I paid $750 for a logo once.
Also, I've paid $5 for a logo.
And for Graphic Rhythm Designs? I made that sucker myself!
Since I'm not Pepsi or Toyota - I think it's pretty safe to say I've paid about as much money for a logo as most small business owners would be willing to consider. I've also paid about the least amount of money too.
Considering the range of logos I've bought, and the fact that we here at Graphic Rhythm Designs offer logo design services - I thought I would answer a question that I have never had the answer to before.
How come Logo's Cost so Much?
Let's be realistic about the $5 logos... You're not really getting a logo. At a straight hourly rate of say $15 per hour, you're asking someone to spend 20 minutes putting shapes together in the color you like.
It's not until you get to about $100 that you're even really seriously discussing a logo - anything less than that is asking someone to make a graphic design with no significance and no thought.
In order to understand why a logo can cost $150 at the bottom and almost $300 at the top - or why I paid $750, you really need to understand what a designer and a design company does to produce that logo for you, you need to really understand what a Logo is.
The Professional Logo Process Looks like This:
I'm not a designer. But my research into this issue, and my years of working with designers has taught me a thing or two.
A logo is not a simple piece of artwork - It's your companies signature. It's your chief marketing tool and it's your brands identity.
Before you can design a website, create business cards, design ads, presentations or any other marketing material - you need to know what your logo is.
Your logo is also the most forward facing part of your company - When someone shows up at your website, the first thing they see is your logo.
So What is Your Logo Saying about Your Company?
This single questions is almost entirely to blame for the expense of a logo. In order to answer this question, a professional graphic designer typically moves through the following steps:
An interview with you and developing a portfolio of information about your company, it's mission, your goals, and your target market
An in depth analysis of your competitors and your market
An understanding of the product or service that you are offering, how it works and what it means to use it
This process takes hours at a minimum and for a lot of designers it can take days - in one article I read on this subject the designer said she spends a minimum of 40 hours on a logo.
How much Experience does the Designer have?
If you need to install a toilet, you would hopefully hire a plumber who's got some experience doing it. Ideally, I think you would want someone who knows what to do when things don't go as planned, with years of experience doing things the right way. And depending on where you live in the world, you could pay over $50 per hour to have the job done.
It's the same for designers. Often you are working with someone who has a degree and has dedicated their life and career to understanding how to communicate through images. Hopefully, you are working with someone with years of experience and who has created many logos before this one and intuitively understands the difference between OK, GOOD, and GREAT logos. Someone who can guide you towards your vision.
The Place for Cheap Logos
I've spent this entire article explaining why logos CAN cost so much... SHOULD cost a lot. Now I have an admission to make...
There's a place for cheap logos...
I would like to suggest that there is a correlation between Logo Cost and Logo Importance. Where Cheap Logo = Low Importance and Expensive Logo = High Importance.
If you are starting a business or own a company that has already been proven and you are going to interact with customers through a variety of mediums then your logo is probably pretty important. I would suggest spending at least $150 on a good logo.
However, you may not have a "Company" per se so much as a website where you are proving a concept. A Shopify store is a great example of this. Perhaps you are just proving the concept of your store - in this case, you need a logo that simply does the job of saying your store name in a way that mostly matches the tonality of the website in general.
You need a cheap logo.
$5 Cheap? Maybe not.
I would spend at least $50 on a logo to ensure that it is made properly and delivered in all of the correct file formats.
Here are the file formats I suggest:
Full Color, Full Logo
All White, Full Logo
All Black, Full Logo
Full Color, Brand Mark
All White, Brand Mark
All Black, Brand Mark
Horizontal and Vertical Layouts (If possible)
Color Pallet and Fonts
3 Lessons I've Learned from Making Dozens of Logos
When I started Graphic Rhythm Designs I had no intention of offering logo services - but as it happens, our clients asked often enough if we could do it that we took a crack at it.
My thinking was this - we are already creating great designs, how hard could it be to create a design shaped like the name of their company?
Boy have I learned a lot since we created out first logo.
While we initially offered logos for $30, now we won't discuss making them for less than $100 - What changed between then and now?
