How much does logo design cost? It’s the question we get asked the most here at Canny Creative.
People also love asking:
“How much does graphic design cost?” And it is possibly the most open ended question in the industry.
“How long is a piece of string?” It’s the same answer.
There are so many different types of design, from branding and logo design through to web design and e-commerce platforms. To answer the question accurately, it’s best if we to narrow the scope of the question down to “How much does logo design cost?”
This is one of the questions that I get asked at Canny on a daily basis.
Just yesterday, the office phone rang “How much do you charge for a logo mate?”. Sometimes, the caller doesn’t like the answer. I get that a lot; “REALLY!? More than $50 for a logo design, are you kidding? I can get my nephew’s dog’s cat to do it on Microsoft Publisher for a box of sweets.”
Then why on earth are you approaching a professional graphic design agency?
Some people really don’t like to talk about money. For them, it’s a dodgy subject, and those are the people that I try to avoid working with. If there are secrets in regards to the budget, I often find that the client is trying to scope out the cheapest deal, not the best service. These are not the sort of people that I would like to work with. I want to work with people that are looking for the best ROI (return on investment). And that’s exactly how design should be looked at, as an investment.
In the social media age, I often see people offering logo design for less than $10. That is downright ridiculous and in this post I’m going to look at; the reasons that logo design shouldn’t just cost $10, why professional graphic designers don’t charge $10 for a logo design and why you and your business need to invest in professional logo design. And don’t forget, while this post will focus specifically on logo design, this reasoning applies across the design industry as a whole.
What is a Logo? And What Does it Do?
To understand the importance of a professional logo design, we first need to understand what a logo actually is and what it is used for.
A logo design is often the first communication potential customers have with your brand, and as the old expression goes, “first impressions last”. Why not put that first impression in the hands of a professional? Professional logo design will bring instant recognition to your brand, company, charity or other venture. Logo designs aren’t just for businesses. Sometimes, you may need to invest in your brand rather than a standalone logo design. If you’re unsure what branding is, take a look at this post.
One of my favourite outlooks on logo design is the Twitter egg analogy. When you’re a new Twitter user, you’re given an egg as an avatar. Now, some people never bother to change these to a logo or image that represents their business. In essence, they stay faceless. People don’t want to buy from an egg, they want to buy from well branded and successful looking businesses.
Here’s a saying to ponder:
“The restaurant with the longest queue is worth waiting for”. Their reputation precedes them. People know they’re successful, and know what they’re getting, just by the way things look. That is what your logo design should do for you. Instant recognition, always.
That being said, people still hire “logo designers” (aka, people who have just learned to use Adobe Photoshop – the wrong programme for logo design) for pennies or worse still, run logo design competitions.
Design Competitions, Crowdsourcing and Spec Work
One of the biggest threats to the design industry at the minute is the rise of spec work and crowdsourcing. “Spec” work is short for work completed on a speculative basis, i.e “you design me a logo and I’ll pay you if I like it”. This has to stop. Design is a profession and should be treat as such.
Then there’s crowdsourcing. About six months ago, I wrote a post called 5 Reasons Not to Crowdsource Your Design Projects and what I wrote then, still stands today. Briefly, by crowdsourcing your logo design you’re essentially condoning people working for free and devaluing the design industry. And above all that, you need a professional to make sure your brand is represented in the best possible way.
So, what’s the problem with people running logo design contests when there is a prize at the end? It’s the same principle. For every winner of a logo design competition, there are ten times as many losers, who ultimately, have ended up putting in their time and effort for nothing. It’s the same as above but on a bigger scale. Lots of people enter, only the “best” logo designer gets paid. Not exactly fair is it? Would you go to work for free?
The Problem With Cheap Logo Design
Now that we have a better understanding of logo design and some of the rising threats surrounding it, let’s take a look at the sort of quality you can expect from cheap logo designers ($10-$150) and logo design competitions.
The following screenshot may cause offence to professional designers or people that have any sort of moral compass. Have a look, then I’ll dissect it.
The next most offensive thing is the overall quality (and I use that word very very loosely) of the design work produced. You can see, just by looking quickly, that these weren’t designed by professional logo designers. This is one of the key problems with logo design competitions and crowd sourcing, anybody can enter.
