Whether a business is launching, scaling, or rebranding, it needs reliable design services. There’s no two ways about it. Design plays an important role in building, maintaining, and growing a brand.
But finding the right design solution can be a time-consuming and costly process of trial and error. Not every designer has the skill sets, or the capacity, required to complete the wide range of designs a business may need. And this can mean having to constantly vet and onboard new designers. Fortunately, there’s a growing niche within design services that offers flexibility and affordability, making it a great alternative for organizations and individuals ranging from entrepreneurs to nonprofit organizations to small and medium-sized businesses and agencies.
Unlimited design services offer professional graphic design and/or video design for a flat monthly fee. There are quite a few options out there, but very few offer both graphic design and video design services. So, today we’re taking a look at one service that does both – Kimp.io.
Founded in Canada, Kimp has team members and clients around the world. Its reviews seem to indicate that it’s a time-saver that has helped many teams scale. At the same time, it’s not quite right for every kind of business, so let’s take a look at what they offer and the types of clients that stand to benefit most from Kimp.
The Kimp Founders’ Story
Back in 2018, Kimp’s Co-Founders Senthu and Ven were looking for ways to make the professional design more accessible to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, and businesses. Having provided design services with different models for over 15 years, they were looking at how they could pivot to bring the professional design to more clients around the world. And this led to launching Kimp in early 2019. Today Kimp’s clients range from startups to SMBs, to nonprofits, to marketing agencies.
Whatever niche and industry they are a part of, Kimp clients typically have one or more of the following:
- Reliable, recurring design services
- A lack of time or funds to constantly be onboarding designers
- Design needs that can change from month to month, meaning they need a high volume at times and very little, if any at other times
Through Kimp’s flat fee design subscription options, Kimp clients are able to take design off their to-do lists. And they can focus on launching new business ideas and brands. Or scaling their organizations.
Kimp’s Unlimited Graphic Design
Kimp’s subscription based service model allows you to sign up for graphic design services for a flat monthly fee and on a month-to-month basis. So you can sign up to work with a design team on a regular basis and you can submit unlimited requests for new designs and revisions.
The turnarounds are 2-3 designs on average per business day. This includes designs like social media newsfeed and ad designs and web banner designs. For design requests that are more complex each client’s Project Manager lets them know of what the turnaround time will be.
Kimp’s Unlimited Video Design
Kimp’s video design service is similar to the setup for its graphic design service. The main difference, apart from the types of design tasks that can be requested, are the turnarounds. Clients can expect outputs every 2-4 business days, depending on the complexity of each request. And their Project Managers will let them know of the ETA for each request based on the details in the brief.
How Do Kimp’s Subscriptions Work?
Kimp offers a free 7-day trial for its graphic design subscription and its video subscription. It’s a great way to test out the service, without having to jump through hoops to get a refund if you’re not happy (which is unfortunately the case with many other services). During Kimp’s graphic design subscription trial, you can request 3 different types of designs, and revisions. And during the video design subscription trial you can request 1 video, up to 15 seconds in length.
A few design types aren’t included in the trial. These include logos and landing pages. And multi-page designs are limited to 2-3 pages, depending on the amount of content. According to their FAQ and terms, the limits are there to help clients get completed designs back within the trial so that they can get a better sense of whether the service is the right fit for them. And some types of design requests are just too complex for the trial, since most clients are trying to figure out how to use the service and often aren’t familiar with how much detail to provide. Since Kimp does complete quite a few other designs during the trial, you are still left with enough options to get a sense of the workflow and design quality though.
During the trial you get designs with a subtle watermark on them. And afterwards, you’ll get the source files for each design, as well as the designs without the watermark on them. The rights to all of the designs created for a client by Kimp belong to the client.
So you won’t have to follow up with anyone for access to anything. Once you’ve signed on to a full subscription, you get all the files you need. And to make collaboration easier you can also request to have your colleagues or team members added to your Trello board. This feature is at no extra charge.
Of course not every organization or entrepreneur may have the time to test out the service if they really want a design done, and feel happy with what they see on the samples page. It is possible to skip the trial, but we’d recommend hopping on the live chat on the Kimp site to ask all the questions you have before signing up. The chat is available 24/7, so it’s easy to clear up whether there are any deal breakers for you (e.g. if you need work done on weekends which they don’t do). You can even send over some screenshots on the chat to ask if the style of design that you need can be done by Kimp, and to ensure that your assigned team knows what you need.
To submit requests, you have 2 options. You can do so on a dashboard, which is your very own Kimp Trello board. Or you can do so via email. As with any other design service, submitting requests by email can be straightforward or it can be a mess. If for instance, you don’t quite have a clear idea of what you need, there’s going to be a lot of back and forth as you consider different iterations. And it’ll get harder and harder to refer back to the versions you need changes on.
With the Trello option, you can make and manage requests in one place. Once you have logged in, you’ll be able to request new designs, or ask for revisions, discuss tasks with your team, and view your designs all in one place. Trello also has an app so you can view your board and account activity from wherever you might be.
