It’s baaaaack!

Hail, rain, sleet or pandemic—nothing can stop the 99awards. If you know, you know. But in case you don’t, the 99awards are the yearly event where we honor and celebrate the most masterfully-crafted works on 99designs. Each year we’re blown away by the level of talent we come across. It’s a tough job to pick the best of the best, which is why we brought in some backup in the form of a professional jury.

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The 2021 jury

Our 2021 99awards jury panel is one seriously gifted group of international creators. So before they weigh in on the work and hand out pineapple trophies, learn more about their love for design, and why they were selected to judge this year’s nominees.

Vratislav Pecka | Print

Nastya Kuliabina |  Illustration

Julia Masalska | Branding

Steven Gianakouros | Digital Design

Eros Torre | Packaging

Carmi Grau | Typography

Vratislav Pecka

Vratislav Pecka is a designer and the founder of PosterLad. You know, the account populating your Insta feed with with gorgeous, abstract prints? It started as a personal side project for Pecka, where he set out to design a new poster every day. He approached each print as if it were a piece of fine art, taking inspiration from vintage VHS cases and 90s aesthetics. Browsing his work, you can tell Bauhaus has been a major influence, too.

His designs are dynamic and eye-catching, just the kind of thing you’d want hanging in your living room. Or office space. Or anywhere, really. So it should come as no surprise that he’s this year’s judge of the Best Print Design. Join us in welcoming him!

poster design
Gioco, a print by Vratislav Pecka via PosterLad
About Vratislav

Vratislav was born in Prague in 1988. He studied video editing and animation before discovering graphic design was his true passion. He has over a decade of experience as a freelancer, during which he co-founded a design studio alongside his sister and launched his award-winning PosterLad project. Vratislav now lives in Amsterdam with his wife where he continues to collect inspiration for his posters and prints.

Check out the nominees for Best Print Design →


Nastya Kuliabina

If a tablet is your weapon of choice, you probably know Jungle of Colors, Nastya Kuliabina’s YouTube channel. With a flick of her wrist and a drag of her stylus across her iPad, beautiful illustrations are conjured, colored and given their finishing touches with texture.

Despite how easy she makes it all look, make no mistake about it: Nastya is one seriously gifted illustrator with mad love for her craft. And she wants other up-and-coming artists to feel just as excited about digital art as she does. You can follow along on her tutorials, download her custom brushes or simply watch and be mesmerized by her talent. We’re thrilled to have her on the 99awards jury as our Illustration judge!

About Nastya

Hailing from Ukraine, Nastya Kuliabina is a multidisciplinary designer and illustrator now based in sunny Barcelona. Nastya’s designs have been exhibited at Dubai Design Week, CERN in Switzerland, BreadWay expo in Italy and Barcelona Design Market, among others. With her favorite design tool in hand (her iPad) Nastya is passionate about educating and empowering creatives and future digital artists.

Be inspired by the nominees for Best Illustration Design →


Julia Masalska

Julia Masalska will teach you a thing or two about being a successful freelancer. She’s filmed portfolio reviews for Adobe, designed for household brands like Jameson Whiskey and Panda Express, and regularly streams her own branding process on her YouTube channel to inspire others.

Over on her Instagram, she’ll dish out tips on how to price your work, then motivate you to find (and stay true to) your creative voice. Need a reminder to “just breathe”? How about a tutorial on creating a gradient mesh? Julia’s got your back. In such a competitive industry, it’s refreshing to come across someone who’s so open about their experiences in an effort to lift up other designers. It’s a philosophy we stand behind as a global creative platform. Which is why we couldn’t be happier that she’s bringing her knowledge to the Branding category of this year’s awards.


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About Julia

As a talented branding designer and design educator, Julia’s work is shaped by thoughtful concepts and a multi-disciplinary approach. In addition to her design career, Julia works on design tool innovation and is passionate about design technology, dogs and coffee (we can relate!). In her free time, you can find her on her Instagram or YouTube channel.

Be wowed by the nominees for Best Branding Design →


Steven Gianakouros

The man, the myth, the legend: Steven Gianakouros! This year’s digital design judge hails from the mean streets of Brooklyn, New York and started working in the industry the day after he graduated from the School of Visual Arts. Which is to say he doesn’t mess around when it comes to work. He’s led design teams in creating for some of the biggest financial, retail and entertainment brands in the world. All behind a simple philosophy as his guiding light: people love design that doesn’t suck. We kinda tend to agree. Welcome aboard, Steven!

About Steven

Steven Gianakouros recently joined Vistaprint as Vice President of Design to help bring good design to millions of small businesses around the world. Prior to that, he led brand, product design and creative strategy initiatives for Netflix. He has over 20 years experience building simple, clean and measurably effective experiences. When not building teams or brands, he can be found in the garage making a mess with his young children.

Check out the nominees for Best Digital Design →


Eros Torre

Upon first glance, On Packaging looks to be the work of an agency. Or perhaps one very busy designer. But scroll further and you’ll discover it’s rather the creative outlet and point of view of Eros Torre; a collection of all the things he loves most about packaging design. More than just an inspiring addition to your feed, On Packaging is a place where designers and design-lovers can gather and share their appreciation for well-made products.

Eros is the curator behind the account and selects each project by hand based on a number of considerations. His captions lay out fair and thoughtful critiques, and we love that he makes sure to spotlight student work, as well. Eros believes that designers play a crucial role as creators of beauty in the world we live in. We couldn’t agree more, and we’re so excited to have him weigh in on this year’s Packaging nominees for the 99awards.

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About Eros

⁣Founder & Editor In Chief of On Packaging, Eros believes in a world where evolution is not driven only by technological progress, but where the future is designed by philosophers, artists, and designers (right on!). Passionate about images and their influence on people, in his free time he attends movie theaters, galleries, and museums. And supermarkets, of course.

Be stunned by the nominees for Best Packaging Design →


Carmi Grau

Carmi Grau takes hand-lettering to new levels. Whether it’s a project for Coca-Cola, Sony, Hallmark or something personal, one look and you’re bound to be hooked on her Super Nice Letters. Carmi’s work is heavily inspired by forms found in nature. Leaves, flowers and a stray tiger or two often make their way into her bold compositions. Sometimes the pieces she shares act as little pick-me-ups to designers who could use some cheering up. Phrases like “be patient”, “try your luck”, and “take care of each other” are all broadcast from Frau Grau’s feed. After a year like 2020, they’re certainly welcome. And we’re happy to welcome her to the 2021 99awards jury as our Typography judge.

About Carmi

Carmi is an illustrator and lettering artist based in Berlin. Having grown up in a tiny town that was “stuck between two cornfields”, Carmi is inspired by the beauty of nature and has been passionate about drawing since childhood. Carmi creates bold visuals using her own vocabulary of colors, shapes, illustrations and letterforms to evoke emotion and meaning.

Fall in love with the nominees for Best Typography Design →


This year's nominees are simply the best
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