The 99awards is our annual celebration that showcases the high caliber of talent within our creative community across many design disciplines. Now in its 7th year, we’re excited to share some of the finest work created on our platform over the past year.
The 2022 99awards jury panel included six renowned artists, educators and designers from around the world. Scroll down to see who they selected as the winners—along with the results from our Community Award categories that were put to a public vote—or skip to your favorite designer:
- Best Branding Design: Anastasia S
- Best Print Design: Anselmo.alef
- Best Digital Design: Adam Marsh
- Best Packaging Design: Luz Viera
- Best Illustration Design: Illia Kolesnyk
- Best Typography Design: Mky
- Best New Designer: Franlistan
- Best New Top Level Designer: Ega Elanda
- Creativity with a Conscience: BRTHR-ED
Congratulations again to our 54 nominees and a huge thank you to all the designers who made this past year so amazing.
Best Branding Design: Anastasia S
When we think about great brands, it’s platform collaborations like Wally’s Vegan Ice Cream, that always come to mind first. Anastasia S brings authenticity to every project she touches, injecting brands with a high dose of playful personality.
For this Montreal-based business, Anastasia S. started with the logo and created the retro-inspired mascot, Wally. Once she had the aesthetic in place, she expanded the set of characters to give each flavor its own mascot to create a full collection of nostalgic packaging. We love how each flavor feels both unique and cohesive.
“I’m a big fan of the fun retro character design and also healthy plant-based alternative products,” explains Anastasia. “I wanted to include more of the fun aspects of the retro characters in the design. It makes the brand speak (plant & healthy = cool & fun), so customers know that plant-based products can be fun and tasty as well!
Be brave enough to let your creative freedom out! 99designs is a platform where you can try out a lot of design areas. Why should not use that to become a really cool designer someday?
About the winning design
So what did juror Alyssa Nguyen love about this brand design? “Each brand element stands strong on its own, but when all combined it creates an immersive brand experience that touches on the personality and ethos of the brand perfectly,” she explains. “The color palette is both well-rounded and eye-catching, and I find that the specific hues and tones chosen bring a sense of old-school ice cream shop nostalgia while still feeling fresh.”
“The typography also captures this homage to nostalgia without feeling dated or overdone,” she continues. “Additionally, the brand illustrations really add that retro feel while also maintaining originality. The branding identity created here is extremely versatile and I can see it having the versatility to be executed easily and consistently across print, digital, web, social, and physical assets.”
Best Print Design: Anselmo.alef
Anselmo.alef is a Brazilian art director with 15 years of experience in advertising agencies. Over the past few years, he began developing his 3D skills and integrating them into his work. He’s also a maker and 3D printer hobbyist in his spare time, and a proud father of a little girl.
The book cover contest for Through Whiskey Colored Glasses immediately caught Anselmo’s eye because of its title, which sparked his design concept. Anselmo explains, “A good title always brings up lots of visual ideas. I was looking at a lot of kinetic typography and I have always liked observing the distortions of glass prisms and refractions. So I wanted to distort the cover typography with the glass, but in a more subtle way to make everything simple and calm.”
To create the effect, Anslemo used Cinema 4D to achieve the refraction effect, Octane for rendering, and then Photoshop for pre and post-production. A clever approach and excellent execution!
Design work is a constant evolution. Always exercise something. Try different programs, briefings, and techniques. Watch tutorials and courses. Experiment away from the computer. 99designs is an amazing platform for creative exercise, with real clients and real briefings. Besides that, know that frustration is totally part of the game. You can deal with it.
About the winning design
Juror Julie Wieland was also a big fan of Anselmo’s approach. “Don’t judge a book by its cover—said no designer ever?! Anselmo Alef did an amazing job at keeping the design of the book minimalistic with the most attention to detail. The depth of the photograph is absolutely captivating, the warmth of the orange perfectly represents a good glass of Whiskey and the modern, elegant font choice fits right in.”
