A picture paints a thousand words, so the saying goes. In today’s world, where digital media reigns supreme, having good graphics is essential to anyone trying to make it in the online industry. And, that is where Penji comes in!

But what happens if you don’t have an in-house graphic designer to create visuals for your website and social media? Nope, you don’t have to panic and enroll in a Photoshop crash course. You also don’t have to scour online job platforms to find freelance graphic artists who can take on your project. Just subscribe to Penji, and you’ll be good to go!

We wanted to write about our experience in how we used Penji ourselves. If you like this review OR if you wanted a second opinion, you might like: Penji review w/promo code by Owner’s Mag.

What is Penji?

Penji is an online graphic design service provider that offers unlimited designs for a flat monthly rate. Their most basic package offers at least one designer assigned to your brand. As a result, you get daily updates on your project. When one design is completed, they can start on your next design on the same day.

History

Necessity drives innovation, as proven by Penji’s history. The company’s founders started Penji after experiencing firsthand how hard it was for small ventures and startups to access graphic design. To get high-quality graphic design, businesses needed to invest a good amount of time, effort, and money. And because resources are scarce for most startups, they had to settle with mediocre visuals. 

Penji’s mission is straightforward – to make graphic design fast, simple, and affordable. In fact, they support thousands of agencies and brands all over the world. As mentioned above, their initial market was small businesses. But now, they also cater to industry giants such as AWeber, University of Pennsylvania, Lyft, Express, Tide, CVS Pharmacy, Kohl’s, Penguin, and Reebok.

The company takes pride in remaining true to their values and supporting their community as they grow. Proof of this is how they pledge 10% of their monthly profits to help groups that are also helping others. 

Aside from that, they also have a program for non-profits, which is their way of giving back to people devoted to improving the lives of others. At a hefty discount, Penji can make them flyers, reports, and anything else they need to continue doing what they do.

How it Works

In general, Penji’s services are as simple as it sounds – you pay a fixed monthly rate for all your design needs during that period. The company offers three types of packages to fit varying needs. Here are the service options they offer:

Pro

The Pro package comes at $399 per month. You get unlimited design projects for one brand. The delivery arrangement is on a daily output. This means that at least one designer is assigned to you to ensure that your project is updated daily. This package allows access for two users. 

Team

At $499 per month, the Team package costs a little over 100 bucks than Pro. However, it also offers a lot more features compared to the basic package. Aside from unlimited design projects and daily output, this package also offers unlimited website and app designs as well as illustrations. Added to that, it also comes with unlimited brands and a dedicated account manager. It also allows access for five users.

Agency

The agency package comes at $899 per month. Though it has the same unlimited features and a dedicated account manager as the Team package, some of its inclusions are doubled. Instead of daily output, it features a double output with two designers assigned to the client’s projects. It also offers ten accounts and prioritized support.

Paying for the services yearly will let you save 15% on fees. And if you’re still on the fence about getting a subscription, you can try any plan, risk-free for 15 days.

Benefits of a Penji Subscription

A Penji subscription offers a number of benefits, especially for ventures:

  • High-quality graphics. The first and most crucial benefit of this service is high-quality graphics. Even if you don’t have an in-house designer, you can release professional-grade visuals. As a result, your business will look more credible among your target market.
  • No need to hire individual designers. Not all startups have the resources to employ a graphic designer. Hiring freelancers, on the other hand, can be a hit-or-miss thing. Though you can chance upon great independent designers, there’s also an equal chance of hiring someone who will go MIA. With a subscription design service, you’re assured that your projects are taken care of.  
  • Cancel anytime policy. This benefit is gold for commitment-phobics! There are no contracts so that you can cancel anytime. Say you need a lot of designs this month because of an on-going campaign. But you won’t need as much next month as the campaign ends. You can choose not to renew your subscription with cancellation fees.

Delivery and Examples of Projects

The company has a diverse portfolio that displays the prowess of their expert designers. Here are some of our top picks from their collection of works.

Business card

A business card is crucial for any person looking to build connections. This design shows good use of lines, shapes, colors to form a modern and dynamic look. The card’s palette takes inspiration from the logo itself, so the result is a cohesive aesthetic that’s easy on the eyes.

Logo

A logo is an essential visual asset for any venture aiming to establish a brand. Not only must a logo reflect the identity of the business, but it should also be apt for the industry it’s in. In short, it shouldn’t look out of place if displayed side by side along with its rivals’ logos.