To make a new design request you add a new card with the details to the “Requests” list. Within the card you can add additional comments, and upload files and assets. Your assigned Project Manager will then review each of your requests and give you a heads up if anything needs to be clarified or if they are all set to proceed.
Next they assign the task to the designer on your team who would be best to complete the particular task. Each of Kimp’s graphic design teams is made up of 3 designers – one person who is especially good with illustrations, another whose strength is print designs and another whose strength is digital creatives. With the video design subscription you similarly work with a team made up of team members who have experience with enhancing raw footage or designing and animating from scratch.The idea with this dynamic is that you’ve got access to a wider range of talents than you would if you were working with a single designer.
Once designs are completed, you receive the files to review and provide feedback on. And the team moves on to your next request. Since the subscriptions are offered for a flat fee there are no extra charges for revision requests – no matter how many you may need. Or when you ask for them. So if you want to repurpose a set of designs from one campaign to another, even months later, you can go to town!
What Can I Request?
Kimp designers are experienced with a wide range of formats and they can complete a lot of different types of designs for you.
Here are some of the designs you can get with the graphic design subscription:
- Amazon Graphics
- Background Removal
- Blog Images
- Book Covers
- Book Layouts
- Business Cards
- Business Reports
- Company Profiles
- Corporate Folders
- Custom Illustrations (limited to one simple illustration during the trial)
- Display Ads
- Ecommerce Graphics
- EDM (Email Direct Mail)
- Email Signatures
- Event Invitations
- Flyers & Posters
- Landing Pages (not included during the trial)
- Logos (not included during the trial)
- Magazine & Newspaper Ads
- Packaging & Labels
- Podcast Covers
- Point Of Sale Materials
- PowerPoint Templates
- Presentation Decks
- Print Ads
- Product Mock-ups
- Promotional Materials
- Restaurant Menus
- Social Media Posts & Ads
- Stationery Sets
- T-shirt Design
- Tradeshow Banners
- Vehicle Wraps
- Web Ads
Here are some of the designs and edits you can get with the video design subscription:
- Adding Thumbnails
- Animating Static Designs
- Basic & Advanced GIFs
- Combining/Editing Raw Footage
- Company Culture Videos
- Demo Videos
- Educational Videos
- FAQ Videos
- Logo Animations
- Product Highlight Videos
- Simple Character Animation
- Simple Explainer Videos
- Social Media Videos
- Testimonial Videos
- Text Overlays
Who Exactly Is Kimp For?
According to their reviews and website, Kimp has designed for entrepreneurs and organizations ranging from startups to nonprofits to SMBs. Some of the bigger brands they’ve worked with include HostGator, York University, Universal Music and Decathlon. And when you take a look at their reviews you’ll see that a lot of their clients seem to be agencies that have scaled using Kimp.
Kimp’s Plans and Pricing
Kimp currently has three types of subscriptions. “Kimp Graphics”, “Kimp Video”, “Kimp Graphics + Video”. Let’s take a look at what each plan includes:
Graphics: $389 per month, 3 dedicated designers, 1 Project Manager, Unlimited Users, 2 active projects at a time.
Video: $589 per month, dedicated Video Team, 1 Project Manager, Unlimited Users, 2 Active Projects at a time.
Graphics+Video: $889 per month, everything you see in “Kimp Graphics” + everything you see in “Kimp Video”, for a discounted price.
With each of these subscriptions you’ll get:
- Unlimited brands and users
- Unlimited design requests
- Unlimited design revisions
- Source files
- No contract or hidden fees
- Unlimited stock photography and stock elements
They’re offering 30% off the first month on any subscription for new clients for a limited time. So if you’re thinking about trying them out, try to sign up sooner rather than later.
Tips For New Kimp Clients
Thinking about trying Kimp out? Here’s some best-practices based on our experience, and the reviews we’ve read about Kimp:
Keep the “Requests” list full
No need to wait to see design requests get moved to the “Completed” list. Just keep adding design requests and this will allow your team to keep working through tasks at a steady pace. If a certain design is a priority, let your Project Manager know this, and they’ll adjust the workflow as needed. Otherwise, just keep adding requests. This will also allow your team to review your requests and clarify points in your brief before working on the design.
And once you’re past the trial, since you can make unlimited requests and revision requests, consider asking your team for different versions of designs. This way you can A/B test to see what performs best.
Be as direct as possible in your briefs
Especially when working with a new design team it’s important to walk them through everything they need to know about your brand, audience and preferences. There may be things that you think are obvious after focusing on your marketing or niche a lot that your team may not.
Once you’ve written up a request, read it over and ask yourself if there’s anything that can be clarified or may benefit from an accompanying visual (e.g. screenshot or screen recording). Showing what you mean can go a really long way. Your team will then be better prepared to deliver the designs you need. And if you want your team to be creative, without strictly adhering to any references or guidelines let them know how much wiggle room they have.
Give clear and detailed feedback
Letting your team know that you’re happy with a design or displeased is helpful, but they need more. Provide clear and detailed feedback so they know what they could have done better, and can factor this in going forward.
