Penji is a startup based in Philadelphia, PA offering a unique graphic design business model. The startup offers unlimited graphic design services for a flat monthly rate. You can submit as many design projects as you want via their online portal, and they’ll complete your requests one at a time until your queue is complete.
This type of service promises to be a great added resource for teams to improve productivity. Sounds too good to be true? We thought so too, that’s why we decided to sign up and see if the promise is real.
Don’t feel like reading? Here’s a quick summary of our review with Penji’s unlimited graphic design service.
- Easy and quick to create design projects
- VERY fast turnaround on most projects. I expected just 1 draft in 24 hours but instead received 3 drafts. Revisions were sometimes completed the same day I submitted them.
- A lot of features such as Revision tool, Invite team members, Brand profile, and more.
- Upbeat communication from everyone I interact with.
- Dedicated and responsive account manager that replies within a few hours.
- Can’t call or talk to designers
Penji’s “unlimited” design model turned out to be an amazingly high-quality service at an affordable price that’s backed by a great team. But you need to have the right expectations going in. The experience is entirely online and you won’t get any face-time with your designer.
Compared to designing yourself, hiring freelancers, or using Fiverr, Penji is a much better service and value by a long shot. Their team of designers lived up to the promise and exceeded my expectations.
Penji Promo Code
If you want to give them a try, use this Penji promo code “OWNER25” to get 25% off your 1st month. Full disclaimer, we receive a commission when you use the code.
PENJI FULL REVIEW
Signing Up For Penji
Signing up for Penji was a relatively quick and painless process. Overall, took about 5 minutes to get all of my questions answered by their customer support via Intercom and another 2 minutes to complete the checkout process.
1. Support Chat
This is something I personally test every company for – how fast and reliable their support is. If they’re unresponsive now, it will only get worse once I’m a customer. I hit up Penji’s customer support team via their Intercom chat popup and got a response within 30 seconds, which is pretty good. I asked basic questions and the agent seemed knowledgable
2. Choosing a plan
Clear and easy to understand. All the packages are laid out with monthly, quarterly, and yearly pricing. Each of the features also has a little information icon that explains what it is.
3. Checking out
The multi-step process was easy to follow, and what you pay is clearly displayed. Checking out was also a breeze and took about 2 minutes for us.
Submitting Design Projects
Now it’s time to create my first project. Clicking on the “Create new project” button, I’m presented with a visual chart of all the designs they offer. I personally prefer this, because I can see what the designs look like. They offer a lot more categories than I thought and the list is extensive.
Filling out the form
Similar to most other online design services, I have to fill out a form explaining what I want. The form is intuitive, easy to follow, and doesn’t ask that many questions. Most of the questions are optional.
My test projects
As a digital publisher, we produce content on a daily basis and always have a need for on-brand graphic design. I created several diverse types of projects to test how well rounded Penji is and how they handle both simple and complex projects. A simple banner should be difficult, but can they handle a complex infographic with lots of texts and imagery? Here are my test projects.
- Blog Graphic: Best DSLR Camera Equipment For Beginners
- Custom Illustration: Best Vacuum Cleaner Money Can Buy
- Facebook Post: Isometric Tech Gadget Graphic
- Magazine Print Cover (Owner’s Magazine’s 2020 May Edition
Despite creating four projects, the entire process was quick and smooth. I didn’t feel like I spent too much time creating them and their internal platform was lightning fast. At this pace, I can see myself submitting a ton of projects on their platform with ease.
These four projects range in difficulty and should be enough for me to evaluate Penji’s competency. Now that the projects have been created, I’ll wait and see if Penji can deliver on the promise of these being turned around within 24 hours.
I expect at least one draft the next day. What I didn’t expect were three projects to have drafts. That’s absurdly fast by any standards. Most freelancers and design firms we’ve hired take at least several days to turn around just one draft.
After reviewing the designs, which were surprisingly good considering it’s the first draft AND were turnaround within 24 hours, I realized how they did it. Every project had a different designer. I wasn’t assigned just one designer. That explains how they get things done so quickly.