Packaging

Have you ever made a shopping decision based on how good the product packaging looks? That, exactly, is the aim of good packaging. It should catch the attention of shoppers and convince them to try the brand on the spot.

Typography

Whether you plan to use it for ads, social media posts, or merch design, a well-made typography graphic design turns heads. The font style combination, colors, and layout must all work together to create a stunning visual that gets the message across without being too noisy.

Ads

Experts say a great ad connects to its audience emotionally, thus convincing them to buy the product. Whether you’re going for online or offline ads, the visual design is important in catching people’s attention and sustaining their interest.

Infographics

People absorb info better when it’s organized in visual materials. An expert designer would know how to present and layout info to make learning easy, quick, and simple. And since an effective infographic uses minimal text and more imagery, a design prowess is of utmost importance for this project.

Social media posts

With over 3 billion users all over the world, social media has become an invaluable marketing resource for most brands. To make the most out of these digital platforms, well-designed posts are a must. This is especially crucial for visual social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Pitch decks

There’s a huge quality difference between a template presentation and an expertly-crafted pitch deck. So, if you’re presenting in a crucial meeting that can make or break your venture, go for a professionally-designed pitch deck. It will not only make your topic clearer, but it will also boost your confidence as you present.

Sales sheet

A sales sheet should relay product benefits, features, and pricing on a single page. It should be packed with info that will convince the reader to buy the product. Thus, it takes excellent layout and design skills to organize these details into a material that informs but doesn’t overwhelm. 

Book

Don’t judge a book by its cover, so they say. But let’s be realistic here – a book’s facade surely does a lot in making readers grab it off the shelf. A book cover should reflect the nature of the content itself and act as a visual teaser of what you can experience from cover to cover.

App

With a lot of people spending hours on their mobile phone every day, apps have become industry-standard. However, simply launching one isn’t enough. The UX/UI design of the app must be carefully crafted tailor-fit to the users’ needs.  

Illustration

Graphic illustrations like this offer excellent material for various products. Merch and t-shirt ventures, for example, are always on the lookout for fresh designs that would make for a great hit within their niche.  

Website

In today’s day and age, a company’s website is one of its most significant assets. It must not only look great but must also provide a pleasant user experience. In the same vein, all the design elements should work together to tell the story of the brand and take it closer to the audience.

As seen from the sample works above, Penji gives its clients access to high-quality visuals that appeal to different audience segments. This is an invaluable resource, especially for ventures that rely on their online presence for sales. If you’re looking for ways to reach out to your audience and let your brand identity shine through, a subscription is surely worth the investment.

Benefits of Penji

Today, I’s like to go over a few things that have been brought to my attention. You all may or maybe may not have heard of Penji. So what I wanted to do is jump on a Facebook live in order to answer some common questions that are consistently asked to use here at Penji.

What is Penji?

Penji is an on-demand graphic design subscription that delivers graphic design projects fast, a management platform that is simple to use, and is affordable to any business with flat rate pricing.

At one time, we were an agency that delivered high end marketing support to businesses, universities, and large organizations.

We did web design, app design, SEO, and other marketing services. We were a full service agency. 

But we quickly realized that the agency world wasn’t for us. We lost our purpose to say the least. But regardless of the ups and downs of running the agency, there was one thing that we knew we were good at. And that’s only because our customers told us, and that was graphic design.

We then set out on a journey, asked questions, interviewed our closest friends about the problems they were having in the business. The research that came back told us that the majority was having a hard time finding the right graphic designer for their business.

Today I’d like to go over the types of customers that are the best fit for Penji. This ultimately changes on the businesses needs, wants, and wishes, but we’ve categorized each target demographic as:

  • Startups
  • Agencies
  • Internal marketing teams

Startups

A startup is a young company that typically resides in tech. This is a company that is just starting out and doesn’t have many employees. They most likely would use our service because we are affordable and can complete their brand.

To give you an idea of a typical request from a startup. It usually starts in two ways:

If it’s a startup that’s just starting out, it would be a complete brand overhaul or creation. They would need a:

  • Logo
  • Business card (maybe)
  • Social media graphics like a Facebook cover photo and more
  • Brand style guides
  • UX/UI projects for their app or web site
  • Pitch decks
  • Retooling or a repurpose of their existing brand

Startups love Penji because most of our customers do all of the graphic designs themselves. They use tools like Canva, photoshop, or any other self taught software. The problem with this is that it takes a crap ton of time. Time that could be spent doing many others things like sales, marketing, or even obtaining meetings. We constantly get bogged down doing mindless tasks, but don’t want to do the hard things to move the company forward.

