Written by Stuart Foxman
The subscription model – unlimited access for a monthly flat fee – has transformed many businesses. Now, Senthu Velnayagam is hoping to do the same for graphic design.
He’s the co-founder of Markham-based Kimp (kimp.io). For $389 a month, the company fulfills as many design requests, with as many revisions, as a client wants. Each client is assigned a project manager and three designers, who specialize in different areas. They can work on logo designs, blog images, packaging and labels, flyers and brochures, posters, social media images, business cards, infographics, trade show banners, and more.
With Kimp, there are no contracts, no hourly billing and no additional fees for source files. Clients just pay the monthly rate.
Kimp serves clients of all types and sizes, but Velnayagam says the service is ideal for start-ups and SMEs. They might have recurring work, but don’t want to worry about the time and hassle of sourcing designers and managing the process. And they don’t want to face unpredictable costs.
“You focus on your business development, and we take care of the design,” says Velnayagam.
Kimp keeps things simple by breaking down design requests into repeatable steps, assigning a dedicated team and providing quick turnarounds (often within a day). Client requests are made online, and completed in the order submitted. As design teams work more and more with a given client, and get to know their brand and vision, the review and revision process gets even faster.
The company has design teams in locations around the world (six time zones), and clients can choose which team provides them with the best coverage. To provide consistent quality, Kimp does not outsource or work with freelancers.
Velnayagam founded Kimp with his brother Venkat and Nive Thambithurai. They’re the same team behind BannersMall, an e-commerce shop that that focuses on digital marketers who need custom ad creatives.
To help shape the Kimp model, the founders worked with LaunchYU (launchyu.ca/), York University’s entrepreneurship unit. LaunchYU supports entrepreneurs (at the school and in the community) to become better positioned to develop and grow their businesses. They get to learn about entrepreneurship, meet like-minded individuals and potential investors, solve business issues, and collaborate with university and industry partners.
“They connected us with mentors and helped us fine tune ideas,” says Velnayagam.
Kimp also operates out YSpace in Markham, which is one of York University’s community innovation hubs. YSpace offers an incubation space, where people can work alongside other inspired entrepreneurs, and access to mentors and events.
By the beginning of 2020 (Kimp launched in February 2019), the company had 182 clients on subscription. Another 350 had done a trial.
Some clients use Kimp daily (i.e. for social media feeds), others weekly, and others a few times a month. The flat fee makes requests highly cost effective. In total, Kimp handled about 15,000 designs during its first year. It shows what happens when you offer the right designs – and design the right business.
Photo Credit: Kimp