Running a business involves estimating costs to deliver the highest quality products to your clients. It’s likely that you’ll encounter numerous unexpected obstacles, especially when pushing projects through to that final 1% of completion. Being able to plan for costs, such as logo design or brand identity costs, can do wonders for the quality and budget of your projects and personal stress levels.
Knowing the fair price range for a service can also make you a much better negotiator, since you’ve gotten the information to leverage. Although this won’t make much of an impact when negotiating with a single designer or a small agency, it can definitely come in handy when dealing with companies, which by default are often predatory and want to squeeze as much profit out of their client as possible.
Having this kind of information supplies you with a professional tone that enables you to avoid some of the costs that’s considered to be part of the professional logo business. So, let’s take a look at the price for a logo design in 2021.
Logo design price often doesn’t include marketing, supplies, or branding costs unless explicitly stated. When you’re dealing with a freelancer, you might get by with a couple hundred dollars. However, the full package that includes a professional logo, the art and involvement at all stages of the design process can cost up to a million with some well-known agencies or graphic designers.
More expensive logo design is not always better
The problem is that, at times, the logo quality doesn’t necessarily match the price that designers or agencies charge. This means that you cannot always expect a higher-priced logo to be better than a logo that costs less. You might find an agency that delivers exquisite work below the market price or a pricey agency that delivers mediocre results. Although it might sound surprising, it is actually quite true – the price tag is often a poor indicator of what you’re going to get when it comes to professional design services.
Save costs on custom logo design by preparing
Discovering what your brand needs often requires a human-centered approach that assesses your business from a design standpoint to deliver branding materials. If you already know and understand your brand, you’ve just made the work that much easier, and probably, cheaper! The more research and data you can provide in your brief, the more you’ve cut down on the cost and complexity of the design before even hiring anyone.
Depending on who you are, and what you’re looking for in a logo or brand design, the cost and timing will vary significantly.
Create a custom logo design by yourself
If you’d like to flex your creative muscles, you can easily find any of the numerous logo design services online. They typically have an automated process where you type in your name and click a couple of logo designs you already like to get a simple, but usable logo that can be immediately passed on to the branding department. However, there will be a couple downsides to this.
Free Design Programs
There are also free programs and apps that you can use to produce a high quality logo. But to be perfectly clear – given enough time, you can create a professional logo for free all by yourself. The only problem is that we can often be so busy with daily tasks that we simply can’t spare a single hour, let alone hundreds of hours needed to make a professional logo.
Professional Logo Design Software
You could buy Adobe Illustrator for $20.99 a month but you’d also need to watch or read a bunch of tutorials to learn how to use it. Affinity Designer is another great tool for making logos, except it costs $49.99. How about CorelDRAW at $659? The easiest solution is to hire a professional who has already acquired some of these tools and get a high quality logo much more quickly.
Working with a ‘human’ designer is better
Working with a human designer rather than a computer algorithm means actually being listened to by someone who’s been through these same logo design process and knows them inside out. Here at DesignBro we use a human-centered design process that emphasizes personal access to a professional designer, resulting in client agency and logo quality.
You get to be in charge of the process and detail exactly what you want and expect the logo to look like instead of struggling with a computer algorithm. You’ll have a professional designer address your concern while also having the freedom to be as involved in the design process as you desire. If this is what you’re looking for, the DesignBro platform could be the perfect solution for you.
Buy and customize a logo template
The easiest way to make a logo is through what’s known as a “logo template”. In essence, these are pre-made logos that have been stripped of details and often get bundled together by thousands. The designer company that made these logos saves money by selling the same template over and over again, while the user also doesn’t have to make a logo from scratch. Apparently, it’s a win-win situation, so what’s the catch?
The catch is that you, the final user of the logo, aren’t actually buying the logo template, but rather a license to use it in some capacity. That single word, “license”, means that you’re not the owner of the logo but a restricted user who has to abide by the terms and conditions set out with the license, which can be anything the real owner says they are.
For example, buying a “MEGA BUNDLE 1100 Logos & Badges” that costs $19 may seem like a great deal, except that’s the “Personal License”, which means you can’t use the logo for anything except for your own amusement. You won’t even be able to upload the logo to a social media account that has any form of “commercial activity”.
