Don't Do It Yourself

My Honest Review of DarkRoast’s Unlimited Graphic Design Service

DarkRoast is the premium graphic design company for consumer brands who want a talented resource without the financial burden of a full-time staff member.

Let's take an in-depth look at DarkRoast and whether they'll be a good fit for your business.

Try out DarkRoast's unlimited graphic design service.

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DarkRoast Overview

DarkRoast is an unlimited graphic design provider based out of Ontario, Canada. They charge a flat fee to provide their clients with unlimited design requests and revisions.

Because their designers are based in Canada, they are aligned with U.S. time zones and available during daytime hours.

Darkroast designers have much higher qualifications than most other providers with 5-10 years' design experience and a 3-4 year degree from an accredited design school.

DarkRoast Unlimited Graphic Design

How does DarkRoast's unlimited graphic design work?

You can submit your graphic design projects using DarkRoast’s custom task management system.  You'll get as many requests and revisions as you want for a flat monthly fee.

For simple and smaller design projects, DarkRoast can have it done in 24 hours. The turnaround time can vary for larger projects, but generally is very fast.

DarkRoast provides standard marketing designs like logos, social media graphics, brochures, and newsletters, as well as more intricate products such as custom jerseys or vehicle decals.

READ: What's Unlimited Graphic Design?

Who is DarkRoast good for?

DarkRoast is unique in that they do not work with agencies or customers with multiple brands.

Instead, they focus on providing a premium service for in-house marketing departments.  They're great for marketing managers looking to augment their team with highly-trained, fractional resources at an affordable price point.

Their single-tier price plan is the equivalent of other providers' agency plans, but is deemed a higher level of quality and graphic design experience.

Who uses DarkRoast?

DarkRoast’s services are tailored towards small and medium-sized enterprises, primarily CPG (consumer packaged good) companies.  They also scoop up and retain a lot of customers who were dissatisfied with other big agency plans.  Popular verticals using Darkroast’s services include cannabis providers, food products, and real estate brokerage firms.

Specific brands that Darkroast works with include, but are not limited to:

  • Hippie Snacks
  • Supreme.
  • Platinum Naturals
  • Tealeaves
  • Freshfolds
  • The Valens Company

What does DarkRoast cost? (DarkRoast Pricing)

DarkRoast Pricing

DarkRoast has one price plan with a flat monthly fee of $1,190.  This includes unlimited design requests and revisions as well as dedicated customer support and a library of stock photos.  Unlike other providers, they only have a premium offering without the typical, entry-level plan in the $400/month range.

DarkRoast has a free 7-day trial to gauge their service.  There are no long-term contracts, and customers can cancel their service at any time.

DarkRoast Review 

DarkRoast is a little different than other providers as they focus on a premium service offering for single-brand companies.  They emphasize highly-trained designers that support in-house marketing efforts.

Their designers are very responsive and check their messages at least 3 times a day during U.S. business hours, meaning you’ll almost always get a prompt response to your communications.

Try out DarkRoast's unlimited graphic design service.

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DarkRoast Pros

Pros: Here’s what I like about DarkRoast

  • They have a strict hiring process with more rigid qualifications for education and design experience than other providers.
  • Each of their designers are well-rounded and can handle a variety of different requests (photo editing, illustrations, etc).  They can also escalate to other designers on the team with specific areas of expertise whenever needed.
  • Because they are based in Canada (instead of overseas) they overlap with U.S. time zones and are available during the day to respond to requests or comments in chat.
  • They specialize in consumer package goods branding and design.
  • No minimum term or contract

DarkRoast Cons

Cons: Here are the things I don’t like about DarkRoast

  • Because they have a premium offering, they often have a wait list and they are selective with new customers (they do have an application process to ensure the right fit).
  • They do not have an entry-level tier like many other providers.
  • Their task management system has a little to be desired and does not allow you to easily repriortize requests after entering them.  However, you can email your designer and I'm told they have a new user interface in the works.
  • If you’re an agency, you likely won’t be able to work with DarkRoast as they do not support multiple brands.

Alternatives to DarkRoast

If you’re looking for more options, we've reviewed the top alternatives to DarkRoast:

Also, check out our Best Graphic Design Companies list which breaks down each of these providers.

Trying out each of these platforms is your best bet to finding which works best for you. You are still saving hundreds if not thousands by going through these online services depending on your project needs.

In 2018 graphic designers made on average $50,000/year. That's over $4,000/mo. out of your pocket. So take a chance and try these platforms out. Most of their basic plans average about $400/mo. That’s just good business.