Revision Turnaround Time
Revisions were turned around pretty fast. Their support agent actually told me it will take 24 hours to turn around revisions. I found that its a same-day turnaround most of the time. The revisions that took 24 hours were typically much more involved.
Overall, I never felt like revisions took too long. Most came back within a few hours after I submitted them.
Everything is done online so I can’t just call my designer and tell them what I want to change. My one gripe would be that I prefer to have some sort of real-time chat with my designer or at least have a skype call. That’s one thing I like working with my freelancers, is that whenever they were online, we could just have a back and forth conversation to get the revisions across. I can’t do that with Penji.
Built-in Revision Tool (see image above)
Penji has a built-in revision tool that lets me click anywhere on the design to leave a revision. I found this incredibly useful and enables me to pin-point what I want to change.
It took about 1 week to go back and forth with revisions and edits for all 3 design projects. At the end of the week, I received the final drafts for all three. Here are the results of the three test projects.
1. Blog Graphic: Best DSLR Camera Equipment For Beginners
This far exceeded my expectations and will more than do for the blog I’m writing about DSLR camera equipment. I think most designers would probably just stop with 1-2 icons and graphics for this design. My designer decided to add the tripod, three lenses, drone, backpack, and a whole entire stage lighting kit.
I didn’t ask for those, but I’m impressed with the quality of the design. No revisions needed. I approved this project 1st try.
2. Custom Illustration: Best Vacuum Cleaner Money Can Buy
For this project, I asked my designer (Kei) to do a custom illustration of a man vacuuming his floor. He actually drew it up and then send me a rough sketch first before he started coloring it in. That was an extra layer of care and attention to detail I wasn’t expecting. Needless to say, I approved of his drawing and then he delivered this draft the next day.
Everything in this graphic was hand-drawn and then colored. That’s impressive. Like the first project, I couldn’t think of any revisions except asking him to put the texts “Best Vacuum Cleaner Money Can Buy” in. Just when I thought Kei couldn’t outdo himself…
He went the extra mile and designed the text to fit the graphics. See for yourself above. Details like these I would have had to harass my freelancer and he would try to nickel and dime me for every revision. Great work Kei!
3. Facebook Post: Isometric Tech Gadget Graphic
My designer Jave’s 1st draft amazed me because of how many icons and details he put into this graphic. I had asked for an isometric graphic with various tech products laid out on an isometric glass plane. I honestly thought my description may have been a bit too vague, but somehow he understood my vision better than me and made it work.
I left one comment for this project, “Wow.” and marked it as complete.
4. Magazine Print Cover (Owner’s Magazine’s 2020 May Edition)
My designer Billie gave me 3 versions of the magazine cover. I don’t like Version 1 at all, it seems too templated. I personally like Version 2 and 3 and left revisions accordingly. The Corona Virus image was entirely her idea, and I love it.
This project took a bit longer than the others because my designer Billie had a lot of questions and we had a lot of back and forth. I didn’t mind at all since she was asking good questions that I should’ve clarified in the first place. Overall, I appreciated the extra time she took to understand me and the project better.
About three days later I got another draft and this one blew everything before it out of the water.
All communication is done online through Penji’s proprietary online portal. That includes revisions, feedback, and answering any questions my designers may have.
Communication With Designer
I was assigned 1 designer and communication Billie was great. Billie was responsive, attentive, and always seem to have a positive attitude no matter how demand I came off. She had a lot of questions for some of the projects, and the back and forth took longer than I wanted, but I realized she’s just being thorough and wants to get the design done right, which I appreciate.
Communication With Account Manager
I was also assigned an account manager who emailed me the first day. Charmaine was very quick whenever I needed something. It usually takes just a few hours for me to get a reply via email from her. When I had an issue with one of the projects, she quickly stepped in and helped resolve the situation.
All four projects were completed within two weeks and I was impressed with how they all turned out. See for yourself below. If I had paid hourly or per project, these would’ve easily cost me well above $1200+ to get done, and probably taken weeks.
With Penji, it took less than a week and I paid a fraction of what they should’ve been worth. Definitely impressed with both the turnaround, quality, communication, and value this startup has to offer.
