Unlimited Graphic Design Subscription: DarkRoast Review 2024

It’s quite evident that many traditional forms of hiring and utilizing freelance designers and design agencies don’t seem to work for some business models—especially, startups, SMBs, DTC (Direct-to-consumer), and B2C (Business-to-consumer) brands. Some reasons could be the lack of sufficient budgets and the reluctance to commit to contracts and thereby, the processes that come with it. 

That’s why, unlimited design services are gaining traction and recognition in the world of branding and marketing at such a steady pace. They are the most efficient way to get design work done. 

And as we go through reviewing such unlimited design services, we’ve come across another potent service, named DarkRoast. DarkRoast is also an unlimited design service offering many of the same things that other similar services offer. However, their approach to the unlimited design model is slightly different. 

In this DarkRoast review, we hope to analyze all of this and present a comprehensive overview of who they are and what they offer, along with examples of their design work and some reviews by clients. 

Let’s jump right in!

DarkRoast Review: About DarkRoast

DarkRoast is an unlimited design service working for a wide range of small businesses and renowned businesses, based in Ontario, Canada. It was founded by Trevor Pare in 2015. Trevor Pare is a highly skilled and qualified individual bringing all his years of experience into DarkRoast. He is actively involved in other business positions like chief marketing officer at Payfare.Inc., partner at CannaVideo, and business owner of Rockefeller Lounge to mention a few. 

In terms of the brand identity of DarkRoast, we thought that their choice to opt for a rather unique and sleek suave vibe was an excellent choice. 

Here’s a look at their letter mark and wordmark logo designs:

The unique serif font maintains the suave vibe we just mentioned. It adds a professional touch to the brand and helps maintain the sleekness they’re going for. The counter inside the letter “o” is creatively manipulated to add an element of interest. Nuances like these can make a logo more interesting and easier to remember as well! 

When it comes to the colors, the deep greens, reds, and oranges with their muted tones paired with sand color accents add to the professional look. But the word that properly describes them is “simple” without decorative or whimsical elements. This simplicity is seen in their service scope. 

Let’s look at that next. 

DarkRoast Review: Service Scope

The DarkRoast Service scope is categorized by industry. That’s another uniqueness we see in this service – they have a specific target group that their plans are tailored for which is DTC (Direct-to-consumer) businesses. 

And within that category, they specify that they work for the following industries:

  1. CPG (Consumer packaged goods) brands
  2. Cannabis brands
  3. Beverage brands
  4. E-Commerce brands

According to their metrics, they calculate that 89% of CPG, cannabis, beverage, and e-commerce brands struggle to have an in-house designer. 

That’s why DarkRoast presents itself as the optimal solution for those in these industries. 

Here’s a look at a list of the types of design solutions they offer.

Design Scope

*DarkRoast only undertakes small projects ranging from 5 to 15 seconds worth of motion graphics and animated GIFs.

It’s clear to see that the design scope is quite specifically tailored for the target groups they prefer to work with. 

They also don’t offer certain services that other unlimited design services are known to offer. 

Here’s a look at the services they don’t offer at DarkRoast:

Services Not Offered

DarkRoast is primarily an unlimited graphic design subscription and does not offer video work or any sort of long-form video content. All their designers are professional graphic designers but they’re not video editors. They are, however, willing to help out in small ways wherever they can like splicing small clips and adding titles but nothing further than that. 

Let’s review their plans and pricing which would provide more perspective to their approach.

Plans and Pricing 

DarkRoast’s plans and pricing structure differ from other services that fall under the unlimited design umbrella. Some services like Design Pickle and Penji offer tiers of service, and others like KIMP offer packaged plans instead of tiered plans. 

DarkRoast takes a different approach and offers just one plan. 

This plan is priced at $3500/month and it includes:

Besides the above-mentioned service offerings this plan entails the following:

1. One designer

DarkRoast aims to provide you with a service where you feel you have your in-house designer similar to a dedicated designer that most unlimited design services offer. 

While other unlimited design services like to hire globally, DarkRoast hires exclusively Canadian designers. Due to this, they will be available in all North American time zones and you will have access to them during day hours. 

One other important thing to note is that their designers are full-time senior designers with 5-10 years’ worth of experience who have degrees from accredited design schools. Thus, the high-end pricing. 

On rare occasions when clients don’t pair well with the assigned designer they can be swapped like most other unlimited design services do. 

2. One request at a time

DarkRoast works on one request at a time with the turnaround time being 1-3 days. But you can add in a backlog of requests and they will tackle them one by one. 

3. One brand per plan

DarkRoast’s policy stipulates offering “one plan for one brand”. Adding another brand means another separate subscription. But it wouldn’t make sense for some clients price-wise.

