How much does a logo cost?
Your logo and brand is your first impression to potential and existing customers you deal with on a day to day basis. A logo’s design is for immediate recognition, inspiring trust, admiration, loyalty and an implied superiority. It is also the start of your marketing story.
A logo is one aspect of a company’s commercial brand and every logo is unique, which makes it impossible to give a “one price fits all” logo design.
Your logo should last you a minimum of 5 years unless there are significant changes in the businesses focus or product direction. There are always exceptions to every rule, like if your business is overtly fashion orientated requiring regular changes to keep it up-to-date with the latest trends. This type of business however is very rare and for most cases the logo changes are entirely unnecessary. A business trying to stay ahead of the fashion trends can avoid logo changes by simply changing the “secondary graphics” around the brand, but that is a topic for another blog.
If you average the cost of your logo design out over the first few years of your company, you’ll realise it’s one of the cheapest expenses from a marketing point of view. If you go through the logo process properly with a design studio with a proven track record you will generate a greater cash stream through your brand impacting your target market in a very positive way. If you get it wrong then a great business idea or plan can fail because you couldn’t connect with your market or get your marketing message across successfully.
To properly understand the cost of a logo design you must first know what is it you are actually paying for. Ultimately, you are paying for your designers skill, experience and time, not just the final logo design, or brand that you will receive.
Why choose a professional designer?
Professional designers are not just creative people, they are highly educated with a university bachelor degree or equivalent. They have been taught the skills to use industry standard design software, design principles and processes to produce the best solution for your requirements in the most efficient way possible.
Some designers are simply artists who can create lovely designs, a great Graphic Designer will help you through the marketing maze using knowledge and experience to help you understand your marketing story. How can you start the design of a logo if you don’t know who your market is?
At Brown Ink we talk about STORY + TELLING, the story must always come first. We must understand your story, we need to ascertain the point of difference in your story and then through visual communications help tell this story to get your business attention.
If you think it is acceptable to pick a logo from an online collection of thousands (there are plenty of websites you can pay $20 or $30 for a design then “insert your business name here”). This always baffles us because the same business can spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on software and machinery spend months if not years researching this and then take an evening to choose a logo.
If you think we are making this up, you are mistaken. Eventually these businesses realise their marketing isn’t working and come knocking. After we take them through out branding process they come out the other end more enlightened about their business and then finally understand why certain marketing ventures they tried did not work. I guess what we want you to understand is this. Choosing a logo simply because you like the way it looks is not how you go about building a marketing and branding strategy.
Understanding the reason why a person buys a service or product is more about human behaviour than liking the colour of your logo. Understanding this behaviour is a lesson in human psychology, which when explained in marketing terms is easy to relate to. Our clients find this fascinating.
There are three main logo design pricing structures in today’s graphic design industry.
- Hourly Rate
- Fixed Price
- Package Rate
This being the case, all graphic designers use different methods to determine the cost for developing a logo.
Brown Ink Design use a combination of these three pricing structures to provide clients with the best solution and value for money. As we are experienced professionals we understand how long a logo design will take, based on the brief and style of logo design required. This allows us to provide clients with an obligation free logo design quote prior to starting the work.
What is Brown Ink Design’s logo design process?
It is essential that you understand your story before you jump to the telling. Far too often clients just want a design put together with some text and images. Your clients will buy “why” you do what you do, more than just “what” you do. Most purchases are made on emotion, inspire someone with your story and you will make a sale.
The Brief: (1-2 hours)
During the brief we endeavour to find out what the story behind your brand or product is. It starts with a consultation with the business owner/decision makers.
This usually takes an hour or so and is crucial to understanding you, your business and your industry. Questions will be asked about things like, Why you do what you do? How does your business stand out from your competitors? What partners you have/want? Who your major competitors are? If you are an established business we ask about your marketing history. What marketing have you done? What worked, what didn’t? Who do you think you’re marketing to? Where do these people shop? This question is about targeting where these people spend their time when they are at work or at play.
Depending on your business and industry the questions vary and can become more specific to your industry.
From this we now have a clear understanding of where your brand sits in the marketplace and how best to promote this brand to your target audience. By getting to know and understand your story we can then find the outstanding features or uniqueness of your story and start looking at visual ways to tell your story.
Logo Research: (1 hour)
The next step involves independent research, tracking down the logos of your competitors, imagery and colours that resonate with your industry and target market. Once this has been completed we will have a clear understanding of what we are trying to achieve with your logo design and the brand identity that will come from this.
Professional athletes research their competitors to find their strengths and weaknesses, businesses are no different. Knowledge is the key to finding the best solutions. We have access to over 300,000 logos from all different industries right across the globe. Why is this important? Because showing you what similar businesses in your industry are doing is much better than telling you. We realise not everyone can visualise, or envisage what a certain style may be. We like to be transparent, we invite you into our process and explain what we are doing and why. We research your market, collect data and work out a plan of attack in the search for your genuine story.
