Design Pickle Review and Bonus by a Discerning Customer

Jonathan Green Review of Design Pickle

Design Pickle - Graphics Service

Features

They are great at what they do, but you get what you pay for.  Can't do logos, original graphics, photo restoration and animation.

User Friendly

Their on-boarding procedure is awesome.  You DO have to be quite detailed in your instructions as the artists are not mindreaders.

Price

Far cheaper than an in-house graphics person, but more expensive than Fiverr if you don't keep your designer busy.

Summary: As a professional author and online marketer, graphics are really important to me. A great deal of the graphics on this site were designed by me, but my limited ability and time have held me back for too long.  Having a single resource for my basic graphics needs has freed up a great deal of my schedule and absolutely been worth the investment.  If you have twenty or more small graphics needs a month, then this service is for you.

  • Easy to submit and track projects
  • Prompt and clear communication
  • You get exactly what you ask for
  • Fast to make adjustments
  • Deliverables include editable formats
  • Can't handle complicated design projects
  • Don't do logos or branding
  • Can't re-arrange your job order easily

then $370/month

When I first heard about Design Pickle a few years ago I thought that the idea was really silly. I saw their mascot at a few events and was never impressed with their demonstration graphics. For that reason, I forgot about the service for a few years.  At a conference in Thailand, I saw the owner Russ give a talk and show off some of their new designs.  I was really impressed and decided to give them a try…and I haven't looked back.

My History with Graphic Artists

Graphic Artists Make Me Crazy

I have been in the online marketing world for over a decade and been full-time since 2010. In that time I've worked with the spectrum of graphic designers from the most expensive to the cheapest.


When I first got started online, someone very wealthy recommended a particular graphic artist and said that their designs would make me a ton of money. I spent a shocking amount of money on banner designs for my SEO service. They were STUNNING.  They looked absolutely gorgeous...and didn't generate a single sale.


I got my fingers burned trusting someone who recommended something that I couldn't afford. That's the last thing that I want to do with you hear, so please take the time to read this entire review before parting with your hard-earned money.


During my journey, I have worked on some big design projects. I released a large graphics product with a designer who went crazy in the middle of the launch and while we were making sales every few minutes demanded that I stop all sales and shut down the launch.  The reason - I went out of town without his permission, despite telling him in advance and checking on the tech every few minutes.


There were no problems with customer support or sales, but he had a VERY long skype conversation with me, despite my not responding, and left hundreds of messages where he got angrier and angrier and started arguing with himself. It was a glimpse into the mouth of madness.


Needless to say that relationship soured and we left a massive amount of money on the table.


As my business grew, the need for graphics grew and eventually I hired a designer I liked for $1000 a week.  He was in charge of logos, sales pages, and all my graphical needs.  After a few months, I noticed the work start to peter out and unless I was watching I would only get about $20 worth of work out of him, while he was taking jobs on the side...behind my back.


At that point, I decided to stick to hiring people by the job and for a while that worked for me. eLance was great, but when they were bought out and converted into UpWork, the quality of the site plummeted. For every decent worker, there are hundreds looking to rip you off or pull a bait and switch.  Many times on UpWork, I'll accept a worker's bid only to have them immediately change the price.  


I hate dealing with dishonest people and if someone is going to lie before a job starts, I know they will continue to lie and under-deliver after the project starts as well.


For that reason, I've done most of my own basic graphic work for the past few years and even though it's not amazing, I avoid the headache of dishonest graphic artists.  That's not to say that ALL graphic artists are lying divas, the guy who designed my logo did a killer job and stayed within my budget.  He was awesome but that's a very premium design.


For jobs I could handle myself, I started using Fiverr, but looking for new workers for every job was really starting to take up a lot of my time.

A New Approach to Graphics

The Design Pickle Juice Factory

With Design Pickle, Russ has built a productized-service.  


With that business model, you get the best of both worlds.  After hearing him speak at a conference In Bangkok, I gave Design Pickle another look.  I was on the fence, but decided to give their two week trial a crack.