DarkRoast doesn’t offer white-label services or serve design agencies, or freelancers as clients. They prefer only working with the end-users.

4. No source files by default

DarkRoast does not provide source files by default. But if you require source files simply request your designer to send them once a project is complete. 

Moving on.

Other Services They Offer

Besides their unlimited design services, DarkRoast offers product photography packages. As we mentioned before about them, their target group of clients would be from industries where there are tangible products. And this additional service provides value to their goal and business model. 

Here’s a look at the plans and pricing for product photography at DarkRoast:

For more information on this service kindly visit their website or book a call. Do note that there is a waitlist for this service. 

DarkRoast Review: Getting Started & Processes

Let’s review the process of getting started with DarkRoast. 

Free Trial

DarkRoast offers a free trial where you can test out a few simple projects. The trial is offered for 7 days where you’re paired with an optimal designer and you can immediately get started without any cost or commitment. 

And the best part is that you can instantly start your free trial without having to provide your credit card details. So, you only proceed with the payment post the 7-day period if you are satisfied with their services.

Registering for this free trial is quite simple too! 

Once registered, it’ll direct you to a page where you can book a 15-minute demo where the team gives you a quick walkthrough of the processes. 

There’s a slight snag that might throw a wrench in your plan of immediately getting started with DarkRoast. Because they only take on what they can handle there is a waitlist for both the trial and new client opportunities. 

This could be something that puts some customers off since most other unlimited design services offer trials and services without keeping customers on a waitlist. 

But for those who feel like it’s worth the wait, you can still make that booking and somewhere down the road when a slot opens up you will be contacted. 

Let’s review the design process, etc next. 

Adding Requests

To add in requests, DarkRoast has a simple project management system. It’s there that you can provide instructions to your designer. 

And like most services after clarifying any confusion the designer sets to working on your requests immediately and will deliver at the requested due time. 

Because you will be working with your very own designer you can collaborate with them directly on any changes needed once you receive the initial work. They will revise it until it’s just right. 

Speaking of let’s look at some designer-related information. 


As we mentioned previously, all the designers at DarkRoast are highly qualified. And when they are assigned to you they are done so manually. 

All their designers are experts at designing for different and specific industries. At DarkRoast they understand that different industries require certain types of design skills. And all those relevant factors are considered when you’re assigned a suitable designer. 

This is slightly different than the known processes at other unlimited design services where either an algorithm picks the designer or you’re assigned to a team where there is an availability of designers. 

Also, the assigned designer is quite similar to having an in-house designer. DarkRoast is committed to building that sort of relationship between designers and clients.  

Now let’s move ahead to look at some of the work done by the experts at DarkRoast.

DarkRoast Review: Examples Of Their Designs

For ease of perusing, we will categorize by the industry the different designs belong to. 

CPG Brands
Cannabis Brands
Beverage Brands
E-Commerce Brands

As you can see the quality of the work speaks for itself. Let’s see what their clients say about them.

DarkRoast Review: Client Reviews

DarkRoast serves 100+ E-commerce brands, 250+ CPG brands, 100+ cannabis brands, and 100+ beverage brands. Here’s what some of them have to say about DarkRoast’s services.

DarkRoast Website Reviews

Here’s another review by a well-known brand named Beyond Good:

Most of the reviews available are there on their website. Other 3rd party app reviews are very limited. 

And with that let’s move towards wrapping this DarkRoast review up.

DarkRoast Review: Verdict

DarkRoast surely ranks high among the unlimited design services list. The quality they promise and the expertise of the designers are surely seen in the work and client reviews we just looked at. However, we’ve taken note of some of the differences between this service in comparison to other unlimited design services. We did mention a few of those across the blog, but allow us to summarize them here below so that you can get a proper idea of how they differ.

  1. The limited design scope compared to other unlimited design services. (They offer a small range of motion graphics and little to no video editing like other services do.)
  1. The limited industries for which they cater. (While it’s true that the subcategories of the specific industries they serve are vast, DarkRoast specifies their client-industry preferences, whereas other unlimited design services are welcoming of all industries.)
  1.  Availability of only one plan which also leans towards the pricier side. (Most unlimited design services offer a plan with low-tier offerings at a lower price range. It caters to those with small budgets.)
  1. The limited number of designers. (Some unlimited design services offer entire teams of designers.) 
  1. DarkRoast passes over design agencies and other freelancers as clients with their one brand-only policy.
  1. DarkRoast also does not provide source files by default. (Almost all the unlimited services provide source files/working files by default.)

Conclusively, these distinctions might sway your decision either to abstain from utilizing this service or to select it as your preferred option. It all comes down to things like your industry, your budget, timezone, personal preferences, etc. 

But if you still want to keep searching for more options we recommend these reads on the best unlimited design services and the best video editing services out there. 

Happy trails!

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