It’s only with the $38 third-tier license, the “Extended Commercial”, that you can finally use the logo in your business. However, there’s sometimes fine print limiting how many products can bear the logo. If you breach any of these terms, you’ll learn the meaning of another fine word – copyright.
In copyright cases, the creator of the content almost always outright wins, resulting in ruinous penalties for the defendant. This is why DesignBro offers such beautiful terms, with two wonderful words: “full copyright”, meaning that once you buy the logo from DesignBro, you are the full owner of the logo design and may use it as you please. There is no fine print, no terms attached and absolutely no legalese.
Can you trademark your logo design template?
With logo or brand design templates you can be 99% certain that you won’t own the copyright unless it’s explicitly stated. It’s extremely unlikely that you will be able to trademark the design unless it’s a unique, ‘one of a kind’ creation, not resembling someone else’s that was a custom creation for you. Sometimes clients come to us, and they have just spent several years investing in a logo (ie signage, prints, packaging, etc) that they simply don’t own. For a very small business this might not matter, but if you’re building a brand people will recognize, you’re actually investing in something you don’t own. So whichever option you choose, keep in mind if you’re building a brand, or just need a quick & easy fix for now.
What is an Online Logo Maker? [and what does it cost]
For those who can’t imagine designing without an internet connection, there is a whole plethora of online logo makers. They range from plain to complex with prices to match. In most cases, the online logo maker doesn’t put the price upfront. Instead, it waits until you’re well underway to making your logo then later presents you with the fee.
Just like what we’ve seen with logo templates, companies that provide the logo services will try to squeeze out as much money as they can out of you. That’s not a problem on its own, except when the fee is intentionally hidden so that you get invested in the logo design process. This typically takes the form of charging up to $50 just to be able to download the logo that you spent time to make.
In worst cases, you may experience the owner company of that logo who will offer several tiers of downloads, with the lowest quality file that is practically unusable for any business purpose still being charged $10-20. There is typically no way to know these fees in advance but there’s another catch – you often have to create an account before being able to access the online logo maker.
In addition, since you don’t become the exclusive user (and not the exclusive owner) of this logo, you don’t get the copyrights, and are unlikely to get a trademark.
The real charge then comes out to be:
- expose your email address to potential spammers
- spend time to make logo that might be downloadable
- be charged money to get the logo you made
With DesignBro, it’s all very simple and there are no hidden fees or catches. You commission a logo, pay the amount upfront and get your logo design. It’s straightforward, fair, and sensible.
What is the cost of crowdsourced logo designs?
Crowdsourcing is defined as the “method of outsourcing work by appealing to people to contribute to the project”. In essence, crowdsourcing means the client puts up an order, specifies a budget and gets dozens or hundreds of sample designs. When the client chooses the best design, the winning designer gets paid.
The cost of crowdsourcing a logo:
Cost: From $150 to $1,500 depending on the platform you select and the bells & whistles you would like.
Timing: Approximately 1-2 weeks before you can use your brand new logo.
Logo design projects on crowdsourcing websites typically start at $150, which often nets the client up to a hundred designs or so from different designers. In theory, this sounds amazing but in practice there is very little involvement from the client, who has to sift through a large number of designs and pick one as the winner. Worse yet, the client can only provide a short description and a couple of feedback rounds to explain the logo’s look and feel or their brand story.
Advantages of crowdsourcing your logo design:
- Get lots to choose from: Yes, you will receive tons & tons of designs to choose from.
- Low cost: Crowdsourcing your logo design is one of the cheapest ways on the internet to get a fully custom & ownable design.
- Custom design: As the designers are working towards your unique briefing the result should also be a fully custom & unique design.
Disadvantages of crowdsourcing your logo design:
- Too much choice – Yes, there is such a thing. 100 designs to go through is just too much, especially when you feel that the majority were created by amateurs or people that just didn’t read your briefing. Sometimes less designs (but higher quality) would be far better. Also
- Only the winning designer gets paid- This means that from the 100 designers that took part, only the winner typically gets the ‘prize’. That’s not much incentive for all designers to put real effort into making your company look like the next big thing.
