Subscription-based design services offer the best ratio of cost and quality, and today you can learn how this service works and why it could be the best option for you.
In an increasingly visual world, design matters more than ever. Working with a design agency can be a significant strain on your budget, and working with freelancers is often unpredictable in terms of quality and time management.
Hiring an in-house designer can also mean expensive (you have to account for all the administrative costs as well), and on top of that, one person might not possess the necessary skills to tackle every design project you might have.
A subscription-based design service offers the best of all worlds. Here’s what you need to know.
What does unlimited design mean?
You might come across terms like “unlimited” or “on-demand” design service, but usually, they refer to the same type of service. This what a monthly subscription gets you:
- As many projects as you want: there’s no limit to how many design requests you can make, but, naturally, there is usually an expected daily output.
- Unlimited revisions: also one of the greatest benefits of unlimited design service is that if you don’t like something, you can keep changing it until you’re happy (usually at no extra cost on top of the monthly fee).
- Different types of projects: the scope of service of each company may vary, but generally you can get a wide range of different projects done with just one service (e.g. web design, social media graphics, branding, etc.)
- A dedicated designer to work with: with most services, you’ll know who you’re working with, and as time goes by, you can learn more about their style, strengths and weaknesses.
The benefits of subscription-based design services
It all sounds good in theory, but how do unlimited graphic design services compare to other design providers? Here’s a quick look.
The most tangible benefit of using a subscription-based service is definitely the price. It goes without saying that you’ll really get your money’s worth if you make several design requests every month. But a monthly fee that ranges from $300 to $800 is usually a fraction of the cost you’d pay a design agency and sometimes what you’d pay a qualified freelancer for a single, more complex project.
Here’s a quick cost breakdown—prices for freelancers and design agencies are calculated based on the average hourly rate. Since these services often charge on a per-project basis, we’ve also included the average price for individual projects.
You can see how ManyPixels’ affordable monthly rate easily wins over these one-off solutions (that are quite expensive in the long-run). But how do we compare to hiring a design professional in-house? We’ll use our mid-range subscription plan ($549 per month) for this comparison. Let’s take a look.
It’s clear that when it comes to cost-effectiveness, for a full-time, professional design service, an on-demand model can’t be beat.
The best person for each design task
Making an in-house hire or working with a design agency can be limiting in terms of the choice of talents. But, sifting through hundreds of portfolios just to find the best person for each project is another thing you probably don’t want to do.
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Unlimited services offer you the chance to work with an experienced professional for the exact type of design you request. And you don’t need to spend hours looking for the perfect hire either!
Fast turnaround time
You might not think you’ll need design at a short notice—until you do. Unlike in-house designers or freelancers, with an on-demand service, you never have to worry about unforeseen circumstances such as sick leave or holidays. There’s always a qualified designer on hand ready to take over!
At ManyPixels, this is our projected output of one designer:
- 2-3 social media graphics
- or 1-2 custom illustrations (more if they are not too complex)
- or 2-3 display ads
- or 4-5 pages of a brochure, e-book, report or slide deck
- or 1 GIF draft (2-3 sec)
- or 1-2 flyers
- or 1 logo draft
- or the first draft of a landing page
On top of that, you can be sure that you’ll get the initial feedback on your design request within 24 hours.
Who should use unlimited design services
Short answer: anyone who needs design done every month. If you run a green market stall six months a year, this might not be the most sensible option for you.
A longer answer is that on-demand design brings specific benefits to different types of businesses. Here’s who our design team at ManyPixels caters to:
- Small businesses: It’s cost-effective and simple—you don’t need any design knowledge or special software to get all your designs in one place.
- Creative agencies: You’ll get a quicker turnaround and a design expert for specific projects for you and your clients.
- Marketing teams: Consistent design quality across a number of projects and a professional service you can depend on
How does on-demand design work?
So now that you know what it is, it’s time to take a closer look into the day-to-day of working with an unlimited graphic design service. We’re going to use ManyPixels as an example to show you how our clients get their designs delivered.
1. Making a request
Another great thing about working with a vetted design service is that you don’t need to have any design knowledge yourself. At ManyPixels we use a simple form that helps our clients create the perfect design brief.
You’ll need to choose the type of design and specify the design projects, and add anything you want your dedicated designer to know (brand assets, style inspiration, etc.). You can also leave it blank and communicate with the designer later on, but this route might take longer to get to the final design.
2. Communicating with your designer
Having a dedicated designer means that you’re able to develop a relationship with a design professional you like, and you can directly discuss your design ideas with them. At ManyPixels, we assign the designer according to their specific skills, so that you get the best person for each design task. Of course, once our clients get to know a certain designer, they’ll often request working with them on subsequent projects.
However, unlike freelancers, many subscription-based design services (ManyPixels included) also have project managers, who can act as a buffer between the client and designer when needed. They can offer expert advice, or suggest a different direction (whether it’s a change in style or a different designer to work with) if the project comes to a standstill.
If you’ve never requested a design project before, you’d be surprised just how many tweaks and changes a simple task can require. On platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, freelancers will usually specify a limit of revisions and charge extra for additional ones.
With on-demand services you have the freedom to make as many changes as you want at no extra cost. This is a great feature for reusing graphics, or recurring campaign assets since you’ll get new designs in no time!
4. Final approval and delivery
Once you’re happy with the finished projects, your design task will be closed, and all the designs, as well as source files, safely stored in our app. Different design services offer different solutions (e.g. Design Pickle uses integration with platforms you already work with). However, we believe that having one space for everything design-related is the best way to keep on top of your work and not lose any files, communication records, or tasks that need to be done.
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We hope this article helped you understand on-demand design better, and consider it as a service that might benefit your business.
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