition is high.
  • High competition can make it hard to stand out and even harder to charge premium rates.
  • Service fees, bid fees, and membership costs can all eat into your earnings, with some websites charging as much as 20% per project.
  • Many freelance websites take steps to prevent you from moving a relationship with a client off of their platform, locking you into their fee structure and other processes.

Where should a freelance graphic designer start?

For brand new freelancers, it can be hard to know where to start, especially if you're moving from an in-house design role at a big company. From finding potential clients and landing your first design gig to managing projects and invoices and communication, there’s a lot to think about. The goal is to limit your focus to the next few steps you need to take to get your freelance business moving.

  • Build a portfolio: If you have existing graphic design work, you can simply add projects to your LinkedIn profile, fill out a profile on one of the freelance websites below, or build a portfolio website of your own. If you don’t have any previous work to show, work on a few creative projects of your own.
  • Audit your LinkedIn profile: Add all your skills, relevant experience, testimonials (if you have some), education and credentials, and more. Include details about the kind of freelance jobs you're looking for and how potential clients can contact you. Make sure to include a link to your portfolio, too.
  • Launch your project search: You can start with the ten freelance graphic designer websites we list here. Plus, put some feelers out in your own personal network—let people know what you’re doing and that you’re open for business.

The top freelance graphic design websites for 2022

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get to the good stuff. Below, we share our pick for the best freelance graphic design website overall—along with recommendations on the top websites for beginners, experienced graphic designers, and those looking for steady design work. Browsing these websites is helpful to find industries looking for graphic designers.

The best website for freelancing: PeoplePerHour

Unique feature: AI project matching

PeoplePerHour’s reasonable pricing and large number of jobs, along with positive reviews from freelancers who use the site, make it our top pick overall.

PeoplePerHour is a general freelancing website that includes tons of design jobs and boasts more than 36,000 graphic designers around the world. To join, you’ll have to fill out an application and get approved. While that may not sound like a big deal, freelance websites that require freelancers to be approved offer clients a more trustworthy experience—making it easier for freelancers who do make the cut to land projects.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on PeoplePerHour?

Yes

PeoplePerHour pricing

  • Free to send up to 15 proposals per month, with the option to buy additional credits.
  • Service fees on each project range from 3.5%–20% based on lifetime billing per client.

What freelance designers who use PeoplePerHour say

“This is one of the best and most user-friendly platforms. I use it from time to time when I have some time for new work and usually if I'm fast enough I get it the same day.”

“Peopleperhour is a great site for any freelancer, the platform is supportive and secure.”

“Easy to navigate, trustworthy with safeguards for clients and employees. Fairly speedy payments and a wide choice of jobs."

How to get started on PeoplePerHour

  • Fill out an application to join.
  • Once you’re approved, start building out your profile. Share career experience, define your skills, and show examples of your previous work.
  • Set your availability. Then, opt to either search for projects manually, save automatic searches to get notifications when new projects get posted, or let PeoplePerHour’s artificial intelligence (AI) match you with projects that fit your skillset.

The best freelance websites for beginners: Freelancer.com

Unique features: Project Bidding and Service Provider

Freelancer.com snagged our top spot for graphic designers who are just getting started. You don’t have to apply to join the site, making it ideal for newbie graphic designers with a limited existing portfolio. That said, once you do build up experience, you can apply to be a “Preferred Freelancer” and gain some extra credibility with potential clients. Freelancers can also apply to become a Service Provider, enabling you to offer productized design services, too.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on Freelancer.com?

No application or approval is required to start. You can apply, however, to be a “Preferred Freelancer” and/or a Service Provider. Becoming a Preferred Freelancer adds credibility to your profile. Becoming a Service Provider makes it easier to get jobs—but it does incur a 20% service fee on the project price.

Freelancer.com pricing

  • The free plan includes up to 15 bids per month.
  • Paid plans range from $4.95 – $69.95 per month and include additional monthly bid allowances, skills, and eligibility to be a “Preferred Freelancer.”
  • Service providers also incur a 20% service fee on each job.

What designers who use Freelancer.com say

"The money on Freelancer is great. I think as Freelancer gets bigger and more people begin to understand the power of crowdsourcing it will only get stronger. I see this as the way of the future for work and I am so excited to be in on it at the ground level—it will only get better." – Jessie Wetheareley

“I honestly do not know where I would be if I hadn't discovered Freelancer when I did. It has formed the backbone of support for me over recent years.” – Elizabeth March

How to get started on Freelancer.com

  • Build your profile: Indicate your design skills and expertise, add your profile photo, and complete the Verification Center checklist (to verify your account).
  • Browse design jobs: Search by keyword and then narrow it down with a number of filters designed to help you hone in on your perfect job. Once you do, you can save that search to revisit and set up notifications for any new projects that meet your criteria.
  • Bid on projects you like: Freelancer recommends customizing each bid to assure clients you understand the brief and you’re committed to their vision. Share ideas, let clients know about your skills and experience, and emphasize why you’re the top person for their project.