- Copyright infringement- Because the designers are incentivised to create numerous designs in as short a time as possible, they have a tendency to recycle their previous designs, or worse they might ‘borrow’ something from an existing design. Whichever way, this is incredibly difficult to track down & might cause considerable harm to your brand many years down the line.
- Dealing with unprofessional designers- most crowdsourcing platforms allow pretty much any designer to join. This means you could end up dealing with anyone anywhere & conversations are not always as professional as they could be.
The alternative – a logo design platform:
At DesignBro, we’re a crossover between an agency and a design crowdsourcing platform. The reason is that we handpick all of our designers like an agency, but we automate the design process more like a crowdsourcing platform. Essentially this means that you will receive between 3-10 designs from pre-vetted, high quality designers (like an agency), but you won’t have the agency-like account teams, or price tag. Interested? Find out more about DesignBro’s logo design.
What does a freelance custom logo designer cost?
Freelancers are a mixed bunch and vary from graphic design amateurs to design geniuses. The real difficulty is to find out which is which. In general freelance logo designers won’t accept non-paid pitches (show me first and then I decide afterwards), so picking the right one becomes the most crucial decision to make.
How many designs does a freelance logo designer present?
Typically when you hire a freelancer you would expect between 1 to 3 designs to pick from.
The advantages of hiring a freelance logo designer:
- You achieve a personal relationship (even when working from a distance) with a designer. This means you can have a call to explain what you like, and have the chance to build rapport. Follow-up projects become easier as you need to explain less.
- If you find a great designer, you can have a really good experience.
The disadvantages of working with a freelance logo designer:
It’s a single person you’re dealing with, this means you will also need to deal with the following items:
- Finding the freelancer: As with any relationship, finding the ‘right one’ is a difficult task, and may require multiple interviews. You could even consider paying multiple freelance designers to already have an understanding of what they envision for your brand. Whichever way, always look at their portfolio, and select a designer whose style you think works for your brand. Don’t expect them to create something completely different, as you may be bitterly disappointed with the result.
- Geographics: Timezones, language barrier, cultural barrier. Be aware where your designer is based, and consider if it’s a good match. If you’re planning the occasional call, or require multiple changes within a single day, having a 10+ hour time difference might not be such a good idea. Similarly, decide how culturally understandable your brand/company or product is before deciding which design freelancer matches your needs.
- Timing: As a design freelancer is just an individual, they need to juggle their personal and professional schedule to balance their clients. It means that if they are busy (personal or business), they don’t have the option with other team-members, and something in their schedule has to give way. On a practical level this (sadly) means that many freelance designers have difficulties adhering to pre-agreed timings.
- Their service offerings: A freelance designer is limited by their own skillset. You might need the design for: a logo, a website design, an outdoor sign, online banners, and packaging design in your first year. The designer might only have an expertise in a few of those. In practice, this means you’re limited by their skillset & either need to accept an inexperienced designer (for those items) or you will need to start a search for another designer again.
- Availability: With a freelance designer you will never know if they will be still available for you to call on them several months to several years from now. This means that you will need to be organized & have all your files, briefings, vector files well-managed.
All in all working with a freelance designer can be a real blessing & some swear by it. You decide if it’s also for you. Below you will find a summary on the approximate costs a freelance designer will charge for a new logo based on their reputation and experience.
What a freelance logo designer costs:
- Offshore Freelance Designer: $100 to $250
- Beginning Freelance Designer: $100 to $1000
- Experienced Freelance Designer: $1000 to $5000
- Renowned Freelance Designer: $5000 to $10000
Hire a custom logo design or branding agency
Past the freelancer services, there’s a whole new layer of graphic design professionals grouped as agencies. They are roughly priced at:
- Design Studio: $3000 to $30,000
- Mid-Sized Design Agency: $5000 to $50,000
- Network Branding Agency: $50,000 to $100,000
- Renowned Branding Agency: $100,000 to $1,000,000
- World Famous Designer: $100,000 to $1,000,000
Working with a sizable logo design agency comes with a whole slew of benefits, some of which are getting access to a great marketing strategy and a global brand identity. This kind of agency is no longer just a hired worker, but a serious business partner that closely coordinates with your company to find the best approach in any given market.
