“How much does logo design cost?” It’s one of the most popular questions we get asked here at Canny.
Well, that and “How much does a website cost?”
People also love asking us:
“How much does graphic design cost?”
“How long is a piece of string?” It’s the same answer.
Here’s the deal:
You’re asking the wrong question. And, you’re also asking possibly the most open ended question in the industry.
There are so many different types of design, from branding and logo design through to web design and e-commerce platforms.
To answer this type of question more accurately, we always need to know more about the project.
In this instance, it’s best if we to narrow the scope of the question down to “How much does logo design cost?”
This is one of the questions that I get asked at Canny on a daily basis.
So much so in fact, that we’ve made a video to help us answer it:
Every other day, the office phone rings, and I’m met with: “How much do you charge for logo design mate?” Quite often, the caller doesn’t like the answer.
I get that a lot:
“REALLY!? More than £50 for a logo design, are you kidding? I can get my nephew’s dog’s cat to do it on Microsoft Publisher for a box of sweets.”
Then why on earth are you approaching a professional graphic design agency?
If you don’t understand the value of design and what it can do for your business, that’s fine. But you need to give us the chance to explain.
Some people really don’t like to talk about money.
For them, it’s a tough subject, and those are the type of people that I try to avoid working with.
If there are secrets in regards to the budget, I often find that the client is trying to scope out the cheapest deal, not the best service.
It’s important that you’re honest with your design agency about your budget.
These are not the sort of people that I would like to work with. I want to work with people that are looking for the best ROI (return on investment).
And that’s exactly how design should be looked at, as an investment.
In the age of social media, I often see people offering logo design for less than £10.
That is downright ridiculous and in this post I’m going to look at; the reasons that logo design shouldn’t just cost £10, why professional graphic designers don’t charge £10 for a logo design and why you and your business need to invest in professional logo design.
And don’t forget:
While this post will focus specifically on logo design, a lot of this applies across the design industry as a whole.
What is a Logo and What Does it Do?
To understand the importance of a professional logo design, we first need to understand what a logo actually is and what it is used for.
Your logo design is often the first interactional potential customers have with your brand. And that’s why it’s important your logo design is effective.
As the old expression goes, “first impressions last”.
Why not put that first impression in the hands of a professional? Professional logo design will bring instant recognition to your brand, company, charity or other venture. Logo designs aren’t just for businesses.
Sometimes, you may need to invest in your brand rather than a standalone logo design. If you’re unsure what branding is, take a look at this post.
One of my favourite outlooks on logo design is the Twitter egg analogy.
When you’re a new Twitter user, you’re given an egg as an avatar. Now, some people never bother to change these to a logo or image that represents their business.
In essence, they stay faceless and unidentifiable.
People don’t want to buy from an egg, they want to buy from well branded and successful looking businesses.
Here’s something to ponder:
“The restaurant with the longest queue is worth waiting for.”
Their reputation precedes them. People know they’re successful, and know what they’re getting, just by the way things look.
That is what your logo design should do for you. You should be striving for instant recognition, always.
That being said, people still hire “logo designers” (aka, people who have just learned to use Adobe Photoshop – the wrong programme for logo design) for pennies or worse still, run logo design competitions.
What Are Your Options for Having a Logo Designed?
So what are your options for having a logo designed?
Well, we’ve already detailed the four key professionals that can help with your logo design in this post.
You can hire a student, freelancer, boutique design agency or internationally renowned design agency to help with your design projects.
However, when it comes to logo design, there are two more options:
You can use a free online logo maker to design a logo for your company.
If you’re going to design your logo yourself, you’ll end up costing your business money.
Also, it’s the equivalent of knowing you need to get your car fixed, then deciding to “have a go” yourself.
What’s the point?
There are professionals out there that can help you design a great logo, rather than you picking a small combination of icons and fonts off the internet.
Design Competitions, Crowdsourcing Spec Work
The problems with design competitions, crowd sourcing and spec work have been well outlined around the internet.
But here’s our take on things:
One of the biggest threats to the design industry at the minute is the rise of spec work and crowdsourcing.
“Spec” work is short for work completed on a speculative basis, i.e “You design me a logo and I’ll pay you if I like it”.
This has to stop. Design is a profession and should be treated as such.
And then there’s crowdsourcing.
