What should logo designs cost for new businesses? You need to know so you can correctly calculate your startup costs. And you want to be sure that the money spent on designing your logo is truly a good business investment. Or should this startup capital money be better spent elsewhere; such as equipment or advertising campaigns?
I understand your needs and have your answers. So let’s get started reviewing logo design price rangeto and your logo design options from the highest costs to lowest prices.
As a serial entrepreneur and previous ad agency owner, I have a unique understanding of the client and designer relationship and transaction. That is because I have both purchased startup logos from different sources and have attempted to create logos for free online. Thus I can help guide you to your best, and most affordable, new logo design.
For my newest startup, I got my logo made at 99designs. The process was easy, fun and I got a great logo for under $300! Read my logo review detailing my experience of running a crowdsourcing contest on 99designs.com
Funny, about fact six months after I published my logo, the SBA (Small Business Administration) unveiled their new logo which I thought looked a lot like my new logo. Hmm. I was complimented and felt satisfied knowing that they probably paid about 10X what I did! My 99designs logo was a true bargain at $299.
Logos can be created at every price point from zero dollars to tens of thousands dollars and more. Here’s a list of the costs of logo design from highest to lowest prices.
Advertising Agencies – Logos Cost
These companies are dedicated to helping businesses establish strong brands and promote their products. Some of these firms are named branding agencies or marketing specialists.
For over a decade I owned an ad agency and created logos, along with my design team, for large companies and major institutions. Without a doubt, this is the most expensive route to logo design. Expect to pay at minimum $5,000 up to $25,000+ for complete packages which include brand analysis, competitive studies, multiple logo design drafts and revisions, logo style guides plus electronic files of your final logo design to use for business cards, websites, store signs, and advertising templates.
The high cost is due to the number of people involved in the branding process and the multiple services offered. Ad agencies will study your competition within the marketplace and develop your brand statement. This is your point of difference as compared to existing companies, this means why should a customer buy your new product as opposed to ones existing already.
>>PROS – You get lots of attention, one-on-one interaction, and many services.
>>CONS – Highest cost option and longest process from start to finished logo design.
Independent Graphic Artist – Design Costs
This is where are hiring an individual artist who specializes in creating business logos. You work directly one-on-one with this artist either in person, if local, or online. The average cost for independent graphic designers is $1,000 to 7,500 depending upon the package of services you purchase.
First review their portfolio to be sure you like their design aesthetic. Also, check that they have designed logos in your industry so they understand the marketplace well. Carefully read all reviews about their services. Ask them for their graphic design pricing list and custom logo packages. Some agencies offer web and logo design packages.
You want to be sure that you will have a good rapport and can communicate well together. In my experience, this is the most crucial point. Most design jobs with individual artists go wrong, not due to lack of artistic talent, but because of communication issues. A serious concern about using an individual graphic artist is the high possibility of personal conflict.
Artists are temperamental and us business people seem to not speak the same language. Being the daughter of a renown graphic artist I can tell you that they are amongst the brightest and most sensitive people you will ever meet. This means that it may be difficult to tell a graphic artist that you don’t like their particular design, which they love, without hurting their feelings and ruining your relationship and the logo design job. It’s very easy to hurt their feelings while trying to explain or communicate your logo design specifications.
Another negative of working with an independent graphic artist is that you are limited to their aesthetic style, graphics skills, design software access and their level of computer expertise. Instead when you hire either an ad agency or use a crowdsourced logo design site such as 99designs you tap into a large talent pool filled with designers who have up-to-date knowledge, industry experience and are experts in all the top graphics software.
>>PROS – Much less expensive than an agency. Ability to meet face-to-face and explain your logo concepts and needs.
>>CONS – Possibility of personal conflicts and difficult communications. Limited talents, design aesthetics, software access, and experience.
Crowdsource Logo Design Contest Websites – Prices
This is my recommendation for the majority of small business entrepreneurs, because of the great combination of value, access to large pool of talented designers and ease of communication.
The success of the website 99designs is due to their ability to offer entrepreneurs tons of talented designers at a reasonable logo design package price that is delivered directly to your business online. They have removed the previous barriers of cost, geographic and communication brilliantly.
At first, I thought that the design quality might be poor and the communication process difficult because it was all online. So I tried it. I personally purchased (with my own money – not given to me by the company) a logo design contest package.
