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How to Structure Your Creative Team for Max Productivity



Building a creative team is easier said than done. Sometimes you think you’ve found the right fit, but then it falls apart. Other times, you have a great team but not enough hands to get the work done. From budgetary constraints to tight deadlines and demanding clients, small businesses and agencies are constantly juggling stressors.

If you’re trying to do more than just stay afloat, focus on fortifying your creative team. The question is: How?

The Art of Creative Team Building

The right mix of people can propel your business into levels of success you hadn’t imagined. And there’s no shortage of creative talent on the horizon. Deloitte estimates that the creative economy will grow 40% by 2030.

It’s easy to plug the holes in your company with random creatives you find. After all, there’s always a fresh batch of up-and-comers waiting to prove themselves. But finding the right people for the job? That’s an artform that can even elude successful companies with sound leadership.

Advertise roles honestly.

Are you always trying to put the best possible spin on your position openings? This backfires for many companies who end up with disappointed, low-motivation workers. Instead, share exactly what the role looks like and what you hope it will grow into. This allows for both realistic expectations in the present and high hopes for the future.

Example: Buffer’s onboarding process is exemplary of a more down-to-earth approach. Instead of false positivity (or stuffy professionalism), Buffer provides each new hire with 3 point people: a hiring manager, a role buddy, and a culture buddy. Each plays a different role in introducing the new hire to the company.

Foster a productive environment.

Research (and common sense) shows us that happy employees are more productive than miserable employees. Laying the foundation for a productive creative team is about building a comfortable yet challenging environment – whether in person or digitally.

The stereotype that remote workers are bored and always slacking doesn’t have to be the case. It’s about finding talented people and supporting their work with meaningful incentives. Bonuses and PTO are examples of classic incentives, along with tuition reimbursement and flexible schedules. The best way to know if your team values a particular incentive? Ask them. 

Example: Zappos is known for its outside-the-box incentives – most notably, paying new hires $2000 to quit. But they also run a monthly program that allows workers to gift $50 to teammates as recognition for specific accomplishments that month.

Be vigilant against burnout.

A 2021 ConvertKit report revealed 61% of creatives experienced burnout for the following reasons:

data via ConvertKit

It sounds like common sense health advice to say “avoid burnout,” but especially among agencies, the message is more needed than ever. The death of a young copywriter highlighted the grueling shifts many professionals are carrying and just how dire the situation can become when no boundaries are present.

It’s up to company leaders to actively create barriers to burnout and establish a culture that supports balance. Without the bare minimum of employee health, your company will become a revolving door and your employer brand tarnished by bitter ex-workers.

Example: Google’s burnout prevention strategy (TEA checkins) was implemented in 2020 to combat burnout and encourage managers to speak up about employee concerns.

Defining Roles and Responsibilities

Your team should operate like a well-oiled machine, everyone in their place, doing the work they do best. Unfortunately, the lines often get blurred when things get busy or stressful. Tasks may slip through the cracks, or a team member might duplicate a task not realizing someone else already did it. This is when keeping a tight structure makes all the difference (and employing decent project management tools).

It’s hard to give concrete advice about structuring because it varies from company to company. Your unique needs, budget, and outputs will determine how best to structure your creative team. Some brands have Creative Directors that run the show, but smaller teams might not need one.

If you already have a team in place, the best way to discover your weak spots is to talk to any employees who are overworked. They will have insight into areas where scope creep is happening so you can decide whether to hire additional support or simply define responsibilities better.

In-house, Freelance, or Outsource?

In today’s world, the workplace is anything but traditional. This could mean remote work, hybrid work, or even a team that operates from around the world. Now more than ever, brands have an opportunity to build a custom creative team in a way that serves their highest productivity.

Many businesses don’t have it in the budget for a robust in-house creative team. Fortunately in most cases, you can pay a fraction of the price and still get the job done well. Freelance platforms are a huge draw for one-off projects, and outsourcing can be a solution for ongoing needs.

Outsourcing Design

Example: Penji is an unlimited graphic design service that charges a flat monthly fee. On the platform, users can submit design requests, communicate with designers, and get unlimited revisions on projects. Anything from logos to social posts to web designs and more is fair game (try Penji and get 35% off with promo code CREATE7).

Outsourcing Content

Example: Scripted is another convenient service that operates under a subscription model. Scripted’s network of writers includes experts in a wide range of industries and writing styles. They offer written content on demand including blogs, white papers, and web copy.

