Sometimes a single transistor or two (and associated resistors) is all you need.
For example, on this board (in various stages of construction) I used 4 transistors and 11 resistors to control 4 strings of 5 LEDs each, 1 string of 3 LEDs, 1 LED, and to invert a signal.
A ULN2003 or 7406 with 4 resistors would have done the same. I've had the transistors since 1983 or '84, little drawerful of them, and decided I was finally going to use them for something, so I did.
Well that's pretty close to what I'm doing. Reassuring to hear I'm on the right track.