33 Replies to “How Much Should You Pay for a Logo Design?”

  1. Costing and pricing can be tricky We sure can talk more of this. :) As a start, you can begin with a price which you think is fair to the amount of time you put in for research, brainstorming, artwork execution etc. Followed by analysing the company’s corporate background. Lastly review the personality of the client you are talking to. That should give you a fair indication if it will ticks. Last but not least, pick the brains and feedback from other designers or AE like myself. We are usually a phone call or an email away. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I’m wondering, for a tiny startup with very limited budget (perhaps even USD100 is a problem), does it mean that we are consigned to a lousy logo for the company, since it is really so expensive (relatively speaking) to do one (5 figures!)?

    What should a start-up do then?

  3. Once upon a time, there was a thank-God-he-did-not-become-my-client client, who was proudly showing off a logo to a client-servicing aquaintance. “My nephew designed it” he beamed, “And I did not even have to pay a cent”. To which came the reply: “That’s fantastic… because I would not waste a cent on that crap!” When I heard that, it became my turn to beam proudly. Yes. Stupid logo. Stupid nephew. Lose-lose situation, ie lose face, lose time.

    There you have it. If most Singapore business types (of the small minded kind) could have their way, cheap will not be enough. Free would be best. THAT’s why the industry is screwed. The Design Association of SIngapore as we know, is useless when it comes to rates, prices and rights of graphic designers (see an example of what it should be http://www.dia.org.au/) so most designers are left groping about what to do (see Wei Wei’s plight 2 posts up) and after they’ve found their footing, they get punched in the eye by some idiot who thinks their money can buy lunch for Angelina Jolie. Nope.

    The moral of the story is really this: you name your price, you name your scope and you get what you specify. Like any transaction, the designer and their client is no different. Just as no two logos are alike (ie one client business may be about international shipping and the other is into hawker food), so therefore no prices are alike. For any one who wants to compare prices like they were in a market in Johor, I say unto thee: stop wasting your time my “friend” and pick up the nearest “clipart” CD from a popular stationery shop (some costs less than $10 a disc I kid you not!) and randomly cut and paste one onto your trusty Word document and voila! new logo… yes! Please do that and save us all the grief. Or better still, pick up that phone and beg your sister-in-law to ask that favourite nephew to do a nice family favour. Loser!

  4. I think the start-up should also consider the time and effort a designer takes to spend in research and creative thinking. I made a mistakes by agreeing to a very cheap logo design before and guess what? I ended up doing charity work.

    If a start-up cannot afford, I guess they should get a friend to design it or they do the design themselves. Then, when your company grow, revamp it.

  5. Well, if you are starting a business, then the first thing you need to realise is this – there is a cost to doing business. Imagine if all your customers told you the same thing: “Mr X, I love your product, but I just started working and don’t have enough money….” What will you say to him/her?

    Now, put that back to your logo design and your discussion with the designer/agency. Does it put it into a new light for you? If not, maybe you are not ready to do a real business yet.

  6. If you only have USD100 for your branding, it shows how you value your product or service. Without a strong branding and marketing campaign, a good product fades away into oblivion.

    So the question now lies in how much success and recognition you want to gain for your product as well. That is not to say that with that USD100, you will be unable to come up with a good logo yourself when you exploit your very talented intern/niece/nephew/son/dog who knows what a good logo would be.

    Maybe Viv can write about the research involved in branding a product so there will be less questions regarding what people can get with budgets of USD100.

    HI JEF!!!

  7. its an irony that some clients expect to pay the minimum for designers’ creative talent / profession perhaps due to the fact that they spent less time in exam hall then accountants and doctors, while expecting something of quality to kick off their new business venture with a good head start, knowing that once the logo is finally set and good to go, its it! its going to be a trademark that represents his company, a trusty product or potential franchise.

    let’s explore few possible reasons why designers might take up a less then USD$100 logo job and the possible consequences it preceeds. Just a few to begin with…

    1. blood relation

    2. designer has a substantial share in this business

    3. he has a logo generator freeware. you’re but the 100th user

    4. your designer does it for pure passion not for a living. quite unlikely then will he approach your logo and tagline with business sense.

    likely mentality for No.4 could be ‘you brief i do. nothing more, nothing less’

    But a logo hardly ever gets approved by the 3rd round because sometimes clients get more ideas after seeing some ideas, which actually adds sparks to the works. its all great! only the project fee and the time do not justify.