I love that I can fill up a request queue and just know that it's being worked through methodically.  I really wanted to push the boundaries and see what level of graphics the team could handle.


You get a designer who matches your needs and works for you full time.  It's more expensive than hiring an outsourcer direcctly but the headache saving is totally worth it. 


There is a manager on my account who checks in on progress a couple of times a week and communication is fast and clear.  Whenever I wanted changes to a design they were handled quickly and professionally.


The service is not perfect, but compared to my past experiences, it's pretty amazing.

Is Design Pickle Right for You?

The Pros and Cons of Design Pickle

Design Pickle costs around $300 a month - depending on if you pay monthly or yearly.  And they are always running really cool promotions throughout the year for existing customers.


Whether or not the service is right for you comes down to your current online marketing position. If you need more than twenty small graphic tasks handled a month then it's definitely the right place.


If you need logos or advanced and complicated designs, then you won't be happy.


If you only need one design per week, then you will pay for a lot of time where someone isnt' working. It's just like having an employee. If you don't give them any work, they won't do anything.


I like to keep at least fifteen tasks in my queue to be sure that I don't have wasted days. In fact, after writing all the text for this Design Pickle review, I am going to submit tasks for all the graphics I need.


Finally, if time is of the essence, they might not be the right fit for you.  Most tasks tend to take about a day to complete.  When the queue is loaded up, I usually get 1-3 tasks completed per day, depending on complexity.

I don't know what I like

Don't Miss Your Design Pickle Flight

Russ at Design Pickle has spend a LONG time working on his on-boarding process and it's quite simply beautiful.  


They force you to watch seven short videos that really explain the process and the types of tasks they can and cannot handle. (I have some examples below)


When submitting a tasks they always ask you to provide images or links to things that you do like.  So even if you can't explain what font you want, you CAN use layman's terms and links and the final product comes out looking pretty decent.

A Peek Under the Hood of Design Pickle

Design Pickle Under the Hood

(warning: I did block out some private/customer information)

The Dashboard

Member Page of Design Pickle

The Dashboard is surprisingly minimalistic...and it works.  I already have a Stock Photo account with 123rf, so I don't need to ever have them seek photos for me.  I always click on "I don't need photos" in Step 2.


Step 1 is really where it all happens.  I'll walk you through each box.


Name of Request - Take the time to very carefully name your request in a way that you will be able to understand, even in a few years.  It's very tempting to be lazy with this step, but when you want to find those old files, you'll really regret lazy naming conventions.  The deliverables tend to be named based on the day the work is finished rather than the request name (which is annoying), but you still want to be able to scan through your queue for old projects.


File Size of Dimensions - This option is actually really intimidating. You are worried about going too small or too large.  For some projects, such as my board game, I know the exact dimensions and resolution the printer requires.  But for most I dont and I simply type "large with a clear background" in this box.


Inspiration Box - In this box you can post links to images that you really like on other websites or designs. For artwork that I'm having rebuilt, I'll post my original version of the art or even book covers or templates that I like.


Describe what you are looking for - This is the box where it all happens.  I will show you some example projects I've submitted in the past. I spend the most time on this box and I find that the more detailed the description, the better the final result.  I tend to break a task down to multiple steps where needed and I will upload a LOT of photos and images and then use their names in this section to be very clear about what I want.


What file type do you need? - I usually check all the boxes and then PSD (you can setup your preferred defaults on the Settings page).  Depending on what program you like to work with, you may prefer different formats. This is one of my favorite features of Design Pickle as most other designers charge you extra for editable versions of the files.


Step 2 - Need Photos? - I always check the first box. I upload my own demo photos, stock photos etc, however, if you don't have an existing stock photo account, Design Pickle will hook you up for a killer discount and find the images you need. I may transition to testing this feature in the future, because it's REALLY convenient.


Step 3 - Upload Any Assets - This part of the process could honestly be better. I've tried syncing with Dropbox and Uploading directly and both are imperfect for different reasons. 