Normally you would expect a direct project manager to be in charge of your project, as well as a creative director. You would be able to call them at any moment in time to discuss your thoughts. Typically the agency will ‘hold your hand’ on creating a design briefing together, based on which they may have further questions or comments with regards to your target audience, brand strategy or creative style.
How many design should I expect from a design agency?
Typically, with a design agency, you would expect between 3 to 5 designs to choose from.
Should I hire a design agency?
Design agencies handpick their designers. This way their customers are getting the best possible quality design.
On the downside, at this stage of the logo design game, the cost can be monstrous. Millions are spent left and right to assess and define the brand without necessarily netting any actual results. That kind of iterative design process is certainly lucrative for the logo design agency, but not many clients can afford that kind of price for such services.
What custom logo design & branding process include?
Logo design and branding process are complementary parts of a greater design process. In other words, the branding process acts like a framework while the logo design is similar to a small vine spreading across and around the framework.
The branding process involves discovering what makes the brand unique and special from all of its competitors within the same market. It’s all about aligning all communications to this identity so that the brand stands out and is meaningful and memorable to its target audience. Once that is completed, the logo design is halfway done and simply has to be polished accordingly.
For example, a fruit yogurt company might discover that kids and teenagers are the ideal market for the brand. The company decides the marketing will involve purple and red smiley faces with white splashes and starts implementing these elements in all of its marketing materials. By doing this, there is a consistent graphical theme to all the marketing materials that appeals to the target audience, after which point it’s fairly simple to come up with a logo that represents the brand and reinforces that same appeal.
Note that both of these processes should be based on market research and be made to appeal to the target demographic. After all, the more data and research done in advance, the better the results of both branding and logo design will be.
Tips for a successful custom logo design
Logo design is a creative process that is meant to produce art; simple, but still art. Brainstorming helps immensely when doing creative work, including logo design. So, before you finalize the design concept, try to pick up as many interesting ideas and jot them down. Carefully discard the least valuable ones and repeat the process until you come up with something that is perfect for your brand..
Just like all graphic design processes, logo design is iterative and benefits from grooved communication channels. Everyone should chip in to give their input on what the logo should look and be like. After one logo version is complete, forward it to everyone who gave their input and again ask for opinions. This helps everyone identify with the logo and feel like a part of the team, which means that the logo will ultimately represent everyone in the company.
How to choose a custom logo designer
Now that you’ve gotten some information on how to create a high-quality logo design, you can leverage what you’ve just learned into striking a great deal for yourself and your business. Ultimately, getting a great logo designer means weighing all the pros and cons until you reach the optimal solution, whether it’s a freelancer or a design agency.
No matter what you choose, DesignBro’s platform will always be at your service to help you discover just the kind of logo that will make your brand shine the way it truly deserves.
How much would I pay for a logo design at DesignBro?
At DesignBro, the price for logo design starts at $199. This includes, at the very least:
- 3 original, high-quality logo designs
- production-ready files needed for your business
- full copyright on all logos
As your requirements increase, so does the price, however you will be involved in the logo design process every step of the way, even down to inputting RGB values of colors you want to see used in the design. Alternatively, you can fill out the client brief with as much information as you can, and we’ll work on the design until completion.
If you don’t have any ideas about which design direction to go for, we can help you out by finding other great logo designs that can serve as inspiration for you. As with all the other design processes, logo creation is iterative.
Throughout the design stage, you’ll be able to communicate with the designers and give feedback on their logo designs. Once they’ve sent you their revised versions, you’ll be able to select 1-3 finalist designs that you love most. More polishing will be done accordingly to your feedback, and by the end of the finalist stage, you would have to pick the winning design.
Our platform works like a logo design contest which allows professional and top-quality designers to compete for your business logos. By doing this, we can ensure that you will be fully satisfied with the results of the logo design project.
Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world’s largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.