Review: Penji – a graphic design service that offers unlimited designs at a flat monthly rate
This startup’s goal is pretty straightforward – they want to provide fast, simple, and affordable designs for everyone.
Whether you’re marketing a business or establishing a personal brand, graphic design is crucial in building and maintaining a stellar reputation. And if you’ve ever handled the marketing side of the business, you’ll know that getting consistent high-quality designs can be tricky – most especially so if you don’t have the resources to hire an in-house designer.
What is Penji?
Penji is a graphic design service that offers unlimited designs at a flat monthly rate. However, it’s important to note that “unlimited” doesn’t necessarily mean infinite. For instance, you can queue as many projects as you want on the dashboard, but the designer assigned to you can only work on one project at a time. Despite this limitation, it’s generally a practical solution for ventures that need a lot of visuals done.
This startup’s goal is pretty straightforward – they want to provide fast, simple, and affordable designs for everyone. And so far, they’ve been doing a great job in carrying out this mission. In fact, their client base ranges from small businesses to agencies and even big companies, such as Rebook, Lyft, King’s Hawaiian, Express, and more.
So, what types of design can you request from them? Well, just about anything and everything, based on the portfolio on their website:
- Pitch decks
- App design
- Web design
- Digital ads
- Social media content
- Custom Illustrations
- Business cards
- Flyers and sales sheet
- Promo materials
- Books and magazines
- Packaging and Labels
How Does it Work?
Penji takes pride in offering a hassle-free request system that takes away the email back-and-forth between the client and the designer. To do just that, the company came up with a platform that allows you to get designs in three steps:
1. Creating the Project
Getting designs starts with creating a project on the platform dashboard. In this step, you’ll need to type the project title and select from the categories. Then, you’ll need to put in the project details in the description box. Once done, the project will be assigned to a designer who’ll get in touch with you if they need anything clarified.
2. Review and Revise
Within 24 to 48 hours, the designer will get back to you with a draft. If you need anything revised, you can click on that part and type in your comments. The design will be returned to the designer for revision and will be re-submitted to you within 24 to 48 hours.
Once you’re satisfied, you can download the design, and it will automatically be saved to your computer.
Penji offers three pricing tiers. The lowest one, the Pro package, comes at $399 per month for graphic designs. This package includes unlimited design projects for unlimited brands. The package comes with one designer and access for two users.
If you need illustrations and UX/UI designs, you need to sign up for a Team package. Costing $499 a month, this package comes not only with unlimited graphic design but also custom illustrations, UX/UI designs, and infographics. That said, it’s an excellent package to consider if you work on complex projects, including websites and app designs or custom illustrations for merch. Besides illustration and UX/UI, Team also includes everything in the Pro package as well as access for five users.
Take the Team plan, double its output, and you get the Agency plan. Coming in at $899 a month, it includes all the package features in Team, but with two designers and access for ten users. In addition to those, this package also comes with prioritized support.
Penji is clear about not charging hidden fees. The price of the packages mentioned on their website is exactly what clients need to pay monthly. Also, all taxes and fees are included in the price, so you won’t have to be bombarded with surprise expenses.
Pros and Cons
Before you can decide if Penji is the solution you’re looking for, it’s essential to look at its advantages and disadvantages.
- You won’t have to scour job marketplace websites to find a reliable graphic designer.
- Penji says they employ the top 2 percent of designers. That said, they offer high-quality visuals from designers who have various specializations.
- Besides the quality of work, their turnaround time of 24 to 48 hours allows clients to stay on top of campaign schedules.
- Unlike hiring freelance designers, there’s no risk of getting left high and dry in the middle of a project. Should the assigned designer need to take a leave due to an unforeseen situation, the management would assign a new one to the project.
- If you need many graphics every month, paying a subscription fee can be more practical than paying per design.
- The service can free up your time and mental load to focus on more crucial parts of the business.
- You can cancel the service anytime. As a result, you won’t have to worry about long-term commitments.
- The monthly subscription fee is higher compared to rates offered by random freelance designers. However, cheap rates can come with a caveat. For instance, most designers who provide their services at such a low rate often don’t have the skills or experience yet. In addition to that, working as an independent designer means having no one else to hold accountable should they suddenly go MIA.
- If you don’t need a lot of graphic designs regularly, it would be more practical to pay for designs per project.
The Bottom Line
Given the pros and cons above, it’s easy to gauge if Penji’s services are for you. To sum everything up, you’ll let the most out of Penji if:
- Your business needs a lot of graphics churned out every month for branding purposes and marketing materials.
- You don’t have the time to go through freelance designers’ credentials and portfolios on job marketplaces.
- The venture doesn’t have enough resources yet to hire an in-house designer full-time.
- You can’t afford to micro-manage a designer, and you’d rather automate the process.
Though Penji’s subscription fees are higher than getting a freelance designer to do the job, it’s definitely worth it. After all, you’re not merely spending on designs; you’re making an investment for your brand reputation.
If you still find it hard to decide, you’ll be happy to know that Penji offers all their packages risk-free for 15 days. This will give you enough allowance to dip your toes in the water and see if it’s for you.
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