The Top 5 Flat Fee Custom Illustration Services
If you run a business today or manage marketing campaigns, the power of graphic design is evident anywhere you go. Visuals dominate the world and will continue to be a major asset for every brand.
This wide popularity for graphic design also means that it is no longer a USP or added attraction. It is a way of life. So, you need something new to personalize your content and create a unique visual language that connects you to your audience.
If you are wondering, what tops graphic design in visual languages, we have two words for you: Custom illustrations. The best thing about illustrations is that you can customize them to suit your unique brand identity. Moreover, illustrations are simple enough for your customers to understand and connect with.
However, finding the right illustrator for the job is one thing brands struggle with. That’s where a flat fee custom illustration service comes into the picture. Wondering who among them will suit your brand? Let’s explore the top options in this blog.
Let’s first talk about the value of custom illustration in marketing and then get to our list.
Custom Illustrations for a business
As the name suggests, custom illustrations are artworks you create or commission to closely reflect your brand’s personality, visual identity, and offerings. It differs greatly from graphic design, such that it is purely artistic and a visual representation of your ideas. Textual and visual content together make up graphic design works.
Custom illustrations can enhance your branding and marketing efforts by :
- Personalizing the visuals you use to convey your messages on your website, long-form content, educational materials, and social media posts. It humanizes your brand and makes it relatable.
- Conveying abstract and complex ideas via illustrations to overcome the challenges of photography.
- Building a relatable and unique brand identity.
You can include custom illustrations right from your web design, marketing materials, process descriptions, catalogs, social media posts, infographics, books, animated videos, print design, and package design. These are actually just a few.
Popular brands like Slack, Oscar, Mailchimp, and Headspace have gone to make illustration a part of their language by building a detailed brand illustration system.
Now that is acknowledging that the devil lies in the details.
But we already discussed that commissioning illustrations are expensive, so how do you seamlessly integrate them into your branding and marketing endeavors? It is not the only cost item, so cannot take up the entire budget.
Don’t worry. That is why we are here to analyze the top flat fee custom illustration services that can deliver on your expectations without breaking the bank.
This pros and cons list will push you one step closer to including illustrations in your brand building.
Let’s dive right into it.
The top 5 Flat Fee Custom Illustration Services
So, you know you want illustrations for your business, but you cannot take an artist and expect them to have instant business sensibilities. As we said, art and marketing balance is crucial to create a memorable and effective custom illustration. But, this is still a growing art, so hiring in-house designers or looking for design agencies with this niche presence can be a challenge, not to mention expensive.
Freelancers are an option, but illustrations can be too much for a single person to handle for a company. Multiple freelancers bring in the risk of different artistic temperaments and branding inconsistency.
So, we want you to consider an innovative and helpful option – unlimited design services that operate at a flat fee.
You get access to a qualified and diverse design team, while the flat fee allows you to execute your projects at a reasonable cost. It is a worthy investment that only helps your business grow.
There are many prominent names in the market, and the coming sections will give you a snapshot of all you need to know to make a choice. This blog is all you need to choose a flat fee custom illustration service for your business.
Although new in the design subscription service industry, Kimp has a long association with the graphic design world. Founded in 2003, Kimp pivoted into the design subscription model in early 2019.
The difference between Kimp and many other companies in this category is that Kimp has full-time designers instead of freelancers. This gives you the ability to control the quality and turnaround time more efficiently.
With Kimp you get a dedicated design team of 2-3 designers with different niche specialties, a project manager, and Zapier integration with Kimp.
How it works
Kimp offers a detailed onboarding process and allows you to raise requests either via Trello or email.
For email, you must email [email protected] with a detailed description of what you want the team to work on, any samples, and references.
For Trello, you can access the request tab and submit your information there. You can also monitor the progress of your tasks, pause, cancel, raise request revisions, and prioritize one from your pipeline via Trello.
The Kimp team works on 2 requests simultaneously each day with an allotted time of 2-2.5 hours, and you can increase this number by adding more subscriptions. For example, with 2 Kimp Graphics subscriptions, you double the dedicated time on your project.
The Kimp team has a typical 24-hour turnaround, but complex requests may take some extra time. You can speak to your project manager via Trello for any queries.