Outsourcing Video Production

Example: QuickFrame is a video production platform for brands that want quick access to professional videographers and production companies. Quickframe offers a range of video types, including explainer videos, product videos, social media videos, and television commercials.

If you are running a mixed team (eg. freelancers and in-house creatives), this is where structure becomes critical. You need both hierarchies (Who reports to who about a given project?) and collaboration (Silos create confusion and miscommunications). This is about sharing the purpose and requirements of a project clearly so no creative or creative subteam has a chance to misinterpret.

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The 3 Best Graphic Design Services to Try in 2024



Penji, Design Pickle, and Kimp are three major players in the unlimited graphic design space. These three services offer graphic design and illustration work to kickstart branding or keep a business consistent across multiple platforms. If you still can’t decide among these three options, let us do it for you. Here is our comprehensive review of the three services.

What is The Subscription Graphic Design Model?

First, how does unlimited graphic design work? Penji, DP, and Kimp run on a three-tier subscription model. Regardless of the tier chosen, you’ll get unlimited designs for a flat monthly fee. This includes unlimited revisions on any design as needed.

Traditional graphic design services typically charge on a per-project or hourly basis. This can lead to variable and sometimes unpredictable costs, especially when dealing with multiple design projects. The value of unlimited design lies in both affordability and convenience. Basically, you’ll save a ton when you don’t have to hire a full-time designer or design team. You’ll save time on vetting and hiring freelancers, and you won’t have to pay exorbitant fees to an agency that may or may not get the job done.

Of course, these are only upsides for those with the budget and need for regular design projects. If you only need designs occasionally, the unlimited model won’t be worth it. 

Brands will need to consider:

Scalability – Evaluate your business needs in terms of the number of design requests monthly to choose a plan that can help you scale.

Turnaround Time – Assess the turnaround times offered by each service to ensure they align with your project timelines.

Features & Support – Consider the features provided in each plan, including access to dedicated account managers, unlimited revisions, and other support services.

Unlimited graphic design companies offer a wide scope of services:

  • Infographics
  • Email designs
  • Illustrations
  • Logos
  • Landing pages
  • Ecommerce designs
  • Social media graphics
  • Digital ads
  • Branding
  • And more

Penji Pricing Plan & Key Features

Penji’s three-tiered model includes the Starter, Marketer, and Agency plan. If you need web designs and presentation designs included, you’ll need at least the Marketer plan. Motion graphics become available at the Agency level. 

The Starter level gets you 80+ design services, the Marketer gets you 100+, and the Agency gets you 120+. To get the most bang for your buck, Penji recommends the mid-level plan. It’s worth mentioning that your point of contact at Penji gets upgraded as you upgrade tiers:

  • Starter: Creative Assistant 
  • Marketer: Project Manager  
  • Agency: Art Director

Another interesting perk of Penji’s model is Talent Discovery and Dedicated Teams, each of which becomes available at the Marketer level. Talent Discovery means Penji’s team will examine your brand’s art style and identity and match you to the best creatives for the job. While tier 1’s AI matching system does this according to designers’ skills, tier 2 gives you an even more customized match.

Penji offers a money-back guarantee if you try the service and don’t like it after 30 days. You can also pause, upgrade, or downgrade your subscription at any time as your business needs change.

Kimp Pricing Plan & Key Features

Kimp also offers a three-tiered pricing model, but their setup is a little different. Users can get graphics, video, or graphics and video.

Their graphics tier is cheaper than both Design Pickle and Penji for the first two months. After that, it goes up to $599 and includes a variety of unique perks like GIFs, web and app design, and Canva designs.

Kimp’s video subscription unlocks a dedicated video team and 2-4 day turnaround times. You can get videos edited and enhanced, or animated from scratch. For graphics, their turnaround time is just 24 hours.

The value of Kimp’s business model lies in its customization and unique offerings. For brands that need only graphics or only video, Kimp is a great choice. At the time of this post, their highest price tier of video and graphics is also heavily discounted. So if you want to test out the platform without breaking the bank, now is the time.

Design Pickle Pricing Plan & Key Features

Design Pickle offers a pricing plan largely similar to Penij’s: Three tiers: Graphics, Graphics Pro, and Graphics Premium. The only major pricing difference is that Design Pickle’s top tier is roughly $200 more than Penji’s. They also offer “Power Plans” for larger companies that are scaling and need a heftier package. Costs are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Design Pickle’s mid-level tier unlocks real-time Slack collaboration and an onboarding call with one of their Customer Success representatives. Much like Penji, presentation designs are unlocked at tier 2 and motion graphics at tier 3. Canva file delivery is another interesting perk offered at the highest price tier.

