A great logo can help a business project a positive image while a bad logo can bring a negative impression about a company. For many companies, a logo is only identifiable mark a potential customer may ever see, so it needs to be memorable, descriptive and easily recognizable. If a logo is company spokesman, how much is it really worth?
Cheap logo designs are all over Internet - logo designs under $150! $99 logo designs, $75 logo designs, $49 logo designs and even lower! You will easily find a wide range of prices for logo design on Internet. Be careful of cheap logo design offers, some designers may be using clip art. A logo design that includes a royalty free piece of clip art cannot be copyrighted. That same piece of clip art could be used on dozens of other logo designs. A designers portfolio should be displayed and there should be a wide variety of logo samples. At $49 each, do all of logos look same? Do majority of them have block lettering and a swoosh?
Some logo designers charge one flat fee for a logo with no questions asked. Can you imagine Coca-Cola purchasing a logo design for $99? What a deal! Or how about Bob's bait shop paying $750 for a logo. There goes budget! All companies are not equal in size, budget and usage. All designs are not equal. Does a swoosh take same amount of time and effort as creating a detailed motorcycle?
The confusion doesn't stop there. Some logo designers charge additional costs for extra colors, extra modifications and extra preliminary designs. You have to get your calculator out just to figure final cost of your logo. Do you really know what you are paying for?
How much is a logo design really worth? Ask Coca-Cola, Polo, Nike, The Hard Rock Cafe, Hallmark or any other company that relies on their logo as their number one spokesman. Not every company is as large as these but every company should have a logo that is easy to identify and stands for integrity of that business.
A logo design is more valuable to a company than a single spot illustration. An illustration is normally used once or used for a limited campaign, whereas a logo is used for years and is placed on business cards, letterheads, envelopes, web sites, vehicles, buildings and products. Do you see difference in value to a company? A logo has more value than just hours spent on creating it. It becomes companies identity.
With that said, shouldn't a logo be worth more than just time involved in creating it? Professional graphic design rates average anywhere from $30 to $75 per hour. If you see a logo design priced at $125 and that designer charges $50 per hour for design work, do you assume that they spent 2.5 hours on your logo? That price would include time spent to contact you, research done on your company and competition, preliminary ideas, changes, finalizing of logo, file prep for each different format, sending logo, billing and allowing you to have all rights to design. So how much time was actually spent creating your logo?
My conclusion is that a logo is much more valuable to a company than a standard illustration so price should reflect added value. Many professional graphic designers would be hard pressed to create a top notch illustration for under $150 let alone a creative, well designed logo. So beware of logos priced under $150, you may get what you pay for.
There's even more confusion about logo pricing. Some designers base their logo rates on several of these factors:
Logo Modifications - You could get charged for each time you want a change or modification to your logo. If a logo designer asks right questions, does research and stays in close communication with client there should be no need for major changes during creation of a logo design. Be a good communicator and explain to logo designer exactly what you want your logo to be saying about your business. As a designer, you should get signed approval for each modification showing that client was in agreement at time.
Extra Colors - Printers charge more for extra colors. If a logo designer charges more for a two color logo than they do for a three color logo, get a detailed explanation as to why. It only takes click of a mouse to add an extra color. In today's world there is very little need for color separations so there should be no need for a designer to charge by color.
Preliminary Designs - A few choices is good, to many choices is overkill. A logo designer should be able to decide for you correct amount of preliminary designs it will require to create your perfect logo. Be leary of eight, ten and more initial designs. How much time could actually be spent on each design? If you don't like your first two or three designs you can easily request two or three more.
If you are on a committe or a board, I assure you that you do not want to present ten logos to ten different people. You may never get down to a winning design.