Logo Proposal / Quotation: (1 hour)
The proposal gives us a chance to provide you with a clear understanding of what we have learnt from the brief and the research. This gives you a chance to have input into what you do and don’t like about what is currently used in your industry. The proposal also outlines the investment costs and what Brown Ink will provide throughout the process.
Our proposals provide us and you the client with a clear understanding of what we are setting out to achieve, through the logo design and/or branding process.
Up to this point there is no charge to you, yes that is correct, we put in at least 3-4 hours work without even having a commitment from you. This is such an important process to achieve the best results for our clients, that we are happy to invest this time into each project.
Logo Concept Sketching: (2-8 hours)
This step can be fast with dozens of variations exploding onto the page before some good choices emerge. Sketching will continue until at least five sketches have enough potential to represent your business.
Your first idea is rarely your best. If you can not get the design to work on paper, chances are it’s not worth developing further. Initial concept sketching is an important part of the process which is more time efficient than jumping straight into the development process on a computer. Remember the computer is just a tool the ideas come from the designers brain and are filtered by our design process.
Logo Design: (2-4 hours)
The design step is where the sketches are reproduced on the computer with Adobe Illustrator software. This allows the designer to explore many different variations of the designs which will then branch out into further developed logo designs.
Different typefaces will be trialled to best suit the design and often customised to make sure your logo is unique. By the end of this process we will have at least 4 individual logo designs for you to choose from.
With our highly skilled designers utilising the latest software, the possibilities are limitless. Our experience allows us to quickly eliminate design options that are not suitable. Our teams collaborative knowledge ensures a premium result for your business each and every time.
Logo Testing: (1-3 hours)
The logo designs will then be tested with various imagery, colours and sizes. This will make sure your logo’s design will work across a number of mediums including business cards, websites, press advertising and marketing material.
This process eliminates issues later down the track where a logo will be reproduced at a small size therefore losing detail, in a single colour treatment, or used over an image.
Logo Presentation: (1 hour)
During the Logo presentation, the designs will be shown with the rationale and objectives explained along side each design, so you can make an informed decision on which design best suits your business.
By presenting the final design face to face, we can explain the reasons behind each design, gauge your response and examine any queries which may arise. We are that confident in our abilities and processes that we guarantee our work*
Logo Alterations if required: (1-2 hours)
Any final tweaks to the chosen design if required.
By this stage there are rarely any major alterations required due to the thorough process and objectives we set out in the initial proposal. Generally this time is used for final cleanup and minor tweaking of the logo design before moving to finished artwork.
Final Logo Suite – Finished Artwork: (1 hour)
The final logo suite will be provided to the client which would usually include;
Logo variations – including primary logo design, reversed out logo design.
Colour variations – including greyscale/black & white and PMS, CMKY & RGB colour codes.
File Formats – including Illustrator Ai, PDF, PNG, JPG files with many others on request.
By supplying the client with the full logo suite in various file formats, they will have the ability to use the final designs throughout different mediums including print, digital and embroidery with minimal to no impact on colour variations.
What hourly rate should I be paying for a logo design?
Students: $20-$60 per hour
Student logo designers will usually provide work for minimal rates to build their folio, but generally take longer to reach the final design. They will of course lack experience and quite often don’t have a great understanding of what they are actually doing yet. All young designers suffer from jumping straight the the telling of the story, they can’t wait to see how good they can make the outcome, often forgetting the process.
Freelancers: $60-$120 per hour
Freelance logo designers tend to have less overheads and can therefore provide designs at lower rates. Be aware of freelance designers disappearing off the face of the earth later down track when you require your artwork to be resent, or any modifications years down the track.
Design Studios: $80-$250 per hour
Design studios have the benefit of a team environment where combined knowledge, experience and ideas are refined during the design process. Design studios generally have highly qualified and experienced staff which can produce high quality designs, which require minimal if any alterations from the client.
Brown Ink Design’s hourly rate for logo design is $100-$140 per hour based on the designers expertise working on the project. The designers working on your project will be chosen based on your requirements and the style of logo for example illustrative, typographical, or a combination of both icon and typographical.
As a guide the average time it takes Brown Ink to design a logo is 10-12 hours.
If you get a logo designed with us you get so much more, here is a list:
- Final Logo
- Logo Suite (Full colour, black & white and other variations)
- Logo tested on business card design
- Logo tested with secondary graphics
- Marketing Objectives
- Your story refined for marketing
- A better understanding of your target market
- A better understanding of how your target market perceives your business
So how much is a logo worth? How much value do you put on the development of your brand? We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and in the end achieved a better understanding of the mystical world of logo design.