Design Pickle has a toggle option that allows you to pay annually instead of monthly. 

What’s the right service for you?

At the end of the day, these services are neck and neck with what they offer. And because they’re direct competitors, you can expect their plans to stay in the ballpark of one another long-term. With that said, there are some simple ways to parse them apart.

Overall, Penji’s pricing page offers a more detailed view of what you get in each tier. Because Design Pickle’s pricing page is simpler, it’s unclear whether or not they offer everything Penji does. The call-to-action is to get in touch, so DP seems to prefer speaking one-on-one with clients before getting started with a plan. Meanwhile, Penji invites you to sign up right away and start ordering designs through the platform.

Kimp is the only service providing video editing services, so if video is an important part of your 2024 marketing strategy, you’ll want to choose Kimp.

What makes them different?

Consistency: Some business owners and marketers may be tired of inconsistent designs and freelancers who don’t fully ‘get’ their brand. In this case, Penji’s Dedicated Team feature could be the solution you’ve been looking for. 

Integrations: Design Pickle shines in the realm of integrations, especially Slack. If you’re looking to seamlessly integrate the design process into your workflow, DP is the better choice. 

Affordability: If it strictly comes down to price and you run an agency with high design needs, Penji is more affordable than Design Pickle. Kimp’s graphics plan is $100 pricier than the others, but they offer the first two months for just $299/month.

Turnaround time: Both Penji and Design Pickle promise 1-2 day turnarounds for their entry-level tier. The higher-priced tiers promise a same-day turnaround on design projects, so the platforms are evenly matched here. Kimp’s website specifies a “24 hour” turnaround time for graphics and 2-4 days for video projects.

Trial: There’s no mention of a ‘trial’ period on Design Pickle’s site, so this is something you’d need to inquire about. Penji mentions a 30-day money-back guarantee on its pricing page, and Kimp offers a free trial for each plan.

Why use an unlimited graphic design service in 2024?

By opting for a subscription-based service, companies can mitigate the risk associated with the uncertainties of hiring, training, and retaining in-house designers. The subscription model provides a level of predictability in terms of costs and resources. You always know your design costs, and you can get everything you need in one place.

Companies can scale their design needs up or down. This flexibility is particularly beneficial for agencies with fluctuating workloads or seasonal demands.

Outsourcing graphic design lets teams focus on their core competencies. Instead of spending time and money managing in-house designers, businesses can concentrate on their primary goals while getting on-brand graphics quickly.

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What Companies Do the Best Designers Work for?



It’s tempting to use AI for your graphic design work, considering its turnaround time and average quality outputs. However, it’s still advisable and necessary to work with professional graphic designers who have worked tirelessly to be where they are. Fortunately, you have various options for finding graphic designers, like browsing freelance sites or job search sites. However, you should consider working with graphic designers employed by top companies. These designers have been vetted and are known to produce stellar work for clients. As such, here are our top picks for the best companies that designers work for!


London-based SocioDesign has made a name for itself in the world of design and brand strategy. They describe their design style and reductive, allowing them to create modern brand identities for larger companies. Their straightforward approach cuts the fluff and aims to deliver functional, enduring design solutions. You’ll notice a distinct theme of minimalism running through their product packaging designs.



As one of the most famed toy companies in the world, Funko employs a host of designers. From its famous bobbleheads, apparel, accessories, and other gear, the team has their work cut out for them. One designer shared his process, in which a design concept begins on pencil and paper or straight to his computer. Once a concept is uploaded, it will undergo several rounds of revisions and require approval from different people. In such a niche industry, there’s no defined way to climb the ranks at a company like Funko. Designers just need to show initiative, hone their craft, and reach out to toy companies if they think they’d be a good fit.

Electronic Arts

In the gaming world, getting a job at EA is basically as good as it gets. The company has been cranking out games since the 80s, and as the design process grows increasingly sophisticated, more designers are needed. Similar to the toy industry, getting a coveted spot in the gaming industry isn’t cut and dry. One talented designer got picked up by EA after voluntarily making trailers for their games. The company was so impressed by his raw skills, they brought him on board. With millions of active players, EA is headquartered in California and hires creatives from diverse backgrounds. 


