Explaining Logo Design Budgets to Clients

As part of my job, I am constantly researching, learning new applications, plugins and techniques and generally keeping up to date with the latest trends based on the companies and organisations I work for.

I also follow a few prominent logo designers, who I don’t see as competition, as we all have our own unique styles, which clients tend to get drawn to. One guy who is on the top of my list of ‘mentors’ and has really helped me clarify my offering is Graham Smith, a veteran ‘Logo Smith’ since ’86, with his website imjustcreative; he’s also UK based and has a great design blog.

His latest blog caught my attention, as it is the same question I get from most clients, “How much for a Logo Design?”. An extract from his blog below gives part of his explanation as three analogies:

Once I am asked the question of how much a logo design will cost, and I have bounced it right back to them, I will then follow up with a few nuggets of wisdom. It’s all about providing the context, some much needed real world comparisons that makes the digestion of having to work out a budget a little easier to make, as well as justify.

I’ll typically start by explaining: “As with many things in life we often have to sit down and work out how much we want to spend, or can spend, or have to spend on something really important.”

Then I’ll hit them with my analogies. 

Analogy One: You are saving up for a much need holiday, one that will definately break the bank, one that is needed due to your constant hard work over the years. You’ll have a pretty good idea about: how much is too much, and how much is not enough as you go through all your other expenses and outgoings.

This holiday is really important to you, so you make a determined effort to try and afford the best you can, whilst not totally breaking the bank. You’ll quickly have a figure in your head that may need some justification on your behalf, but ultimately you know that it will be worth the investment and drain on your bank balance.

That budget, although definitely steep, is still one you are ‘mostly’ happy and excited about spending given the positive effects it will have on you, or just worry about the financial fall-out when you get back. The holiday blues is no real mystery in most cases.

Analogy Two: Your car of 7 years, that has served you well, finally gets to a point where it’s no longer financially viable to fix all those MOT failures, even though it may still have years left in her could you indefinitely throw money at her.

So the time comes where you have to sit down and think about a new car budget. It’s going to be steep, but you’ll instinctively have a good idea about how far you can stretch yourself with this expensive, yet perfectly justifiable replacement.

Assuming you don’t go crazy stupid on some loan, or other form of credit, you’ll likely buy yourself a car that, whilst hurting your bank account, will provide you with many more years of happy motoring.

A car is typically expensive, yet it still creates that passion and excitement that can help numb that can financial sting.

Analogy Three: Your one bedroom studio loft has served you well over the years, but now you have gotten your girlfriend pregnant you’ll need to expand your living quarters considerably!

As with Analogy One & Two, once you have crunched all the numbers, added your joint salaries, minused the outgoing and baby orientated expenses, you’ll come to budget that will, hopefully, provide you with an adequately sized family house for 3+.

Clearly, buying a house, is no where near the same league as a holiday or buying a car, but the overall emotions are similar in that you are looking to spend the most you will ever spend, yet still be excited/nervous about doing so.

I chose these analogies because they demonstrate that not all things we choose, or need, to spend our money on will be easy decisions to make. We do so because we ultimately know that the longer term advantages are clear, and this provides the much needed sense of justification and rationalisation that can otherwise drown us in guilt, cause significant doubt, if we have not done an adequate job of analysing all the pro’s and con’s.

A logo and identity design, at least for many clients that I work with, could well be for some new business/product/service in the pipeline. This client has clearly had to make a number of important strategic decisions to even get this far, not to mention the personal and emotional cost that starting a new business can have on you.

They’ll likely be throwing every single ounce of personal energy and motivation, all their collective focus, energy, faith, eggs into one basket, into this ‘thing’, that is ultimately designed to earn themselves an income.

You can read the full post on Grahams blog by clicking here:

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