Submit Images to Design Pickle

When you first click on the Add Assets button, you can just drag and drop images into the box (but only TEN at a time). With my large images and slow tropical island internet, this can take too long and really annoy me.

Connect Dropbox to Design Pickle

Because ALL of my work is backed up on Dropbox already, I far prefer this option.  The files are uploaded from Dropbox directly to Design Pickle, without my slow Internet messing things up. However, nearly every time I go to submit projects, I have to re-connect my Dropbox.  Fortunately, most of the time, just clicking on that blue box fixes the problem.

Dropbox File Order with Design Pickle

Once Dropbox is properly connected I can actually get to work.  For some of my projects I will submit thirty or more images.  I can only upload ten at a time, so I have to start this process over multiple times.  As you can see in the image above, the folders are NOT in alphabetical order. I don't know if this is a problem with Dropbox or the Design Pickle interface, but it means I can't find folders as easily as I would like.


As a work around, you can either create a top level folder called Design Pickle and put all your assets there before each project, or you can use the keyword search tool CTRL+F in your browser and type in the name of the folder you want.  That's what I spend a lot of my time doing.


I try to keep my work quite organized so many of the files I want to upload are multiple folders deep. It's hard to upload files from multiple folders at once,  and each time you start a new upload you go back to the Dropbox root page rather than staying in the same folder.  


This is probably the most annoying part of the Design Pickle Experience and it's not bad enough that I've even sent in a feature request email. Perhaps when they read this review, they will be able to tweak or improve the Dropbox interface.


Step 4 - Pickle It - When you feel good about all the assets you've uploaded and your request, hit the checkbox to confirm and then submit your project. You will get a confirmation email and you can see the project in your queue right away.

Settings Page

Settings Page for Design Pickle

On the settings page you can change your email address, switch between annual and monthly billing and setup your preferred file types.


For most of my projects, PNG and PSD are the two file types that I want.  But for now, I leave PDF and JPG turned on as well. I might tweak my preferences later, but during the test phase I wanted to receive all formats.

Past Projects

Past Projects Design Pickle Queue

This page is really your work queue and as you can see it covers all my completed and active projects.  I have only six active projects, so I need to submit more tasks ASAP.  The team only works Monday to Friday, so don't expect progress on weekends or announced holidays.


You can quickly jump into any past project and request a change or access your old deliverables. If you look closely someone on my team requested a logo design. I just noticed that and I expect the project to get rejected, but I'll leave it active just to see what happens.


It's really convenient to see all your old tasks in a single place and this is why you want to be very particular about your naming conventions.

Example Projects from Design Pickle

This is a design service, so I'm sure most people will skip to this section.  I will add more images/projects to this section as I push the envelope of exactly what Design Pickle can handle. Some of these tasks I expected to beyond the designers ability from the beginning.  When you start, you will be assigned a personal designer so you may have a designer who has  different set of strengths/weaknesses.

Lichtenstein Family Photo

The Photo I Submitted

A Family of Monsters


The Second Iteration

I submitted this photo of my family to see if Design Pickle could give me a usable image in the Retro Pop art style that you see throughout this website.  I have an artist that I use for my design, but the cost is sixty dollar or more per original image.  That can really add up and I was hoping that my designer could handle it.


Based on the image above, I was clearly wrong.  After the first debacle, I submitted more examples of the style I like and this is actually the designers second swing at this task.  It's clearly beyond his ability and this is good because you can see exactly where the ceiling is on this ability. I actually think that my son came out looking the best and my daughter doens't look terrible...but my wife and I look like straight up monsters.


The picture below is a stock photo in the style that I wanted and an example of what I was hoping for. Based on the pricing of Design Pickle, I wasn't surprised my designer couldn't handle it.  But I wanted to test to be sure.

