Please note: this article contains affiliate links for the tools I use to conduct client interviews as part of providing SEO content services.
Visuals are an important aspect of marketing. Copy is likewise important — but if no one stops long enough to read it, it’s hardly effective.
Creating effective visuals takes time, skill, and experience.
Anyone can go on Canva and create something that looks halfway decent, if templatized. If you want visuals that look professional and unique to your brand, you’re better off hiring a graphic designer.
Design Pickle offers a great platform for accessing graphic design services whenever you need them.
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What is Design Pickle?
Design Pickle is a subscription graphic design service. There are various plans to choose from based on the amount and type of graphic designs you need. Once you subscribe, you’re matched with a graphic designer who handles the majority of any graphic design requests you submit. Note that you have the option to change designers if necessary. Pricing scales down according to whether you pay monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Design Pickle offers the ability to create a queue of graphic design requests. You can submit new requests whenever you want and reprioritize them if necessary as you add new submissions.
I was first introduced to Design Pickle by an entrepreneur friend I trust. He gave me the opportunity to create a sub-account on his account to submit a test request and see what the process was like.
It wasn’t long before I was sold. It was around this same time that Design Pickle was offering a lifetime discount for Black Friday. I snapped it up and have been a customer for over a year now as of sharing this Design Pickle review.
Design Pickle Pricing
I’m using the Design Pickle Essentials plan, which is their lowest-priced offering.
The limitation associated with this plan versus Pro is that requests take at least a day to turn around and you have to set priorities if you have multiple, complicated requests. The next tier up is the Pro plan, which offers same-day turnaround, the ability to communicate with your designer in real time (over Slack), and additional types of graphic design deliverables.
It’s worth noting that you can cancel or put your account on hold at any time if you don’t anticipate using your account to the fullest in the next month. That said, for someone like me with a lifetime discount, either of these actions would mean forfeiting said discount.
Check out Design Pickle’s scope of design service for details regarding the specific deliverables you can expect by working with them. In my experience, the Essentials plan has covered everything I’ve personally wanted to get out of having ongoing access to a graphic designer.
It can also be helpful to check out some of Design Pickle’s work samples for inspiration regarding how you might use this service and what you can expect in terms of output.
Here’s what isn’t included in Essentials but that you’d have access to in Pro:
Notably not included in the Essentials and Pro subscriptions are custom illustrations. Design Pickle offers a separate plan (or add-on) for this type of design, at an additional cost.
Setting up Your Design Pickle Account & Creating Brand Profiles
It’s worth taking the time to customize your settings and set preferences after subscribing to Design Pickle.
Company Settings encompasses contact information, basic company information, and billing details.
My Profile Settings lets you set a time zone (which corresponds to your daily request cutoff time), feature preferences, and preferred file types.
Brand Profiles is where you can specify helpful information about the brands Design Pickle will be helping you to create graphics for. Share details such as your target audience, a general description of the brand, brand colors/typography, and logo files.
For any brands/clients you’ll be submitting requests for more than a few times, it’s worth specifying this information so you don’t have to find and share it in each request.
Submitting a Design Pickle Request
You can submit a request and revisions either directly on Design Pickle, through an existing request email chain, or via third-party tools connected to Design Pickle via Zapier (more on that in a bit).
The most straightforward process for submitting a request, especially when you’re just getting used to working with Design Pickle, is using the request form after logging in.
You’ll notice that there’s a stated request cutoff time — usually later in the day, based on your timezone. It’s important to proactively submit any timely requests before this cutoff, otherwise the designer won’t get to them until the next business day.
It’s worth noting that Design Pickle designers work Monday-Friday — not weekends or recognized US holidays. Make sure to plan accordingly.
Start with a descriptive name that includes the brand and the specific design requested. This is just as much to help you with organization as it is to help your designer.
The next part of the form will ask about the type of design and dimensions. You’ll also specify the specific file types you’d like your designer to deliver (including raw .PSD and .INDD if you need to make any timely changes yourself in between request cutoffs) or use whatever defaults you’ve previously set.
Before submitting, you’ll be asked about using any specific brand styles you’ve previously specified, and a brief description of what you’re looking for.
I personally have not felt a need to add this step in when making a request, I’m just mentioning it as it’s an interesting value-add to share a complete Design Pickle review.