Penji is an unlimited graphic design company that recruits creatives to join their growing team. For a monthly fee, users get access to vetted graphic designers, animators, and illustrators from whom they can request custom projects. Rather than serving huge brands with elaborate design processes, Penji cuts to the chase, serving up on-brand designs in a fraction of the time and cost brands would spend at a typical design firm. Penji designers are stationed around the world, and the company is headquartered in the US. With a hodgepodge of visual creatives ranging from packaging designers to illustrators, Penji’s aim is to be an all-in-one service where companies get their design needs met on a rolling basis (try out Penji with promo code ART4 for 35% off). 


Pentagram is a renowned design consultancy with offices in cities around the world. It’s a traditional designer’s dream job to be part of this partnership firm. Pentagram allows individual designers to have a significant impact on its various projects. The firm’s approach to design is highly focused on creating meaningful and impactful work. You can view their rich portfolio of iconic projects online, including brand identities, logos, packaging, publications, websites, and more.

Sagmeister & Walsh

This is yet another posh design firm known for its graphic design, branding, art direction, and interactive design. With a bold, visually striking approach, Sagmeister & Walsh serve clients in fashion, music, technology, and the arts. Their designers often lead with storytelling and immersive experiences that grab your attention. Along with client work, this design firm has gained respect for its independent projects and design experiments – think thought-provoking installations, art exhibitions, and social media campaigns.


IDEO prides itself on human-centered design, and its no surprise the platform has high standards for its designers. The company offers a wide range of services and expertise like design thinking, product design, strategy, and research to its clients. As explained by careerkarma, “Working at IDEO entails a mix of teamwork, innovative design thinking, and a willingness to push your boundaries.” The company strongly encourages collaboration and teamwork over individual competition.

Finding Great Designers

If you’re looking for a great design team, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Great designers are in high demand, so be ready to invest in talent fairly without trying to cut corners.
  • When browsing through designers’ resumes or portfolios, remember that great work speaks for itself. You don’t want someone who talks a big game but fails to demonstrate their expertise.
  • Communicate your expectations clearly so nothing gets lost in translation. A graphic designer’s biggest pet peeve is unclear instructions.

The world of graphic design is a dynamic and ever-evolving field, with talented designers contributing across many industries. From design firms to subscription services and freelance portals, every brand can find their creative dream team.

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Ataman M2R Bullpup Air Gun Review



ataman m2r bullpup

Air guns are used for pest control, small game hunting, recreational shooting or plinking, and competitive sports. There are several air rifles, but a bullpup weapon stands out. The overall length of the air gun can be significantly decreased without reducing the barrel length. This enables a bullpup weapon to be more easily maneuvered and concealed in tight spaces than a traditional weapon with a similar barrel length. Whether you are an avid air gun enthusiast or a newcomer looking for a versatile air rifle, the Ataman M2R Bullpup can be the best option. In this article, we will explore the unique features of the Ataman M2R Bullpup. 

Ataman is a Russian brand known for manufacturing air guns. The company is famous for developing high-precision weapons for various shooting purposes, including target shooting and hunting. This includes the Ataman M2R Bullpup air rifle, Type 2 Walnut model.


ataman m2r bullpup review

With the legendary expertise of Russian gunsmiths, these guys bring distinct details out in this model. It features a Lothar Walther barrel and an ergonomic walnut stock. In addition, the adjustable trigger provides a personalized setup. Overall, the Ataman M2R Bullpup is an ultra-lightweight and versatile air rifle. Learn more about its specifications in the next section. 

The M2R air rifles are a leading product of the Ataman factory. In producing M2R rifles, the company uses barrel blanks from the German brand Lothar Walther. In addition, the energy source of this PCP pneumatics rifle is a high-pressure tank with a volume of 250 cubic meters and a working pressure of 300. The design of the M2R air rifles allows for adjustments in stroke, force, and length.

Ataman M2R Bullpup Technical Specifications 

ataman m2r bullpup

The Ataman M2R Bullpup has advanced features, making it a popular choice for better performance and maneuverability. When Ataman designed this air rifle, they focused on creating a compact, maneuverable option for tight spaces. It’s noticeably smaller compared to other rifles we’ve checked out. The clockwork trigger is a standout feature for its easy customization, providing a match-grade experience, and the built-in pressure regulator ensures your shots stay consistently accurate.