How a Lichtenstein Should Look


This is What I Was Hoping For

Board Game Cards

Serve No Master Blogger Original Artwork

The Image from My Artist that I sent to Design Pickle

After the family photo disaster, I submitted another tough project that I hoped my designer could handle, but honestly I wasn't sure how it would turn out.  For this design I had very clear specifications and the assets were in place. I am building a Serve No Master board game.  The printer gave me a template file for the card size and  I submitted the template along with the text for the cards and the original art from my more expensive artist.

Front of Blogger Card from Serve No Master the Game


Front Card Design


Back Card Design

As you can see, the cards came out looking pretty nicely and are perfectly size. This is actually a really difficult task and I was very impressed with how the cards came out.  Each card is a different color, but they all have strong connective elements across the deck.  This was a tough task that my designer got right on the first try.

Board Game Main Board

The cards were really a test to see if the designer could handle designing the main board for my game. I was REALLY nervous about finding a designer for the main board who wouldn't charge an arm and a leg and would actually do a good job.  I submitted some mockups of the board, all the original art from the designer as well as a Word doc walking through every square on the board.


It took the designer 5-6 passes over a few weeks to get everything right.  Part of that was realizing that some squares needed to move around when I viewed the final version of the board.  Again the printer gave me the exact dimensions I needed for everything as well as a template.  The final board looks pretty amazing and I'm excited to start printing up the first round of games very soon.


The actual deliverable JPG is over 13MB big, so the image below is a LOT smaller than that since you probably won't be printing this page onto a 19x19 inch mat!

Main Board Design SNM

Product Box Shots

One of the tasks I need the MOST is product box shots. I currently make all my box shots myself but this task can end up taking LOADS of time. A single product shot will take me at least an hour.  Adding in bonuses and bundles can really start to eat away the hours in my day.  


To start off I decided to submit some of my own box designs and ask for improvements and bundles to see if the designer would perform at my level or blow mine out of the water.


The first task was to improve the box shots for my best selling course -> Words to Profit Mastery.


My Box Design


My Bundle Design

Each of these designs is just a stock photo slapped onto a background color with a premium comic font I paid extra for the rights to use all over my site.  Total time to create this bundle was probably more than four hours.  This is my flagship product and there is definitely room for improvement. A picture speaks a thousand words, so here is the final result from Design Pickle.

3D Bundle for Words to Profit


Design Pickle Solo Bundle

Design Pickle Words to Profit Master Bundle


My Bundle Design

This design isn't perfect but I do think it's a step up from my bundle images. As far as the actual design, I think that they just use my original work and did nothing to improve it.  This is about the level of work I expect from my designer. Unless I demand a total revision, they will stay close to my designs and just build on them.


I do like how these bundles turned out and I'm having all my product shots redesigned to look a little better.  As I start to ask for designs from scratch, I will add those to this page so you can see the overall quality of the designers work.

Kindle Sniper Redesign

I'm in the middle of rebuilding my Kindle Sniper graphics.  I sent a stock photo to my Design Pickler, and they did a fabulous job.  You can really see the superior quality over my previous designs.

old kindle sniper 3d
Design Pickle Kindle Sniper 3D

Photo Enhancement

For one of my writing projects, the client sent me a bunch of scans from photos from the 1920s-1940s.  I found some newspaper articles from the same time that were poorly scanned.  I again wanted to push Design Pickle beyond the limits of expectation to see what happened. I had a feeling I would have to hire an old photo specialist, but I wanted to see if perhaps there was some more undiscovered country with my designer, but there wasn't.  


The originals and retouches look basically the same and I'm not really surprised because this is a specialty skill.  The job was way outside what I thought my designer could handle and I was right.  I would rather test just to be sure, however.


The good thing about my designer is that he's willing to take a swing at anything and sometimes you get home runs, like the card and board game design.

Image Recoloring

When designing my book covers, I often start with a stock photo and then have it altered to match my desires.  Most stock photos are inoffensive pastel colors, but unfortunately those colors are wicked boring.  Nobody responds to them and they don't generate sales. I like my book colors to be VIBRANT without being offensive to the eye. It's a balancing act, because the covers also need to pop in black and white.  