The winning entry is average. It’s not exactly exciting or particularly original, it just happens to be a lot better than the rest of the entries.
Another thing to bear in mind here is that the only brief the designers have is a “logo design for sciency but funny image site”. That’s very vague and isn’t going to bring in the best sort of results. Your designer should be fully invested in making the best logo they can for your business and I’d expect a professional to be going into a little more depth than that.
Ask yourself the following questions about the submitted logo designs:
-How many of the logos make a great first impression?
-Can you describe any of them?
-If you had to draw one in 5 seconds, could you?
-Are they scalable?
Professional Logo Design
Now take a look at the following logo designs and go over the questions from above again. Notice the difference?
Why are they so different? These logos (with the exception of the Nike swoosh – that’s for a different post altogether) were created by professional logo designers. The Coca Cola and Pepsi logos have existed in a form similar to what they have now for 100 years or more, they’re iconic and people recognise them, which is exactly what you need from your logo. You have to make that first impression count.
Here’s the deal:
A design process that ends with a particularly great logo design is a long one (and it certainly costs more than £10). Our logo design process looks something like this:
Design Brief & Discussion: The designer has a meeting with, talks to and interviews the client to help flesh out the project design brief.
– Research: The graphic designer begins to research the client’s company, their competitors and the industry that they’re part of. During this section of the process, existing and successful logos in the client’s industry will also be researched.
– Sketches & Concepts: The designer then begins to sketch out ideas and concepts for the logo. These are then shown to the client.
– Mockups: The approved concept(s) are taken and developed into something more solid for reflection.
– Reflection: The mockups are put aside for several days and then revisited once the mind is clear and the ideas have matured a little. This allows for extra focus and highlights things that weren’t apparent before.
– Presentation: After the reflection, the final logo is completed alongside any other parts of the project. Once the final instalment is paid, the required logo files are handed over to the client.
Breath a Sigh of Relief: Then the designer grabs a beer and enjoys the nice rewarding feeling that comes with signing of a project that you’re proud of.
A lot more than $10’s worth of effort and work goes into creating a logo that makes the right first impression, looks great and will stand the test of time. Don’t you agree?
How Much Does Professional Logo Design Cost?
Companies should expect to spend between $500 and $1000 on a well designed professional logo. Towards the lower end of that scale, you’re looking at a simple logo design such as a word mark, or text based logo. As your logo design budget increases so does the complexity of the work. More intricate work may take place with the logo, or perhaps an icon or logo mark will be created to sit alongside your company name.
However, there is no set figure and each logo design price can vary greatly. It’s hard to give an estimate without a detailed brief. Everybody charges something different. But, I’m not a total cop out and I don’t want you to go away from this article without having even a rough idea of what sort of pricing to expect.
If you were to come to Canny Creative (remember, we’re only a relatively new graphic design agency) and ask for a quote for a single logo design, you’d get a reply telling you that we advise our clients to invest a minimum of $500 to $700 but ideally £1000+ into their logo design and brand identity. We won’t work on a logo design for any less than that. And no, your goldfish’s owner’s brother’s daughter’s mother couldn’t do it for cheaper and better, because they’re not a professional graphic designer!
A close friend of mine, had has this to say about pricing logo designs:
“I always advise them that their logo is a crucial par of their business and should be treated as such. As a rule of thumb I would always advise someone has a minimum budget of £500 but in an ideal world something in the region of $1,000+ is a safer option to ensure that enough time can be spent on the logo that they can be confident it will be something they will be happy with.”
Then there are people like Jacob Cass, Graham “I’m Just Creative” Smith and David Airey who advise bigger budgets such as $1250-$15,000+. Admittedly, with prices over the £6000+ mark then you’re looking at more than just a logo design.
Don’t forget that these are ball park figures but they should give you an idea about what you should be looking to invest if you’re serious about getting your venture off to the best start.
To get an accurate quote for your logo design, it would be advisable to contact a graphic designer or design agency and have them draw up a custom quote for your project. That is the only way that you’ll know for sure how much your logo design will cost you. How you choose your design agency is a different matter altogether.
If you’re ready to start your logo design project, you can get a free quote from Canny Creative by contacting us or you may want to check out our design portfolio first. If you don’t want to work with us, then by all means, do shop around, just don’t crowd source your design work or run a “competition”!