Graphic Design & Web Development

How much does a logo cost?

How do you know what fair logo pricing is?  How much should you pay for a logo?

Logo pricing can be confusing.  No doubt you've seen ads online for $99 LOGOS!!! LOGOS FOR $149!!! $5 LOGO!!! And you may have also talked to a professional logo designer and received a quote of $2000.  What?! Why the discrepancy?

As with anything else in life, you get what you pay for.

If you're in the market for a new house, are you surprised that there exists in this world both $40,000 foreclosure deals and multimillion dollar mansions?  Of course not, because you understand that there is a huge range of possibilities and situations. And yet, all houses serve the same basic function: provide shelter. Similarly, there is a wide range of logo designers in this world, meaning there are different degrees of ability, creativity, and experience. And yet, all logos serve the same basic function: communicate your brand. As with buying a house, the only logical thing to do as a consumer is decide for yourself where you fall in that spectrum: are you looking for a small cottage by the river or a manor on a hill? How much can you afford? What amenities are most important to you? What is the best long-term investment? You need to apply a similar logic to your logo. How much is your brand worth? Where does it fall in the spectrum? I can't answer that question for you. But, since a logo is the face of your business and your business is your livelihood, I'd think it's pretty darn important.

In the eight years I've been designing, I've come across a select few common problems that pop up over and over again from those that have gone the "cheap" route for their logos: 

  • The logo is not unique. At best it's cliché; at worst it's clip art or a direct ripoff of other designs. (That can lead to legal trouble.) This is especially prominent in online "marketplaces" — logo design contests or logo crowdsourcing websites. 
  • The logo is in the wrong format. Any logo designer worth their salt should provide scalable vector artwork, bare minimum. If all you received is a low-resolution .jpg — you got shafted, and you'll have to pay someone else to redraw your logo to be used anywhere other than on your website.
  • The logo does not scale well. One of the design considerations in developing a logo is making sure it will look good on both a lapel pin and a billboard. I've seen too many unrecognizable logos at small sizes because there was not enough foresight, planning, or research involved in the design process.
  • The logo is just plain ugly.  Yes I said it, and there is an abundance of ugly logos out there. The problem with ugly logos is not simply that they're unattractive. Nine times out of ten they're ugly because they're poorly designed. Which makes you look unprofessional or communicates the wrong message about you. And therein lies the problem.

The best piece of advice I can give is do your research. Look at portfolios. Ask others you trust for referrals. If you see a logo you like, try to find out who designed it and contact them. Talk to designers, meet with them if possible. Ask about their process. You may even want to talk to a designer's previous clients to find out what their experience was like. Whatever you do, just try to be informed about the process so that you have realistic expectations. With realistic expectations and an understanding of your brand value, you are in a better position to make an informed decision.

The value of a brand grows over time. The value of your logo compounds over time.

If you’re anything like me, when you make a purchase, you think about how much use you’re going to get out of it. And then you consider the actual value of that use — financially and holistically. Example: I buy a pair of shoes that costs $300. If I end up wearing these shoes for 300 days of the year, that’s quite a high usage rate and the cost per wear makes this a great bargain. I bought these shoes for only a dollar a day! However, what’s the holistic or intrinsic value of these shoes: did they enhance or enrich my existence? Eh, not much — I didn’t actually need these fancy shoes in the first place and they didn’t, yknow, change my life. Contrast that to say, a meal, which can be thought of as a one-time use (once I eat it, it’s gone). However, the value of food is high (without it, I die).

Why do I bring this up? Because your logo is actually both high-use and high-value, which makes it a worthwhile investment. A good logo will promote and enrich your brand, and it works for you day in and day out. It's the salesman who never sleeps. Small businesses should understand the importance of having a well-developed logo as part of their brand strategy, and consider how pervasively it will be used for years to come.

Would you like to discuss your logo design project?

At present, the minimum I charge for small business logo development is $1250. Learn more about the logo design process, view my logo design portfolio, then contact me if you're interested in discussing your logo design.

Keep reading: