A logo design is the starting point of any branding project
How much does will a logo cost? How long will it take to design it? I am regularly asked these questions. I decided to write this blog because I want to help to demystify the process.
This blog covers what you should expect from working with a qualified graphic designer on your logo design, what the difference is between a logo and branding, why branding is important and how much you should expect to pay for your designers time.
1. First port of call
Logo design is the first project a Start Up company or SME (Small Medium Enterprise) will request when they speak to a graphic designer. Many small business owners ask why a ‘simple logo design’ costs more than they budgeted for. This is not surprising because they do not understand the difference between a logo design and a brand identity.
Getting a logo from a cheap internet site
The internet is awash with cheap logo design services. I am wary of such great offers for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if something seems too good to be true, it generally is, there are often hidden costs involved. Furthermore, you could be shocked to discover that your new logo design is not an original. And finally, worst case scenario, you could be left out of pocket when your online designer disappears on you!
My two cents, find a qualified designer, someone you can build a rapport with because they will care as much about your brand as you do.
2. What is the difference between a logo design and a brand?
A logo is the essential piece of a brand that creates recognition, trust, and impact. It’s that shape companies use to represent their company; like Apple or the Nike swoosh. A brand includes every single point of contact your customers have with your company. Think about how you encounter a brand. You don’t just see a logo in a white space with nothing else surrounding it, you see it in context on a website, a flyer, on product packaging or in commercials.
A logo design is the starting point of any brand identity project. Brand development is much more valuable because the designer will not only come up with a logo, but actually think through the entire visual aesthetic of your company. Branding is how people view and perceive a company. Branding is not a logo design put together with some colours to make it look pretty. Getting branding right ensures that your customers understand the values and the vision of your company. This understanding leads to customer connection, engagement, trust and loyalty.
Why does branding matter?
What’s the point in having a great logo design if it has no context? There is no connection, no engagement, no springboard to jump from therefore you can’t develop its story, give it life or use your message to its full potential.
A well thought out design looks great and always has substance. The substance is what makes the message so powerful. Why? Because it’s a moment when people willingly engage with your brand. They have a positive emotive response. They will build a positive regard the more they connect with your brand. This regard establishes you as a thought leader and a resource. It helps to give your brand meaning and purpose in people’s lives. If your messaging is right, you will find and win loyal customers. If you give your customers a great experience, they’ll buy more, be more loyal and share their experience with friends.
A picture speaks a thousand words.
Did you know that 75% of all the information you offer to your customers is gathered through their eyes? Pictures and symbols cut through language barriers because they can provoke emotional connections. All the more reason to put the effort, time and thought into creating impactful branding.
According to findings from Denmark, companies that invest strategically in design register a growth in gross revenues almost 22% higher compared to companies that do not use design. (1)
For companies that participated in the UK Design Council’s design support programme, every £1 invested in design resulted in over £20 in increased revenue and £5 in increased exports. (2)
So there you have it, good design can help boost sales. Customers will notice the high standard, a good design instils confidence that they are buying a quality product or service. A strategically designed logo and brand gives the impression that a company runs its daily affairs in a professional manner.
3. How long does it take to design a logo?
I personally dedicate a minimum of 20 work hours to logo design projects, this can often double with more elaborate projects. A logo project can take a number of weeks, a good estimate is 6 – 8 weeks from start to finish. Most of my creative time is spent on the initial stage where I explore ideas. The rest of the time I spend on research, communication, establishing font and colour schemes, performing revisions, presentation of designs etc. The artwork alone of the various vector, print, web files requires a couple of hours in itself.
4. What is a fair price to pay for a logo design?
In 2019 Floyo (an online Freelance designer network) performed an international survey with over 200 freelance designers to get an idea of how much it costed to hire a freelance designer to create a logo design. Based on the survey results they advised that US$1200 or €1100 is a fair starting point for logo design services. This estimate is based on a logo design with some brand development. In addition to this survey I performed my own competitive analysis. I agree that the above cost would be an accurate estimate.
You get what you pay for.
It’s best to keep in mind that paying a higher price often means you’re getting more. My job is to resolve an issue for the client that they can’t do themselves. At the end of a logo design project I issue a full logo pack and a set of Brand Guidelines. I provide clients with dozens of files of the logo in various formats, file types, sizes, colour and monotone.
I do all this because I believe in helping my clients. My job is to solve problems and provide this guidance. It is not in anyone’s interest to be confused about what they should do with their new logo design. I provide examples to guide them, I work with my clients to ensure they understand the rules around their brand. Above all else we want the brand aesthetic to remain at a high standard.
Finally, in the interest of transparency, I have included three logo packages below. These are suitable for Start Up companies, Small Business Owners or SME’s (Small Medium Enterprise). These packages give a cost indication and outline what a client can expect to walk away with at the end of the project.
Logo Package 1 = €1,200.00
Two initial concepts, development of one chosen logo, full artwork folder supplied with all file formats required for print, screen and social media.
Logo Package 2 = €1,900.00
Three initial concepts, development of one chosen logo, full artwork folder supplying all file formats required for print, screen and social media. Logo Guidelines – A4 Sheet outlining best practise for logo usage: colours, clearzone, legibility and scale
Logo Package 3 = €2,500.00
Brainstorm workshop, three initial concepts, development of 1 chosen logo, full artwork folder supplying all file formats required for print, screen and social media. Full Stationery Suite – One Business Card design (two names), Letterhead, Continuation Sheet and Compliment Slip. Two templates for Letterhead – Word & XCel. Mini Brand Guidelines – 8 page document outlining best practise for logo usage and brand styling.
(1) + (2) Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, “National Design Strategy” 2018