You’ll also have the opportunity to set a priority for the specific request, depending on whether you need it ASAP or if you can wait if there are other timely items in your queue.
And that’s it!
Your request is in progress and if there’s nothing else in your queue, you’ll have an update from your designer available by the next business day morning. Most of my requests are completed within this time period, but longer, more complicated projects (such as a 20 page ebook) are completed over several business days.
To give you a better idea regarding turnaround time, I asked Design Pickle customer service about the factors that influence it.
Here are the main factors that affect turnaround time:
They also provided these examples regarding what you could expect regarding the average request with one day turnaround time:
One subscription may look like one of the following:
Two subscriptions may look like one of the following:
Asking for Revisions on Design Pickle
If you’re just starting out with your Design Pickle graphic designer, you should expect revisions to be the norm, not the exception. That’s not because anyone’s at fault — it’s just because it takes time for you to get used to delegating graphic design requests and for your designer to get used to your ideal brand styles.
And even after you get to know your designer and vice versa, there will be projects that fall outside of the norm that you’ll want to collaborate on until you get things right.
TL:DR; Revisions aren’t a bad thing, they’re just part of the process. So expect them.
Once you have a request in progress, you can request revisions directly via the email chain connected to the individual request or by logging back in and replying to the request in progress.
Best Practices for Working with a Design Pickle Designer
If you’ve never worked with a graphic designer before, prepare for some growing pains.
That said, you can reduce these pains by following these best practices:
Working with Teams and Sub Accounts on Design Pickle
Unlike most other SaaS tools, adding sub users to your Design Pickle account doesn’t cost any extra money and you can add unlimited sub accounts with zero limitations.
How awesome is that?
I maintain one Design Pickle admin account for myself and a sub account where members of my team can login to request revisions for tasks in progress.
But most of my team isn’t directly interacting with the Design Pickle interface as I’ve described it so far in this Design Pickle review. Instead, they’re taking advantage of some of the Zapier automations I’ve created to interface with Design Pickle.
Automating your Graphic Design Workflow
Here’s an example of how I’m using automation to connect Design Pickle with other tools I use on a regular basis in my agency business.
The Blogsmith uses Process Street for most project and task management workflows.
I built a task template to create weekly social media content for my brand, The Blogsmith. The assignee is asked to specify social copy, imagery, and posting times for five weekly posts. They’re also given the option to request relevant custom graphics from Design Pickle.
I built this task based on a streamlined version of Design Pickle’s request form. Once completed, the assignee checks the task as complete and Zapier connects Process Street to Design Pickle to submit the request:
I love this automation because the assignee can complete all tasks related to social media without having to bounce around between apps. The Design Pickle step also serves as a useful reminder to get my team to make use of this account!
Design Pickle Examples
Social graphics for various use cases:
Blog post supportive imagery for clients:
PDF checklists that I can use as lead magnets:
PDFs for fun:
Various ebooks and PDFs:
When I was planning my wedding, I also used my Design Pickle account to commission custom graphics including a table tent, program, place setting cards, and a custom Snapchat filter.
In other words, you can get so much use out of using Design Pickle for your brand, as a value-add for your clients, and even for your own personal projects!
Design Pickle Alternatives
Design Pickle may be the biggest name in unlimited graphic design services but there are certainly other options available on the market that are worth considering as part of this Design Pickle review.
Check out some of the best Design Pickle alternatives:
Final Thoughts: Design Pickle Review
Design Pickle has been an important part of my content creation process for clients. Custom visuals add a special wow factor that takes written content from good to great.
That said, although the pricing is affordable, I wouldn’t recommend signing up for the service unless you know you’re going to use it.
Start thinking about your graphic design needs and make a list of some initial requests you could start with. From there, make sure that you’re building in your Design Pickle access to the rest of your workflow so that you’re not paying for something you’re not making use of.
If you have a frequent need for custom graphics, the price of Design Pickle scales down with each new request in your queue. And it’s nice to have the opportunity to grow with one designer who can anticipate your needs versus constantly going through the hiring process of finding a graphic designer for each unique need you have.
Design Pickle is also more reliable than the average graphic designer — if your designer is unable to complete a request for some reason, there are others on the team that can take over and get you what you need in a timely manner.
What questions do you have about working with Design Pickle? Let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to help!