    more options, more changes, more variations from designer mean more time / less sleep /food and water (due to poor appetite) come on, designers have to fulfill their basic Maslow’s needs too.

    by then, your 100USD or less offer has out run his time from his sketch pad to his computer if not his creative momentum.

    if you’re lucky, your designer will most likely delay your jobs and put others as priorities for the time being.

    if not he will fulfill your subsequent requests quietly. then pour his heart out to his empathetic community. world is small. words get around. somehow or another the next time you request for creative referral, you can expect some difficulty or delay. as you already got yourself a name before you even got started.

    for start-up clients whose very first instinct is to just get a logo done up first, i would propose that we look at the whole branding exercise of your new born on a macro level. what do you see your business in 5 years time? what are the other items you’ll need down the road apart from the logo.

    discuss your vision with your designer so that you dont have to return for piece meal quotation whenever a need arises. it may cost more in a long run.

  8. I’m reading with interest the articles, and the discussions that have followed.

    Respectfully I’d like to share that logos are a part of business that need not be overly emphasised.
    The big players i.e. MacDonald’s, Coca-Cola, spend millions on their logo, so that they will be able to leverage market recognition to maximum effect.
    Smaller players simply cannot afford to do the same, and let’s be honest, are much more concerned with the bottom-line results (read Maslow, lol) than something less concrete as ‘logo-branding’.

    A possible alternative approach could be what I call ‘results-based marketing’, where each and every marketing effort can be tracked to an increase in sales, or better yet, profits. Examples include good sales copy, direct marketing e.g. Ken Chee’s TV commercials, and an overall system to give maximum value to consumers (and maximum profits to our clients).

  9. Nice article here, Vivienne.

    At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. If you’re paying buttons then your logo may well turn out to be a button with some text set in Comic Sans.

    Those with any size of budget need to be very careful when choosing a designer. Make sure they’re credible by following up on references and that they have a top notch portfolio.

    It’s common sense.

  10. -Very- interesting article, and a great discussion. I’d like to share a method I’ve been using lately.

    Before even starting any sketching or creative work, we all hopefully try to understand what the client is after. When you’ve got all the information you need, try to determine factors that is plausible to be restricted.

    I usually use a table, where I’ve got vertically

    and horizontally

    Then I’ll have a discussion with the client, deciding which of these factors are the most important, and check in the corresponding boxes.

    The fact that the product is priced as outlined is the most important? So be it. The suffering factors will be time and/or quality.

    Is quality the most important? Well, up goes the price.

    You -NEED- to have it by tomorrow? Price up, quality down.

    This gives me something to check up on throughout the process.

  11. I will go with $100USD.

    Another idea will be paying freelance artist designer $50USD for a creative design and scan it into the computer yourself. 2cents opinion.

  12. Thanks, Michael, for starting an interesting discussion which enabled Jef, Rose, Calvin, Wei Wei, Gobbs, Thomas, David, Asgeir and Erwin to shares their views

    My take is you still can get a decent logo design done with USD100. It will depend on how your discuss and negotiate with the brand expert of freelance designer. I have offered free consultancy as well as below-cost creative work simply because my judgement, intuition and gut feel tell me it is worth investing my time and resources with this “poor” client. Worthiness can be future monetary returns, leverage of contacts and network, friendship etc.

    In my other posts, I have discussed “Pay by Performance”. It may be difficult to implement for logo design, but there is still barter trade. Do you have something I want?

  13. Interesting article. I never knew the origins of the Nike logo, its just shows what deep thinking has gone into something which appears so simple.

    One of my first jobs as a designer was working for a College in the Marketing Department, they commissioned a logo from a well know agency. The new branding and branding manual cost £40,000, including research and that was about 15 years ago.

    Thank you for link, I will add a return one.

  14. this was a great article!!

    so, this is the deal.. i love what i do and i love the branding/logo part of the business and unless i am in a really tough spot i would never do a logo for as low as $500 (and that’s for friends) unless i am in a tight spot..