Using Penji will allow them to get back to work! Allowing them to help grow their company and increase profitability.

Agencies

An agency is a group of people who offer digital services to businesses. Their service offering is typically marketing, web design, web development, SEO, social media marketing, or any other form of marketing as a service.

Agencies LOVE Penji because a large majority of the population doesn’t understand what graphic design is or how to do it. We all have creative minds for the most part, but a lot of professionals aren’t able to put it on paper. 

Typically we see agencies coming up with the strategy and then using Penji to execute the actual graphic elements for their customers.

Most agencies need a graphic design department, but it’s difficult to build a team for several reasons:

It’s expensive. Think about it. You’re a fast growing agency and you need to hire someone fast and inexpensive. If you bring someone on full time, you have to:

  • Hire someone
  • On-board them
  • Pay their salary which a good graphic designer is more than $60,000
  • Benefits, vacation times, and processes are all needed

If you’re a larger organization this works because you have the infrastructure, but even larger teams don’t.

Agencies use Penji and allow us to work with their clients. Our service is the perfect fit for agencies because we deliver FAST turnaround at an affordable. 

Our platform is also easy for them to use and help them manage their client workload.

An agency at times could have 5+ customers that need Penji. Penji can support ALL of their customers, in addition to their own business.

Internal Marketing Teams

An internal marketing team is that of someone who works within a large organization. 

For example, universities or larger private companies all need graphic design help. But the problem is that they either have an in-house designer that wears 100 different hats or a hire multiple freelancers.

It’s difficult to manage both. Because on one hand you have the different hat wearing employee that shouldn’t design materials because they have more important things do.

Then on the other side with freelancers, they all have different rates and styles. 

You can see how this could be difficult to manage. What do you do?

Well, internal marketing teams hire Penji because it makes things easier to manage. Our platform allows our customers to easily manage their brand, communicate with our team of designers, and receive revisions in an easy fashion with just a few clicks of a button.

We target directors of marketing and other roles as such to get our company in front of mind!

What are the benefits of Penji vs some other company?

I’d like to categorize Penji in three ways. We are simple, fast, and affordable. So let’s break down each:

Simple

It starts with our platform:

Create as many design projects as you want and organize them as you please. When one project is done, we’ll move onto the next in the order you created.

Brand libraries. Create a brand library for your business which allows us to further understand your brand/story logos, colors, fonts, etc…

Communication made simple. We got rid of annoying and confusing email chains. Chat in real time with your designers and communicate all your needs quickly and effectively.

We have a point and click feature that allows you the ability to receive super accurate revisions. Simply Point & Click directly onto the image where you want the revision and your designer will know exactly where/what you want changed.

Fast

One of the hardest things to do in business is to get everyone to agree. With Penji we want to make it fast to make a decision. Like super fast. 

Penji is fast in a few ways. 

We deliver graphic designs in under 48 hours.

We have a new feature that will allow you the ability to add your team onto Penji for real time collaboration. You’ll be allow to:

  • Set Permissions: Set specific permissions for each member based on their role.
  • Assign Projects: You can assign specific projects to specific team members. (Which is great for brand managers or project managers)
  • Collaborate with others: Create a shareable link to send to your coworker or client and get their input/feedback on the design.

Affordable

Our pricing starts at $399 a month. If you receive the average, which is around 20-30 designs a month, that comes down to around $11 per design. 

That’s an insane amount of value.

We want to level the playing field when it comes to receiving great graphic design. We fundamentally believe that you shouldn’t have to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to receive the graphic designs you want to differentiate your business. Sign up for a service like Penji and work with a team that wants to see you succeed and deliver the design request you deserve!

There are NO hidden fees. No catches. No contracts. Just one flat rate depending on the type of business and service you need.

When does Penji work?

We work around the clock. There isn’t a time in your day, regardless of where you’re from that you can’t reach out to someone on our team and receive a response. So if you’re on the east coast and working 9 to 5. Someone will be on.

What if you’re in Australia, Europe, or even Asia? We work in your time zones too. 

No matter where you are in the world, no matter what you do. If you need graphic design support for your business, you can get on-demand graphic design support, all at one flat monthly rate from Penji.

If you’re interested in Penji, head over to Penji.co for more information and if at anytime you’re stumped, contact your manager or if you’re someone who may be interested in Penji, email us at hello@penji.co

What type of design we do and not do?

