Graphic design is an essential part of almost any type of business, whether online or offline.
And if you’re a business owner, an agency, a marketer, or even just a social media influencer or blogger who is in need of designs on a regular basis, you know just how expensive hiring a freelance graphic designer can get, not to mention having one full-time on your team.
With prices that can go up to $300 an hour or even more, you can end up paying as little as $150 for a standardized logo and as much as thousands of dollars for one designed from scratch. And if you need constant work done for your website or social media accounts, that can quickly add up to substantial amounts.
And that’s where an unlimited graphic design platform like Penji comes in handy. It allows you to have access to unlimited graphic design for a set monthly price.
Unlimited graphic design? Well yes — within reason, of course. With as little as $399 a month, you can work with the top 2% of graphic designers and get as many designs as one designer can physically create in one month, with a turnaround of maximum 48 hours.
But we’ll talk more about pricing plans and what those include later on.
First, let’s take a look at how Penji works in more detail.
How Penji Works
- You create a new design project and fill out a form with your requests.
- Penji automatically assigns your project to the designer that’s best suited for the job.
- You get your first draft within 24-48 hours and submit as many revisions as you like if you’re not 100% satisfied with the design.
- You download all the source files and complete the project.
But before you do any of that, the first thing Penji recommends for a new customer is to create a brand to associate with your project. This brand folder will contain information for anything you need designed for you regularly. You can create a brand for clients, products, or use it as a way to categorize your projects. This will give Penji designers quick and easy access to all the basics about your brand when you need a new project created, which will make the whole process a lot faster and easier.
Naturally, we wanted to test it out for ourselves and see how the entire process works. From beginning to end, we went step by step so you have an idea on what to expect. The end goal was to create a new logo for the HowToPayOnline website, which is the side project of one of our team members.
So here are the exact steps you need to go through when you create a new project:
- Choose a title and a category.
Give your project an easy-to-understand and relevant title and choose a category. In my case, since I wrote “logo” in the project title, it automatically suggested the Logos category.
- Add a description for your project.
What I liked right off the bat is that the Penji app prompts you to include as much information in the description as possible. Giving information about your business and target audience, color preferences, etc., will give the designer a much better understanding of what you’re looking for and improve the chances of you getting a design you like faster, maybe right from the first try, or at least decrease the number of revisions necessary. This can lead to a much faster project completion, which will in turn give you more bang for your buck if you need a lot of projects created within a month. So add as many details as possible in your project request!
- Add any images and files that you need included in the design or as an example of what you want.
- If you have the Team or Agency plan, choose if you want custom illustrations added to your design, but be aware that this might lead to a longer turnaround time.
- Choose the source file type you want delivered.
- Choose the brand associated with the project, if any at all.
- Click on create project.
You can expect a maximum turnaround time of 48 hours, but it typically doesn’t last that long. Be sure to check back with Penji periodically or watch out for email alerts from your design team.
I created my project on Friday evening and received a first draft on Monday morning, which I think is pretty great given that not a lot of designers work over the weekend.
I loved that I could use the chat function available in the project to communicate with my designer, because I prefer communicating in writing, but if you prefer oral communication over written, you can also leave voice recordings.
Here are the first drafts I received on Monday morning:
I thought they looked great, especially compared to what the old website logo looked like:
Since I only wanted a small modification — the color from one combined with the design from the other — I communicated this directly to the designer, but if you need more specific or detailed revisions, you can point and click on the image and add notes for exactly where you need the revisions to be and add as many notes as you like.
You can also make as many revisions as you like, and you’ll have a completed revision delivered back to you in under 24 hours. I got mine in under 3 hours.
When the project is exactly where you want it to be, mark it as complete. This will remove the project from your queue and the designers will start working on the next project in your queue.
You can also leave feedback for your designer when the project is complete, which will help the Penji team learn more about your styling preferences and produce better and better results for future projects. The project evaluation will be visible on every completed project on the dashboard:
If at any point you feel the designer appointed is not a good match for your brand or style, just let your account manager know and they can replace them with a designer that’s better suited for your business. No sense in sticking with something you don’t like only to complain later. Be direct and ask for what you want — politely — and surely they will be able to accommodate you. They are there to serve and make the client happy, so if you’re clear about what you want, it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
This is a major advantage for this type of graphic design platform. Think about how this would go with a freelance graphic designer. Even if you’re not happy with their work, you’d still have to pay them, and test driving a few freelancers until you find one you like can get really expensive really fast!
Who Is Penji For?
Basically anyone who wants to outsource graphic design on a regular basis, be it an individual or a company like:
- Marketing agencies that need a reliable platform to outsource designers
- Bloggers who want unique images for their articles
- Social media influencers who want to stand out more
- Companies that need prints and graphic designs for merch like t-shirts, hats, etc.
- Startups that need business cards, logos, web or app designs
What Can Penji Design For Me?
Basically anything pertaining to graphic design, including but not limited to:
- Banners, digital ads, and social media content
- Images for PPC ads
- Custom illustrations and typography
- Business cards, flyers, and sales sheets
- App & web design
- Promotional materials
- Packaging and label design
- Brochures and catalogs
Hacks to Get the Most out of Penji
- Manage your queue – if at any time you want to move a project in your queue, click at the right handside where it says options; you can click on “move to active” if there’s a project you’d like to move to active.
- If you have a lot of similar projects that require most of the same things, you can duplicate an already-existing project. Just delete any old notes you don’t need and add your new requests.
- Batch multiple design projects in one request to save on time and get the most out of your membership. For instance, if you’re running a branded campaign on multiple platforms with small variations needed, submit all your requests under one project.
Penji Pricing Plans
Penji offers three pricing plans, starting at $399/month and going up to $899/month, and they are pretty self-explanatory.
The most popular plan is the Team one at $499/month and it’s perfect for marketing teams. In addition to the Pro plan, which includes unlimited design projects and brands, access to one designer, and the possibility of adding 2 users, the Team plan also offers website and app design, custom illustration and infographics, as well as an extra 3 users (so 5 in total). With the Team plan, you also get a dedicated account manager who will be able to work on your time zone and typically during your work shift.
The Agency plan, at $899/month, offers everything in Team, plus an extra designer, 10 users and prioritized support, and it’s perfect for larger businesses or teams that need a constant flow of graphic design work done.
Penji Promo Code
If you’re thinking about giving Penji a try, you can use our promo code HOTINSOCIAL15 to get 15% off the first month of a Penji membership of any plan. If you choose to be billed yearly, that will automatically save you an extra 15% for the entire year, so with our discount code you will save 15% on a yearly plan, plus an additional 15% for the first month.
You can cancel your membership anytime you run out of projects for Penji to help you with. No extra fees, no contract, no string attached!
So if you’re someone who has a lot of business ideas that would benefit from quality graphic design — and what business idea wouldn’t benefit from that, really? — Penji might just be the perfect platform to try!
See also: Best Social Media Tools for Agencies