There are a number of unlimited graphic design services available online where you can request designs from a virtual design team. It’s a super convenient way to have design resources at your fingertips without the need to hire full-time graphic designers.
I have tried a number of design services before and it’s how I eventually picked Design Pickle 18-months. You can check out my comparison of Design Pickle vs Kapa99 and Pebbled here.
I have used both Design Pickle and Kimp.io for a number of months and so thought it would be useful to give a real-life side by side comparison of these services. As well as comparing the monthly cost, level of support, I will be showing real-life graphics both companies have produced for me.
So, let’s pit the Kimp chimp against the pickle in my Kimp.io vs Design Pickle comparison, starting with a brief overview of each service.
Design Pickle Overview
Design Pickle has been around for longer and was founded in 2015 by Russ Perry, with its headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The monthly price is $399 with discounts on offer if you pay quarterly ($379 per month) or annually ($319 per monthly). Committing to the annual price does make this very affordable.
There is a distinction in the packages depending upon where you are looking for professional illustrations, if so you will need to pay $400 to $500 for annual or monthly pricing.
There is a large number of creatives available on their work samples website page that showcases just how good they can produce creative designs. The graphic designs are strong covering everything from website, print, t-shirt, social, packaging, and illustrations (in the pro package).
- Creative designs from banners, t-shirts, social posts, and illustrations
- Good design turnaround (24 hours)
- Integrates into Unsplash and Getty Images (additional $25 per month)
- Quarterly and Annual payment options (with discounts)
- No logo designs
- Storage for designs monthly fee
Kimp.io is the newer kid on the block having been founded in 2019 by Senthu Velnayagam and Ven Velnayagam and is headquartered in Canada.
When I first discovered monthly design subscription services, I wasn’t aware of Kimp.io until they reached out to me a few months ago. I gave them a try and was impressed with the designs they put together for me, you can check out my experience testing Kimp.io out here.
The monthly subscription cost of Kimp is a flat fee of $389 per month with discounts of up to 20% if paying quarterly, bi-annually, or yearly. There is no contract and so you don’t get locked in for any period of time.
The showcase of work on the Kimp.io website is also pretty impressive.
There is a wide range of examples from website graphics, social media, t-shirts, illustrations, banners, packaging designs, and even logos. It was good to see that Kimp.io can work on logos too, as this is something that Design Pickle doesn’t include in their list.
- Excellent design turnaround (16-24 hours)
- Super easy onboarding and design management (using Trello)
- Logo designs permitted
- 3, 6, and 12 month payment options to lock in 20% discounts
- Free 7-day trial
- Stopping subscription will close your Trello board (able to transfer board ownership)
Kimp and Design Pickle Onboarding Process
Both services have a nice onboarding process giving you a personal touch by introducing you to your designer, in the case of Design Pickle, and your design project manager in Kimp.io.
Early communication is good focusing on getting used to the platform for requesting your first designs and how to manage these.
I still believe Kappa99 has the best onboarding process as you get to speak directly with your project manager with a scheduled call. You simply can’t beat one-on-one communication.
Comparing Graphic Designs
The first graphic designs produced are super important, it creates that first impression and for me hugely influenced whether I would be using the service.
Both Design Pickle and Kimp thankfully knew this and their first designs were good.
I am sharing the first graphic designs that Design Pickle and Kimp produced for me.
My First Design Pickle Designs
When I first started using Design Pickle I wanted to improve the header images for my blog. So requested them to do the image for my supplement blueprint blog articles.
I liked the fact that they gave me three designs variations to choose from, I really liked the top one and used this style for all the articles in my Supplement Blueprint guide.
My First Kimp.io Designs
With Kimp.io I was just started to advertise online for my supplement SuperGreen TONIK and so requested them to produce some eye-catching images for Facebook.
When I saw the results I was immediately impressed, the guys at Kimp had nailed the brief!
Managing Design Requests and Revisions
In an ideal world, every graphic design request would come back perfect, exactly what we envisioned as we clicked the request button.
But in reality, revisions will likely be required, and so how are design requests made, and how does Kimp and Design Pickle handle the process of revisions?
Design Pickle uses an application called Jar to submit designs and manage revisions. Jar is fairly straight forward to use and a real bonus is the integration with Unsplash and Getty Images, available for an additional monthly fee of $25.
Kimp.io uses Trello, a project management tool, to manage the process of managing your design requests until the finalized version. They have a number of Trello template boards for the types of graphic designs you would wish to request. This makes it very quick and easy to make design requests.
My criticism of some of the other design services is that they didn’t provide the complete source files, this includes any fonts used and the PSD or AI files. This is not an issue here as both Kimp and Design Pickle provide all the source files once your design task has been completed.
This is great, meaning I am able to tweak and make minor edits without needing to trigger a design revision.
Design Pickle design workflow
Design Pickle uses an application called Jar to manage design requests and revisions. This works fine and does the job without any headaches.
Kimp graphic design worklow
Kimp.io uses a more straight forward approach with Trello boards. This is super easy to manage and gives you full control over design requests and revisions. I liked the fact that I could physically move the jobs around and felt like I could manage this process easier.
Best value for money: Kimp or Design Pickle?
Both are similar in terms of their monthly price and allow you to stop your contract at any stage when on the monthly billing plan. Of course, signing up for a 3, 6, or 12-month payment plan means your contract period will be this duration.
If you’re clear on your graphic design requirements and know that you will require the services then it’s a no-brainer to pay for a longer contract.
In terms of value for money, the same applies here. If you only need a few designs per month then these types of graphic design subscription services are not for you.
On the other hand, if like me, you need a steady stream of creatives for your business then having a fully outsourced design resource on hand is perfect.
So, which service do I rate the best value for money?
I would say that Kimp wins over Design Pickle simply in terms of the amount of work you can send them and speed with which they are returned.
Although turnaround times are great for both, Kimp did get the designs to me faster and so allowed me to get more done.
Conclusion: Kimp vs Design Pickle?
I have used both services extensively over the last 2-years, where I made in total 46 graphic design requests with Design Pickle and in the last few months 18 designs with Kimp.io. So, I would say that I have given both companies a good test drive and know what service works out best for myself and my company.
The strength of any unlimited graphic design service is down to the quality of the designs and the speed at which they can be produced.
In terms of quality of graphic designs, whilst this does depend on the designer assigned to your account and of course, there is also a degree of subjectivity here, even though I would say they are fairly closely matched.
For me, Kimp.io wins in terms of speed, the turnaround time for designs were always less than 24-hours but often in 16-20 hours.
At the end of the day, you can’t go far wrong with both graphic design subscription services, but in my experience, Kimp.io just works better for me and fits with my business better. I am still continuing to work with Kimp.io. and plan to do so for my future graphic designs.