How Much Does a Professional Logo Cost?

Is spending money on a professional logo necessary? 

There are plenty of sites where you can get a logo for a low price and sometimes even for free. 

So, why do we need to spend money on a logo?

Simple! A logo is the image that represents our company or business, and we need to invest in it.

Do we like to keep our image fresh in real life? Well, the same goes for communication!  If it’s not fresh, clear and cared for, it won’t bring us any profit. 

We need to invest in our brand, always, if we want to be rewarded.

Index

First Steps in Creating a Professional Logo

The first step in the consolidation of a brand is the creation of its logo, which is the foundation of communication between the company and the customer.

You’re probably thinking, “but why can’t I download one for free?” You can! Of course you can! But there are a couple of factors you inevitably have to consider:

The first factor is undoubtedly uniquenessA logo that you download for free from the internet cannot be unique and original, because it will have already been downloaded by some other person who preferred, like you, the apparently easier way.

The second factor is inexperience in its use. Once you download the logo, you have 2 options:

1. The logo is in vector format (as it should be), so you need a software that allows you to manage and edit the file (such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw) and at the same time you need the knowledge of these professional programs. 

2. The file you downloaded is not in vector format (for example in .jpg or .psd format and Photoshop format), so you will have great limitations in the use of the logo, and you will have to vectorize it.

So we can deduce that if you don’t rely on a professional logo designer, you’ll have the feeling of sailing in an ocean without a rudder!

Details Determine the Price of a Logo

Below, I’ll show you the difference between a $200 logo and an $800 logo.

Don’t go right down to find out the price, or you won’t understand!

I want to ask you a question:

In your opinion, does a logo that costs $200 have the same studio behind it that has an $800 logo?

Simple, a $200 logo has no studio whatsoever. This study makes all the difference in brand communication!

Have you ever wondered why the price changes from agency to agency, or from designer to designer?

If a communication agency has as employee a senior designer (with at least 5 years of experience in logo design) will not ask you less than $1000.

If a communication agency employs a junior designer (with 1 or 2 years of experience in logo design) they might ask you only $200.

Do you think this doesn’t make a difference? Don’t just look at the price!

Look below!

Stylization

This word is frequently used, but without understanding the true meaning. Stylization comes precisely from the word style. For a logo to have a certain style, you have to understand its communication approach and at that point you can make choices in the design phase, adopting techniques that a junior designer can not yet be master (I guarantee you I was too). You need years of experience. In this case study the golden ratio is used to integrate 2 elements such as an architectural figure and a bird (the bittern).

Concept

75% of clients that request my advice don’t know what their logo should represent. What concept should your brand communicate? This question allows us to choose the right option by analyzing the market, direct and also indirect competitors. Then a choice is made: either to differentiate completely or to follow a common line.  

Studying

When I talk about studying, I really mean studying! When I’m faced with a company explaining what they do, I have to go and study their industry. What communication do you approach in this world? A graphic designer can’t know all the realities of work and can’t just choose based on what he thinks, he simply has to study. In this case I went to study the structure of the stores in one of the most prestigious streets in Milan. The idea in fact was to transform the initial “M” of the logo in the entrance of a virtual store in Via Montenapoleone. 

Font

In certain types of logo design it is necessary to intervene on the font, rebuilding it from scratch or modifying an existing one. This skill doesn’t belong to a fledgling designer, and sometimes not even to a more experienced one. In this case study we notice that I recreated the font from scratch on an isometric grid to recall the font of the previous version of the logo. The knowledge of designing a font in a grid is a plus that affects the value of the designer and therefore of his work.

Restyling

But how much does a logo restyling cost? Question I often get asked. The answer: the same cost for a logo I create from scratch. Many people think the price should be less, just because you have a “base” to work with. Wrong! Because that base to work on is not good, in fact you have to find ways to revitalize it. Restyling is a restrictive creative process, as the new logo will have to communicate new concepts, while maintaining its recognizability. In fact, in some cases, I think the cost should be higher.

The Only Solution

The only solution is to rely on a professional in the field: a graphic design studio, a communication agency, a freelance graphic designer with proven experience. Making this choice has several advantages:

I know, you must be wondering:” how much does a professional logo cost me in the end?

Well, it obviously depends!

It depends on the experience of the graphic designer!

It depends on the visibility of your company!

Furthermore, it depends on the delivery time! 

If you want a figure updated to 2022 where professional online branding processes make more and more the difference,

I would say for an experienced graphic designer from $500 up!

If the project instead will be entrusted to a junior graphic designer, with less experience, the cost could even start from $250 or a little more!

It all depends on how much you want to invest in your business! So, the question to ask yourself is: “What value do you give to your Brand?”

Consider that the experience of the graphic designer has a determining role on the price. The experiments over the years in the field, the apprenticeship and the mistakes on their own skin, will ensure that the end result is guaranteed. But the cost will inevitably be higher!