But Penji isn’t without its flaws. The service definitely isn’t for everybody. Their service is more catered to business owners, marketers, agencies, and creatives with consistent design needs. They’ll take all the heavy lifting off of your shoulder. If you don’t have a consistent need, the bill will start racking up after a couple of months and you won’t see the value in the membership.
However, if you do happen to fit their target demographic, then there’s no better replacement out there. The speed and quality of their work easily rivals of not exceed any other services I’d ever used. For $399/month, this is an absolute steal and I can’t recommend them enough.
Top 5 Cities To Move To For Millennials On A Budget
At some point in our lives, we’ve envisioned living comfortably in LA, NY, or other big cities in the US. It’s all thanks to what we view in movies or TV shows. Sadly, due to rising costs and unforeseen economic circumstances, we may no longer attain our dreams to become a big shot in a big city.
However, hope’s not all lost for millennials. There are still areas in the US where you can make a decent living without breaking the bank. In this article, we discuss the top 5 best cities for millennials to live while on a budget.
1. Raleigh, NC
Average cost of living:
- Food: $388.12
- Rent: $1,214.35
- Utilities: $127.21
- Internet: $55.79
Raleigh has become one of the best cities for Millennials because of the growing number of tech companies setting up camp in the city. Sure, there’s Silicon Valley and Seattle, but East Coast millennials won’t have to travel far to achieve their dreams of working with a tech company.
If you plan on working in the Research Triangle Park, you won’t have problems with the commute. Bus fares are cheap, and some buses have Wifi installed.
It’s not all work in Raleigh, though. Raleigh residents will have a lot to explore in their city because of their museums, parks, and attraction. Among the cities in the list, Raleigh hosts music shows almost every day in different venues. Music lovers will enjoy their time living here to discover various artists.
Besides that, Raleigh has a booming nightlife thanks to its bars. You’ve got choices between hidden or underground bars, so that you can visit a different one after work or on the weekends.
2. Columbus, OH
Average cost of living:
- Food: $302.97
- Rent: $1060.74
- Utilities: $170.83
- Internet: $57.40
Just like Raleigh, Columbus, Ohio, also has a thriving tech hub. In connection to that, Columbus is making developments in becoming a Smart City. Since their win in the 2015 Smart City Challenge, they’re making commitments to transform the city through technology. Who knows, when you move there, you might get to see a glimpse of the future.
As for the commute, you might have to take the bus or bike around the city. You can even ride an open-air golf car for free in Downtown Columbus.
People have also started to take an interest in Columbus because of its culture and breweries. One of their most popular attractions is the German Village. So, if you’re craving German food or want to learn more about German culture, that’s the place you want to be.
As for the breweries, Columbus has the famous Brewery District, where you can try out their most popular brews. Plus, it’s right beside the German Village, so you have more booze choices.
Also, Columbus is dubbed as America’s test market. People in Columbus get the first taste of the hamburgers and wear the newest designs. So, if you want to become a trendsetter, pack your bags to Columbus and take snaps for the ‘gram!
3. Grand Rapids, MI
Average cost of living:
The Right Place finds the city is the number two destination for millennials to live. Aside from its affordability, its overall atmosphere is what attracts people to visit and live there.
If you plan to or want to work for the healthcare or manufacturing industry, you can thrive in the Grand Rapids, since those have prospered in the city. However, you’ll still find work for any industry since there’s a high demand for employees there. According to Area Vibes, there’s a 6% unemployment rate in the city, so you still have a high chance of getting employed anywhere. That’s why it’s one of the best cities for Millennials.
Cycling is a much more affordable alternative to driving a car in Grand Rapids. You can take a bus, though, but the stations are limited.
Grand Rapids is almost an hour’s drive to the beaches in the state if you want to live in an affordable city and go to a beach. However, much as you would like to go to the beach in your swimwear, you might have to prepare winter jackets because the weather is unpredictable. You can still enjoy some activities like visiting breweries and cafes to warm you during winter or become your hangout place with friends.