A long time ago, I wrote a post called 5 Reasons Not to Crowdsource Your Design Projects and what I wrote then, still stands today.
Here’s the deal:
By crowdsourcing your logo design you’re essentially condoning people working for free and devaluing the design industry.
And above all that, you need a professional to make sure your brand is represented in the best possible way.
So, what’s the problem with people running logo design contests when there is a prize at the end? It’s the same principle.
For every winner of a logo design competition, there are ten times as many losers, who ultimately, have ended up putting in their time and effort for nothing.
It’s the same as above but on a larger scale.
Lots of people enter, only the “best” logo designer gets paid. It’s not exactly fair is it? Would you go to work for free?
And finally, the right way to go about having your logo designed…
Hire a Professional Designer, Freelancer or Agency
Professional designers and design agencies exist for a reason. They’re there to help people like you get the right logo design and brand identity in place.
The Problem with Cheap Logo Design
Now that we have a better understanding of logo design and some of the rising threats surrounding it, let’s take a look at the sort of quality you can expect from cheap logo designers (£10-£150) and logo design competitions.
The following screenshot may cause offence to professional designers or people that have any sort of design sense. Have a look, then I’ll dissect it.
The first thing to notice about this competition, ran over on Freelancer Contests (another blot on the design industry radar), is the disgustingly low “prize”.
€20EUR at today’s exchange rate is £17.12.
That falls short of the hourly rate that I charge for design work.
For that price, a client would get about 20 minutes of my time. It’s only roughly 3 hours of UK minimum wage. Which leads me to my next thought, “if you pay peanuts you get monkeys”.
The next most offensive thing is the overall quality (and I use the word quality very very loosely) of the design work produced. You can see, just by looking quickly, that these weren’t designed by professional logo designers.
This is one of the key problems with logo design competitions and crowdsourcing, anybody can enter.
The winning entry is average. It’s not exactly exciting or particularly original, it just happens to be a lot better than the rest of the entries.
Another thing to bear in mind here is that the only brief the designers have is a “logo design for sciency but funny image site”. That’s very vague and isn’t going to bring in the best sort of results.
Your designer should be fully invested in making the best logo they can for your business and I’d expect a professional to be going into a little more depth than that.
Your designer or design agency should know everything there is to know about your business.
We’ve put together a guide that will help you make the most of your client/agency relationship. Read through it and get to work.
Ask yourself the following questions about the submitted logo designs:
- How many of the logos above make a great first impression?
- Can you describe any of them?
- If you had to draw one in 5 seconds, could you?
- Are the logo designs; memorable, simple, versatile, appropriate and timeless?
If not, then the logo designers have failed, which is unsurprising on a website where they’re submitting work for free.
I wouldn’t let Canny put out any of the logo designs above. They’re just no good.
But how does professional logo design look?
How Professional Logo Design Looks and Works
Now take a look at the following professional logo designs and go over the questions from above again. Can you tell difference?
Why are they so different?
These logos (with the exception of the Nike swoosh – that’s for a different post altogether) were created by professional logo designers.
The Coca Cola and Pepsi logos have existed in a form similar to what they have now for 100 years or more, they’re iconic and people recognise them, which is exactly what you need from your logo.
You have to make that first impression count.
The Logo Design Process
The design process that ends with a particularly great logo design is a long one. And it certainly costs more than £20!
At Canny, our logo design process looks like this:
- Design Brief & Discussion: The designer has a meeting with, talks to and interviews the client to help flesh out the project design brief.
- Research: The graphic designer begins to research the client’s company, their competitors and the industry that they’re part of. During this section of the process, existing and successful logos in the client’s industry will also be researched.
- Sketches & Concepts: The designer then begins to sketch out ideas and concepts for the logo. These are then shown to the client.
- Mockups: The approved concept(s) are taken and developed into something more solid for reflection.
- Reflection: The mockups are put aside for several days and then revisited once the mind is clear and the ideas have matured a little. This allows for extra focus and highlights things that weren’t apparent before.
- Presentation: After the reflection, the final logo is completed alongside any other parts of the project. Once the final instalment is paid, the required logo files are handed over to the client.
- Breath a Sigh of Relief: Then the designer grabs a beer and enjoys the nice rewarding feeling that comes with signing of a project that you’re proud of.
