This is the final article in my series about how I became an accidental m̶i̶l̶l̶i̶o̶n̶a̶i̶r̶e̶ 🙈 cryptocurrency investor; you can see all the posts if you click on the tag cryptocurrency. As you…
Kapa99 Review: Is This Unlimited Graphic Design Service For You? (The Answer May Surprise You!)
Are you in need to outsource creating graphic design and media for your site?
If you are like me and struggle with graphical design or simply do not have time to do it, outsourcing is the way to solve it.
There are a few ways you can do it.
For example, you can hire a professional designer. However, it comes with a hefty price tag and you need to provide a steady workload for them.
If you need more like a one-time job and you do not have money, you can turn to Fiverr. While being a viable option, it is often a hit-and-miss and requires a lot of vetting before finding a good freelancer.
And the third option is to consider a service that offers unlimited graphic designs for a flat fee. When using these services, you accumulate enough work in advance and then pay them for a month or two of work to make it all done.
In this review, we will take a look at one of such services, Kapa99.
Spoiler: This review might be not what you expect it to be! 😉
What Kapa99 offers
Kapa99 is a company that offers an unlimited graphic design service.
It means that for a flat monthly fee, you can send them as many orders as you need and request as many revisions as you need.
It’s like a buffet style restaurant but you pay on per time basis instead of per entry basis.
If you need to create a lot of media and graphic designs instead of having a one-time project, this might be what you need.
Kapa99 can take pretty much any kind of design project, from web ads to logo designs to billboard designs. Or at least they claim so.
Of course, such services are not cheap.
In the case of Kapa99, it comes with a price tag of $399 a month.
However, before paying, you have an opportunity to try them out with their free 15-day trial and 100% money-back 30-day period.
If you have doubts about whether the service is for you or just want to see their quality, the trial period is perfect for that.
I did just that and was very glad I did!
In this review, I will tell you all about my experience and whether Kapa99 is worth your time (and eventually money).
How to work with Kapa99
This is how to make your work with this unlimited graphic design service efficient.
Do preps in advance
First of all, make sure you have a lot of work for them.
When I say a lot, I mean at least a dozen designs to make. Otherwise, it won’t worth it. Well, I guess you can use the trial to submit a few designs to try it out. But if you decide to pay, it is more cost effective to send them many tasks.
After making sure you have enough work to do, you sign in to start your trial.
Once you open an account, you will be offered to choose between an email workflow or Trello one.
I suggest going with Trello.
Even if you never worked with this project management tool before, the onboarding won’t take much time and is very easy.
The Kapa99 team will create a Trello board for you where you will be able to create your tasks.
See their video for more details.
I did not choose the Trello workflow and it was my mistake. The task tracking via email became messy very quickly.
Unfortunately, on your dashboard, there is no way to switch to the Trello workflow. It might be possible to do so by asking the support but I got so tired of them that I did not want any more interactions except for the actual work.
If you decided to go with emails, for each task, just send an email to [email protected] with the description of your project.
You will get an auto-response that your email has been received.
After that, set up a reminder in your calendar to check whether they replied to you in 48h hours. Because they not always do.
Ask for file formats you need right away
If you plan to get source files of the work, ask for the source files right away in your task description.
If you have the latest Adobe Illustrator, AI format would be what you want.
However, if you don’t have it, ask for a PSD file with preserved layers.
I could not find a way to open AI files for free while preserving all the info. With PSD, I did find a way: Use photopea.com and edit it online.
Do not ask for TIFF files since they cannot do export to TIFF with layers preserved and will give you a flat file.
After getting a version of your design
Double check everything: Text, design, all the requirements.
Verify your copy (text) because it’s possible may contain errors or be adjusted.
Also, it is very possible that if you asked for the source file, you won’t get it right away.
If you did get the source file, open it to verify that all the layers and info are indeed preserved.
If you are not satisfied with the design
If you are not satisfied with the design they gave you, ask them to redo it.
Take a screenshot of the design and drawn on it to highlight all the places that need to be changed.
Now, let’s look at Kapa99 pros and cons.
Pros of Kapa99
Certainly, the service has quite some pros:
👍🏻 a true free 15-day trial (and not just 14-day money back guarantee)
👍🏻 unlimited number of tasks and brands to do in parallel
👍🏻 unlimited number of revisions
👍🏻 seems to be almost 24-48h turnout
While the speed with which they work is quite impressive, still, the delays between their emails may sometimes exceed 48h. It happened to me a couple of times without any explanation from their side.
And often, these replies were “We are still working on it!” rather than providing actual versions of the designs.
Cons of Kapa99
However, the service leans heavily on the cons side:
👎🏻 poor design quality
👎🏻 miss-or-even-more-miss, you have to verify everything they give you (including the copy in the design)
👎🏻 fast but not reliable; for example, power outages can slow them down or stuff can stop providing updates on your tasks for unknown some reason and you have to remind them about you
👎🏻 support often makes mistakes and may send you a wrong file
👎🏻 designers may often misunderstand your requirements
👎🏻 very hard to get fixes that require some major changes (like the color scheme) even if it is their fault they did not follow the brief from the beginning
While no cons look good, the first one (poor design) outweighs everything else. I included two examples of their work below so you can judge for yourself.
