Design Pickle Vs DarkRoast Digital – Which one is best for you?

With the launch of our Graphic Design on Demand service, most of our conversations are now aimed at preaching the good word of subscription-based design. The current heavyweight champion of Unlimited Graphic Design is Design Pickle, which our service is often compared to. Their ads are just about everywhere and with over 5000 clients, their success alone proves that there is a serious demand for this type of service.

So, we wanted to offer a closer look at how the two services compare— most importantly, we’re going to figure out which is best suited to your needs.

What exactly is “Unlimited Graphic Design”?

The short answer is, it’s a subscription-based approach to graphic design services, which simplifies the entire process of working with a graphic designer. In the past, budgets would have to be set and terms agreed on for every aspect of the job. The simplified subscription approach gave birth to the concept of “Graphic Design on Demand”; essentially, what you need done, done when you need it. This makes everyone’s life easier – both the client and the designer. As a result, it allows a design agency like ours to offer design services in a way that is faster, easier, and more affordable than the traditional brick and mortar model.

Because attention spans are short these days, we’re going to go ahead and give you the final answer first; then, for those who want a more in-depth explanation, you can read on to discover how we arrived at it.

Design Pickle vs Darkroast: which one is best for you?

If you’re a new small business owner or self-employed, with a limited budget and are content with less than professional quality, then Design Pickle will likely be a great fit for your needs. If you’re a manager or executive at a small to medium-size enterprise, that is brand conscious and values professional-quality design work, then Darkroast is going to be the best fit for you. 

Essentially, DarkRoast is the Design Pickle for Professionals.

Now, for anyone interested in how we arrived at that conclusion, here’s a deeper dive into the specifics of how the two services compare:

Comparison points

  • Price
  • Quality
  • Designer location
  • What you get
  • Designers
  • Software


design pickle vs
design pickle vs design pickle alternative

Price is the easiest comparison to make: at USD370/month Design Pickle is about half the price of DarkRoast – Graphic Design on Demand, which costs CAD949/month (roughly USD $720). Both services offer nominally the same thing, unlimited graphic design for a low monthly fee. If you’re looking for a cheap solution, then Design Pickle is the easy answer. However, when looking at the other comparison points, you’ll see that cheaper is not always better.


Quality is, to a degree, subjective, and so we encourage you to compare portfolios and make your decision based on that comparison. However, in the opinion of someone who assesses graphic design work for a living, I would categorize the quality of Design Pickle as average. In order to sustain a price point of USD370/month, they typically use less-experienced graphic designers, whose work, while not poor by any means, is unlikely to blow you away. The quality of work from DarkRoast, in contrast, is guaranteed to be professional standard. DarkRoast only uses in-house, experienced professional graphic designers; the price point is a little higher, but, in exchange, you get the quality of work that you would expect from a high-end creative agency.

Designer location

This is another factor that may be unconsidered by the average user, but which has a significant impact on both price and quality. Both companies offer unlimited graphic design at strikingly low prices, especially compared to the average cost of graphic design services in the US. This is because both companies employ graphic designers outside of the US; in the case of Design Pickle, although the company is based in the US, most of their design staff are based in The Philippines, with the remainder of the staff based in other areas outside North America. DarkRoast is based in Canada and employs only in-house designers in Canada, which means there are no language or cultural barriers between our designers and our North American clients.

What you get

With both Design Pickle and DarkRoast – Unlimited Graphic Design, you can request as many social media graphics, banner ads, brochures, web graphics, posters, flyers, etc., as you need.

However, Design Pickle does not allow their users to make requests for logo design, infographics, or web designs. With DarkRoast, all of these are available. However, neither service offers advanced illustration work. These types of projects typically require a lot of intensive sketching and drawing, so they are not included in the Unlimited Model.


One of the main differences between the two services is that, with Design Pickle, you’re assigned a generalist designer who will work exclusively on your design requests. With the Unlimited Design Plan from DarkRoast Design, you’ll get access to a team of designers, both specialists and generalists. Typically, you will communicate with a single designer, who will be your primary contact. But your specific design requests can also be assigned to one of our in-house specialist designers. We recognize that certain designers are better suited to certain tasks (web design, logo design, etc.) and we don’t want to limit our clients to the skillset of just one person; rather, we utilize the skillset of our entire team for each client.


design pickle vs

Both Design Pickle and DarkRoast Digital offer their own custom-built Request Management System. Both systems are innovative and easy to use. They have both been engineered to streamline the request and project management process, saving everyone time and money. With both systems, you can create and organize requests, communicate with your designers, manage and organize files, and more. 

Final Note

Still not sure which one is better for you? Well, the good news is, both offer a free trial. However, if you want to save yourself a couple weeks of trial and error, then here’s a pretty good rule of thumb: If your company revenue is less than $500,000, Design Pickle is likely a better solution for you; if your company revenue is over $500,000, then DarkRoast is the answer.