Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on linkedin
Design Service Reviews

My Honest Review Of Design Pickle

Table of Contents

Design Pickle Overview

As the demand for digital content increases and workplace models shift toward a virtual team, on-demand graphic design is an awesome solution for businesses that can’t hire an in-house designer. Design Pickle is a popular option, offering both on-demand design and custom illustrations for agencies and small businesses. But is Design Pickle worth the money? Do they live up to their claims of unlimited, expert design? Let’s take a look

What is Design Pickle?

Design Pickle is essentially a design and illustration agency that provides logos, infographics, presentations, and more. However, unlike typical design firms that clients may put on retainer or book for a specific number of projects, Design Pickle offers unlimited services for a flat monthly rate.

How does Design Pickle work?

How it works

When you sign up with Design Pickle, expect the following process:

  1. Fill out your information and select your plan.
  2. Fill out your brand profile(s) so that designers will know your colors, fonts, etc.
  3. Get matched with a designated designer who will get to know your brand (or your client’s brand(s), if you’re an agency using Design Pickle). This person will work on your projects every day (or as the projects come up in the queue).
  4. Start requesting your projects. They go into a queue that the Design Pickle team will work through. As each one comes up next in the queue, the designer will deliver a concept or proof within 1-3 days, depending on your plan.
  5. Request revisions as necessary.

It’s important to note that Design Pickle does not offer all types of projects on the Essentials Plan. This can be a drawback if you primarily need things like infographics, visual brand identities, and presentations — which are generally the types of projects you would need as a growing business. Unfortunately, these items are only available on the Pro plan, which could be costly if you don’t need flyers, stickers, packaging, and the other design types included in the Basic plan.

Design Pickle’s Logos

Design Pickle does offer logo designs, but it’s important to note that the Graphic Design plan only includes logos made with typography and/or stock images. While this may suit your needs, it does limit your available logo concepts. You will need to provide clear directions and have your concept mostly ironed out.

If you want an illustrated logo with 100% original images, you’ll need to sign up for Design Pickle’s Custom Illustration plan. This means that if you’re just running one business and don’t need additional illustration services, it would likely be better to choose a different design provider or run a logo design contest.

The few logos I see in Design Pickle’s portfolio are illustrated, but to be honest, it doesn’t seem like this company focuses on logo design. They do offer brand identity guides, albeit only in the Pro plan, which makes more sense for agencies that are requesting those on behalf of their clients. All in all, it seems that Design Pickle’s visual branding services are relatively limited.

It is for All

How Much is Design Pickle?

Design Pickle splits its offerings into two main plan types: Graphic Design and Illustration. The Graphic Design plans come in two tiers, and businesses can choose the tier that meets their needs. The “Essentials” package is $499 per month and includes unlimited designs with a 2-3 day turnaround. The “Pro” tier offers more types of design as well as a same-day turnaround.

The Custom Illustrations package is billed separately at one monthly fee of $499 per month. Clients can request unlimited illustrations with a 1-2 day turnaround.

How Long Does Design Pickle Take?

Design Pickle offers quick turnarounds on the Pro plan, but otherwise, clients can expect to wait up to 3 days for designs. This means that while the plans are “unlimited,” you can only expect a handful of projects to be completed each month. Once you upgrade to the Pro plan, you get same-day turnarounds, which means you’ll be able to get more projects done.

Of course, with only one designated designer on your team, “unlimited” quickly runs into a ceiling. Design Pickle is quick to suggest that you upgrade to the Pro plan, which allows your designated designer more time per day on your projects. You can also tack on another subscription. Unfortunately, there are no discounts or “bulk” rates for multiple subscriptions. You would simply pay twice the regular fee.

Design Pickle Review

My “Expert” Opinion

Design Pickle is a viable, affordable option for businesses that want to grow without spending all their money on marketing assets. It’s also an excellent partner for agencies who need to outsource work.

Their illustration work is extremely well done — I can definitely see some incredible artistry, and if I were a business or agency that needed a lot of illustrations done, I would consider Design Pickle’s $499/month Illustrations plan to be an insanely good deal.

Reviewing the rest of Design Pickle’s sample work, I see a lot of clever, unique designs, especially for their social media ads, banners, and infographics. The brochures, flyers, and other print designs can sometimes look a little generic, although I do love some of their book covers.

Pros: Here’s what I like about Design Pickle

Design Pickle is certainly a great resource for a business or agency that needs a lot of work done. Instead of spending time hunting for freelancers or trying to navigate the complexities of a retainer agreement, clients can simply log in, request projects, then trust that they’ll be handled by a vetted, designated designer.

