The ugly but necessary truth
Taylor is launching her one-woman business. A lot of work is involved in opening a business and a lot of money flows into the process. But it’s also very exciting. Every day brings her one step closer to her dream. Now is the time to make decisions. Decisions that will determine the success of her business. Taylor doesn’t want to make any mistakes. She came up with a name for her business a long time ago when everything was just an idea she was toying with, too afraid to take her dream serious yet, because, what if she would fail? The next step now is to create a logo. But how to go about if you have no experience in design and no tools to create one. Will she have to hire a designer and what’ll a logo cost her?
How much does a logo cost?
Well, lots of aspects flow into the price of logo design and in this post, I will try to shed a bit of light into these elements, explain the price range and why it exists. In the end, you will know what you get for your money.
How do designers calculate the logo cost?
There are a couple of elements that decide the price of a logo. These can vary depending on the designer.
- The level of expertise: availability of your designer of choice (usually it’s a good sign if a designer is well known and booked out for months in advance but this will also up the price).
- The extent of the project: do you need a simple logo or several variations like icons and submarks.
- Verification of the project: communication is the key. If you can clearly communicate what you need, the process can be sped up.
- Timeframe: Are you one of those last-minute gals? This will cost you extra. Plan ahead and leave enough time for the process.
- The process itself: Some designers come up with one concept, others create two or three. How many revisions are planned?
- The use of your logo: Do you need a logo for the web or also for print? This will determine the different variations of a logo you need and which file formats.
- Licensing: Do you want to buy all the rights to your logo or only for a special kind of usage?
- Location of designer: Yes, also where your designer lives and works will add into the sum. Does he work alone from home, does he have to pay rent for a studio …?
A lot of things are involved in pricing a design project as you can see. Want to know what? Most designers don’t charge you per hour but they will calculate an hourly price they need to earn to make a living and they will calculate the amount of time it will take to complete your logo design. This is how they can come up with a fixed price for your project. You can imagine how difficult this is. After years of experience, you should be able to calculate how long a project will take you to finish but you can never count on unexpected changes during the project e.g. if the client changes his mind every other day. In this case, a clearly formulated contract is indispensable.
Related post: How to work with a designer
The price range for logo design
$0 – The DIY-method
If you are design experienced and you know how to work with design software like Illustrator, you might want to take this route and create a logo yourself. Having the right tools means that there’s no extra investment to be made apart from your time. Creating your own logo doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider using a simple wordmark. They are simple but effective.
$5 – The designer sell-out
There are some websites that offer logo design for the sheer unbelievable price of $5. They promise you experienced designers, custom design work, a price that’s less than the supermarket brand nail polish you bought yesterday and this all in less than 24 hrs. Too good to be true? Right? Let’s assume your designer works for $10 an hour. That is exactly what you might have earned at your student job working for a fast-food chain. $5 would mean 30 minutes of hard work and for your designer, this means he has 30 minutes to read your inquiry, come up with an idea, create your logo and send you the files. You can now imagine what kind of logo design you will get for this price.
$10 to $300 – The template creator
Templates can be a good decision if you are okay with a design that is not custom made for your business. You can customize most premade logos with your brand color and add your own text. If you’re not sure you can make changes yourself, you will also find pre-made logos, which the designer will adjust to your needs. The price varies as does the quality but if you do your research, you can come up with something really good for an affordable price.
$300 to a couple of thousands – The real cost of a logo
I don’t want to scare you with this price but if you’re working with a prestigious agency the price can be that high. For this price, however, you get a custom logo, tailor-made for your brand. There’s a lot of work involved as you have read in the list above and this is what you pay your designer for. The designer and you will work together. He will research the market, get an idea of your audience and your vision and transform this into your logo. This is something you can’t achieve with a premade design. Most freelance designers today offer branding packages including a logo + submarks, icons, brand board, etc. Prices for these are around $1500.
You get what you pay
In conclusion, this saying is true. If you pay $5 you will probably get a very good coffee but a logo? I don’t think so. When you decide on a budget for your logo, you should understand its value. A logo is mostly the starting point when opening a business like it is for Taylor. Before you put anything out into the world, you probably spend a good deal of time on branding your business. A logo represents your brand – everywhere. On your website and business card, in your newsletter, invoices, flyers or on your product’s packaging.
A good logo will last you a lifetime and will probably return its cost quickly. But I can understand if you don’t want to spend much money on your logo because your budget is tight or you are afraid your business idea won’t work and you’re stuck with an expensive logo you’ll never use. To those of you who are unsure, I will give the same advice, I give Taylor: Stay away from those cheap offers; crowdsourcing and design challenges, you find everywhere on the internet, included. Try the DIY method if you feel capable or get a good and simple template. You have something you can put up on your website or make your name stand out on business letters etc. for the premiere stage of your business. Then, when the time is right, put some good money into a custom-designed logo. You won’t regret it.
Now it’s your turn. How much would you spend on logo design? What do you think is reasonable? Would you pay for a logo at all or do you think it’s not that important?