How Much Does a Logo Cost?
How much does a logo cost? Ah, the question of the century. Logos can go anywhere from being free to $1,000,000 to apparently $1.28 billion. But let’s stay a little more realistic shall we? Depending on how much experience the designer you hire has, logo costs can usually be summed up like this:
- Your Nephew or Yourself: Free
- Fiverr: $5 +
- Offshore: $100 ~ $250
- Logo Design Contests: $299 ~ $499
- Freelancers: $399 ~ $1000
- Agency: $1000 ~ $5000
- Super Duper Famous: $1,280,000,000
Examples of famous Logos and what they cost
But just to give you an idea of some famous brands and what they cost, here are some examples.
Designed in 1886 by Frank M. Robinson, the bookkeeper of the founder of Coca Cola, John S. Pemberton.
Designed in 1971 by Carolyn Davidson, when she was a graphic design student at Portland University.
Re-designed in 2008 by Arnell Group.
British Petrol: $211,000,000
Re-designed in 2001 by Landor.
I think I have the right amount of zero’s in there. Keep in mind this is a rebranding of Symantec, after they acquired VeriSign. And no, it didn’t really cost 1.28 billion for just a logo. You can read all about that here. But nonetheless, that is a heck of a lot of money.
Why does a logo cost so much?
Many clients often ask the question of why a logo costs so much. And understandably so. But consider this; the designer you are hiring most likely put him/herself through 4-5 years of a college/university education, interned at some place after school, then worked in the field for quite a while, probably even got themselves some type of design designation, possibly even went on to acquire a Master’s Degree and worked until they became masters of their craft.
Essentially, what you are paying for is their expertise and experience.
Hire an expert
Would I get my computer nerd nephew to come and fix my broken door frame? Probably not. He doesn’t have the tools or expertise to get the job done right. I technically could, but then the door frame would probably not be mitred correctly or plum which means I would need to hire a professional later on to get it done right.
Please hire an expert.
Usually, logo design is charged at a fixed project rate with a certain number of changes allowed. If you hit that mark, then an hourly rate will most likely take into effect after.
Hourly rates usually go like this:
- Student: $10 ~ $30/hour
- Freelancer: $50 ~ $150/hour
- Agency: $100 ~ $500/hour
But why can’t I hire my nephew?
You can hire whomever you want. If you are a start up, you probably don’t have a lot of money upfront to pay for a logo. And hiring your nephew is fine, but just keep in mind that if your nephew is not skilled in that craft or pursuing that craft, you will most likely need to change it later on down the road. And once you have established your brand, it will really be tough to change it when you already have an audience who already knows you. Not to mention the cost associated with that change/rebrand.
What qualities to look for in a logo designer
How long have they been working in the industry?
Do they have a portfolio that they can show you?
What do other clients have to say about them? Look at their social media to see what type of engagement there is and what reviews they have.
- Response Time
Do they take over 36 hours to respond? That’s a big bag of yikes for me (unless there is a substantial reason).
If you are just starting your business out, you will probably be looking to spend between $400 – $1000 for a logo if you are hiring a really good freelancer.
- Delivery Time
How fast can they turn it around? Remember, the logo is the usually the first thing that gets designed. Then your print collateral / website and other stuff. So if you need to hand out those business cards at next week’s really important meet and greet, you may have to wait. And you don’t want a fast and speedy design.
Are they in your timezone? If not, then you have to take into account working hours. If you are 3 hours ahead or 3 hours behind, that could cut into production and response times. Also, consider the language barrier and how that may affect your ultimate design goals.
Where to hire top notch designers?
Do a quick search on “Logos“, and you will instantly have access to a bunch of eye candy where you can connect with designers.
Check out designers and their work through this outlet.
- Private Facebook Groups
There’s plenty out there and in those groups, live alooooot of really good designers. Try looking for design groups or business/entrepreneur groups. You are bound to get a referral.
Believe it or not, Instagram showcases brilliant and talented designers. Just search hashtag #logos and go from there. Three excellent examples are @kareemmagdi, @ogi_latoh, @creskdesign
- Google Search
No explanation needed here.
- Word of Mouth
There’s nothing that beats word of mouth.
What about Logo Contests?
In a nutshell, a logo contest is where a client will post a job brief on a crowdsourcing website of what they are looking for in a logo. Multiple designers will design logos and submit them in hopes of winning and getting paid. The client can end up with hundreds of logos to choose from. All for a few hundred dollars.
Why Logo contests are bad
The client may see this as a win win because they are getting hundreds of designs for a low price, but for the designer, not so. They are designing all this work for free in hopes that they will win and ultimately, get paid. Most professional designers will stay clear of participating in logo contests. Logo design (or any design for that matter) is a very intimate 2 way communication stream between the client and the designer. It’s a little hard to convey what exactly you are looking for when hundreds of designers are involved bidding for the same project. Read my write up on Mr. Spec Work over here.
Logo contests also has a reputation of plagiarism as you can clearly see what happened at the Logo Factory.
Logo design contests and their host sites are marketed to clients as presenting ‘lots of choice’ from their huge ‘communities’. Trouble is, many of the design ‘choices’ are toxic, and many of the ‘community’ members are unrepentant plagiarists. Sadly, sometimes they even win. View full article here.
Steve Douglas | The Logo Factory
More articles on why you should stay away from logo contests
- 99designs scam explained: Why ‘design contests’ don’t generate effective design
- 5 Reasons Why Design Contests Are Bad for Designers
Some nice Logo shots on Dribbble
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What do the the logo experts have to say?
I asked a couple logo experts what is the most important aspect when choosing a logo designer. This is what they had to say:
“I think the most important thing to look for in a logo designer is someone who has a style and vision that reflects your own as closely as possible. Every designer has their own style and every client has their own vision for their brand. Great design happens when both parties are on the same wavelength. Some of my best design work was the result of not just my own abilities, but the client offering input and suggestions that I otherwise wouldn’t have seen as well.”
Nick Saporito | Logos by Nick | logosbynick.com
“When searching for a good logo designer look for someone who has a consistent portfolio and who has demonstrated design versatility across many industries. The person should also have a strong foundation of basic design best practices. The designer also has to be a very good listener.”
Neil Tran | Leap XD | LeapXD.com
Kathryn Marr | Blue Ivory Creative | blueivorycreative.com
My Final Thoughts
When you are at the stage in your business where you are ready to execute your brand, the first thing you will need to do is design your logo. If you want a professional design done, consider investing with a really good and reputable designer / agency who will bring your vision to life. Don’t skimp out on your logo, after all, your logo is the most important part of your brand. It’s the FOUNDATION of your brand!