The need for great logo design is ever-present. As business owners and startup launchers, we need a logo to introduce ourselves to potential customers, clients and partners, make them a promise and show them what to expect. In short, logos are really important.
As an entrepreneur who’s launched a couple design startups, I know that the cost of logo design can fluctuate widely depending on a variety of factors. Since logo design is an important factor in the branding of any new business venture, it’s important to know how much to set aside for the creation of your logo.
On the other hand, if you’re a new graphic designer, looking to (literally) make your mark, then you may be equally interested to know how much an entrepreneur would be willing to spend for your services.
There are many factors that play a part.
Even if you have experience as a serial entrepreneur and could take an average of the logo costs from your own past, it can still be difficult to pinpoint exactly how much you should expect to pay for logo design. That’s because so many factors play a part in the final cost. Here are some significant factors to consider when pricing your logo design and overall branding budget:
Where you operate your business plays a part in how much to budget, and that includes for branding and logo design. In a world of online startups, this particular aspect may seem less imperative. After all, if you run a purely virtual company, does it really matter where you’re based out of?
In short, yes, it does, the impact of this factor still depends on the decisions you make. Let’s say you need a logo design: You have the choice of working with a local-to-you company (which is a popular choice in the era of celebrating small businesses) or opting for a designer you find online, possibly outsourced. As is true with many small businesses versus larger businesses, I’ve found the in-person local design team is likely to charge more and ultimately be more expensive.
2. Type Of Logo
Both the type of logo that you opt for and the type of business that you run can potentially impact the overall cost of your logo design.
The clearest example of this is with a mascot logo. I’ve found that mascot logos are excellent tools for personifying a business and helping to create emotional connections between the company and consumers. But when compared to a simple text logo, a mascot logo is likely to require more time, effort and expense in order to do its job to the fullest extent possible.
Some graphic designers may charge more based on the type of logo that the business requests, or they may adjust the price based on the features and iterations that become necessary.
3. Designer Experience
In my experience, the biggest factor that plays into costs is the graphic designer. Entrepreneurs have several different options for sourcing graphic design, and the cost changes with each one.
The lower end of the price spectrum is the DIY option. With the help of logo design software, it’s possible to end up with a logo design that is virtually free. (Disclosure: My company provides logo design technology.) But, from experience, I’d suggest to save this option unless you have some knowledge of what constitutes good graphic design, as opposed to something that merely “gets the job done.” It’s a challenge to create good logos; it’s very easy to create a bad one.
Along with doing it yourself, a budding startup launcher may get help from a friend with graphic design experience or from someone else looking to network who may offer a deal.
Freelance graphic design can potentially be quite budget-friendly, too, though it can also be hit and miss. Look through the freelancer’s portfolio to ensure that previous work is technically adept enough to provide what you’re looking for. Remember that just because someone is a freelancer doesn’t mean that their work is less valuable or their experience less broad than someone who works for a design company.
Working with a larger design company provides yet another potential range of budgeting options, since the factors of location and detail level come back into play here. You’re likely going to spend quite a bit more for a larger design company in New York City than you might in, say, a small town in California. And there’s also a potential cost difference between a large professional firm and a smaller independent team.
Based on my experiences in the industry, the first set of options could cost between $0 and $200; freelancers may range more in the $200 to $500 category; and a larger design company may cost anywhere from $250 to $2000—or even more, if you land a deal with one of the more prestigious design firms. Of course, these numbers could change from category to category, but these are the average ranges that I’ve found to be common in the industry,
How much is too much?
We’ve gone through a lot of factors and information that impact the actual cost of logo design, but it’s probably pretty obvious by now that figuring out the average cost that entrepreneurs are willing to pay for design is easier said than done.
Overall, you could pay anywhere from $0 (for the extremely budget-minded, penny-pinching entrepreneur with graphic design experience) to thousands of dollars. But both of those extremes are relatively rare. For a well-designed logo from an experienced designer, I’ve found the average cost is likely to be closer to $250 to $500.
As far as what entrepreneurs should be willing to pay, however, I think the answer should be: “As much as it costs to get the right logo for your business.” Logo design is simply too important to leave it up to chance—or to a finicky budget.