The Bottom Line
Penji is reasonably priced, but its quality does not always meet the high standards it promises. In some cases, the designs are basic and lack the creativity and polish that you would expect from a professional graphic designer. In other cases, the designs are well-executed and meet the high standards that Penji promises. Overall, the quality of the designs is hit or miss, and you may not always get your money’s worth.
- Affordable prices for smaller businesses.
- 25% discount on yearly plans.
- Inconsistent design quality
- Poor customer support.
- They work only on 1 task simultaneously.
- Misleading refund policy.
2-minute Penji review
Penji is a graphic design company that offers unlimited graphic design services to its clients for a monthly subscription fee. Their designers come from over 20 countries throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, and North & South America. It was co-founded by Johnathan Grzybowski in the City of Camden as an on-demand design service. At the end of 2020, Penji transformed from an on-demand service into a subscription-based one.
According to our most recent research, Penji is one of the fastest-growing unlimited graphic design services. This is due to the affordable prices (get our 15% discount) and decent designs. However, we prefer Awesomic, which we have personally used and loved.
How much does Penji cost?
Penji offers graphic design services with three subscription plans (Pro, Team, and Daytime) and three commitment types (monthly, quarterly, and yearly). Plans range from $374.25 to $999/month and differ in turnaround time, types of designs, and whether or not you get a dedicated art director.
|Quarterly (15% off)||$424.15/mo||$594.15/mo||$849.15/mo|
|Yearly (25% off)||$374.25/mo||$524.25/mo||$749.25/mo|
|Logos & branding||✓||✓||✓|
|Unlimited brands & users||✓||✓||✓|
|Web & app design||✓||✓|
|Dedicated art director||✓|
Pro plan features include basic graphic design, branding, and illustrations. In contrast, the Team plan offers more advanced designs, such as web, app, and presentation designs, as well as animated graphics.
With the Daytime plan, you get USA daytime designers in addition to the Team plan (other plans may get you someone from another country). Furthermore, you receive a dedicated art director who oversees your designs and manages some tasks, as well as the option of same-day turnarounds thanks to daytime designers.
Quality of Designs
Penji’s designs are praised by some customers, but to the keen eye, they seem plain, sometimes even unprofessional. During our testing, we received many high-quality designs that were ready to be published on the first try, but most often we had to request revisions. In spite of the fact that revisions aren’t wrong in themselves, they do devalue your subscription. This is because each revision represents a new submission and you won’t be able to submit any additional designs during that time.
Hence, an unlimited graphic design service that costs 1.5 times as much as Penji, but you never need to request revisions, can actually be cheaper in terms of designs delivered per dollar. Two such services, in our experience, are ManyPixels and Awesomic.
But you don’t have to subscribe to see it; Penji showcases all of its work through “Our work” section of the website. For example, let’s check logos from the “Branding” section. As you can see from the screenshot below, most of logo designs are generic and can easily be replicated in automatic logo builders for $20/logo or in Canva.
A similar amateur feeling can be found in illustrations, prints, and animations. We know we would not accept them for our campaigns or would request numerous revisions, which would make Penji less efficient.
That’s not to say that all Penji designs are bad—quite the opposite, in fact. Among their web and app, examples are a few gems of gold, as well.
We liked that Penji offers live chat support, which is available throughout most of the day and provides answers to your questions quite well. Although it states you have to wait just “A few minutes”, it can take longer to get a reply even when the chat is supposedly live.
Our latest complaint is about the free demo of Penji you can get. We scheduled one to learn more about Penji, and while we could get the date fast, the overall tour was subpar. The demonstrator didn’t care about our concerns and wouldn’t show us around the platform.
After the disappointing tour was done, the demonstrator promised us some follow-up information and answers. However, even after two reminders, we only received a part of the answer. To this day, we haven’t heard from them.
Penji advertises its 30-day money-back guarantee. Even on the pricing page, they state that all monthly plans are eligible for a full refund within 30 days. Granted, they live up to that promise.
However, an uncareful reader might miss the “monthly” part. Although it’s not stated on the pricing page (you have to open their guides and FAQs; see below), Penji does NOT offer a refund on their yearly and quarterly plans. Not even if you cancel without submitting any designs.
Best Penji Alternatives
Penji vs Design Pickle
Design Pickle is slightly more expensive than Penji ($499–$1,695/month), but it also offers a much higher quality of designs, which are well-worth a higher price. In addition, Design Pickle provides an onboarding manager and Spanish speaking designers, when necessary.
In terms of designs you can get, their repertoires are fairly similar, yet Design Pickle offers motion graphic only with the most expensive plan, while you can get them at penji for one third the price. The Graphics Premium plan also lets you usem notion graphics revision tool and you can request Canva file delivery.
Penji vs ManyPixels
ManyPixels is marginally more expensive than Penji, but offers significantly better designs. For a slightly higher price, you can also submit more designs because instead of working on 1 at the time, you can submit one a day, which is ideal for when you have longer projects. This way, you’ll get more done for the same amount of money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Penji used for?
As an unlimited graphic design service, businesses use Penji to consistently get new designs for their projects, such as advertising campaigns, social media presence, and blogs.
Is Penji legit?
Penji is a legitimate and safe service to use, but their promises about quality don’t always live up to expectations. Our biggest doubt is their vetting process for designers, which seems too strict base on our experience with their results.
About your guide
Matic Broz is a multifaceted creative professional, with experience as a photographer, graphic designer, and business owner. He has a decade of experience in helping other creatives improve their craft and start their own businesses. His writing and research have been featured in notable publications such as The Guardian, PetaPixel, and USA Today. Additionally, his scientific research has been recognized with a cover feature in the prestigious MDPI-owned journal. In his leisure time, he enjoys photography, hiking, and spending time with dogs. Read more
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