There are over 65+ design requests that we can do. Things like:

  • Amazon Merch T-shirts
  • Blog graphics
  • Book covers
  • Brochures
  • Car wraps
  • Online ads
  • Print ads
  • Illustrations
  • Infographics
  • Photo edits
  • Presentations
  • Trade Show materials
  • Social media materials
  • Vectorized images
  • And more…

It’s safe to say there is a lot we do. So let’s talk about what we don’t do, which is important.

What we don’t do

  • 3D & Cad
  • Content writing
  • Programming & development
  • Videos & motion graphicWordpress, Wix, etc

We can take your idea to the absolute limit of graphic design, but in the end it is up to you to post the materials we create or use within your dev work.

How long is your turnaround time?

Our turn-around time depends on the project and number of revisions. Usually it’s between 24 – 48 hours for most projects. More complex design project such as a website/app, landing page, pitch decks, and multi-page booklets will require more time.

Our team would ultimately let you (the customer) know ahead of time so there is no confusion.

Do you own the rights to all of the designs created by Penji?

Yes, you own all rights and licenses to all designs created for you. If we use stock photos, you will also be granted license for that photo. However, materials you provide to us are assumed to be licensed and owned by you. If you provide us with unlicensed materials to use, then we are not held liable for the rights of the final design.

Simple as that. 

How do I get the design requests I’ve requested?

Simple, it’s all within our platform. Once the design request is completed, head over to Penji. Log in. And download the files you need. We will deliver whatever files you requested. You can request a PSD file, JPEG, PNG, or whatever file you need for your business.

My Honest Experience With Penji

As the co-founder of Penji your natural reaction is to assume I’m going to brag about how amazing Penji is and for the most part you will be right, however, it’s based off of a number of factors.

Something I admire about what we do at Penji is how we say hello. Hello’s are so incredibly important. You have one chance to make a good first impression. begins as soon as you become a customer.

You are immediately met with a welcome video that explains the process. In under 7 minutes you will be able to watch the video and be able to submit your first project. The dashboard is easy to understand for the most part incredibly simply to navigate.

All of the buttons within the dashboard are for the most part obvious. The overall experience could definitely be better. We always ask ourselves: How can Penji be even easier?” And the answer for now is that it’s still a work in progress.

Penji’s Dashboard

We are now in Penji and ready to submit the project. We decided to use the same exact format from the review we wrote about Kimp. Everything was the exact same and that’s on purpose. We want to make sure it’s fair and there is zero bias.

The last thing you’d want to read is that I specifically wrote something different to tip off the Penji designer. And that isn’t true. In fact, the Penji designers had no idea and STILL have no idea that these projects were in fact submitted by me.

Similarly to Kimp, I did not ask for revisions and you will see that I did not like a certain project, HOWEVER, I did feel that the direction of Penji’s deliverables were much better off than that of Kimp.

Project Deliveries

Pinterest project 1
Pinterest project 2
Pinterest project 3
Ebook project 1
Ebook project 2

The project I hated on Penji

The project that I submitted was inevitably the inspiration for all of the featured blog images for this blog here. I wanted something very simple. The problem with this project was that it was just TOO simple.

The example I gave was simple as well, but the delivery here in my opinion wasn’t usable at first, HOWEVER, I do believe that with a few more days and a conversation, I do believed I could have found something that I could use.

Simple Blog graphic from Penji

This image is meant to be depict what an article is supposed to be about. I wanted something super simple and icon driven but at the same time, still feel unique.

For the most part, I do believe they did it, it’s just not the best looking at this time. Again, with a revision or two, I do believe we could have gotten to something passable.

With Penji’s dashboard, it is easy to communicate with and request revisions where appropriate and from my personal perspective that’s where Penji excels. It’s annoying and frustrating to relay your thoughts via text. The point and click feature makes things much easier for yourself and the other party to understand what it is that you want changed!

Conclusion

These types of services aren’t for everyone. You need to be a specific type of person to truly understand the value. Those who typically have outsourced in the past are naturally going be a bit more understanding strictly because of the amount of time it takes to complete a project.

Regardless of what level of expertise you are with outsourcing your important tasks, the most important thing you need to understand is that Penji or any of these other services will not work unless you invest in communicating with the other person.

Take your time and write out a well thought out project description. Make sure you re-read things twice or maybe even three times. Slow down and also find quality examples. Do what is needed in order explain yourself. And even when you think you’re explaining yourself properly, take a step back and think to yourself: “Can I make this any easier?”

If the answer is yes, then do just that.