This is a question that I often get asked. And it’s a good question, because I would want to know if I were in their shoes and want the best for my exciting new business venture.
A logo is an image that you use for branding and to create a consistent identity for your business. It does not necessarily have to reflect your core functionalities. Rather, it is a symbol that builds a connection between your target audience and your business.
You can’t precisely put a figure on a service like logo design as you would with valuing a product. (although you can google online for ‘logo design’, and be inundated with hundreds of different links offering a ‘cheap’ logo design service). However, there are certain basic aspects that determine the cost of a logo design.
“A logo is an instrument of pride and should be shown at its best. If in the business of communications, “image is king,” the essence of this image, the logo, is the jewel in its crown.” Paul Rand
So, when you work with a logo designer to create your logo identity, your focus should be on the effectiveness of the end result and not entirely on the cost.
But how are costs decided?
You can’t precisely put a figure on a service like logo design as you would with valuing a product. (if you google online for ‘logo design’, you’ll be inundated with hundreds of different links offering logo design services). However, there are certain basic aspects that determine the cost of a logo design.
Designing a logo is not just simply choosing a nice font and playing around with different shapes and colours; there are many other factors involved which determine the value of a professional logo design.
You need to define the details of what you’re business is all about (I use a logo design worksheet to help clients define their business and ideas.)
And when you choose a logo designer, as with any service profession, you need to research them and check them out. They need to have an updated, responsive, and professional looking website, have useful, informative content describing their services and process – and be showcasing it online and various social media channels.
You are paying for their experience, skill and their time. So, the rates vary depending upon the expertise of the designer, how long it takes to create your unique logo design, and the level to which the designer pushes himself.
A professional logo designer spends years mastering their skill sets, not just in logo design, but delving into other overlapping fields such as psychology, information design and colour theory to name just a few. They’re always researching, updating and honing their skills, as well as making the perfect cuppa. And it’s never a 9-to-5 job. We often have ideas that pop into our heads late at night (the optimal time for creativity I find…) so a pad and pencil is always close at hand.
To design a professional brand and logo identity, the designer will need the latest design software, tools and materials – these do not come cheap (unless you take the risk of illegally copied software).
Designers who use cheap software and tools can only offer low quality logos. In retrospect, larger specialist design and brand agencies have physical central city offices with staff/freelancer wages that they need to maintain and pay for, and these overheads are transferred to you.
Check out the video below that describes the ‘spec work’ and ‘competition design’ sites:
I won’t bore you on the pros and cons of crowd-sourced logo design competitions, but here’s a great quote from David Airey – a fellow logo designer from Ireland, who sums it up:
“It’s important to differentiate “crowdsourcing” from “spec work.” Some websites sell design contest listings, defining that as crowdsourcing, but they essentially make their profit off people who work for free. Crowdsourcing… can work well when used for simple tasks, in a similar way to how focus groups might be useful… and although there are always exceptions, crowdsourcing the outcome tends to generate poor quality.”
So, what should I pay?
To provide the details and costs of what is involved in creating and supplying a logo identity you need firstly to understand a business and thier needs.
I look at the company, it’s existing brand – if any – it’s size, project scope and their specific requirements. I ask new clients to fill out a detailed Logo Design Worksheet or brief to really get to understand their company, their customers and also their competitors.
We then schedule a 30min face to face consult to discuss their project and budget. Sometimes this leads to a Brand Roadmapping consultation where we sit down and delve deep into their business brand. This helps define where they are and where they need to go, and more importantly how they can get a return on their brand investment.
Depending upon different factors, here in the UK, a professional logo identity design can cost anywhere from £500 upto £2,000 for a small business and around £3,000 to over £5,000 for a medium sized, bricks and mortar business that requires signage, vehicles, and marketing materials. And for global companies, with more requirements it can go up £10,000 for a full brand identity with guidelines.
And most logo designers will charge a fixed fee based on a set process which includes a number of design stages from researching, sketching, mood boards and taglines. The final delivery may range from the supply of a logo and single page guideline file – through to a full set of brand logo identity guidelines that can include; brand strategy, tone of voice, typography, photography, icons and illustration style – as well as business cards, letterheads to advertising and slide deck templates.
Other UK designers may charge on an hourly basis, (the average is around £25 to £50 per hour) which can easily become expensive with many revisions if there is no clear brief at the initial stages.
You also want your logo identity to stand the test of time – at least five years for startups, refining and adjusting their logo identity as they expand. Good examples of well-known startups that updated their logo identity are Facebook, Pinterest and AirBnB.
Investing in a strong logo identity for the longer term and not just for the sake of a new design trend will create stability and trust, providing a clear and consistent message to not just your customers and clients – but your employees too.
Why a cheap logo designer could be a negative investment.
Logo designers charge depending on the time they spend on your logo design project. So, cheap UK logo designers might not take the required time for the research, development and fine tuning of your design. Moreover, they might not spend further time for revisions until you are satisfied. Ultimately, you could end up with a sub-standard logo that may have copyright issues, used royalty-free clipart imagery and with a common ‘free’ font that may only last six to twelve months before you have to invest more in rebranding again.
When you know that your brand logo identity is in good hands with a professional logo designer that you have built a relationship with, you are ultimately getting peace of mind. Be it in terms of clear communication, structured timelines or the quality of the end designs and on-going brand support.
The bottom line is that no matter how little or high you spend on a logo design, you ultimately get what you pay for.
Tell me your logo design story.
Do you have a logo design story to tell? Perhaps you paid for a cheap logo and are really happy with it?
If you’re looking to hire a professional logo designer with 20 years experience, then contact me!