The company is also very hands-on. They’re always willing to answer questions and provide guidance. So, if you’re not sure if Design Pickle would work for you, check out their Help section. They’ll even provide sample breakdowns of the types of projects you can expect within a month, so you can evaluate whether the Essentials plan’s turnaround time is sufficient.

I also really like that Design Pickle gives you a designated designer. This ensures that one person (or two, if you double up your subscription) will become very familiar with your brand. Plus, it just helps things go more smoothly when someone knows your preferences and communication style. Design Pickle makes that good working relationship possible without your needing to hire an in-house designer. So you get the consistency you need without straining your budget.

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

Design Pickle pitches itself as “unlimited,” but as I pointed out above, you’re already limited to what your designated designer can achieve. If you’re on the Essentials Plan, your designer has a 2-3 day turnaround. That means that in a given month, you’ll likely only get 6-8 projects done. Complex projects, such as social graphic projects with multiple variations, take more time.

And if you primarily need presentations, complex infographics, or GIFs, you have to choose the Pro plan — which could be too expensive if you don’t need more than a handful of projects done per month. You can always upgrade to get more projects done or add on a second subscription, but those costs add up.

One of the biggest drawbacks to me is also that your illustration plan is billed separately. I’ve rarely encountered a business that only needed graphic design or only needed illustration. Design Pickle doesn’t allow any crossover, which can be very limiting if your needs are diverse.

They also don’t offer any design for websites, UX, or apps. In my experience, it’s extremely helpful for businesses to draw upon the same design team for all their assets: print, digital, and social. The designer doesn’t need to code it, but should at least be able to create a consistent look-and-feel for developers to run with. Leaving out UX and email design seems like a glaring omission.

Finally, there’s the simple fact that Design Pickle focuses on, well, design. That means that while they do offer an impressive range of project types, they will not do anything related to content writing, copywriting,

Alternatives to Design Pickle

If Design Pickle doesn’t seem like quite the right fit, there are many other on-demand design agencies. Here are a couple of the top alternatives to Design Pickle.

99Designs
This is an on-demand agency that also connects you with a designated designer. Rather than a flat monthly rate, you basically pay a fixed rate, similar to if you were to hire your own freelance designer. The difference is that 99Designs facilitates the process, and you can be certain that the designer is fully vetted.

99Designs also offers design contests, which run a bit cheaper than hiring a designer and give you a wide range of options. You can run a contest for any sort of design: logo, poster, T-shirt, etc.

Hatchwise
Hatchwise primarily offers design contests, similar to 99Designs but a bit more affordable. They have a huge pool of graphic designers who will compete for the winning design, so Hatchwise is ideal if you don’t have a clear concept in mind and want to see a bunch of different ideas.

This platform is nice because it will also connect you to designers who can work on projects for you. So, Hatchwise is an excellent tool for discovering and building relationships with talented designers. They also offer naming, tagline, and slogans — an essential bit of copywriting that pairs well with logo design.

Flocksy
Flocksy began as an on-demand graphic design service but now includes copywriting, video editing, web development, and pretty much anything else you might need. Unlike the other options, you do not get a designated designer. Instead, members of the Flocksy team will tag-team your projects. (You can still invite a specific designer to your projects, though.)

Because you have more than one person working on your projects, Flocksy can offer faster turnarounds without requiring an upgrade. Even on the basic plan, you can get a design concept or proof back in just 24 hours — which is pretty amazing. Plus, you’re not limited to graphic design and illustration. So if copywriting, video editing, and web development are also essential to you, Flocksy can become your one-stop-shop.

Fequently Asked Questions

Yes, Design Pickle is a legitimate design provider. In my review, I found that they handle your information securely and match you with a qualified designer. They stand by their work, offering a generous 30-day money-back guarantee if things don’t work out. I would just recommend reading their guides so that you know which types of projects are covered in your plan and what kind of turnaround to expect.

In a design contest, you put up a creative brief and a prize amount, and graphic designers will submit concepts for your consideration. Usually, you can give feedback and request revisions, eventually narrowing down the submissions to a shortlist of final design candidates. The winning designer collects the prize, and you obtain full rights to the design. Design Pickle does not offer design contests, although its competitors 99Designs does.

If your business has its basic brand identity down and wants to have a reliable source of posters, social media graphics, etc., then Design Pickle is worth your consideration. Agencies that need to outsource work can also take advantage of Design Pickle’s affordably priced services.

However, if you need a unique logo and/or to build up your overall digital presence, or if you need a mix of graphic design and illustration, one of the alternative providers mentioned above may better suit your needs.