For my new book, Break Through, I found a decent stock photo to start from.  The colors were all wrong.  I told the designer to fix the colors and make the cartoon hero similar to the many flying on the Serve No Master cover.  You can see what he came up with below.  It's pretty solid, but I am going to test out a few more ideas before I create the final cover.

Serve No Master Book
Pastel Hero

To be honest I thin the final version might be a little too cartoony, but that's my fault. I asked for the arm position change and the modification to how the man looks.  Those parts I'm not 100% sure about. I'm going to try keeping the original design and just changing colors in the next revision.  Then I will poll my audience to choose a winner.  The colors here are pretty good and pop in black and white.


I think there are some issues with the color of pieces coming out of the roof.  Some of them need to be lighter so they pop from the roof more.  That's a normal third revision thing for me and I'm just waiting to see the new designs before I get into that level of detail.  So far I'm happy with this design work and it's comparable to the specialist I normally use from Fiverr.

Logos

Your not supposed to ask Design Pickle for logos, They specifically say they don't do it. Only when I was going through my queue while working on this review did I notice that my assistant asked for a logo design. I expected it to get rejected, but they did it.  After telling me not to ask for logos again 😉


As far as I can tell, this work is pretty comparable to the logo examples I see from Fiverr.  I don't know why my assistant wanted a logo for something called Seduction Map, but at least you get to see a logo example.  I have never hired a logo designer from Fiverr.  I tend to use companies that specialize in logos and can make me multiple versions to choose from, so I wouldn't use Design Pickle for logos and you aren't supposed to anyways.  They are very honest about what they do and do not do.


Future Experiments

I fully intend to push the envelope with Design Pickle in a few more areas. One other type of design that I need a LOT is book cover design for Amazon.  I have sent in two projects to Design Pickle to convert an existing book cover to new formats and those came out rock solid.  However, I haven't needed a new original design since I started using the service. 


I will submit a few book cover design needs to see what the artist comes up with. I have a feeling that I will need to be VERY specific about my job request to get a book cover that is up to my standards.  This is a specialized skill, so I will probably have to invest some time in training my designer in what works and what doesn't.  As soon as I have some results, I will share them here.

What Other People Have to Say

You want more than just my experience with design pickle, so I scoured the Internet looking for other reviews and what people have to say.  I looked around for as many 1-star reviews as I could and I found something really weird.  All the negative reviews are form people who aren't actually customers.  There are reviews like this one:

Naughty One Star Review

As you can see from the text and the strange comment thread that follows, this guy is a competitor, not a customer.  He's a graphic designer who is so worried that this service will put him out of business, he's posting negative reviews for a service he doesn't use.  On most platforms, this is a violation of terms of service and it's also kind of dangerous from a legal perspective to attack another business directly.  Would you trust a review of Pizza Hut written by Domino's?  I honestly am annoyed that I couldn't find anyone complaining about their actual experience with Design Pickle.  I tried to be as honest with my review as possible and as you can see, they are not creating tier one designs but they do KILLER grunt work.


I took the time to look this guy up and he IS a professional photographer, so I guess he considers this service a threat to his business.  However, he's misreading the situation. I still use more expensive artists for my original artwork and logo design.  So I think this is a dumb post by someone who doesn't realize that all big corporations outsource to foreign countries as much as they can.  Really this post means that people like you and me can get a good service for a lower price.  So I consider this a positive review of Design Pickle.


Most Salty Reviews by Non-Customers

A Real, Honest Negative Review

While this customer had a negative experience, I can tell that it's a real one.  I noticed when I first signed up that you have to wait a period to have your account approved and I was worried about the exact same thing. I signed up on Friday and had my account and designer assigned on Saturday. I was actually surprised it happened over the weekend.


