Is unlimited design worth the money?

Are you a business owner or marketing manager looking for a cost-effective solution for all your design needs? The unlimited design model is enticing, but is it the solution that you’re looking for?

With an unlimited design service, you pay a flat monthly or annual fee in exchange for access to an unlimited number of design tasks. This can be appealing for businesses with ongoing design needs, such as for marketing materials, product packaging, or landing page design.

But is an unlimited design service really worth the money? In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of this type of service, and help you decide whether it’s the right choice for your business.

So, let’s start with the benefits of when unlimited design worth every penny.

What is great about unlimited design services?

  • Convenience:
    With an unlimited design service, you can request help on design work as it is needed. You don’t need to scope out every little task and have design agencies quote every project. This can be particularly convenient for businesses with ongoing design needs, as it allows them to outsource all their design work to a single provider.
  • Reasonable pricing:
    An unlimited design service can potentially save you money if you have a high volume of design work. By paying a flat fee upfront, you can avoid the cost of hiring multiple designers or agencies for individual projects.
  • Delegate your work:
    An unlimited design service allows you to outsource your design work to professionals, which can be particularly helpful if you don’t have in-house design expertise or the time to handle design tasks yourself.
  • Flexibility:
    An unlimited design service allows you to request different types of design tasks as needed. This can be helpful if your business takes on a variety of projects, where one day you’ll need printed marketing material and the next day you need a new landing page.

What are the drawbacks of unlimited design?

  • Limitations:
    What if I told you unlimited design isn’t really unlimited. It should be pretty obvious, but if you think for a couple hundred of dollars you could have someone working for you 24/7, you’d be terribly mistaken. For this reason, unlimited design services have a few artificial limits to ensure you only get a fraction of your designers time. You can only request one task at a time, they will break bigger tasks into multi-day tasks, and there is a delay before they present the results. Lastly, they are banking on you taking time before you approve or ask for further revisions.
  • Low quality design:
    The quality of the designs produced by an unlimited design service can vary depending on the provider and task. You’re paying for designers who need to output design work quickly, so they often present the first and only idea they had. Whereas a freelancer or agency designer will iterate many times and present the 2 or 3 best design ideas they had for a given task. The latter results in higher quality work.
  • Lack of understanding:
    Unlimited design services don’t spend time trying to understand your over-arching project or business goals. They typically take on every task individually. In stark contrast, hiring a dedicated designer or design agency usually starts with a discovery phase where they ask questions to grasp what you’re trying to accomplish as part of the design process.
  • Use of shortcuts
    Again, speed is the name of the game for unlimited design services. The designers are quick to use stock graphics and templates when possible because it’s quicker. This results in the designer forcing your content to fit the premade designs. The better way is to design to the content and brand, but that takes more time and customization to complete.

How should you decide if unlimited design is right for your business?

There are several key factors that businesses should consider when deciding whether an unlimited design service is worth the money. If you want to fully take advantage of the unlimited service, you have to be ready to have a nice queue of tasks readily available and be super responsive to give feedback daily. I would only recommend unlimited design to businesses that:

  • Have little to no ability to handle design internally
  • Have an ongoing, high-volume design workload
  • Have a low-moderate budget for design work
  • Have someone who can manage and respond to your designer fast
  • and can live with lower-quality design or request lots of revisions

What are some of the alternative options to unlimited design?

If you have a bigger budget, the traditional agency model works well for bigger projects and hiring an inhouse designer works well for ongoing everyday needs.

But not every business has the budget for agency pricing or to hire a full-time designer.

Another option between unlimited design and hiring fulltime is the retainer model that we use at Liftoff. It’s pretty similar to unlimited design, in that you can request various tasks based on your needs, but instead of fitting in as many design requests as you can every given month, you get a designer who is available for a set amount of hours. That way you can ask them to tackle a bigger project one month and a series of smaller tasks the next. You don’t have to constantly ask for designs to milk value out of the service, instead you can have them invest their focus perfecting a single design.

Like unlimited design, the retainer model is also not for every business. But it is a good alternative option for businesses who aren’t quite ready to hire a designer, but would benefit from having someone essentially join your team. Learn more at