4. Austin, TX
Average cost of living:
- Food: $320.04
- Rent: $1,660.45
- Utilities: $154.52
- Internet: $59.83
In terms of commute, you may face challenges with traffic. You may use the bus instead or ride a bike to divert from the traffic.
If you’re saving up for something, but want to skip out on doing something extravagant, there are free events like live performances and music fests.
The one thing any Austin resident shouldn’t miss out is to try food trucks in the park too. It’s something you can splurge on once in a while. Plus, Austin is the home to the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival happening every March. Here, you can discover new artists or catch their faves. These should serve as a reason why Austin is one of the best cities for Millennials to move to and build up their career.
5. Boise, ID
Average cost of living:
Boise has emerged as one of the leading cities to live in because of its affordability. Even California and Washington millennials move to the city for a lower cost of living. One thing that may stop you from relocating is limited public transportation.
However, Boise is also making developments in becoming a greener city like bike rentals and geothermal energy. So, this is perfect for the environmentally conscious millennials. That’s why it’s beginning to set itself up as one of the best cities for millennials.
Residents of Boise rave about the Boise River Greenbelt, where one can enjoy biking and scenic views. If you’re an outdoorsy person, you’ll enjoy hiking and skiing as well. If you’re into art and theater, you’re in luck because you can visit museums during the weekend and watch a production by the Boise theater companies.
10 Most Affordable Cities For Singles
If you are looking for the most affordable cities for singles, you have come to the right place. Apart from the reasonable rent for a 1BR apartment, and a decent hourly wage, we chose these locations for their fantastic culture perfect for single people who are up for more adventures.
1. Columbus, Ohio
A lot of young professionals eye Columbus, Ohio to be their home for a number of reasons. You will never run out of things to do here. If you love arts, theater, and music, then Columbus, Ohio, will undoubtedly hit the spot. And let’s not forget about the locals too. They are known as fun-loving people whom you can get along easily. Here, you can find parks, restaurants, and bars – perfect if you want to relax after a long day from work.
Average Hourly Salary: $17.73
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $896
2. Madison, Wisconsin
One of the most beautiful and affordable cities we highly recommend is Madison, Wisconsin. You can find jaw-dropping lakes, beaches, and parks. Many people consider this area for work and permanently live as it was named the Best Work-Life Balance City by SmartAsset in 2018.
Average Hourly Salary: $18.87
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $1131
3. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
What we love about Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is that they have a strong sense of community. For a single person, that should be included in your criteria when looking for a new home. As of the moment, a lot of companies and corporations are building their presence in the city. Thus, job opportunities increase year after year. The situation was far more different 20 years ago, wherein the younger population’s percentage is small due to a lack of job opportunities.
Average Hourly Salary: $18.14
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $1254
4. Lexington, Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky’s population increases day by day, but the cost of living still remains low. In fact, the rent in this area is one of the most affordable in this list. This is why thousands of young professionals and single people would like to live in the city.
Lexington has a stable economy and has a diverse job market. Regardless of your skills and specialties, you are likely to find a job in this city.
Average Hourly Salary: $16.76
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $777
5. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Everything is cheap in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Think about the rent, fuel, food, and even shopping! That’s just one of the reasons why we urge single people to move here. But in reality, the city has more to offer. Tulsa, Oklahoma, has a booming economy, and we see more job opportunities opening over the years. Multinational corporations also consider building their headquarters in the area, proof of the city’s development, which you can take advantage of.
Average Hourly Salary: $16.84
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $692
6. Wichita, Kansas
Wichita, Kansas, is a great vacation destination and a city where you can house big events. But apart from that, it is one of the best and most affordable cities for singles.
Your commuting experience will be amazing as well. At an average, you only have to spend 19 minutes of travel to work. That’s way below the average commute time on a national scale. It also has excellent health care facilities. Plus, they have a lot of sunny days, giving locals more time for outdoor activities.
Average Hourly Salary: $16.37
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $669
7. Fort Wayne, Indiana
It’s impressive how Fort Wayne, Indiana, maintains a low cost of living with a high quality of life. It has a population of 264, 052, and the locals are incredibly welcoming. Adjusting here is easy, and you will instantly feel at home.
