“How much should a logo cost?”. It’s an an age old question that’s been asked by business owners, entrepreneurs, and designers for as long as the practice has been around. And as much as I’d like to give you a definitive answer, it’s not quite that simple (the question keeps getting asked for a reason, after all). Rather than tell you that a logo should cost X amount of dollars, let’s look at what goes into the cost of a logo, the price ranges you should be looking at, and what to look out for.
Pricing the Client
The reason that there isn’t a straightforward answer to how much a logo should cost is because logos should vary greatly in price from client to client and designer to designer. A logo for a mom and pop shop shouldn’t cost as much as a logo designed for a huge corporation due to the amount of work necessary, the value provided to the company, and the risk involved.
It probably goes without saying that creating a logo for a large corporation will amount to more work as there will be more research involved , more standards to uphold, more meetings, and more levels of approval. It’s also apparent that a logo for a large corporation will provide more value than that of a logo for a mom and pop shop, as the logo for the corporation will be seen by a much larger audience and even a 0.5% increase in revenue due to the new look could amount to millions of dollars.
That brings us to the last point, something that doesn’t get brought up enough in the realm of logo design: risk. The millions of dollars generated for the large corporation due to the new logo design could very easily go the other way. A logo design that doesn’t resonate with their target audience could cost them a lot of customers, and a lot of money (this was on full display with The Gap’s logo re-design faux pas). With this being the case, it makes a lot of sense that measures need to be taken to mitigate this risk, which costs time and resources.
That’s not to say that the logo design for the mom and pop shop is any less important, or has to look any less amazing, than the logo for the large corporation. There is simply a disparity in the amount of financial risk being taken by the parties involved and the price needs to reflect that.
Pricing the Logo Designer
Another aspect to consider when it comes to how much a logo should cost is the experience and skill of the designer. Naturally, designers that are just getting started will most likely charge a much lower price for a logo than a designer that has decades of experience. As with most professions, as someone becomes more experienced, they become more skilled, and as they become more skilled, their skill becomes more valuable.
Cheap Designer vs. Expensive Designer
If it’s so much cheaper to hire a new designer to design a logo, isn’t that obviously better than paying an experienced logo designer more? That depends on your specific needs, but in most cases, going with the cheapest option doesn’t pay off. As can be seen with sites like Fiverr, design can be had for dirt cheap these days. The problem, is that you almost always get what you pay for.
More often than not, a new designer, or a designer working for bargain basement prices, is lacking some combination of experience, skill, or time. This may lead to poor customer service, a logo that makes your business look unprofessional, or as we’ve seen so often with sites like Fiverr, copyright infringement lawsuits after the client finds out their new logo has been stolen from another source.
That being said, if you’re a small start-up, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to break the bank to hire a big name agency to create your logo. There are plenty of smaller agencies (like ours! hint, hint) and freelancers that are both skilled and experienced, and are able to create extremely effective logo designs at a reasonable price.
Just Answer the Question Already
Ok so now you’ve read all this, and you’re still wondering, ‘how much should a logo design cost for me?’. Taking everything we’ve talked about so far into account, here’s how to determine how much you should pay for a logo:
- If you’re a one-person start-up without a design budget and no revenue, then using a designer just starting out is probably the way to go. There’s no need to break the bank on a logo design if the business concept isn’t yet proven to be successful. Funds are probably better spent on product development, a website, sales, etc. This route will end up costing around $50 – $500, but will most likely need to be re-designed once your business gets rolling. And while I recommend leaving design up to the professionals, if you end up trying to take a stab a logo design yourself, here’s a guide to get you started and some book recommendations.
- If you’re a small business that has moved on from the previous stage (you now have steady revenue and a modest budget), then hiring a small agency or an experienced freelancer is probably the way to go. This sort of logo design project can range anywhere from $1,000 – $10,000 depending on the agency/designer. Going this route should give you peace of mind that you have a well-designed logo that will represent your business professionally, resonate with your customers, and won’t need to be re-designed for quite some time.
- If you’re a medium to large-sized business with lots of employees and a bigger budget, then you’ll want to hire a large agency that’s able to handle a project of that size and mitigate the risk involved. A logo design on this scale can fall anywhere from $30,000 – $300,000+ (for example, Pepsi’s re-design in 2008 cost $1 million). Going this route will allow for ample research, iterations, and testing, while ensuring the agency is large enough to handle the workload any necessary requests.
Putting it All Together
Hopefully that gives you a better idea of what a logo design should cost. Keep in mind that these are just general numbers (based on findings in the United States over the past decade or so) and will vary greatly based on geographic location, company, and designer.
Note that whatever route you end up taking, it’s important to find a logo design agency or designer that fits with your communication style, your desired design aesthetic, and of course, your budget. Here’s an article we put together on how to find the right logo design agency for you.
If you have any questions regarding logo design pricing for your business, feel free to reach out and we’ll be happy to provide a recommendation, even if we’re not the right people for the job.