Best Digital Design: Adam Marsh
Don’t be afraid to question the brief. If you’ve thought up a better, more elegant way of solving their problem, then there’s no harm in showing it to the client. Often they may not even realize what was possible.
Adam Marsh is a creative designer, thinker and maker from London; working across brand and digital design. He loves solving problems using a human-centered design approach and creating work that is simple, clean and beautiful.
Adam enjoyed working with Goal Getter on their mindfulness app a lot, as they were very engaged and offered helpful feedback while also being open to designing solutions beyond their original plan. Their communication and openness enabled a great partnership.
When asked what attracted him to this project, Adam explains, “I was inspired by the app’s mission and purpose to help people achieve their goals, this inspired uplifting photography and an interface that helped users feel like they were in complete control – with one large central button. I was also inspired by game interfaces, such as ones from a Nintendo Switch to add moments of fun, such as the tactile stamps after your daily check-in.”
About the winning design
Juror Ruben Cespedes explains his choice: “Adam just nailed all these important factors for the Mindset Mastery App Design. He used a minimalist approach, which works perfectly with the main purpose of this app, empowering the user to have a seamless interaction.”
“The aesthetics are on point,” Ruben went on to explain. “The background images bring it to life keeping the users engaged, as well as surprised. Adam made great design decisions by using design principles (contrast, balance, proximity, repetition, hierarchy, and alignment). A masterpiece that will inspire others. Awesome work, Adam!”
Best Packaging Design: Luz Viera
Luz Viera is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator based in Colombia. She enjoys coming up with creative solutions that tell stories—be it through infographics, maps or packaging. While she works on design projects, there are always Disney, Sia or K-pop playlists playing in the background.
Nutrisi found Luz while browsing designer portfolios. They had a clear art direction and defined the key packaging information they wanted to see in the design, which made the process fast and fun. Specifically, they were looking for playful illustrations that would be especially eye-catching to children.
“I imagined this kind and smiling bear eating a cloud bar, and inviting children to enjoy the chocolate as much as him,” she explains. “The front of the pouch is divided into two sections. Above is the bear in his forest enjoying his bar with a radiant morning behind him, and below is the section with the flavor and key product information. On the backside are a sky scene and text boxes that provide all the product information (ingredients, nutrition facts, UPC code, etc.).”
About the winning design
Our packaging juror Beatrice Menis loved this design, as well. “I chose Nutrisi by Luz Viera! I really love how she’s used the entire packaging to tell a story with a combination of beautiful graphic and illustration elements.
“I really appreciated the attention to detail in the overall design and in particular on the back of the pack. Many designers tend to overlook this side of the packaging when it could be used to further communicate the product benefits and the brand story. I felt here it was done very well!”
Best Illustration Design: Illia Kolesnyk
Illia Kolesnyk is an artist and illustrator from Kyiv, where he studied at the Academy of Arts. He has always loved to draw. As a child, he loved to play with paints and he continues to play more professionally now. He is most inspired by children’s drawings because they break all the rules and are made with such sincerity.
This collection of illustrations was created for Wurzelwerk, a German creative marketing agency. It was an enjoyable project with lots of space for creativity. Illia and his client agreed on a playful illustrative style, and then he went to work.
“I took the curvature tool in the illustrator and drew on the white artboard right away, as if it were the final version,” he explains about his process. “I filled the artboards with colored shapes and played with overlay modes, looking for the desired effect. These works also resemble a theatrical stage. You can clearly distinguish the foreground, the 2nd plane, and so on.”
About the winning design
Our illustration judge Eureka explains why she chose this design: “I love how Illia Kolesnyk’s simplified style and layout still manage to depict a full narrative. It brings us along on the adventures to different places.
“His use of significant elements and the drawing style correspond well with the stories (scenes, people, situations, moods) and highlight the experiences in each illustration. It’s fun and engaging! The color palette and composition are well balanced too, showing a great depth and contrast where needed.”