The best website for the experienced graphic designer: Working Not Working

Unique features: Exclusivity and 100% free for creatives

Working Not Working is one of the most exclusive freelance design websites. For experienced graphic designers who have the chops to pass the site’s vetting process, consistent, high-paying jobs with top companies abound. Now owned by Fiverr, the site was designed for creators, by creators—and their 100% free for creators model reflects that.

The website allows the graphic designers to list a range of rates including hourly and day rates. It’s the best way to control your workload, with availability front and center on your profile. Plus, you can search for open freelance design jobs by company, too.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on Working Not Working?

Technically, no. Freelancers can join the website and create a profile without applying. However, applying for a Vetted Badge will greatly increase your marketability and the value you’ll get out of the site.

Working Not Working pricing

  • Working Not Working is 100% free for creatives. The company earns money with client-side fees and memberships.

What designers who use Working Not Working say

“The job board and the type of clients posting jobs are really good. Much better than just going on LinkedIn or somewhere else to find a job.”

“I got in a few years ago and it's been great to me. [...] There's also a real solid job board that's pretty responsive and incredibly easy to apply through."

How to get started on Working Not Working

  • Sign up to create a profile and add your previous work and experience, skills, and any unique details about yourself.
  • Submit your profile for vetting—the team at Working Not Working estimates the vetting process takes between 2–5 weeks.
  • While you wait to be vetted, update your availability so companies know when they can hire you.
  • Start searching for jobs. You can search for keywords, narrow it down by a range of filters, or even search for open roles at specific companies—so you can land that client you’ve been dreaming about.

Best freelance graphic design website for steady work: Toptal

Toptal is a job matching service that works to connect freelancers who represent the cream of the crop with some of the world’s top companies. To do that, the website employs an intensive vetting process—but once you’re in, you get steady work with access to companies like Airbnb, Motorola, and Shopify. Toptal vets clients, too, so you can rest assured clients you work with have the necessary budget, skill, and intent. Plus, for approved and vetted freelancers, Toptal is 100% free.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on Toptal?

Yes—Toptal boasts the world’s “top 3%” talent, so you must be approved in order to join.

The screening process includes a demonstration of skill through either your portfolio or an online test, a live problem-solving session, and a test project. While intensive, Toptal’s screening process is very transparent. You’ll be assigned a point of contact who can answer questions and keep you updated as the process progresses.

Toptal pricing

  • Toptal is completely free for freelancers.

How to get started on Toptal

  • Apply to join Toptal. Using your LinkedIn account can help speed up the time required to complete the application. Be on the lookout for communications from your point of contact and scheduling for key screening tasks.
  • Once approved, you’ll work with the Toptal team to set up your billing and payments.
  • Then, the Toptal team will work to connect you with clients. You can also browse available jobs already listed on the website and apply to those that look good.

What designers who use Toptal say

“Over the past two years, working with Toptal's clients has skyrocketed my international experience, skill level and network to a new level, and I would highly recommend any senior UX or UI designer to join Toptal.” – Chris Constandse

“What I love about working at Toptal is the fact that everything is taken care of and you are left to do what you do best - design great user interfaces. Imagine a world where you don't have to hustle for new projects, and can just focus on what you love to do and grow your skills.” – Tomass Sola

Other great freelance graphic design websites

Fiverr

Unique features: Gigs and Project-based Pricing

Fiverr is a general freelance website, but design services make up a big chunk of their business. The site includes tons of graphic design jobs and freelance designers on its platform. What once started as a place for companies to find low-cost (like $5) work has grown into a website that allows freelancers to productize their services and offer gigs for up to $995.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on Fiverr?

Nope!

Fiverr pricing

  • Flat 20% fee on each transaction.

What designers who use Fiverr say

“Fiverr is one of the best freelance websites that I have used. I like Fiverr because it is easier to open and create my gigs and acquire clients easily. I have worked on different projects in Fiverr and my experience has been amazing. Fiverr has other essential features that enable upcoming freelancers to learn and become professionals” – Vivian N.

“I am able to sell my editing services without having to spend hours promoting, and it has allowed me to build up experience and a quality reputation.” – Meagan N.

Dribbble

Unique feature: Social media features

Dribbble is a freelance website built specifically for graphic designers. The site itself functions as almost more of a social media or design community, but it also includes features to help the graphic designer find work. While the company does offer a free plan, you’ll really need to invest in the $15 per month Pro Business plan to get some real value out of the platform.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on Dribbble?

