Don't Do It Yourself

My Honest Review of Penji (We Tested + Samples)

Penji is a good alternative to hiring a freelancer if you have ongoing graphic design work.  Penji saves you the legwork of finding, hiring, and managing a high-quality designer….and eliminates the possibility of getting overcharged.

See Penji in action for yourself: I tested Penji out and used them to create the blog images next to headings in this review.  See what you think.

Their pricing model is unlimited graphic design for a flat monthly fee ($499/month) with no contract.  You get a dedicated web designer at a very good price.  Let’s take a closer look at how it works and the pluses and minuses.

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Review of Penji

Penji Review 

Penji review - ProsPros: Here’s what I like about Penji

  • They have some of the best productivity and graphic output we've tested.  We typically request blog graphics for 2 posts a day.  Each post is considered an active project (you're allowed two) and we get 3-4 daily designs per project.  That's 6-8 images per day.
    Note: your results may vary depending on the type of project you submit.
  • They are one of the few providers to include app and web design (Team plan and above).
  • We were impressed by their new onboarding process.  For the first 2-3 requests, they provided varying designs from 3 different designers (all fairly different approaches).  You pick your favorite and can go through revisions with that designer and then use them going forward.
  • They are affordable and have no hidden fees.  I love Penji’s business model. You don’t have to worry about design projects exceeding budget because it’s a fixed monthly fee.
  • They have a strict testing process for graphic designers and only hire the top 2% of all applicants.
  • There’s no commitment and you can cancel anytime.
  • You can pick your own royalty-free images when you are submitting a design brief.
  • They’re nice! Everyone I’ve talked to at Penji is so pleasant and happy. This should not be understated!

Use Penji for Logo Design: I once paid $1500 to an agency for only 3 logo designs.  With Penji you get unlimited designs and iterations for only $499/month.

  • If your designer has a style you don’t like, just let them know and they will assign you another one without any fuss.
  • Most requests are turned around in 24-48 hours.  They've recently added day-time support for small revision requests so you don't have to wait a whole day for minor changes.  I also like how they briefly explain what changes they made.
  • They have an intuitive dashboard that allows you to easily leave feedback and comments for your designer directly on images.

Penji designer feedback example

  • If you have more work than one designer can handle, they have an agency plan with 2 dedicated designers. This is really nice if you have a spike in demand…you can upgrade your your plan for a month and then downgrade after the spike.
  • I like how you can create a design profile for your brand and upload your logos, colors, fonts, etc. Anytime you create a project for that brand, select the design profile and the designer will follow your brand guidelines.
  • I like how you can get shareable links to send designs to your friends or clients to get their feedback.
  • Penji gives back to the community! They have a special charitable program serving nonprofits for only $1/month.

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

  • Penji review - ConsIf you don’t consistently need design work, you may not get the full value every month. Penji is worth it if you average at least 8-10 hours per month in design work.  Keep in mind, even if you only use a few hours a month, they are always on call while a freelancer might not always be available.  And you could sign up for Penji for a month when you need them, cancel, and sign up again later as your projects warrant the help.
  • You can communicate with designers over email and through the Penji dashboard, but you can’t talk with them directly on the phone. I’m a verbal guy and it’s easiest for me to explain concepts through conversation.   That said, if needed, you can talk to a U.S. based project manager who will pass along details to the designers so it ends up being not that different.
  • While they provide a variety of source files from Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, or PDF formats), they do not have an option for Sketch (which is a widely used Mac-based software).  However, they do include the fonts which other providers do not typically include without asking.
  • You need to be very detailed in your design brief, otherwise, you may get clarification requests which could add a day to the turnaround.   The flip side is that it seems they want to get it right and so I can't fault someone for over-communicating.

Video Review & Walkthrough of Penji

Penji Overview

How does Penji's unlimited graphic design work?

How does Penji work?You can submit as many design projects and revisions as you want for logos, social media marketing, infographics and more.  There are no hidden costs beyond the monthly fee (view Penji's full pricing details).

My experience is that my design requests were turned around quickly (overnight).

READ: What does Unlimited Graphic Design mean?

Who is the Penji business model good for?

  • What type of business is Penji good for?Bloggers who want to include high quality custom images and infographics in their posts
  • Social media marketers who need graphics for Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook
  • Agencies who want to supplement their design capabilities without adding staff
  • Businesses looking to create ads for PPC campaigns on Facebook, Google, and Instagram

Penji designers will work on just about anything, including:

Who uses Penji?

Penji is used by small business as well as big brands like Aweber, the University of Pennsylvania, Lyft, Express, Tide, and Reebok.

Big brands like them because of their rigorous screening process for graphic designers.

Who uses Penji - Penji customers

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Alternatives to Penji

Alternatives to Penji

Penji is a great option to find affordable and high-quality graphic designers.

However, if you are looking for an alternative, there are similar companies that also provide a monthly subscription model for unlimited graphic design.

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

Also check out our Unlimited Graphic Design Services Comparison which breaks down each of these providers and our top 2 picks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is unlimited graphic design?

You get an unlimited number of graphic design projects and revisions for a fixed monthly fee.

What type of projects will Penji handle?

Penji designers will work on just about anything, including logos, infographics, websites and social media, apps, print materials, tshirts, and illustrations.

What is the typical turnaround time?

Average design requests are turned around within 24 to 48 hours.  However, if your request is more complex with several components it will likely take more time.

Does Penji have a free trial?

No, but they provide a 15-day money-back guarantee.

What does Penji cost?

Penji has 3 pricing plans.

The “Starter” plan is $499 per month.

The “Marketer” plan is $995 per month.

The “Agency” plan is $1,497 per month.

Are there any hidden fees?

No, all taxes and fees are included in the fixed monthly price.

Is there a contract?

No, you pay monthly and can cancel anytime.