When it comes to budgeting for your new logo, the answer often comes in the form of another question: "How long is a piece of string?" You can, of course, spend endless amounts on marketing and brand development, but there is a sweet spot for getting a quality logo for your new business or refreshed brand. So, how much should it cost to design a new company logo?
The reason why there’s no simple answer to this question is because logo design is a service-based delivery, in which time investment can vary, as can the rate at which the time is charged. Logo and brand design service offerings range from budget services (through either freelancers or design agencies), mid-tier, or high-end – and everything in between.
It’s not hard to find budget logo options – just head over to Fiverr and the like and find freelancers offering up 10 logo concepts for $500. While that may seem like good value for money, it’s unlikely that much time and thought have gone into the concepts to be able to come up with that quantity at that budget. Furthermore, it’s likely that they’ll be cutting corners with cheap fonts and stock elements which can risk looking underdone, or like straight-up copies of other logo designs.
Rather, you’re better off spending $2000 for a single concept and working with the person or agency to get it right.
A custom logo is important for your business and its identity. A lot of people just see a logo as a box to be ticked, but it’s worth investing in getting it right because of what you stand to gain. How much you should invest on your logo development depends on the size of your business and business goals.
For a national property investment business that earns millions of dollars per project, a strong and strategically designed identity that has the potential to land them many more million dollar projects is worth investing $10,000+ in a logo. On the other hand, a small business whose average client spends a few hundred dollars per project isn’t likely to see the same returns. It’s still worth investing, but the amount to invest is relative to the impact that logo can have for them.
$0-$500 – Crowdsourcing
At the lower end of the range, sites like Fiverr and 99 designs offer a marketplace of freelancers that can provide standard logo designs in line with their style and experience. This process involves a basic brief but no research or competitor analysis on their part. Designers submit concepts without knowing much about your business. You’ll often find young designers with minimal experience on these platforms. Quality varies.
$500+ – Freelancer
For a budget of around $500, you can work with a more experienced freelance designer. As a one-man band, you’re still limited to a single person’s design ideas and style, and not likely to get a whole lot of strategic input or process from this engagement. Depending on how you find them, it can be a gamble as to their experience and what you get at the end. And if they claim to be cheap – there’s usually a reason why.
$1000+ – General Agencies
At this budget level, you may start to find some budget agencies that will be willing to take on your project. The cost here may vary depending on if their logo design service is a specialism or a side offering. Be wary, because if the charge is on the cheaper end of this scale, it’s possible that the work has been outsourced to a marketplace anyway in order to be able to engage you on a follow-on service like ongoing marketing.
$2500+ – Specialist Branding Agency (like us!)
Agencies that specialise in brand development take a strategic approach to logo design, and will take the time and research to ensure your logo design is going to be beneficial to your brand, stand the test of time, and work in the ways that you need it to. Specialist brand agencies will list their experience, the brands they’ve worked with, show a large portfolio of quality work, and take the time to get to know your business before engaging in your project. You’ll get a smaller number of strategically-developed concepts to choose from and you can hone down the chosen concept until it’s right for your business.
$100,000+ – Highly reputable branding agencies
Well, we did ask how long a piece of string is. For enterprise brands with highly competitive markets and complicated brand architectures, logo budgets can and should exceed tens of thousands of dollars. This is because there’s strategy and consultation to be done ahead of design, a long concept development phase, and a long roll-out phase across overarching and sub brands.
Ultimately, how much you should invest in a logo depends on your unique circumstances – but be wary of cheap and shoddy services, because rebrands down the track can end up costing you more.
One reason the above dollar figures can seem like a lot is because people often look at a logo and think it’s a single business asset – i.e. a flat jpeg image whipped up in a matter of hours.
In reality, your logo design project should deliver a whole range of visual assets for your business, which can be rolled out across various formats and placements including your social media profile images, your business shop front, your email signature and your car decals, to name a few.
As a minimum, your logo design project should deliver you a logo suite. That includes:
If you engage an agency or designer to deliver a branded logo style guide, you will also get a document that details a range of fonts, colours and usage guidelines. At Red Kite, we also deliver a logo usage document which will detail which logo file to use for what application. Both of these are highly valuable documents, as they will help maintain your brand identity and integrity when using your logo in various applications.
Beware of budget options that only deliver your logo in a limited range of formats, as you’ll quickly be back to square one when trying to work with your logo on various applications and placements.
Most importantly, your logo needs to meet the requirements of your business, be appropriate for your industry and resonate with your target audience.
If you’ve decided on a budget for your logo, you might be wondering if you need to put some more cash away for a logo refresh in the coming years. The rate at which you should look to update, change or refresh your logo depends (sorry!) on the industry you’re in, how competitive it is, and how your business has changed.
Fast-paced and highly competitive industries involve more consistent and strategic brand and logo review, while less competitive industries will find this less important.
Most brands don’t change their logos per se, but refresh them with small tweaks every 5-10 years to stay relevant, with a refreshed look and feel to engage their customers.
Once you’ve got your logo sorted, you’re ready for your brand style guide development.
Chris brings over a decade of industry experience to Red Kite working at design agencies in both the UK and Australia. Over the years he has accumulated a wealth of graphic design, strategic identity design and marketing experience. Chris is a hugely passionate identity designer endeavouring to offer the highest quality branding and logo design Brisbane and Australia wide. Chat to Chris about your branding.