Kimp has a single-level subscription model for both its graphic design and video editing service. You can choose from the Kimp Graphics subscription at $599/month, the Kimp Video subscription at $699/month, or a combined Kimp Graphics + Video at $995/month.
For custom illustrations, pick the Kimp graphics or Kimp Graphics + Video plans that allow you to work on unlimited design requests, revisions, and brand profiles.
You can request custom illustrations for web pages, logos, branding materials, signages, landing pages, social media graphics, menus, book covers, and short-term GIFs too.
Why choose Kimp?
- Kimp offers unlimited design requests for custom illustrations too, in the basic plan.
- The illustration plan is inexpensive compared to other flat fee service providers.
- Trello management makes it easy to manage tasks for businesses.
- With the diverse illustration styles and dependable design quality Kimp delivers, you can take your marketing game to the next level.
- Kimp has a 7-day trial period and so you get to explore the benefits of a subscription risk-free.
- We source the stock images for your designs if needed without additional cost.
What is missing in Kimp?
- While Kimp can illustrate icons and various individual elements, we currently do not offer end-to-end app and UI design services.
Arguably one of the newest companies on the block, ManyPixels is already doing some notable work. The company offers customized solutions for startups and small businesses at a competitive rate. Like most companies, the firm also has three pricing options, and illustrations are included with all three.
How it works
- You gain access to their app to make requests, upload your existing design asset, create brand profiles, and submit revisions on the output they submit.
- Once you sign and submit your request, the designer connects with you and takes it ahead.
- Usually, one dedicated designer works on your project and delivers the designs.
- You can upgrade this to two via their business plan.
- ManyPixels allows access to native files in all their plans, so you can download your final output via the same interface.
ManyPixels has three plans – Advanced ($549/month), Business ($899/month) and Dedicated Designer ($1199/month).
The only difference between the Advanced & Business plans is that you get 1 and 2 daily outputs respectively.
The Dedicated Designer plan, as the name indicates, comes with a dedicated designer for your project. And you also get same-day delivery.
Why choose ManyPixels?
- ManyPixels has an easy onboarding process. The app is quite user-friendly and reduces the hassle of using multiple interfaces to interact with the design team.
- The company offers customized solutions if your needs are different from their existing plans.
- They have a developed database of free illustrations so that you can understand their style before committing to them.
What’s missing in ManyPixels?
- The advanced plan is quite expensive for businesses that need 2 daily outputs.
- While you get GIFs and website designs you do not get support for motion graphics.
- The Dedicated Designer plan is pretty expensive
Design Pickle has been in the design industry for the last six years and has experience with many unique businesses. It offers unlimited revisions, and 100% original and authentic artwork created from scratch.
Design Pickle’s custom illustration service allows you to create customized and semi-realistic/realistic designs that suit your brand.
The process to raise a request is also quite simple, however, many find the company’s simple dashboard design lackluster.
How it works
- Once you sign up, you gain access to a platform to send your design requests. You can also connect them to a dashboard via Zapier and manage these assignments.
- In the custom illustration pro plan, you get access to your designer via a slack channel too.
- You must submit the design requests in a form with your name, contact details, design brief, references, specific requirements, and file type preference. The company allows you to upload your samples or choose from their existing image set.
- Once the design is complete, you will receive a notification to review and submit feedback.
- Customers get 24-hour support on weekdays, and the average turnaround time is 24 hours for the first sample draft. It can also vary based on the nature of the task.
Design Pickle has 3 plans for custom illustration services – Graphics ($499/month), Graphics Pro ($995/month) and Graphics Premium ($1695/month)
You get standard branding and marketing designs & illustrations in the Graphics plan. The Graphics Pro plan additionally gives you presentation designs, same-day turnaround, and a host of other features.
And the Graphics Premium plan covers everything in the Graphics Pro plan along with Motion Graphics.
Why choose Design Pickle?
- You get a wide variety of designs with unlimited requests and revisions.
- The turnaround time is quite good with same-day delivery possible with some plans.
- Design Pickle has wonderful customer service and allows you to choose a designer, based on previous experience.
- You can also create unlimited brand profiles to get customized brand illustrations.
What’s missing in Design Pickle?