When the result is not great, there is no reason to continue.
The rest is just a bitter icing on the cake.
It’s not a stress-free service and pushing and pushing them to do my fixes eventually wore me out.
I eventually gave up on asking for some changes and took what they were giving to me because it was producing a net negative.
My examples of Kappa99 work
You can see examples of their work on the website.
However, based on my experience, I am not sure how representable these samples are.
I will show you a couple of infographics I got from them.
Unfortunately, I cannot present you more because I do not want to reveal my websites. That’s why I show only what I got for this blog and the one I won’t use.
Tree care infographic
This infographic was re-done 3 times and they still did not manage to do it right!
I dunno maybe I do not explain well what I want? 🤔
Here’s the first brief; it came along with a spreadsheet with 4 columns and 4 rows:
And here’s the result I got. The info is presented clearly; however, the design is totally not what I asked for!
I prepared the second brief with fixes:
Then, I decided to be creative and sent them an example of how to arrange the text:
What I got after that was this 😱🤦🏻♀️
That was my breaking point.
After that, I asked for a source file of the previous design and got it after sending two emails. It was not enough to ask only once 🤦🏻♀️
The next example of their work is actually better.
Get your first U.S. credit card in Canada infographic
This design was made for this post.
I have to say that this particular infographic is not that bad (compared to the others).
It was done at the very end of the trial and by that time, I learned I should simplify my data and make very clear instructions instead of relying on the flow of the creative juices of the designers. I sent it for the review only once because I noticed a typo in my own copy.
Here’s the design layout I prepared for this task.
and the text was presented in a spreadsheet:
For me, this design is much better than the first one but still, it looks a bit too simplistic and unprofessional.
My experience with Kappa99
Ok, here comes the surprise part that is probably already not so surprising 🤣
I did not like the service.
You might think that if I write a review with an affiliate link in it, it always means I would recommend the service and will try hard to sell it to you.
I want my blog to be useful to you guys and that’s why I also write about services I did not like.
Also, who said my opinion is 100% correct and matches yours? Maybe, you will like them.
Preps before starting
I heard of Kapa99 in one of the closed affiliate marketing FB groups a while ago and always wanted to try it out. The free trial looked really appealing and I am always in a need of new images.
I just needed to accumulate a lot of stuff and send them all at once.
Recently, I started creating a few Skyscraper in-depth posts for two websites and saw an opportunity to try out Kapa99 for infographic design.
For me, the most difficult part was to actually organize the information in such a way that it can be easily presented.
If it’s a simple table with two columns (title + description), it’s easy.
But if the info is a bit more complicated, I have a hard time.
I hoped Kapa99 designers would use their creative thinking and help me with presenting the information in a nice way.
Well, I was mistaken.
Getting the first task done
As I mentioned above, when you submit a task, you fill some kind of questionnaire to provide info about your project, your vision, color scheme, examples of how your design should look like, etc.
I decided to first submit only one task to see how the designer interprets my requests and adjust the rest of the tasks based on that.
Well, it was a waste of time.
It quickly became clear that there are multiple designers working with the same client (me) so “training” them or “adjusting” to their way of working is useless.
When I got the first version of my first infographic back, I could not believe my eyes.
The design quality was not good. It seemed to me the designer just wanted to fit it all my info on one single vertical image without putting any designer thoughts into it.
The infographic looked basically like a spreadsheet table with colorful background placed on top of a vector drawing of houses and trees (it was about landscaping) under a huge title.
The table was taking only 30% of the available space and the font was very small and unreadable. The result did not look at all like the example I sent them with the task. The colors from the mood board I sent over were completely ignored as well 🤦🏻♀️
Getting the rest done
And that’s how my three intense and stressful weeks of the trial (I will explain later why 3 weeks) started.
I wanted to make at least 10 infographics during the trial period. However, I ended up getting only 9 with half of them still need to be redone to make them somehow usable.
In the end, I just burned out and wanted to wrap it all up as quickly as possible.
Some designs had typos or my copies (text) got changed. Fortunately, these kinds of fixes were easy to get done.
However, everything that would come to design adjustments was much much harder to obtain. I often had to request the same fix more than once and in a few cases, I just gave up.
During these 3 weeks, I learned how to create precise well-designed instructions that seemingly explained well my ideas.
However, it was not always enough.
In particular, with the first infographic from the examples above, I never managed to get a design I wanted. For this one, the Kapa99 team even went as far as redoing the whole design from scratch 3 times! But the way how they laid out my info stayed the same (not how I wanted it). I just gave up. It started having a negative impact on my life hehehehe.
Why 3 weeks of trial?
I got “lucky” and the beginning of my trial happened at the same time as their offices in Venezuela experienced a massive blackout.
Because of that, their response timing was much longer than claimed 24-48h.
I complained and had no problems extending my trial by one extra week.
As you can see, I did not like Kapa99 and do not recommend using it.
However, if you feel adventurous and want to give them a try anyway, you can sign in using my affiliate link.
Maybe, it will be right up your alley.
Good luck with your designs!
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Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. I will receive a small fee if you choose to buy after clicking on any of these links. Thank you if you do! 🤗