Many people who relocated to the city did not have an idea of what Fort Wayne is all about. However, most of them were surprised to see how wonderful life here is. There is no congestion, like most cities in the US. So if you wish for a more relaxed lifestyle and a loving community, this is a perfect choice.
Average Hourly Salary: $16.58
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $758
8. Omaha, Nebraska
We also included Omaha, Nebraska, in our Affordable Cities for Singles list for a handful of reasons. Here, you get to see a thriving business environment and several options for entertainment. The best part is, the cost of living is extremely low.
It’s not only ideal for singles but also for couples planning to raise a family. And if you love good food and craft beer, Omaha, Nebraska will surely deliver. Lastly, it’s the ideal location for those who want to start a small business.
Average Hourly Salary: $17.56
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $891
9. Cincinnati, Ohio
If you are always looking for things to do, then living in Cincinnati, Ohio, could be the perfect plan. Apart from a steady job market and low cost of living, the city has an amazing park system and world-class architecture. So whether you fancy arts or outdoor activities, you can do it all here. Cincinnati, Ohio, will also let you experience all seasons in one day!
Average Hourly Salary: $17.88
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $1115
10. Lincoln, Nebraska
Last on our list of the most affordable cities for Singles is Lincoln, Nebraska. It’s also tagged as a safe city to move in. So if you are going to live alone, then include this location in your options.
Don’t be surprised if strangers will initiate small talks here; this just means that the locals are friendly. This is also a haven for music lovers. As of the moment, Lincoln, Nebraska, has a population of 280,849.
Average Hourly Salary: $16.75
Average Monthly Rent for 1BR: $807
Top 10 Most Website Builders That Doesn’t Suck
Create your own pages with the best website builders. There are hundreds to choose from but we’ve already selected the top 10 for you.
Years ago, only professionals that know how to use codes can create an effective website. It’s a daunting skill that most of us would rather outsource. But as always, technology found a way to make website building easier for an average internet user. You don’t have to learn codes (although it’s still useful in some cases). And you can create your website in just a few minutes! All thanks to website builders.
Best Website Builders 2020
Before creating this list, we asked our team of website developers and designers to assess each website builder. Likewise, non-website builders from our group were also tasked to create simple pages. This approach allowed us to gauge each website builder based on its features and ease-of-use.
Webflow is a website builder that’s perfect for both amateurs and professionals. It allows you to create websites without using codes, yet you can still customize it depending on your needs. You will also find their templates useful so you don’t have to start your web design from scratch.
When we tested it out, our group didn’t have problems onboarding the platform. The instructions are straightforward and you can build right then and there. But just in case you need some help, their tutorial is tailored-fit for first-timers.
Webflow has this ‘Box Model’. It’s a process where you think of your elements as boxes. Generally, you have your image boxes, text boxes, and button boxes which you can overlay to get that web design you want.
If there is one improvement that we are looking forward to, that would be their personal support. Yes, tutorials are available, but of course, there are questions that are best answered by an actual support team. Webflow’s pricing starts at $35 per month.
Carrd might be an underdog in the world of website builders, but it sure does a great job. Aside from being user-friendly, the web pages you create from it will load fast. That’s a huge point for them. As for the templates, these are nothing short of amazing. Just some tweaks and you’re all set to go.
We also timed our test, from signing in until we created a live page. Surprisingly, it took us less than an hour.
However, this might not sit well for pros and for e-commerce content. Nevertheless, for a price of $19 per year for their Pro Lite package, this has got to be the cheapest in the market today. Yes, the cost is per year and it isn’t a typo.
Wix is probably one of the most popular website builders in the list – thanks to their aggressive marketing. But is Wix worth the rave?
It actually is. To date, there are more than 180M users around the globe and that’s a testimony that Wix works. It’s easy to use, yet customizable. In fact, your professional web designers will enjoy it too.
Wix design options are commendable as well. They have a huge library where you can find awesome templates that can instantly give your website that professional look.
Lastly, they have a reliable support team that can answer your concerns, the soonest possible time. Wix has several plans to choose from and starts at $24.50 per month.