    90% of my clients are in the entertainment industry and party flyer designs starts at $125 so logos for the usual person should be worth at least 5x more.. not that i have not done a logo for as low as $250 but what i learned was that it took me as long as a $5,000 (which i also have done) just because i would put in as much love as i do for the big client$ (minus the guides, intense research, and more options, etc. that needs to be done with big client$)

    $100 for a logo, HELL NO!..

    if it’s young people i tend to use analogies, and compare logo price to sneakers or going out to a club and how much things cost and if people pay $200 for sneakers, shades, clothes or spend $200 at a club then don’t disrespect me with anything lower then $500 for something that will be the face of your company and if they are serious about their business then they will realize it..

    even better what i would do (i have done this with other articles) is give them a link to this article and tell them to call you afterwards with a budget if they are really serious..

    the problem is us!!!
    if designers keep charging these bs prices then we will all be out of a job..
    lets not compete with these wanna be designers and the way we win is by letting our clients read articles like this one.

    i know, sounds like i’m pissed………….
    HELL YEAH!!!

    : )

    – Ney Pimentel

  15. I think a good logo is a necessity for branding purposes. Image how much Pepsi, or McDonalds logo is now worth to them. You are right that 15k is on the cheap side, but many businesses cannot comprehend this simple fact.

  16. I think when forming a company it is always good to brand the company somehow and logo design seems to be a brilliant way of becoming easily memorable and can help your company stick in the minds of its users over a company with no logo or brand.

    Some great and interesting related posts as well which would be useful to ayone looking to design a logo or have one designed.

  17. Thanks for your visit and complimentary. In a crowded market place, a company has to do its best to stand out. One of the ways is through branding, and logo design is one jigsaw piece in the big picture.

  18. Nice Article. The problem with customers asking for dirt cheap price are due to ignorant free lancer who did a previous crappy job for $100. I really do not understand how a customers expect $100 for a logo design when the office rent for a company costs more then that a day. I think those freelancer who hope to make it in this industry should really start thinking what is the impact they have created and what lies ahead for them.

  19. Perhaps these freelancers hold the belief of “Serve First and Get Paid Later”. If so, I can understand the low price. One of the worse case scenario is they under value their own creative worth.

  20. It’s good to know what my logos are worth, but I can’t get anyone to pay more than $75 for one. People want cheap labor and don’t take designers seriously. No one would dream of asking someoen to create a computer program for $100, or design and sew a dress for $100, but for several weeks worth of research, sketching, and computer production for a logo or other project, they expect to pay us the equivalent of $3/hour.

  21. Have you considered increasing your market worth by re-branding yourself and also, take a bold move to say “no” to clients who do not value you and your work? I know it’s easier said than done, however, it’s worth a try because getting $3 really sucks!

  22. It’s all very well saying that it’s of the highest importance to have a great portfolio when starting out on your own, but for those who have worked FOR a company designing and creating for many years, that work and the rights belongs to the company you worked for, not you personally.

    So now when you start off doing your own company, you have no portfolio! How do you gain trust by just “saying” that you have done lots of great work in the past when you can’t prove it?

  23. I am a start-up business. I do not have financing – yet. However, I still need a logo. So, since I am going to be out of pocket – I will choose a neat – yet inexpensive logo. That should serve me well for the time being.

    Once I have financing – or money thru’ what my business produces – then I can invite a designer – and pay him/her some real money and get some better quality work done.

    I am not sure why designers need to decry low cost logos – or do not understand where they have their uses. Sometimes – designers are just not appropriate for the business – given where they are at. Like the example of a street-side food vendor.

    At the same time – I do understand that once business becomes bigger – they really need to do a branding excercise – and pay some real money for it.

  24. Xam, the cost is certainly an issue for a start-up buisness, and I understand the difficulties a limited budget causes. However, I’ve always worried that if your business becomes successful with cheap branding, by the time you have money for a quality re-branding of the company you’ll lose customers in the changeover.

  25. The graphic designer who designed the Nike swoosh was a design student at the time. She got paid US$35 for her work in 1971. Adjusted for inflation, that’s US$187 in 2011 dollars. That’s right, it is quite possible to have a <$200 logo represent a multi-billion dollar company. Start-ups take note :-)

    Obviously, this is an exception. Morningstar, Inc paid US$50K for their logo back around 20 years ago.

  26. Everyone in the industry knows the Nike swoosh was done by a student but does anyone knows her name? She seems to be an anonymous celebrity where nobody mention her name is at.

  27. Spending too much money on a logo is just plain ridiculous. There is no need to dish out thousands of dollars on a logo. I think you offer a good price range to keep in mind $100- 500. Quality of design is very important in my opinion, but there are many reasonably priced service companies that offer a great quality product. As for place of operation, personally I would not do business outside of the US, as you are right it would be difficult to contact them if there is a problem.


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