The second complaint is that you have to submit requests by 7PM MST, but that's 5PM EST.  Design Pickle operates on New York time from 9AM-5PM.  Most people close their doors at those hours, so I'm not sure why this is a big surprise.  I know that this is a service, so the person working on my projects is a living human.


The final complaint is about not getting their tasks handled in a timely fashion.  This is where the review isn't really clear to me.  It sounds like the person hated the on-boarding videos and had trouble submitting their tasks. I can tell you that you have to be really detailed in your requests and it's better to submit a bunch early on so that your queue never empties.


This review is fair enough.  The guy had a bad experience and shared it on Facebook, so I want you to see what's going on here.

Slave Labor (another review from a competitor)

Design Pickle Review by a Racist

This is the one post that actually bothered me.  The person who wrote this is clearly a racist and posted something offensive from a position of great ignorance. I live in Asia, so I know the real deal.  The average salary in the Philippines is $80-100 a MONTH.  That sucks but that's reality.  


If these same designers could make more money getting work through Fiverr or UpWork, they would never work for Design Pickle.  Her complaint is that the service should be more expensive.  How dare Design Pickle only pay TRIPLE the average wage for their workers.  The truth is that people in America get paid more than people in other countries.  Many people who can't afford a full time Western Designer (mine was $1000 a month and ripping me off) can only afford workers at this level.


This business is moving wealth from the West to countries that need it.  I once had someone who has no employees take a swing at what I pay my domestic help. I pay more than any other person on my entire island.  But this guy felt that I should fire more workers if I'm not going to pay Western wages.  Their families depend on me and would be in trouble without that money coming in every week from a reliable source.  


If you're going to stand on your high horse and talk about helping people, then you need to back that up. I guarantee that this lady isn't paying anyone the numbers he's talking about.  And of course, he's not a customer and his review has nothing to do with the service. It's just your basic racist complaining about the state of the world market.


And in case you're wondering, yes this guy is a designer who used his "benevolence" to mask that he's worried Design Pickle will undercut his business.  So he's not a customer...he's a competitor.

How About a Positive Review?

Now we've seen that all the negative reviews were written by American designers who are afraid they will lose their jobs (I'm not sure why.) Let's look for some real reviews by people who actually used the service.

This review is in alignment with what I think.  For your basic day-to-day tasks, Design Pickle gets the job done.  For really important logos and complicated graphics, it's worth going to someone more expensive.  My designer is really on par with the outsourcers I've hired in the past through Fiverr.com.


When you know what you want and deliver clear directions, you can get a really great experience.


There are some more positive reviews that say very similar things.

More Positive Reviews from Real Customers

Alternatives and Competitors

Design Pickle vs Fiverr vs UpWork

Unless you've been living fully offline for the past ten years, you know there are other ways to get your graphics handled online.  I have used the other big options and I still use them for specific projects.  Depending on your budget and the complexity of your needs, some of these alternatives might be a better fit for you.

UpWork

Ever since Elance was merged into UpWork, I've found the site to be a nightmare.  To mask how bad many of the workers are, they have removed the star rating system.  Now, instead of seeing if a worker was reviewed positively by previous employers, I can only see what percentage of a person's tasks have been completed.  That's right. No longer are workers measured by customer experience, but instead by how often they can't even complete a project.


I know that good workers on the site have trouble finding employers as much as the employers are struggling to find them.  I spent a great deal of money on eLance, but I don't even log into UpWork anymore. I think they really took something great and turned into something that stinks.

Bait and Switch

My biggest complaint about UpWork is the rampant dishonesty.  Because they have removed many of the quality control features, the site is chock full of liars.  Someone will place a bid on your project and once you accept the bid, they raise the price.  This has happened to me on every single project I've tried to post on the site since they absorbed UpWork.


I post a job.  Someone bids on the job.  Then they are offended when I offer to pay them what they asked for. I realize that these low caliber workers are using software or data entry person to simply reply to every single job on UpWork and bid whatever the initial price range is.  Once they get you into negotiations, you start to feel like you're in a market in the Middle East.  It turns into a haggling nightmare.


