Well, I’m going to answer that question with another question – How long is a piece of string? Unfortunately, it isn’t a black and white answer. There are a magnitude of reasons on how logos are priced, but to break it down for you I have listed 5 of them below.
You’ve heard the saying, time is money and rightly so. A designer gets paid to do a job, and the time they are spending on designing a logo can take time. Unfortunately, unless you have a stroke of genius (rare), there can be a considerable amount of time spent in the concept stage. Generally a designer will charge based on a specific amount of concepts and revisions, this helps to keep things in order so they don’t blow out of control. It is easy to just keep tweaking, but again, these things take time so you need to be prepared to pay for it, after all, it is their income.
Some things may seem like a piece of cake to create, but let me assure you, looks can be deceiving. To give you an idea, anything illustrative could take hours to create, it depends on the intricate detail, where as something as simple as a font may take less time. Though depending on you and the communication with your designer, choosing a font can also take time. Be careful if you’re going purely off price, usually it won’t give you that point of difference you’re looking for, so take a range of things into consideration; quality, experience, skill. One last thing, please don’t negate the fact that because something was done quickly that it was easy, that could just mean you have a bloody good designer, which leads me to my next point.
Obviously like any job, the longer you’ve been in the game, the better you are. If you have someone that has extensive knowledge, not only in design but other areas as well, they will automatically apply that skillset into your job, so you’re basically paying for added expertise. Having experience also reduces errors, and increases quality and speed. Designers with years of experience have a bank of ideas from previous jobs that they’ve worked on, so they know straight off the bat what works and what doesn’t. This is something that you’ll need to look into, if you have a tight budget, be prepared to sacrifice time, quality or speed. Be cautious if you’re basing your choice on cost, there will always be a catch, and this is where you’ll need to do your homework. There’s a lot of people out there claiming to be designers, and look, there are some great self-taught designers out there, but there are also a lot of hacks.
4. Where is it needed.
Where you’re placing your logo will be dependant on how many file types you’ll need. Check the agreement you have with your designer before committing, be clear that you know exactly what you’ll be receiving at the end of the job, a lot of designers do things cheaper but only supply one file and charge for any additional. To clarify, by different files, I mean jpgs for socials that will be square in dimension, png files that have a transparent background so you can place them on a background, black and white versions, both screen and print versions, logos for signatures etc.
5. An estimate.
So given that you now have a little bit of an understanding on how it all works, below are some estimated costs based off my experience:
- Anything up to $350 is cheap, you will find inexperienced designers like graduates, self-taught designers (or friends doing a favour) will charge this amount. If you happen to have a good designer charging you this, chances are the poor bugger just doesn’t know how to price themselves, so win for you. Alternatively it could also be just a really easy job, then again, let the designer determine what is easy, if it were that easy you wouldn’t need a designer.
- $350-$1000 is generally what you can expect to pay as a start up or small business. Experience can vary here, with the lower amount being towards an inexperienced designer, with the higher rate for the more experienced designer.
- $1,000-$2,500 can be expected for a medium sized business or time extensive (lots of revisions, concepts) jobs. Generally this is the price you can expect to pay for a logo (with decent inclusions) from an experienced designer.
- $2,500+ is pretty standard for a decent sized company, or as mentioned above, time extensive. This is basically what you could expect a starting rate to be for an agency, regardless of your company size.
In conclusion, know what you are getting:
- Be prepared – know what to ask for and know what you want. Have examples ready of things you like, including ideas of colour choice, because that can really rack up some revisions. I always get my clients to select off a range of different logos I have pre-prepared that are quite versatile, from their choice/s I am able to determine the type of font they like, the layout and style.
- Ask your designer what is included – How many revisions and concepts are included.
- Know what files you need – list all the places you will need your logo, that way you will know all your costs up front.
- Do you want cheap or quality – a well designed logo will cost more. There are a lot of off the shelf logos these days, which results in a logo that looks just like the next one. A logo is meant to be distinctive specifically to your brand, the money spent now will be the best investment you make for the future.
- Ask questions – talk through your ideas and give a brief. How you communicate with your designer will pretty much indicate how the creative process will go and the type of result you can expect. Clear communication is key, especially when you liaise through email, if you’re unsure, pick up the phone. Last thing you want is another round of changes because of miscommunication.