Nope!

Dribbble pricing

  • There is a free plan available, but it’s limited—you’ll need a paid plan to sell work on the site.
  • Pro plans start at $5–$15 per month and allow you to sell goods, add a “Hire me” button to your posts, and access the exclusive Project Board.

What designers who use Dribbble say

“Being listed as ‘available for work’ on Dribbble almost brings too many requests for work. Insane how active that place is.” – Clark Wimberly

“I like that 90% of my clients are found through Dribbble. I'm confident that half of my jobs in the past year wouldn't have happened without Dribbble."

99designs

Unique feature: Existing client migration.

Now owned by Vistaprint,99designs is one of the top freelance websites geared toward design. The site offers two options: You can compete in design contests to win new clients and you can also opt to work one-on-one. Once you create a portfolio on the site, 99designs will start matching you with clients. Plus, 99designs is one of the only freelance websites to support bringing your existing clients onto their platform (so they can handle things like invoicing and project management for you).

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on 99designs?

Yes—99designs ranks each freelance designer by level (Entry, Mid, Top) and each graphic designer can apply to be bumped up every 6 months.

99designs pricing

  • Flat $100 introduction fee when starting with a new client (spread out over the first $500 worth of charges)
  • Plus platform fees on every project that range from 5% – 15%

Behance

Unique feature: Adobe integration.

Part of the Adobe family,Behance functions as a portfolio-building website, social media network for designs, and a freelance job website all in one. Freelance designers can share work to get noticed by potential clients and host their portfolio, search the job board by keyword, and set filters to narrow down the search. Close ties with Adobe mean it’s super easy to upload the designs you create using any of the other Adobe products.

Once you apply for a job on Behance, though, the rest is up to you—from project management to invoicing and collecting payment from clients.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on Behance?

Nope! You do need to create an account in order to apply for jobs, though.

Behance pricing

  • 100% free

What designers who use Behance say

“Behance is not only a great portfolio for my freelance design work, it is a great place to discover and be inspired by other people's work. If I am stuck and need inspiration, it's in my first three sites I open up and explore.” – Luke S.

“The platform is a great tool for creatives to share feedback and get inspiration from other users across the globe. In addition, it's a great place to connect with individuals and companies to form strategic alliances."

DesignHill

Unique features: Printshop

DesignHill is a freelance website and creative marketplace built specifically for designers, with a heavy focus on design contests. Designers can charge fixed project prices and easily productize your graphic design services. The platform also boasts a super streamlined process for getting all the necessary information you need from clients before you begin work. Plus, DesignHill’s Printshop allows designers to earn passive income by creating and selling products and merchandise featuring their designs.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on DesignHill?

No. After working on the platform for a while, you can achieve PRO Designer status which comes with a PRO badge next to your name. That said, you do need to apply to sell a productized service.

DesignHill pricing

  • DesignHill is one of the few freelance websites where the cost falls on the buyer’s side. They charge companies a 5% fixed DesignHill commission, but the service is free for freelancers.

What freelancers who use DesignHill say

“So glad I found Designhill! Loved the work and the different graphic design jobs that have come across.”

“Designhill is a great platform to get involved in a variety of projects I wouldn't reach otherwise."

Upwork

A general freelancing website,Upwork gets an honorable mention as a great option for beginners. The platform is one of the most popular freelance websites all around the world, so building a presence there can win you access to a large number of companies looking for freelance graphic design work. Upwork offers skill certifications and earned badges that can help boost your credibility as you gain work experience, too.

Do I have to apply or be approved to find jobs on Upwork?

Applying to be on Upwork isn’t required. You can complete skill certifications, apply to be considered “Expert-Vetted talent,” and earn badges based on positive client reviews.

Upwork pricing

  • Upwork charges a service fee based on your total billings. Here’s what that looks like: 20% on the first $500 you bill your client across all contracts with them, 10% on total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000, and 5% for total billings with your client that exceed $10,000.

What freelancers who use Upwork say

“Competition is tough, but once you’re patient for 4 to 6 weeks, you see it was worth it. I have a year and a half working in Upwork and, even though I had little previous experience, I’ve been able to start building a career there.” – Edgar

“Upwork solves the most common problem for freelancers: finding clients. I was able to start small, gain some experience and social proof, and use the momentum I gained from Upwork to start a legitimate business.” – Nolan B.

The right freelance graphic design website for you

Freelance websites have their fair share of pros and cons—but when it comes to finding companies that are actively looking for help from a graphic designer, they can be a big help. By choosing the right freelance website for your experience level and rates, you can get the most out of this channel, regardles of whether you work on logo design, web design, interaction design, or something else entirely.