Penji is a platform that charges a set monthly fee for unlimited design services. In this Penji Review, I’ll tell you about my experience using Penji.
So let’s get going on a Penji overview and comparison.
What is Penji?
Penji is a service platform that offers customers unlimited design services for a fixed monthly fee. You can order any print or digital graphic that you require for your project. Penji will use artificial intelligence (AI) to assign a designer to you.
Penji is providing services to over 25,000 brands worldwide and some of its customers include names like Reebok, Pepboys, Uber, and KOHL’S. The company was founded on October 21st, 2017 by Khai Tran and Jonathan Grzybowski, and has seen rapid growth since then.
Penji is an unlimited graphic design service that works off of a set monthly fee. You are given a dashboard and a design and revision queue. The number of active projects you can have open at once depends upon your plan.
Variety of Services
- High Quality Designs
- Easy project submit dashboard
- Fantastic way to scale your capacity
- Overnight turn arounds
- You couldn’t pick a specific designer
- Most designers didn’t work US hours, so you had to plan for an overnight turn around
What services does Penji Offer?
Penji offers hundreds of design services that fall under the following main categories:
- 2D Animation
- Branding & Logos
- Books & Magazines
- Print & Promotion
- Social Media
- Website Graphics
Penji offers three plans that come with a 30-day money-back guarantee. The pricing is simple, there are no contracts, and you can cancel the plan at any time.
The pricing is given on a per-month basis but there are three payment options. You can choose to pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly. You get 15% off if you choose to pay quarterly and 25% off if you choose to pay yearly.
The Pro plan is available at $499 per month and it offers unlimited graphic design, unlimited logos & branding, unlimited custom illustrations, as well as unlimited brands and users. With the Team plan, you get unlimited web designs, app designs, presentations and animated graphics in addition to what the Pro plan offers. The Team plan is the most popular of Penji’s pricing plans and is available at $699 per month.
The third plan called the Daytime plan is a very cool option. It offers everything the Team plan offers while also allowing you to work with USA daytime designers (which is a great convenience), and having a same-day turnaround. Moreover, you also get a dedicated art director. But as they say, all good things come at a price, this plan costs $999 per month. However, if you have a continuous stream of high-volume work and you can’t do without efficiency, this plan can prove to be a useful investment.
Peni Review: How does Penji Work?
After you sign-up for Penji, you can create a project by filling out a form detailing your design needs. Penji allows you to create unlimited projects at a time, but depending on your plan only one or more of your projects will be active at a time. The rest of the projects will have to wait in the queue until the spot is open. The same goes for revision.
Once Penji assigns a designer to your project, you will get the completed design within 1-2 days, which is a very fast turnaround time. You can download the design right away or ask for revisions using the simple Point & Click tool. The designs will also remain saved on the Penji dashboard.
My Experience with Penji
Enjoyed it. I got a lot of one-off graphics created for my blog. These I could usually submit during the day, then they would be in my inbox when I woke up.
I also created some longer projects like website landing page mock-ups and illustrations when using Penji. These would take more like 3-5 business days. Which lead to more congestion in the design queue, but the quality of work was solid.
Penji Review: The Dashboard & UI
The Penji dashboard is nice. You can sign in and once you start a project it is assigned to a creative. You can then message the person and leave comments directly on the drafts they upload.
The project briefs make it easy to explain what you are hoping to get designed.
That said, I liked the project dashboard of Flocksy better than Penji. Particularly because you could request specific team members inside of Flocksy. With each Penji project, you were still assigned at random.
What type of work is Penji good for?
Penji is great for quick overnight jobs like blog post graphics, infographics and more.
Using Penji, I also got some great landing page designs and illustrations done. These larger projects took 3-5 days to complete, so it clogs up your unlimited design pipeline, but overall they turned out really well.
So if you have a few landing pages and other graphics you need to be designed, it might be cheaper to go a month or two with Penji than hire each project as a one-off.
Penji Review: Speed & Quality
The quality of design with penji was very nice. I had a few great website mockups created. Unfortunately I can’t share those as the projects are still in stealth.
I did get a cool illustration done for my band, Beach Cities, single: Bali. I think they did a great job given the directions we gave them.
Penji vs Flocksy
Both Penji and Flocksy are good services. In terms of the work quality, the designs you get are comparable. Penji took on some harder tasks for me than flocksy and did a great job.
However, overall I enjoyed my experience with Flocksy more. I liked how Flocksy worked on US hours. This made communicating easier which made the overall turnaround a bit faster. Also, my dedicated account manager made coordination very easy and improved my experience overall. I preferred the human account manager approach of Flocksy, to the AI account manager approach of Penji.
Penji uses AI to pick and assign designers, with Flocksy you get the option to pick and request previous members you worked with. Because I could use the same people over and over on Flocksy, I felt closer to the team. The UI of the site was also better with Flocksy.
I liked how you could leave comments by replying directly to the email with Flocksy. You can’t do that with Penji, but must log in to reply.
Penji vs Fiverr
You can find gigs on Fiverr for as low as $5 and the quality can be great too. It is a good option if you want a one-off design. While there are plenty of freelancers on Fiverr that provide good quality work, it is still a game of chance. You might have to sift through a few designers to find the right one. Penji, on the other hand, hires designers after a rigorous design test and only the top 2% are made a part of the Penji team.
Fiverr too offers what it calls Pro services where the freelancers’ skills are tested and verified by Fiverr, but the Pro freelancers charge a lot more than the regular ones. On top of that, the pro services are still one off services.
If you plan to use the design services on a regular basis and can keep your pipeline filled, Penji is definitely a better option than Fiverr.
Penji vs Design Pickle
The Graphics plan offered by Design Pickle is similar to the Pro plan offered by Penji in terms of design services, and they both come at the same price ($499/month). The Graphics Pro plan offers presentation design services in addition to custom illustrations and graphic design, but it does not offer any motion graphic services. The Team plan of Penji, on the other hand, offers unlimited animated graphics and comes at a much cheaper rate of $699/month as compared to Design Pickle’s $995/month.
The Graphics Premium plan offered by Design Pickle offers motion graphics but the monthly rate is very high. The plan comes at $1695/month.
It is true that Design Pickle is one of the first and most venerated design services, and there is a chance that the high prices are justified by better quality and user experience, but platforms like Penji and Flocksy are not disappointing either and they are much more affordable.
Penji vs 99Designs
Penji has the ability to make logos and high-quality sites. However, you are randomly assigned a single designer. This works if you need something quick. Or if you get lucky and that designer works.
99designs gives you hundreds of options and you can choose from multiple designers. This makes your work easier and more creative because you have tons of options. Also, once you select a design, you can build a direct rapport with that designer and coordinate with them on your future design projects in a better way.
If you’re looking for a forever brand identity, Penji could work, but 99designs is the way to go.
Penji Review Conclusion
Overall Penji is a good service – particularly for bloggers and social media managers who need consistent thumbnails and graphic content. However, when it comes to unlimited graphic design I enjoyed my 1 month with Flocksy more.
If you are going for a logo and brand guideline, Penji does a great job, but 99designs takes the cake. Though, 99designs is more expensive and not unlimited.
That said, Penji is a great service with talented designers and I really enjoyed my 1 month using Penji.
Thanks for reading this Penji review.