A lot more than £20’s worth of effort and work goes into creating a logo that makes the right first impression, looks great and will stand the test of time.
Don’t you agree?
Where in the World Are You?
The cost of logo design depends where in the World you and your company based, and where your chosen design agency is based.
If you’re not sure how to choose a design agency, think about this:
- Is proximity important to me?
- How good is their portfolio?
- Am I looking for the best price or the best work? (Hint: it should be the latter!)
Logo design prices in the UK are always going to be much higher than the cost of logo design in India. The cost of living in each country differs so significantly, that it would be impossible for UK based agencies to compete on price.
The price of a professional logo design will also depend on who you decide to hire to do the work.
As explained above; a freelancer will be cheaper than a design agency. But, the quality of work will differ too.
You need to decide what’s important to you when it comes to your client/designer relationship.
But it’s important to remember:
The cheapest logo design won’t be the best logo design. That’s just not how it works, no matter which country you’re based in.
What Does Your Logo Design Project Involve?
There’s a reason that professional agencies don’t price their work off a logo design price sheet.
Each and every project is different.
Think about it:
Designing a logo for a “mom-and-pop cafe” is a completely different undertaking to designing a logo for a huge corporate entity.
And often, when people ask us about the costs involved in a logo design project, they actually want us to work on their entire brand identity.
Sometimes companies need to rebrand, other times they’re creating brands from scratch. And again, this is completely different from a single standalone logo project.
Not sure what branding involves? Take a look at this article about business branding.
Your business is completely different to your neighbour’s business. And that’s why design agencies don’t work from a standard graphic design price list.
What Should You Get For Your Money?
When you have a logo professionally designed, at the end of the project you should receive an email containing the following files:
- Logo design in full colour
- Logo design in single colour
- Horizontal lockup
- Vertical lockup
- Different file formats including (JPEG, PNG, EPS and PDF)
- Original editable artwork files
- Any stationery design
- Any other agreed on applications of work (merchandise, social avatars etc)
Check the contract you should have signed at the beginning of your project for exact deliverables, but if you need something extra, don’t be afraid to ask!
Conclusion: How Much Does Logo Design Cost?
Companies should expect to spend between £500 and £1000 on a well designed professional logo.
Towards the lower end of that scale, you’re looking at a simple logo design such as a word mark, or text based logo.
As your logo design budget increases so does the complexity of the work. More intricate work may take place with the logo, or perhaps an icon or logo mark will be created to sit alongside your company name.
However, there is no set figure and each logo design price can vary greatly. It’s hard to give an estimate without a detailed branding brief.
Everybody charges something different.
But, I’m not a total cop out and I don’t want you to go away from this article without having even a rough idea of what sort of pricing to expect.
If you were to come to Canny Creative (remember, we’re a boutique graphic design agency) and ask for a quote for a single logo design, you’d always get a reply asking you more questions.
We advise our clients to invest a minimum of £1000 into their logo design and brand identity. We won’t work on a logo design for any less than that.
And no, your goldfish’s owner’s brother’s daughter’s mother couldn’t do it for cheaper and better, because they’re not a professional graphic designer!
A close friend of mine, had has this to say about pricing logo designs:
“I always advise them that their logo is a crucial part of their business and should be treated as such. As a rule of thumb I would always advise someone has a minimum budget of £500 but in an ideal world something in the region of £1,000+ is a safer option to ensure that enough time can be spent on the logo that they can be confident it will be something they will be happy with.”
Then there are people like Jacob Cass, Graham “I’m Just Creative” Smith and David Airey who advise bigger budgets such as £10,000-£15,000+.
Admittedly, with prices over the £6000+ mark then you’re looking at more than just a logo design.
Don’t forget that these are ballpark figures but they should give you an idea about what you should be looking to invest if you’re serious about getting your business venture or brand off to the best start.
To get an accurate quote for your logo design, it would be advisable to contact a graphic designer or design agency and have them draw up a custom quote for your project.
That is the only way that you’ll know for sure how much your logo design will cost you. How you choose your design agency is a different matter altogether.
If you don’t want to work with us, then by all means, do shop around, just don’t crowd source your design work or run a “competition”!
What do you think? Have you had a logo designed in the past? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below.
reading time: 16 minutes