Best Typography Design: Mky
Mky had previously worked with Makeplease to create the logo and branding elements after the client reached out to Mky on Instagram. So it only made sense for her to continue the branding journey by creating the poster for their launch party.
For this particular design Mky needed something that was in line with the brand guidelines she’d created, but also very dynamic and festive. Since the poster needed to have lots of text on it, hand lettering was the obvious choice. By crafting the letters herself, she was able to inject tons of personality and movement into the poster design.
Speaking to her unique style, Mky explains, “Work doesn’t have to be serious all the time. Or at all, even. I approach each and every project with a playful and curious mindset. It’s pretty much like stepping onto a new playground—with new challenges to overcome, and new techniques and styles to experiment with.” We love it!
The more you allow yourself to play, the more you’ll enjoy it and the less of a possibility that you’ll get bored doing it. Don’t take yourself too seriously all the time and give yourself some wiggle room.
About the winning design
“I chose this piece as the winning entry because it works really well on many levels,” explains our typography judge, Gia Graham.
“The letterforms are playful and filled with personality but none of that distracts from the legibility, which is key. The composition, hierarchy and use of color all work well together to easily guide the eye through the piece and I really like the fact that all the little quirky stylistic choices with the lettering not only make the piece feel fun but also serve the practical purpose of maximizing the use of available space. This was fun! Thanks for inviting me to be a judge.”
Best New Designer: Franlistan
Last year a friend suggested the idea of joining 99designs and I instantly fell in love with the community and the possibility of working with clients from all over the world.
It’s always fun to see the fresh talent coming through 99designs, and this year our community has chosen as Franlistan our Best New Designer! Fran joined our platform in May of last year and he’s already had some fantastic success on our platform. He’s a versatile designer offering animation, web and illustration services.
Fran has been drawing and creating his own imaginary worlds since he was a small child. Although he first studied language and literature at university, he eventually focused his training on something he had always loved—graphic design. After school, he went on to work for agencies and most recently has been doing marketing in the airline pilot training industry.
When asked what he thinks so far, Fran says, “It is a platform full of talented people and great opportunities. You may be involved in incredible projects while growing as a designer. It’s always aspiring to walk towards excellence.”
Best New Top Level Designer: Ega Elanda
Ega Elanda is a graphic designer and illustrator who enjoys spending days with his little family.
After leaving his day job at a creative agency, he began working full-time as a freelancer. Switching to freelance has given him the freedom to manage his work hours with more flexibility, and he loves spending that extra time with his family!
Ega joined the 99designs community in 2016 and in the following years, he’s crafted a vast collection of whimsical and stylized illustrations for all kinds of clients. His creative approach fits well with a variety of design categories, including podcast covers, bold packaging, playful beer labels, flashy playing cards and more.
99d is a great environment for designers to level up. Don’t give up yet, you could be the winner today!
We’re so proud of all he’s accomplished on our platform—and the community clearly agrees! Congratulations on this well-deserved Top Level promotion, Ega!
Creativity with a Conscience: BRTHR-ED
To celebrate the designers making a difference on our platform this year, we introduced our first Creativity with a Conscience Award. And this year we are pleased to announce that our creative community has voted BRTHR-ED to be the winner!
BRTHR-ED is a Yogyakarta Art Institute alumni and long-time member of the 99designs community who has worked in the design industry for two decades. His clever illustrations have adorned everything from apparel to skateboards, delighting hundreds of clients around the world.
About the winning design
The Live Like Brent Foundation is a non-profit that helps alleviate some of the financial burden for cancer patients. BRTHR-ED connected with the organization through a contest, where they were looking for a t-shirt design for their 10th Annual Carve 4 Cancer Winter Sports and Music Festival fundraiser.
Ed kept his winning t-shirt illustration light-hearted, crafting a guitar-playing abominable snowman in the mountains—all reflected in a pair of ski goggles. The client loved it—as do many members of our community.