Below are the technical specifications of Ataman M2R Bullpup:

Caliber: .22, .25, .357

Velocity: Up to 980 FPS

Barrel Style: Rifled

Barrel Length: 520 mm

Energy: Up to 55 foot-pounds

Safety: Manual

Loudness: 4-Medium-High

Shots Per Fill: 4

Weight: 3.8 kg. 


  • Ambidextrous walnut stock
  • Lothar Walther’s free-floating barrel
  • Self-indexing magazine
  • Integrated Picatinny rail
  • Built-in air pressure gauge
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty


  • Heavier than other brands
  • Rather loud

What are the Other Leading Brands of Air Guns? 

Here are some favorite options to help you choose the best air gun for your next hunting adventure. 

1. AirForce Texan LSS Hunter Combo

airforce texan lss hunter combo

One great feature of Airforce Texan LSS is its variety of options. Customers can choose among the .45, .357, and .30 caliber barrels depending on their preference and purpose. You also get a scope, air tank, bipod, and other goodies in the combo kit. Plus, it offers a lifetime limited warranty. 


Caliber: .30, .357, .45

Velocity: Up to 1100 FPS

Barrel Style: Lothar Walther

Energy: Up to 600 foot-pounds

Safety: Automatic on cocking


  • Pressure relief device
  • Adjustable power
  • Two-stage, adjustable trigger
  • Relatively quiet firing
  • Low-effort, side-lever cocking
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty


  • Expensive 

2. Seneca Wing Shot MKII Shotgun

This air rifle is customizable to suit the preferences of upland or bushy-tail hunters. Thanks to the weapon’s removable choke, which will reduce the inner barrel down to .486 feet from .494 feet. This feature will enable  a consistent shot stream and a 12-foot spread at 20 yards out.


Caliber: .50

Velocity: Up to 1130 FPS

Barrel Style: Smooth Bore

Energy: 245 foot-pounds

Safety: Manual

Loudness: 5-High

Shots Per Fill: 5


  • Removable choke.
  • Pre-charged pneumatic (PCP)
  • Single air reservoir (244cc)
  • Built-in manometer
  • 1-Year Limited Warranty


  • This air rifle is very loud.

3. Hatsan Blitz

hatsan blitz

The Hatsan Blitz is a fully-automatic air gun with a pre-charged pneumatic tank. It is among the top choices for full-automatic PCP air rifles. This automatic feature makes it a thrilling experience at the range, providing a Rambo-esque feel. Likewise, it can be effective for hunting coyotes and other small vermin.


Caliber: .22, .25, .30

Velocity: Up to 1050 FPS

Barrel Style: Rifled

Energy: Up to 53 foot-pounds

Safety: Manual

Loudness: 3-Medium

Shots Per Fill: 130


  • Full or semi-automatic mode
  • 1,000 rounds/minute cyclic rate
  • Detachable SwingLoad Magazine
  • Combo 11mm dovetail and 22mm Weaver optics rail
  • Three Picatinny forearm accessory rails
  • Built-in manometer
  • Available in 1-Year Limited Warranty


  • Full auto mode consumes many pellets.

4. Benjamin Bulldog .357 Bullpup 

If you are looking for the best big-bore air gun for hunting, consider this Benjamin Bulldog Bullpup air gun. It is a fine hunting weapon. However, the Ataman M2R Bullpup still stands out in accuracy and versatility. 


Caliber: .357

Velocity: Up to 910 FPS

Barrel Style: Rifled

Energy: 200 foot-pounds

Safety: Manual

Loudness: 4-Medium-High 


  • Rubber recoil pad
  • 2-stage non-adjustable trigger
  • Picatinny optics and accessory rails
  • Ambidextrous synthetic camp stock
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty


  • Loud

5. Umarex Hammer

Umarex Hammer is a .50 caliber big bore air rifle that fires pellets at 700 foot-pounds of energy. Airgun Depot considers it the most potent PCP big-bore air gun. 


Caliber: .50

Velocity: Up to 1000 FPS

Barrel Style: Rifled

Energy: 700 foot-pounds

Safety: Manual

Loudness: 5-High

Shots Per Fill: 4


  • 2-round chamber magazine
  • Built-in manometer
  • Weaver/Picatinny optics rail
  • AR Magpul-style grip
  • Accept M-LOK®attachments
  • 5-Year Limited Warranty


  • Requires 550-grain lead pellets for optimal power

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