If you’ve ever scoured the freelancing sites for a graphic designer, you’ll know how time-consuming and frustrating the process can be. In 2021, great design is vital for businesses both online and off but, the cost of hiring an on-site professional can often be prohibitive for entrepreneurs and businesses on a tight budget.
Any business owner knows how important it is to have a high-quality website or logo. The tool I’m going to talk about today offers a thoroughly modern solution with its intuitive and affordable platform. Here’s a Penji review.
Penji is an on-demand graphic design service that agencies and businesses use to create better results. With unlimited requests for digital, print, or UX/UI design, their fully managed team of vetted talent will work their magic.
What is Penji?
Whether you’re in search of a logo or wishing for a website, Penji has the professional that you’re looking for. Launched in 2017 by former agency owners, Johnathan Grzybowski and Khai Tran, Penji is committed to helping communities as well as those looking for great on-demand graphic design services and, as such, pledges 10% of all monthly profits to help those who are helping others.
Who uses Penji?
A whole load of people, that’s who. Penji is used by thousands of businesses across a wide range of industries including Solitaired, CUE Camden, Chop Dawg, Hope Works, Onyx Valley, Red Queen and many more. Penji is aimed at anybody who needs professional graphic design work at affordable prices, including startups, entrepreneurs, small business owners and individuals. If you can’t splash on a full-time design team, then Penji might just be the thing for you.
Penji’s design tasks include logos, websites, social media banners, apps, digital ads, typography, t-shirt designs, illustration, business cards, flyers, and infographics, so quite a wide variety.
How many pennies is Penji?
Penji’s business model works slightly different to other freelance platforms in that you pay an “all-in” fixed monthly subscription rate rather than paying per job. The site offers three different price packages – wanna know what they are? Here you go:
Pro Package $499 per month
This graphic design only package gives you:
- Unlimited monthly designs
- Unlimited logos & branding
- Unlimited custom illustrations
- Unlimited users
- Unlimited brands
Team Package $499 per month
For a little more wonga, you can get hold of the Team Plan with which you’ll get all the goodies in the Pro Package, plus:
- Unlimited web designs
- Unlimited app designs
- Unlimited presentations
- Unlimited animated graphics
Agency Package $899 per month
If you need all of the above and a bag of chips and you’re prepared to shell out a bit more, the Agency Plan offers everything from the Team Package plus:
- USA daytime designers
- Same-day turnaround
- Dedicated art director
Current price list can be found here.
Penji also offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
How do I get started with Penji?
Getting started is super simple and, here’s how it’s done:
Before committing to a paid package, its a good idea to check out a demo which you can do as follows:
- Head on over to https://penji.co/
- Click onto the blue ‘Schedule Demo’ button
If you decide that it’s is your perfect partner for graphic design:
- Mosey on back to the Home Page
- Click onto the fancy flashing purple ‘See Pricing’ button
- Click onto ‘Monthly’, ‘Quarterly’ or ‘Yearly’
- Choose your price package
- Fill in your name and email address and choose a password
- Click onto the purple ‘Create Account’ button
- Enter your payment details
- Verify your account by email
- That’s it – your Penji account is now ready and waiting for your first project
How does Penji work?
The process is simple, straightforward and, usually works like a well oiled machine (albeit one with human designers inside of it). The process goes something like this:
Give Penji your brief
To begin with, you’ll be asked to give Penji some details about your project by filling in a simple form, uploading any images or files and specifying the kind of file that you want. At this stage, it’s a good idea to include as much information as possible as this will make your job run much more smoothly.
Penji gets to work
Once your brief has been uploaded, Penji will scuttle through its database to find the best designer for the job and will let you know who this is. At this stage, you’ll now be able to contact the designer directly (in most cases, they’ll contact you first with questions about the project). From your dashboard, you can get in touch with your designer at any time to discuss deadlines, design needs and revisions.
Receive your draft
Your designer will, in most cases, send you a draft of your project within 48 hours of assignment. You can now review the work and liaise with the designer regarding any amendments (unlimited revisions are included as standard with every Penji package). You can even mark your decisions directly onto the design on the Penji system for further clarity.
If you feel that the assigned designer is not the one for you, don’t worry, you can just let them know and they’ll assign somebody else to you straight away – no questions asked.
Grab your shiny new design
Once you’re happy with the work, let the designer know and your graphic designs will now be available for you to download and use directly from the Penji site. Once downloaded, you own all the rights to the work. The turnaround time is usually 24-48 hours, depending on the complexity of the design process.
Penji Pros & Cons
Into every life a little rain must fall and, no review would be complete without a list of the pros and cons so, here they are:
Penji offers some great benefits for businesses and individuals and, some of these are:
- Monthly rate – Penji’s flat monthly rate means that you can order as many projects as you like during a month; safe in the knowledge that it’s already paid for. This is a great feature for those who consistently need a lot of design work.
- Commitment – Penji doesn’t require you to sign a contract and you’re free to leave at any time without incurring extra charges.
- Responsive – In most cases, communication with designers and customer support is super quick – which is great if you’re in a hurry.
- Professional – Penji’s designers are friendly, talented and utterly professional. They dish out top-quality graphic design every time.
- Easy to use – The Penji site is really well thought out and makes navigations and communication really easy.
The Penji cons are few and far between but, these include:
- Telephone – Unfortunately, there is not an option to contact your designer by telephone – which can sometimes be frustrating when you just want to ask a quick question. This can hinder your business operations a tad.
- Timezone – You may, occasionally, be assigned a professional who is in a different timezone to yourself which can make communication tricky.
- Price – While the flat rate is great for those who generate a lot of designs, it’s not so cost-effective if you’re just looking for a one-off job.
Are there any alternatives to Penji?
Most certainly. If I haven’t sold you on Penji yet, there are a few others you can try out:
Like Penji, Kimp is like a little box of designers which live in your phone or computer. Unlike Penji, Kimp offers video and graphic design and is priced at $272.30 a month for graphics, $412.30 for video and $622.30 for both.
ManyPixels offers a fairly limited range of graphic designers for hire and, unlimited projects costs either $399 or $549 per month.
Offering graphic design essentials and illustrations, Design Pickle won’t leave a sour taste in your mouth as it offers a wide range of professionals and prices start from just $399 for unlimited projects.
DarkRoast offers a team of in-house designers for startups and small businesses. The company might be small but the price isn’t as DarkRoast will set you back $1199 per month for unlimited design requests.
So, that’s the competition, now let’s get back to Penji. Put simply, if you’re the kind of guy or gal whose business relies on a lot of design work – and you don’t want to use one of those dodgy do it yourself sites, then you’ll do no better than Penji.
With affordable rates, friendly and professional service and great design project work, what’s not to like? In my opinion, any business which relies on great, professional imagery should be getting on board with Penji sooner rather than later.