You know, I was pleasantly surprised at the quantity number of submissions, the quality of design and how easy and fast the whole process was! Read all about my experience how I got a logo made at 99designs. Guess what, I even videoed the whole process. Watch me get my logo from ordering, thru logo submission review, designer feedback, final logo selection and receipt of finished files.
Pricing is affordable for even us lean entrepreneurs at under $299 for the base package (this is the one I used).
Also, there is a super generous money back guarantee at 99designs. If you don’t love your new look you can get your money back up to 60 days after purchase. There is no ad agency or individual artist that I know who offers this type of awesome money back guarantee refund.
I like how you overcome the artist communication issues inherent in hiring individual artists through the structured online feedback process offered at the 99designs website dashboard. Also offered are options for one-on-one meetings via Skype. Where you can screen share and video chat with designers.
The option of reviewing design work from hundreds of designers for many designers instead of just from a single graphic artist is key to success in your logo design project. The 99designs dashboard offers many useful features such as star ratings, instant messaging, email contact and even a polling feature. This polling function works like a survey. Where you select a few of your favorite logo designs and set up a poll to ask your colleagues, employees, friends, family or social media followers to vote for their favorites. Then you get a tally of the votes. Great way to test different designs to determine how your prospective customers will react.
The learning curve to ordering and creating your logo brief is intuitive and visual-based. The company goes to great lengths to make it as easy the whole process as easy as possible by offering support via chat, email, and telephone.
>>PROS – Lower prices, large talent pool, intuitive logo briefs, and easy artist communication and super quick.
>>CONS – No face-to-face meetings, less personal attention and varied levels of designer expertise.
Printers, Sign Makers, and Vehicle Wraps – Logos Design
Many new business startups will need to order supplies such as business cards, signs and vehicle wraps. Most of these vendors have in-house design studios. You could use this option to have your logo designed by your printer. Also, newspapers and magazines will offer to design logos along with your ad campaigns.
Often there is no additional fee the designer is on salary and it is included in the cost of the printed materials. BUT this is one of my least recommended routes to affordable logo design unless you purchase a logo design and truck wrap package from 99designs.
This is because while these individuals may be talented, they are designed for a very specific purpose i.e. your business card or store sign instead of designing an overall visual logo brand. They are going backward.
You should first your logo brand should be designed and then it should be modified for uses such as business cards, brochures, signs and vehicle wraps. By doing the design in this manner, for specific uses, your logo will not be as flexible nor as powerful as it could be if the design properly from the start.
>> PROS – Low to no cost included in the sign and business card purchase.
>CONS – Inflexible designs which work with only specific uses such as signs. Lower quality talent artists.
Student Designers Cost
One of the world’s most famous logos was also the least expensive to design. Yes the Nike logo, today valued at $13 billion was designed by a student for $35in 1971.
Design colleges are filled with art students anxious to develop their portfolio and earn money. Post your need for logo design on the school physical or digital bulletin boards, or buy a classified ad. You will certainly meet interesting and creative young people and could just get the next great Nike logo.
>> PROS – Lower costs, interesting concepts, and interactions with creative students.
>> CONS – Finding art colleges, connecting with busy students, working with unprofessional individuals who may not complete the task.
Free Online Logo Generators – Designs
Sure you can get a logo for free – but it also worthless for brand building. If you are cash-strapped then check out my big list of 60+ logo design alternatives to 99designs.
Unless you are a talented and trained graphic designer with the latest software DO NOT attempt to design your own logo. It is a waste of time and opportunity. Even if you could make a decent looking logo, every time you use it you lose the opportunity to make a stronger customer impact which a professional logo would do.
The role of your logo is to differentiate your products in the marketplace. So a free logo, which other competitors can use, is ineffective at best and damaging to your business goals at worst.
Remember that your logo is the first impression your customer will get of your company. Don’t waste this valuable moment with a substandard logo. If you are short on startup funds, check out these ways to start a business with practically no money.
Instead, I suggest you go without NO logo instead of making an ugly free one.
What I mean is do not create any graphic symbol logos instead just use your company name in a standard font. This way you will not be creating a negative impression on customers just a neutral, and easily forgettable one. Then as soon as your company has a few extra hundred dollars use the budget package at 99designs to get a great logo to further grow your business.
Included in this DIY category are other bad ways that new businesses try to save money on logo design such as having your kid design one; stealing from a competitor and modifying it slightly with your company name and colors. These are the absolute worst ways to get a new logo designed.
Now that you know about your full range of options go ahead and select one to get started based on your budget for logo design cost.