Let’s be honest. This is a loaded question. And the answer you get will almost certainly depend on whom you ask. Today we’ll look at the prices we often see people say are a fair price for a logo.
We recently came across an old blog post about this very subject. The author argued that if a small business owner were to design their own logo, they would need to spend the following:
Adobe Illustrator Software: $599
Wacom Tablet (a drawing tablet used by designers): $99
27 inch Apple iMac: $1799.00
Add to that the cost of a degree in graphic design from a four-year college and the price of designing your own logo runs in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Ask a design agency what they charge for a logo and you’re likely to hear something in the range of $5000-$10,000 or more. Though these figures are often top-teir design firms that global corporations such as Facebook and Intel have hired. These days, websites that offer logo design services — such as Deluxe — via a professional logo designer cost as little as $99.
Ask a freelance designer, and they’ll tell you $5-10k for a logo is way too much. They can save you a few thousand dollars. Working with them, your logo should only cost about $1200.
Search online and you’re likely to find a DIY logo maker for anything from $5-$300, depending on the site.
That’s a huge price range for much the same thing. (In truth, you don’t get the same thing when you spend $50,000 as you do when you spend $50, but we’ll get to that in a minute.)
So which one is right? What should a logo cost you?
There are a couple of ways to answer that question. This first is by asking another question:
What is it worth to you to have a logo?
If you are starting a new venture and just need business cards or a website to get started, a new logo might not be the highest priority for your limited marketing budget. In that case, the value you place on your project is relatively low—maybe a few hundred dollars.
But if a new logo design makes you and your business look more professional and attracts new customers, bringing in an extra $10,000 a year, you might argue that your logo is worth several times $10,000.
But pricing a logo this way is a little bit like pricing a diamond ring based on how much your fiancé is worth to you. $300? $100,000? You really can’t put a fair price on that.
How much does a logo design cost?
Another way to answer the “what should a logo cost” question is to consider how much it costs to produce one. That’s what the blog post I mentioned above attempted to do (in a sort of ham-handed way).
If a designer charges $50 per hour and works on your logo for six hours, the project should cost $300. That sounds fair, but what if your designer takes two hours to research the logos used by your competitors, spends another two hours to really understand your business, and two more hours to come up with three or four design concepts? The $300 is gone and your designer has no more time for exploring different ideas or providing revisions to your design. That’s not good.
If you want to see more design concepts, you either need to pay less for your designer’s time (which means a less experienced designer) or pay for more hours (which means a more expensive design).
From this perspective, you can quickly see why a good designer will tell you a logo should cost something like $1200 or more.
What you get for your money
You’ve probably seen an article or two online that details what different companies have paid for their logos. Nike paid $35. Pepsi recently paid more than $1 million.
When big companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a logo, they are buying far more than a logo. That price usually includes the costs of focus groups, environmental graphics, the development of brand standards, and more. Not even the most profligate Chief Marketing Officer can afford to spend that much money on a logo if all they get is a few design files.
On the other hand, a small business owner spending $30 or even $100 for a logo doesn’t expect (or even need) brand standards and focus groups. She can’t afford those things anyway. But it is possible for her to spend her entire budget and not receive high-resolution files or the rights to use her logo. That is far worse than blowing a massive budget.
The key isn’t how much you spend, but rather whether you are getting the value you need as you work with your designer. If all you need is a file with a simple design to use to launch your business, spending even a few hundred dollars on a logo may be too much.
How to Save Money on Your Logo Design
Most of us don’t work for a big company or enjoy enormous design budgets. We live in the real world. So here are a few tips for getting the most logo for your money:
1. Know what you need. If you only need a simple logo to prove a concept, you are almost certainly better off creating your own logo than spending money on a design agency. Check out this linked article to learn if you should hire a designer or create your own logo.
2. Consider a “Starter Logo”. Before you spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a logo for a business idea that you’re not sure is going to work out, use a do-it-yourself tool to create a basic design that you can update later once you’ve seen some success. There are a few of them out there, but Logomaker is our obvious favorite.
3. Skip the contest sites. They promise to give you lots of options and save you money, but what you often get is unoriginal (sometimes copied from other companies) or unworkable. You’re better off creating your own design and later hiring a designer you can work with one-on-one when you’re ready to take the next step. You’ll save money in the short run and get a better logo in the end.
4. Shop around before you buy. If you’re ready to work with a great designer, then by all means, do it. Check out logodesign.com to look through the portfolios of the best designers we know. You’ll get great design at reasonable rates.
5. Make sure you get high-resolution files. Some sites promise logo design for as little as $5. But if you want usable files, they tack on charges that take the price closer to $100. Sounds like bait and switch, right? Wherever you choose to get your logo design, make sure you get a vector file (EPS or AI). If that’s not an option, don’t waste your time.
So how much should your logo cost? If you’re willing to do it yourself, you can get all the files you need for as little as $39.99. Click here now see how it works.