We categorize design services based on several aspects: subscription-based and on-demand; unlimited and fixed-rate; budget and premium; and graphic and video.
We know that you cannot trust our reviews if we don’t actually use the services ourselves and have a complete overview. For that reason, we repeatedly check all graphic design services and keep an extensive folder of our thoughts and opinions.
When we test, we do everything a new customer would do, but we go a step further: we obsessively check for quality, potential dealbreakers, and scams—so you don’t have to.
The Process of Testing Graphic and Video Design Services
We always stay anonymous, so we don’t get better service by being recognized as reviewers. First, we do our research by checking existing reviews, reading what customers think, asking questions on forums, and going through the documentation and policies of the design service.
We start by contacting customer support with all kinds of questions, from beginner questions like “What do I get from logo design?” to more advanced questions like “How do you ensure that designs comply with all necessary policies?”. We pay attention to how well customer support answers questions and their willingness to find answers if they don’t have them, and we note how long it takes them to respond. During the course of our testing, we return to customer support with more questions that we get along the way.
Next, wel book a demo or start a free trial when available. We use the demo to see how good the representation is and whether the demo presenter has a firm grasp of the design service. With the free trials, we make note of what you get, for how long, whether you have to pay for anything, and if there are any hidden tricks (such as having to cancel days in advance).
After the trial ends, we get full access to the design service. In this part of the review, we first check the dashboard and website usability. For instance, how easy it is to submit and manage tasks, how fast it loads, and what the workflow feels like.
We try to submit as many tasks as possible and go through every scenario our readers would go through, including submitting, editing, resubmitting, and canceling tasks.
Lastly, we cancel the subscription or ask for a refund, to see whether there are any issues. For example, some services might try to persuade you that you cannot ask for a refund, although it is stated in their terms and conditions. We take note of such issues.
What is more important than the ease of use of a design service? The quality of the results. Since our quality checks rely heavily on our expertise, it’s difficult to explain what makes a quality design.
For one, we look into whether the designer followed our instructions. Did they use the color we specified? Did they use our fonts? Did they create a minimalistic design when we asked for one?
We also check for design expertise. This includes verifying that the colors fit together to form a palette, how fonts complement each other, the use of white space, various layout techniques, and if the images used are high-quality, properly licensed, and match the intent.
In our reviews and comparison lists, you will find ratings of graphic and video design services. We rate them from 1 to 5 based on a proprietary in-house formula. The ratings take into account the price, pricing options, free trials, demos, turnaround time, number of active requests, design quality, service diversity, customer support, and website usability.
- 5.0: Superb: The one or two best graphic design services that have minimal drawbacks and that we use ourselves. We are 100% confident in recommending these graphic design services to everyone, including our friends and family. Examples: 99designs
- 4.5–4.9: Excellent: These graphic design services are almost perfect but have a minor flaw or two. We are still confident recommending them to you, and we sometimes even use them ourselves. Examples: Awesomic
- 4.0–4.4: Great: Acceptable graphic design services, but with more limited use cases. They are usually useful only for certain designs, such as those on a budget or those that need a very specific design.
- 3.5–3.9: Good: Okay graphic design services with one major flaw or several minor flaws. While you may find value in them, we are not comfortable recommending them.
- 3.0–3.4: Mediocre: These graphic design services have two or more major flaws, usually accompanied by poor design quality. Unless you’re 100% sure that you need them, we recommend you look for another one.
- 2.5–2.9: Poor: Graphic design services with poor quality, poor customer support, and overall subpar service.
- 2.0–2.4: Bad: Very low design quality, too costly for what you get, no customer support or doesn’t meet deadlines.
- 1.5–1.9: Very bad: Amateur-level design quality, no customer support, overpriced, and borderline unusable.
- 1.0–1.4: Stay away: Scammy companies that you should stay away from at any cost.
Design Services We Tested So Far
- 99designs (5.0/5.0): The best service to get on-demand designs. High-quality, professional, 60-day refund, and easy to use.
- Awesomic (4.8/5.0): The best premium unlimited graphic design service. It’s more costly than others but the provides the highest value for money.
- Fiverr (tested; coming soon)
- Upwork (tested; coming soon)
- Kimp (in testing)
- DesignCrowd (in testing)
- DotYeti (in testing)
- Crowdspring (coming soon)
- DesignHill (coming soon)
- ManyPixels (coming soon)
- Kapa99 (coming soon)
- Flocksy (coming soon)
- Design Pickle (coming soon)
- Penji (coming soon)