Since you’ll be working with the same team for all your designs, take the time to explain your brand and your preferences in as much detail as possible, as early on as possible. And if after that you find that you really don’t like some of the designs you’re receiving, reach out to customer service. They’ll make sure that they train the team members who need the assistance on the styles that you’re preferring, or they’ll swap in team members who are better suited to complete your designs.
Review Your Account Often
A big part of keeping the design workflow going smoothly is input from the client. Keep an eye on updates from your team. Be sure to review their questions, any suggestions they make, and of course the design files they deliver. And provide your feedback or acknowledgement as soon as you can so they know they’re on the right track. And so you can get any updates, or revisions done quickly. Trello allows you to choose how frequently you get notifications. So choose the option that works best for you, and then keep yourself, and your team, working steadily.
They seem to get faster as your team gets more familiar with what you’re looking for. But if you know that you’re going to be requesting a complex or unique project – or you want it to come together in a very specific way – include a screen recording. You may also want to request a call with your team or customer service, to make sure the requirements are understood so that everyone is on the same page.
Kimp Pros and Cons
So now that you’ve got the general overview let’s take a look at the pros and cons you’ll want to weigh before choosing Kimp:
Flat Monthly Fee
Knowing what you’ll be paying every month no matter how many designs you need to get completed is a big perk. It makes budgeting for design tasks very easy. And all you have to worry about is making sure that you keep adding new design requests so that your team can keep working through each of them for you.
Being able to ask for as many revisions and design variations as you’d like makes Kimp a great tool when you’re running campaigns. From A/B testing to repurposing ad designs, you’ll boost your ROI.
Working with a dedicated design team, made up of professional designers allows you to tap into a lot of creativity and experience. So if you’re not fond of a particular design, you can ask for another designer on the team to tackle it.
Great Customer Service
Even clients who realize the service isn’t the right fit for them will appreciate the customer service they get from Kimp. They have their live chat available on their site 24/7 since their clients are based around the world. You can also connect with them through email or on the phone. And they proactively reach out as well. After signing up for the free trial, you get onboarding calls and emails, and also a follow up call to help you see if Kimp is right for you.
Flexibility To Scale
You can add additional subscriptions, downgrade to a single subscription, pause your subscription, or cancel as you need to. This is great since many businesses just need some additional support for a specific campaign or project. Or during a busy time of year. You only ever have to commit to the month you sign up for. Beyond that just pause or cancel as needed.
No Single Design Option
Kimp doesn’t have the option to request a single, one-off project. It’s the subscription or nothing at the moment. So it works best for people who have ongoing design needs. But, if you need a single design and the cost of getting it done will be more than the flat monthly fee, it’s worth giving Kimp a try. Or if it’ll be handy to get the design resized and created in different formats so that you have the source files ready for future projects (e.g. logo designs).
No Weekend Service
Kimp’s dedicated design teams work Monday to Friday, during business hours which will depend based on the region you’re located in. They try to assign each client with a team that will provide them with the best possible coverage, but there may not be a complete overlap with your business day. So keep that in mind.
No Rush Service
Design requests are completed on a first requested, first completed basis unless a client requests to change the priority sequence. And the earliest they are typically delivered is within one business day of being requested (or longer for more complex tasks). So you can’t make a new request and expect it to be completed within the same day if you have tasks already in progress, or you make your new request part way through your team’s working hours.
This also means you’ve got to be on top of reviewing your designs and requesting revisions. Depending on when your request for a revision is posted, you may have to wait until the following day to receive it, even if it’s a minor one. By confirming your assigned team’s business hours you’ll be able to plan accordingly and avoid it when possible.
You Will Get What You Can Describe
How much your design projects will be aligned with your vision and needs will depend on how detailed your design briefs are. If you aren’t able to provide much context about your brand/business and your target audience, then your designs could be off the mark.
The Final Verdict On Kimp
Trying to decide on the right design service can be an expensive process of trial and error. But it’s definitely worth it to get to the service that works best for you. Design is one of those tools that just keeps on giving you returns on your investment.
When it comes to unlimited design it can sound amazing but also too good to be true. And for some businesses it is. You don’t get rush service or work on the weekends, and you get a fixed number of outputs with each subscription. These could be deal breakers for you.
But if not, you stand to benefit a lot from a fixed monthly fee that gets you all the marketing creatives you need. While getting to consistently work with a dedicated design team, no less. And you can add to this the benefit of starting off with a free trial that pretty much doubles as a free onboarding period. You’re always going to encounter a learning curve when working with a new designer. When that comes in the form of a free trial you can feel a little less pressure about getting everything running smoothly as fast as possible.
Between the free trial and how responsive Kimp’s customer service is, we’d say if you’re on the fence it’s still worth giving it a shot. If you’ve got ongoing and recurring design needs, and don’t need rush turnarounds, then Kimp is a great choice. Worst case scenario you find out what comes with an unlimited design service. And best case scenario it helps you scale up your marketing.