Included in our best website builders list is Squarespace. This is the right platform if your priority is the visual appearance. Their templates are carefully designed. The main challenge is actually choosing one (because everything seems to be perfect).
If this is your first time to design a website, Squarespace will not intimidate you. Just drag and drop elements, and you are all set. It doesn’t matter if you are building a website for your online store, a non-profit organization, travel, or photography blog. This website builder will surely have something for you.
There is no blank canvas though. But that’s not enough for us to dislike it. You can start with their Personal plan for only $12 per month.
Duda has everything you need for a good website builder plus more. Apart from being user-friendly and having cool templates, it also has a feature where you and your team can easily collaborate. The platform allows you to leave comments on the design and this makes the entire process faster.
One of the downsides of choosing Duda is that their plans are quite costly. Getting their least expensive package for $14 per month is too restricted in our opinion.
Another website builder that has taken the world by storm is GoDaddy. We’ve already used this platform a couple of years ago, and we have to say that there were a lot of improvements. The designs are now modern, and there are SEO and marketing features that are obviously essential for your website’s success.
Quite frankly, most website builders will promise you the same thing – that you can build a website right away. The same is also true with GoDaddy. But what sets it apart is its customer service. They have 24/7 support through phone, email, and ticketing systems. So basically, it doesn’t matter where you are. If ever you have trouble with your website, just reach out to them and get answers fast. However, if you are looking for a website builder that allows more creative and design freedom, this might not be the best choice.
You can get a package for $10 a month.
Ucraft isn’t one of the biggest players in the market, but it still deserves to be on our list of the best website builders. You can create your blog, business website, or e-commerce page from this platform. As for the ease-of-use, we have to say that it can be a bit challenging as you cannot move the ‘ready-made blocks’ around your template. It’s as if there is a pre-determined space allotted for these.
What we enjoyed though is the free logo maker. This is ideal for a startup company that has yet to create their brand identity. Their Pro package is $10 per month.
If you are building an online store, then we could not recommend anything better than Shopify. And right now, it powers more than 800,000 businesses around the world. They have an amazing inventory, tracking, and shipping tools.
This is ideal even if you don’t have an idea about e-commerce design. Everything you need is here. They even have their own payment gateway. The interface is simple and clear so you can start building your online empire whenever you want to.
The Basic Shopify Plan is $29 per month. But as you grow your business, we encourage you to get their higher tiered packages.
We cannot really say that Weebly is the best website builder. In fact, back in the days, you will find reviews mocking their templates for being below average. They took it to the core and made changes. And we are happy to say, it’s all good now. If they continue making improvements, we will not be surprised if it will get a bigger portion of the market soon.
As of the moment, we can recommend it for small businesses only. You can add advanced site tools if you want. It’s versatile enough not just for beginners but also for pros in web designing.
Their Professional package starts at $12 if you subscribe for one year.
Lastly, we have Webnode, a website builder that supports more than 20 languages. This means you can create a multilingual website. That’s precisely the reason they now have more than 40M registered users. And let’s not forget, it is also great for SEO.
Just recently, they made improvements to their editor and shopping cart features. Nothing’s wrong with the old ones. But seeing that they are proactive in making changes, that’s already a good sign on how they will handle future requirements. As of the moment, this is not the ideal choice for e-commerce websites.
If you want a professional and bilingual website, you can choose their Standard package for only $11.95 per month.
Having a website now brings added value to your business and organization. There’s no reason for you not to have one given the best website builders out there. A quick reminder though. Don’t forget to look at the package’s inclusions. The cheapest one might be too restricted and it would be more practical to get the higher plans. So take your time in understanding the features and then start building your website.
- Lifestyle4 days ago
Top 10 Android Phones Under $500
- Business5 days ago
Top 5 Cities To Move To For Millennials On A Budget
- Lifestyle4 days ago
10 Best Affordable Hatchback of 2020
- Reviews4 days ago
The 10 Best Go-Pro Alternatives
- Lifestyle1 day ago
How to Celebrate Halloween in 2020
- Influencers6 hours ago
20 Fast Growing Instagram Influencers to Watch