How Much Does A Logo Cost?
Okay, so you’re in the process of starting up a new business and you need a logo. So what do you do? Most likely your first course of action is to Google graphic artists or design firms in your area. You then contact them, explain the type of business you are starting, and they will most likely ask you a series of questions pertaining to your business and what you are looking for in a logo. You then hang up with them and they get to work by doing some research on your company and your competitors, and prepare a quote to submit to you. You receive the quote, review it, and most likely will have a similar facial expression to these people on the right. Okay, well maybe that is a little extreme, but you get the point.
So let’s start with the million dollar question… How much does a logo cost? While I cannot exactly tell you how much you should spend on a logo, I can, however, tell you how much you should not spend on a logo.
Let’s first start off with an explanation of what a logo is and what it really means to your business. A logo is more than just a simple little graphic. It is one major aspect of a company’s commercial brand. The overall design of a logo should be immediately recognizable. It inspires trust, admiration, loyalty, and above all it implies superiority. A logo’s shape, fonts, colors, and images are usually different from other companies or organizations in a similar market. You only have one chance to make a first impression. So think of a logo as the bridge between you and your customer. It’s generally the first thing that the customer sees when finding your business. Now that they found you, they now need to make the decision on whether to cross that bridge to learn more about your company. So tell me, which logo do you want for your business?
Next I want to touch on a subject that I absolutely despise, loathe, and have a great deal of hatred towards. I can sum this up in two words… Spec Work. You’re probably asking yourself, “What is spec work?” Spec work is short for speculative work. What it means is, “You create a design for me and if I like it, I will pay you for it.” This is just wrong, unethical, and is ruining the design industry as a whole. Designers are professionals just as you are. They spent a great deal of money on a college education to get where they are today and should receive the same amount of “respect” as any other professional.
Logo design contests are another form of spec work. A client holds a contest and receives hundreds, if not thousands of entries and the winner only receives a small fee for their hard work while the others go home with nothing. There are a lot of risks associated with spec work. One of the biggest is that you are more than likely going to receive plagiarized or unoriginal work created from a template. You have no protection with spec work. Most professional designers and design firms will have you sign a contract that protects the client and the designer. Who owns the copyright and what are the terms and conditions? There is no research or development with spec work. Unlike contests, most professional designers will have the client fill out a questionnaire regarding their business and the demographics of their target market. Without that vital part of the collaboration process, the final result is a pretty little decoration, not a logo. Also, with spec work, there is limited to no revisions and little client involvement in the design process.
Before moving on, I would like to touch on one final con to spec work. Most likely you, the client, are not a designer. If you were, then you would not be seeking the expertise of a professional designer or reading my blog to find out how much you should spend on your logo. More often than not, the final result that you will receive from spec work is a raster based pretty decoration. There’s that term again, “decoration.” I cannot bring myself to call it a logo as no collaboration between the designer and the client went into it. Now you’re probably asking yourself what the term raster means. Raster, also known as bitmap images, are made up of pixels. So you hold your design contest and choose the winner of your pretty little decoration. The final file is supplied to you in a raster format that is approximately 3 inches x 2 inches in size. You’re all excited and go get your business cards, stationery and envelopes printed up. You have a website designed and your decoration is looking fabulous on all of these items. You now launch your business and what do you need now… clients. So now you need to do some advertising. Where do you start? Billboards, signage, trade show displays? Maybe a large scale decal to go on the glass window of your store front or the back windshield of your car. You know what? Let’s do it all. Now what do you think is going to happen to that 3 inch x 2 inch pretty decoration when you take it to your printer and have them scale it up to 9 feet x 6 feet to fit on a billboard? It is going to pixelate beyond all recognition. A professional designed logo is scalable and will be designed in a vector format. Vector logos utilize mathematical algorithms to create curves. This means that you can enlarge that logo to any size that you want and it will always maintain perfect quality and resolution. See the example below for a difference between raster and vector images.
So How Much Does A Logo Cost?
According to Entrepreneur Magazine’s Business Encyclopedia, the price for a professional logo can range anywhere between $4,000 – $15,000. However, if you spend just a little time searching the web, I’m sure you will find professional designers and design firms that will be willing to do it for a whole lot less. The price of a professional logo design can vary significantly from company to company based on the amount of research and collaboration that has to go into the project. Now let’s take a moment to look at some of the most well known iconic logos and see how much was spent on developing them. (Note: Mouse over slideshow for navigation controls or swipe left and right on mobile devices)
I bet that original quote that you received is sounding pretty good about now, isn’t it? Some of these logos went for next to nothing and some are outrageously overpriced. More so than the designer’s artistic ability to design you a great looking logo, you are also paying for all of the research and collaboration that went into creating it. The point I am trying to make is… don’t fall for cheap logos. As the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. So if you think that it’s expensive to hire a professional, just think about how expensive it will be to hire an amateur. Chances are that in addition to all of the headaches that you will receive with spec work, you most likely will pay at least twice. Once to do it on the cheap, and once to do it right, which may also include having to redo your business cards, website and all of your marketing material. So isn’t it about time that you invest in a professional logo design?
Celi Creative is a Tampa Design Studio specializing in graphic design, web design, video production, and animation. Our creative team will design, shoot, and animate your concepts to completion, and also add a whole lot of confidence and creativity in between. So if you are in need of a logo design or an entire corporate identity package, contact us today and start receiving the return on investment that your business deserves!
By the way, for all of you curious designers out there. I modeled, textured, and lit the “How Much” image at the top in Cinema 4D and then brought the rendered image into Photoshop where I did a color adjustment using curves, bumped up the saturation, and added a subtle vignette and lens flare.