I don't enjoy that experience at all and UpWork has done nothing to clean up their site.  So I've stopped hiring people from there.


Finding a comparable artist to what you get with Design Pickle would be a nightmare.  You will have to pay more and go through an extensive vetting process. On top of that, UpWork takes a hefty cut of what you pay your designer.  


If you are looking for a high quality designer or original artwork, then UpWork could make sense.  I have hired westerners in the past for original artwork, such as my logo and the drawings of me on the homepage.  Both were great experiences and way more expensive than Design Pickle.


You really get what you pay for and if you're willing to pay a premium or you need a level above what your Design Pickler can do, then UpWork can be a good way to find talent.

Fiverr

I use Fiverr a lot and if you are running a smaller business or don't need work done every day, then Fiverr is a great place to start.  Once you are spending a few hundred dollars a month on Fiverr, it's worth transitioning to Design Pickle.  I use Fiverr for my Lichtenstein artwork and for all my past book covers.  You can get a lot of great design work on there for reasonable prices.


There are some downsides to Fiverr.  Jobs tend to take longer because all the good workers have long queues.  When you assign a job you go to the back of the line, unless you pay a premium for faster work.  If you are doing that, the jobs get prohibitively expensive.  In addition to being slower, many better artists are raising their prices all the time.  Book covers that were once five bucks are now twenty.


I'm contantly looking for new designers as my favorites get snapped up and raise their prices.  I don't want to wait two weeks and pay double what I paid last time.  In order to risk manage, I usually hire 3-5 designers at the lower price point and then just choose my favorite.


The majority of my artwork came through Fiverr - everything from the cover of Serve No Master to my podcast shot. While I do like Fiverr, I barely have to go there since starting with Design Pickle.  The quality of work is comparable, so I only head over to Fiverr when I need something beyond the ability of my Design Pickler.

Editable Formats

I do a lot of my own graphics work and sometimes it's fast to tweak something than to send it back to the designer and wait.  Last week, my Pickler sent me a product group shot that wasn't quite perfect. I wanted to drag the main box a little more into the foreground, so it was clear as the main product.  


I took the editable file from Design Pickle, opened it with Affinity Photo (which I prefer to Photoshop) and adjusted the image on my own in about two minutes.  That fast turnaround is only possible when you get the editable format.


When you hire from Fiverr, they always charge extra for that format.  It drives me crazy.  I pay five bucks for a design, but if I want to be able to do anything myself it costs and extra twenty bucks.  I've gotten into fights with some Fiverr workers who won't let me have control of the file.  It's an overpriced hassle and one are where Design Pickle wins hands down.


If you are paying extra for editable formats from Fiverr, then you need to switch over the Design Pickle right away.  

Hire Directly

It's no secret that the artists at Design Pickle are based in the Philippines.  You can go out there and try to hire your own artist directly.  I've been down that path and I failed abysmally.  As you know, all my efforts to hire someone directly in the East and the West ended in disaster.


You might be more savvy than me and succeed where I failed.  


When hiring directly from the Philipines, you can run into reliability issues.  Poor infrastructure means taht many workers lost power or Internet whenever it rains.  If your worker gets sick or disappears, there's not much you can do.  To fill in the gap you have to try and find a replacement or head over to Fiverr.


Design Pickle fills in the gap here, because when your main designer gets sick, loses power, or even quits, they assign you a new designer.  I think that my designer went on vacation for a week, but I'm not sure because the handoff was just so smooth.


Most of the negative reviews for Design Pickle are from graphic designers in the West who think that The Pickle will steal their customers, but I vehemently disagree.  For higher quality work, it can absolutely make sense to hire directly and pay significantly more.  I secretly suspect many western designers will start hiring Design Pickle to handle their grunt work.  That's exactly what I do.


If you have a larger budget, need really high quality original graphics or need anything with motion, then it makes sense to hire someone directly.  But if you are looking for reasonably priced basic graphics, Design Pickle is a good fit.

