The Cost of Logo Design
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is an effective logo worth? According to one business magazine, the price for hiring a professional to design your logo ranges from $4,000 to $15,000. Keep in mind that this is just one working estimate. You can easily pay more or less as these famous examples illustrate:
- Coca-Cola, Microsoft and Google are often used as examples of zero cost for their logos because of an in-house design team. However, stock options and employee benefits might make this “free” strategy a little more expensive in today’s entrepreneurial marketplace.
- Pepsi paid $1 million in 2008 for the company’s most recent logo.
- Nike paid $35 in 1971 for its “swoosh” logo.
- Twitter paid even less ($15) for rights to the bird image that still represents the company.
- NeXT (co-founded by Steve Jobs) paid $100,000 in 1986 for a distinctive logo.
- Many companies such as Accenture, BP and Symantec allocated well over $10 million for their logos.
Why should you spend both time and money to create a world-class logo? Other than the name of your company, your logo can be the most powerful brand asset that you have. Your logo is your “visual brand.” As with any asset, your constant goal should be to build and enhance its value.
Perhaps all of this talk about spending money for a logo makes you wonder about doing it yourself — take a look at the next section for an overview of how DIY (do it yourself) might work for your corporate logo.
Advantages and Disadvantages of a DIY Logo
If you decide to design your own business logo, you will not be the first or last entrepreneur to take that path. For example, Sergey Brin (co-founder of Google) created the original Google logo on a free graphics program. However, just as Google has continued to innovate, the company has also periodically polished its logo with a more expensive and professional approach.
A DIY logo frequently involves a variation of a personal drawing, clip art or an online logo template. The advantages are straightforward — a minimal cost and quick turnaround. You can emulate Twitter’s low-cost acquisition of image rights and start using your new logo in a matter of minutes.
But what is wrong with that picture? Does that “look and feel” like a smart way to create a world-class company logo? For starters, here are the primary disadvantages of a “do it yourself” logo:
- Most (but not all) providers of stock images have prohibitions about using an image in a logo.
- You will only rarely have “exclusive rights” to the use of a stock image.
- Your company will not be permitted to trademark the logo.
- With a “quick and dirty” approach to your first logo, you will usually overlook the importance of coordinating branding across several platforms such as print, online and broadcast media.
- 3D and animated logo designs typically require advanced and specialized design skills.
- The appearance of DIY logos can frequently be “amateurish.”
Bluntly stated, in a competitive business environment, what could be worse than a competitor using the same or similar image without fear of legal recourse? This is a distinct possibility with many variations of a DIY logo.
At this point in your creative process, you should remind yourself about the importance of first impressions from the perspective of your customers. When you do it right, a logo will leave a positive and lasting impression that will enhance what people think about your company. Your logo will reinforce both the initial purchase decision and recurring purchases. But you cannot afford to squander the opportunity! As Will Rogers reportedly observed in a timeless piece of wisdom, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
Keeping Your Logo Budget in Line: Would You Rather Spend Hundreds or Thousands?
If you decide to forego the budget savings of a DIY logo in favor of professional logo help, this does not mean that you have to spend $1 million (like Pepsi) or even $10,000. You should start with a budget goal of spending hundreds of dollars rather than thousands of dollars.
The best way to familiarize yourself with your realistic choices for a professional logo design firm is to have a conversation with both local and offshore design firms. The many benefits of outsourcing logo design to an international firm become much more obvious when you see cost proposals that are literally thousands of dollars apart.
When you formulate your budget and wonder what to include as a cost of logo design, you want to impress both yourself and your investors with a cost-effective solution. What should you expect to accomplish when you decide to outsource your world-class logo design? Here is the short list of advantages that you will realize:
- Cost savings of 60 percent (or more) compared to other providers.
- Logo web search to provide the legal groundwork for a trademark.
- International experience and expertise for a worldwide perspective.
- Advanced capabilities that include animated and 3D logo designs.
- Original artwork that is not based on a template — everything is customized.
Successful collaboration between you and the designer is a mandatory ingredient in any working relationship involving your business logo. You should not hesitate to insist on regular communication as your logo is finalized. Be prepared to stipulate how much research you expect during the logo development phase. For example, reviewing the industry and competitors might be an area in which you can lend an expert eye and hand.
With a prudent approach to your visual branding, the value of your logo will increase with time. In order for this to happen, you should resist the temptation to make frequent changes to the design. Both you and your logo designer should agree on a look that will “work” for a long time.
– Artwork Abode