If, for example, we asked Rob Janoff (the creator of the Apple logo) for an estimate, do you think it would be $800? Of course not!

I repeat: The experience in the field plays a decisive role!

I suggest you to doubt on lower prices, if you want a top job. A graphic studio or an agency that asks for less than these figures can’t offer you a high-level professional service. If the cost will be around $200/$300 behind there is the hand of a junior graphic designer. With all due respect to the junior graphic designer, I’ve been there too, but the knowledge and experience are very different to those of a senior designer.

What Does "professional logo" Mean?

I very often talk about a professional logo, but what do I mean?

By professional, I mean a logo that actually works for your business, I’m not talking about taste.

The logo first and foremost has to work!  

You want to sell a product or service…right? If the logo doesn’t work for the target audience, you won’t be able to sell anything!

If you want to build a brand with a solid foundation, you have to rely on the experience of the professional. The graphic designer is an expert in visual communication, and you have to rely on him. You can’t think that a logo has to be a certain way just because of your taste. You have to think differently! Analyze the market and make an analysis of competitors. Only at that point, we can understand what really is right for your business.

The cost for the realization of the logo will be higher if you will have it created by someone who does not have a consolidated experience and then, surely, you will have to redo it… I assure you… you would not be the first!

I can give you one of the best advices that I would like if I were in your shoes: look at the logos portfolio, and you’ll understand if that graphic designer or that company is right for you!

Having consolidated the experience speech, now I would like to make, at an indicative level, a time/cost analysis based on the various phases in the creation of a logo.

Freelance Graphic Designer Pricing

In the table below you can also see a comparison between designers with different experience:

Logo Design StepsTimeGraphic DesignerSenior Graphic Design
Briefing in Call/Video Call1 hour$30$50
Market Research2 hours$60$100
Brainstorming3 hours$90$150
Sketching4 hours$120$200
Vectorization4 hours$120$200
Presentation6 hours$180$300
Review3 hours$90$150
File preparation1 hour$30$50
Total24 hours$720$1,200

*The timelines shown in the table are average for an ordinary situation.

Maybe an experienced graphic designer or even a junior one won’t charge you an hourly fee, so you’ll save money, but the costs won’t be lower than the ones I indicated in the previous paragraph for a senior designer.

Also, consider another factor: the visibility of your logo.

If the logo has national visibility, compared to a logo that has international visibility, obviously the cost cannot be the same. The same is true if I have to offer the service to a LLC or to a SPA, obviously the price list is different, regardless of the hours of work.

If I were asked, at the same time, for an estimate for the restyling of the Nike logo and an Italian company that sells sports products, do you think the price would be the same? Of course not!

The cost, as you can see, can vary based on multiple factors:

  • Experience of the graphic designer
  • Working hours for the creation of the logo
  • Visibility of the brand commissioning the service

How to Create a Logo Step by Step

Below you will see the steps to create a custom logo, but in this section I would like to focus on the market analysis.

This aspect is not important, it’s fundamental. Analyzing the market allows you to understand which audience segment wants your service or product. The logo will have to impact that audience!

I repeat: “The logo will have to impact on that specific audience segment”!

This is why when a client explains to me how they would like the logo, I immediately say that the logo does not have to please us, the logo simply has to work.

In order to work, it has to please the target audience. Then, if we like it too, so much the better!

This does not mean that the logo should not contain details about the identity of the brand it is meant to represent… quite the contrary! Something about “us”, “our company”, “our brand” (values, history, emotions, mission, etc. …) must necessarily be present in the concept of the logo.

Brand identity is the element with the highest priority in logo design.

Band identity does not mean that if I have a car repair shop, my company’s logo should communicate car repairs! The logo doesn’t have to be descriptive, but it does have to be identifying. Nike doesn’t communicate that it sells athletic shoes, it communicates freedom, Mulino Bianco communicates family, Amazon communicates trust, and so on.

So creating a logotype for a professional or creating a company logo must always follow this logic, the basis for success in communication.

4 Key Steps for Logo Design

Briefing

The first step is the knowledge phase, an essential step to get to know the client, who, in turn, introduces me to the company, helping me to better understand it. Usually the briefing with the customer takes place through Video Call.

Design

The design is the creative step. It starts with brainstorming and then follows the scketch phase (pencil sketches on paper). In this phase will be eliminated all the drafts that in the digitization phase are not effective.

Execution

Execution is the step to digitize your sketches. Vectorization software (such as Illustrator or Corel Draw) must be used in this phase. A vector logo can be used in various media and in all sizes.

Presentation

It's a good idea to present a logo design with graphic mockups to give the client a complete experience. Being able to understand how the draft logo may look in the various target media is very important!

Michel D.

Web Designer & Developer

Writer in his spare time

Geek at full time