10,000+ designers. 144 countries. New industry perspectives. See the world through the eyes of creatives, with insights and opinions from freelancers around the world.
Diversity: the driving force in design
Talent is everywhere. And it’s accessible.
The freelance design community is made up of an infinite number of creative viewpoints. While the industry as a whole is still male-dominated (66%), freelancers come from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, each with unique life experiences. And with 84% of designers working with clients in different time zones, they’re sharing these diverse perspectives with clients around the world.
Creativity with a conscience
Designers are looking for purpose, not just a paycheck.
of freelance creatives have turned down work because of a client’s stance on a social issue they care about
Striking a balance & finding success
The wins that come when the world works from home.
of freelance designers expect their income to increase in 2022
When I became a full-time freelancer, the major worry was being able to keep up with the same financial status as I was used to. This year I finally managed to surpass my previous job in terms of income and I consider that a win.
The Great Agency Exodus
A desire for something different.
(almost a third) of freelance designers with agency experience have quit in the past twelve months
My biggest win this year was leaving full-time agency work to freelance with my own clients.
Freelancers are stepping into their power.
Freelance designers identified professional and personal growth alongside financial success as the things most important to them. The vast majority are earning more (71%) and have found better balance in their lives over the past 12 months (60%).
But they're not resting on their laurels.
With 78% having learned a new skill in the past 6 months, freelancers are embracing their entrepreneurial drive, bettering themselves and fueling their growth. With their optimism, upskilling and appetite for social activism, freelance designers are positioning themselves to make an even greater impact in 2022.
On a scale of 0-100, on average designers answered:
“I am optimistic about the future of the design industry”
“I am confident that I will reach my professional goals in the next 10 years”
If there is anything we've learned during the pandemic, it's that systems are beautifully complex and intertwined. And it’s designers who strive to shed away the layers of misconceptions, biases, and stereotypes that exist, approaching systemic problems through a perspective of growth and learning.
About 99designs by Vista
Oh hey there!
99designs by Vista is the global creative platform that makes it easy for clients and designers to work together online. Since 2008, our freelance community has brought more than one million creative projects to life for folks in all corners of the world. People are at the heart of what we do here. Which is why, each year, we survey thousands of freelancers and share their experiences, stories and industry insights through our Design Without Borders report. These are the voices that shape this diverse community.