Well, let me tell you.
Folks are Really Really Invested in their Logos
One of the ways we measure our success is revision count - we promise unlimited revisions and revisions cost a lot of money, so we are motivated to keep revisions low. It keeps our costs down and our customer satisfaction up.
Our average design has a revision rate of less than 100% - Which means, on average each design is revised less than 1 time. (That's pretty spectacular by the way)
For logos, our average number of revisions per logo is closer to 15x!!
This is for the same designers, performing the same quality work for the same customers who are perfectly happy with the work we produce when it's a t-shirt or a blog cover.
So what's different?
In a word: Emotion.
Logos have so much emotional baggage that we find our clients obsessing over every single tiny detail.
Is it too purple? Is it too bold? Is there too much swoop on that letter?
What is this Logo Saying About Me?
These are all completely valid questions, and they reflect the gravity and importance of logos in your business.
It's partly the reason why they cost so much.
Your emotional investment in your logo should match you financial investment in it.
As your business grows, your logo will change to match who your business ultimately becomes. This is natural.
Remember the saying: Money loves speed. Get something together and get it out in the world and you can make changes later.
Your Customers Opinion is Most Important
t's rare that I find a logo client who can articulate what they are looking for.
Logos tend to come at the beginning of the business creation process so to be fair - there's a lot about your business you don't really know at first.
You may have some basic ideas of who your market is, what your niche is and what your company personality is - but until you start testing markets and products... you really have no idea.
This is painfully obvious in the logo process.
Very often we work with clients who are trying to create a logo that matches what they like - not something that matches their market.
And often, that's because they are out of touch with their market.
If we suspect that a client doesn't have a good handle on what kind of logo they want and who their market is - or if they share examples of logos that don't match what they are asking for, then we may turn down the business.
You should be talking to your target market while you are developing your product offering and positioning - while you're at it, you mine as well ask them to give you opinions on logos.
Even though the logo may not match your personal taste - the most important question should always be: "Does this match my markets expectations?"
That's Not Your Logo. You can't Have It.
My team has a play book for producing the designs that our clients want.
We spend a lot of time behind the scenes making sure that the design we produce matches the brief you've submitted. And we spend at least as much time reading between the lines and creating the design that you really want.
It's like a dark art form honestly. I have dozens and dozens of stories I could share about the time someone asked for a specific design, and then after some conversation we produced something that doesn't match their brief but is exactly what they are looking for.
It's pretty awesome.
As I said, we have a play book for producing these designs and there is one play we hate to run: "Talk the client off the ledge"
We run this play when a client is obsessed over another companies design/logo and we are certain they will not be happy with anything we produce because it's not the design they are obsessed with.
In some rare cases, this play results in us turning down the business.
Use other companies for inspiration but make sure you are able to answer this question: "What am I going to do to separate myself from them?" You want a logo that is going to match your companies personality and your markets expectations. That's it. You don't need to look like anyone else.
Find Your Logo with these 4 Questions
If you're getting ready to request a logo, start by answering these five questions to narrow down what you want and what your target market wants.
- Who are the biggest brands in my niche and what does their logo look like? Find 3-5 competitors and study their logos.
- How is my company different than them? Look at each of their logos and ask how you would change it to match your company.
- Does my vision for my brand match what is already in the market? If not, then you might have a mismatch between what you want and what your market expects
- How much are you willing to spend on a logo? Does your financial investment match your emotional investment? Price your designers time at $45 per hour and see how much time you're expecting a designer to invest in your logo.
After you've answered these questions you should have a pretty good idea of what kind of an investment you want to make. Now you need to find a designer.
If you just want to kick the tires, I highly suggest Tailor Brands. It's cheap to mock up a logo that you can slap on a page and start testing your product and market.
If you are looking for an enterprise level solution that you can use to fully brand your business and you know will require deep market research and data, then I suggest finding a dedicated logo designer with a lot of experience creating logos at this level - unfortunately that is not us.
However, if you are looking for a "Cheap" logo that is useful for more than just kicking the tires register for a free account or contact us to discuss your project - we would be happy to hear what you have in mind.