How much does a logo cost?

When starting a business, you know you need a logo. But most people wonder – how much does a logo cost? Or can’t I just create it on my own? I don’t have much money and can’t anyone put some type with some clip art?

Let’s first tackle the cost question. I read a great article “Company Logos for Less” the other day in Inc. magazine where a business owner evaluated 3 different logo websites that offer very cheap logo design (under $500). What type of work do you really end up with? Is it worth your time? The logo designs he was presented had a huge variety and while the end design looked ok, he didn’t really end up with a truly unique logo. As, Steven Heller, says  in the article “The one he chose is abstract enough that he can probably use it for anything. But a logo is supposed to be a mnemonic — something people will remember. Looking at these, there’s no sense of ‘aha!’”

Also, according to Inc., large agencies can charge between $25,000 – $50,000 for a logo design. Seriously? Yes, seriously. Did anyone fall off of their chair yet? Ok, get back up and read on. Let’s evaluate what an agency provides: They have a team of people doing market research, studying type, brainstorming and presenting logo design options. Is that a ridiculous amount for most small businesses and start-ups to fathom paying? Yes. Can you get a great design for much less? Definitely.

So, what if you went through a logo designer, such as myself? How much should a small business expect to pay for a great logo, that hits their target market and they love? Let’s first discuss what goes into the process of creating a logo. Is it just spending 30 minutes throwing a typeface with some clip art? Absolutely not. On average I spend at least 10-12 hours completing the following process:

1. Meeting with the client and having them answer around 20 questions about everything from color preference, target market, who are your competitors, etc.

2. Market Research: I look at your competitors logos, your target market and general logo research.

3. Brainstorming: Sketching and word association

4. Type study: I fill two 8.5 x 11 size documents with different type faces that might work.

5. Translate top sketches to computer in black and white artwork. Tip: If a logo doesn’t work in black and white, it won’t be dynamic in color.

6. Pair black and white artwork with typefaces.

7. Pick top 2-3

8. Add color

9. Present to client

10. Make any client requested modifications

11. Send the final files in a variety of file formats to the client.

So, after a designer puts in the time to do the above, I have found most designers I know charge between $1,000 – $3,000. Which in all honestly isn’t anywhere near an agency price, but you still end up with a professional logo that hits your target market. Specific pricing can depend on how many options you want (2 or 10?), your turnaround time (2 weeks or 1 day?) and how much experience a designer has (fresh out of school or +10 years experience?).

Want to know more about logo design? Read What makes a good logo? Or feel free to browse my logo design portfolio.

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6 Responses to How much does a logo cost?

  1. [...] Professional logo design with 2-3 options  (see logos I have designs here or read about my logo design process). [...]

  2. cyrus says:

    exciting logo designs

  3. Shawn Borsky says:

    I concur completely with this article. Its always tough to help a small business client understand the value of design as an investment in their business.

    Recently, I have had a number of clients that spent money on something that they were fervently unhappy with but basically decided to keep it to save money instead of cutting their losses and getting a solution that would actually make their money back.

    Either way, good approach to the material. ( To note, all my clients who have paid over $1k for their logo are extremely happy with it.) I think people really appreciate a job well done. :)

  4. [...] to know about logo design? Read How much does a logo Cost? Or feel free to browse my logo design portfolio. var a2a_config = a2a_config || {}; [...]

  5. Antonio says:

    Thank you for this article, I found it very helpful, especially the break down list, which prompted me to write.

    I’m about to start logo work for one client with 2 entirely different entities. She was unable to provide me w/anything even closely resembling specs; only the vaguest, most nebulous of ideas despite my best efforts.

    This must be a recurring issue for many freelancers. Might there be anything one could ad to your list to elicit more information from a client? Perhaps I’m asking the wrong questions. Any keys to getting blood from a sto- er, I mean, to prompting specs from a client?

    • Hi Antonio -
      If the client is being vague, I would recommend you ask them very specific questions. For instance, I usually ask the client to show me 3 logo designs they like and 3 of their competitor logo designs. If they still answer vaguely, I would email them around 5 different logo designs with very different styles and ask which they prefer. For example, one with a separate symbol, one with a script font, and one with just type. Another tool I have found helpful is if you focus on words that describe their business. For example, list 5 words like: modern, classic, romantic, vibrant, minimal, and soft. Which do they most identify with? Or you could ask, if your brand was a car, what type of car would it be? Lexus or Honda? New or an old classic car? The answers to the above should help you pick a corresponding font and style to go after. Hope that helps!

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