Why I Use Design Pickle

I have noticed in a change in my approach to artwork since starting with the Pickle team. I never want empty days, so I'm constantly thinking of tasks to assign them.  Right now I have them creating Pinterest versions of all my blog cover images to add to my social media channels.  I've never done it in the past and I wouldn't hire someone on Fiverr for this task.  It's a little way that Design Pickle is improving my business.


I still continue to use Fiverr for a few level two projects.  Work that is slightly beyond what Design Pickle can do.  For pop art designs, I need to go to a specialist.  An for level three work, such as turning a picture of me into a pop art design, I'll hire someone directly and pay accordingly.


Design Pickle meets my day-to-day graphics needs and they can definitely meet yours as well.  

Conclusion

When I read a review online, I always look at the integrity of the reviewer.  Is the review paid for? Is the reviewer an affiliate?  Do they actually use the product?


In my research, I found that many people who leave reviews of Design Pickle are not users, but competitors.  So I can't really trust what they have to say.  I want to know the real user experience.


For a graphics service, nothing is more important than how the graphics look.  If you think everything on this page looks like Garbage, then my fancy words won't sway you.  The proof is in the pudding and I use my Design Pickler for all my graphic needs right now. 


If you like what you see, you get two weeks to spin the tires and see if you like what your designer creates.  That's enough time for a few projects and to get a feel.  When I first gave the team at Design Pickle a try, I was on the fence.  I wasn't sure if the graphics were good enough to represent my brand. I was pleasantly surprised and you will be too.


They are a great team with phenomenal communication.

Design Pickle Bonus - 10% Off

After posting this review, I got an email from the team at Design Pickle.  They liked it so much, they gave me an extra bonus to share with you.  If you want to give them a try now you get TWO sweet deals. 10% off your first month on top of the two week trial period. That's pretty sweet.  Just click either link below then enter the Design Pickle Coupon Code -> ServeNoMaster (case senstive). 

Design Pickle Bonus Discount Code

Get TWO Weeks Free

Free Trial Design Pickle






















Design Pickle Review Score 90 Percent
  • Editor Rating
  • 95%
$378
  • 95%


Jonathan Green
 

Living the dream on a tropical island, Jonathan is the author of Serve No Master and the host of the Serve No Master Podcast.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Maria - January 24, 2018

This was a pretty awesome, in-depth review. Since I’m fairly new to your content, I’m impressed at how detailed this blog post is. The cost of Design Pickle is extremely high for a new start-up business like us, where that monthly cost is more than half of our rent. Instead, we do what we can with a totally awesome free app called You Doodle. I swear, that app has saved us thousands of times (and probably earned us thousands of dollars). But I’ll definitely keep that in mind for the future, because I really like the graphics they designed for you, and the queue concept is pretty cool.

Also, I 1000% agree with your assessment of UpWork. I absolutely loved Elance back in the old days — it was awesome. UpWork is just a joke now. As a freelancer, they “hide” your profile from hiring clients unless you pay for the premium package. And if you do happen to get hired, they take 20% from your earnings as a fee — totally outrageous. I miss the starred reviews and recommendations, too.

Really looking forward to going back and reading previous blog posts! And also looking forward to more. =)

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Chris - January 27, 2018

I’m usually only doing 5-10 original graphics per month, often through Fiverr, so there ROI isn’t quite there for me yet, but I definitely see how this could be used as my business grows. Seems like this could be a candidate for arbitrage though?

Reply
    Jonathan Green - January 31, 2018

    Hi Chris,
    I thought about the arbitrage thing as well, but it would be an iffy proposition. I prefer to arbitrage high-ticket services. It’s certainly possible to try, but I think if you want to go that route, you start with Fiverr and arbitrage one job at a time, until you scale up to using Design Pickle.

    Reply
Jeremiah - March 21, 2018

I love Design Pickle – my designer I work with is incredible!!! We’re making some fantastic designs together!

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