- You do not get designated designers with the Graphics plan. So, achieving visual consistency across your designs might feel tedious.
- To work with an onboarding manager and a designated team of designers you need to pay extra.
- The motion graphics plan from Design Pickle is one of the most expensive in this sector.
Delesign started as a venture to help businesses outsource their design and scale without a hassle. Expanding its offerings steadily, the company today caters to a variety of services besides graphic design like web development and SEO writing.
How it works
Once you sign up for a Delesign account, you are asked to choose a schedule for your designers based on your time zone. Based on this a designer is assigned to your account. You also have the option to request for a change of designer if you are not satisfied with the quality of work delivered.
Once your designer is assigned, you can submit your design request on the dashboard. Remember to include all your brand assets and a clear brief.
Once the design is ready you can review them and request revisions, if any. If you are satisfied with the design you can instantly download the source file.
Delesign has 2 main plans for design-based requests namely Graphic Designer ($599/month) and Multimedia Specialist ($899/month).
The good news is that both these plans cover custom illustrations.
However, if you are also looking to add web development and SEO writing to your account, you can choose from the other 2 plans namely Web Developer ($499/month) and SEO Writer ($399/month).
Why choose Delesign?
- Communicating with your assigned designer is easy. You can do so directly from your dashboard or even on Slack.
- Turnaround times are short (about 1 business day) for most kinds of designs.
- You get a 15-day money-back promise once you sign up. So, if you face any issues with the process within the first 15 days you can request a refund.
What’s missing in Delesign?
- The custom illustration option does not include hand-drawn pieces as well as digital painting. So, if you are looking to add these styles to your marketing content, Delesign might not be the best fit.
5. Design Shifu
Founded in 2018, Design Shifu has helped 1000+ business owners take their marketing designs to the next level. Run majorly by women, the company provides a variety of competitively priced design subscription plans crafted for small businesses.
How it works
- Design Shifu has an easy-to-use dashboard where you can manage your account and place your design requests.
- Once you place your request your designated designer works on it.
- The number of active requests on your dashboard depends on the plan you choose.
- Once your design is ready you can either download it along with the source files or place a revision request through your dashboard again.
Design Shifu offers 3 plans namely Unlimited ($399/month), Unlimited Plus ($599/month) and Unlimited Pro ($1499/month).
The Unlimited plan covers only the basic types of marketing designs but does not include landing pages, GIFs, illustrations, and presentations.
Custom illustrations are only included with the Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Pro plans. For most of these plans, there is a turnaround time of 24 hours for basic graphic designs. For shorter turnaround times you can discuss with the Design Shifu team regarding add-ons.
Why choose Design Shifu?
- With both Unlimited and Unlimited Plus plans you get 1 active request at the base price. But there is also the option to increase this number by paying extra on the base price.
- The basic plan, Unlimited, is one of the most affordable unlimited design service plans in the segment.
- Design Shifu supports a variety of marketplace integrations like Slack, Trello, Canva, Asana, and GRAB.
- All the plans offered come with a 14-day money-back guarantee to help you get a refund if you are not happy with the process or the quality of work.
- All plans come with a designated designer and project manager to make the collaboration more convenient.
What’s missing in Design Shifu?
- While Design Shifu takes care of most marketing designs, it does not offer web development and UI/UX design services at the moment.
Choosing the right flat fee custom illustration service for you
Selecting one out of the five very eminent names can be tough, but it boils down to your requirements.
Design Pickles offer great quality but lack an interactive dashboard and customer support integration options. You get unlimited requests and revisions with support for multiple users. However, the service is quite expensive.
ManyPixels has a great app and allows unlimited users and revisions. But even with the most expensive plan you do not get motion graphics and video editing
Delesign offers a wide range of services including SEO writing but has limited scope when it comes to custom illustrations. Design Shifu has affordably priced plans but you have to pay extra in order to get additional active design requests.
Kimp on the other hand, has a variety of both graphic design and video design services along with video editing as well. With Trello, managing your design projects will be so much simpler than you imagine. And there is round-the-clock customer service so that you can get all your queries answered without any hiccups. You also get 2 active design requests and unlimited brands and revisions all without additional charges. What’s more? You can even sign up for free and try Kimp subscriptions free for 7 days.