How much does a logo cost? Exploring the average cost of a logo
“How much does a logo cost?” is a question we hear a lot as a professional design agency. When launching a brand, a great logo is one of the first things any business will invest in to ensure they make the right impact on their audience.
Your logo is a key part of how your customers will identify your company, separate you from the competition, and form emotional connections to your business. Unfortunately, the complexity and diversity of logo design means there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to pricing.
The average cost of a logo can vary depending on whether you’re looking for a basic placeholder image for your website, or something intended for part of a comprehensive branding program.
Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the cost of a logo, and how much you might need to pay to get the right brand image.
Logo pricing: The logo creation journey
The first thing we can say for certain is good logo design is never free. While you might find a handful of “logo makers” out there, these don’t really give you a logo you can use long-term, but instead provide basic inspiration for what your logo could like, based on a handful of shapes and templates.
Real logo design is much more complex.
If you’ve ever looked at the cost of a logo for a high-end brand and wondered why it was so expensive, the answer comes down to the work involved in making a logo.
Designing a logo means exploring the identity and values of a company, assessing its audience, and distilling the essence of a business into something that makes a resounding impact through graphic design and messaging.
It also involves working with state-of-the-art design software, high-quality computer systems and more to create various iterations of your logo, with a deep knowledge of design principles.
When you’re asking, “How much does a logo cost?” you’re really exploring the price of paying for someone’s expertise, skill, analytical knowledge, and background.
It’s also worth remembering how impactful the right logo can really be. A good logo design will not only differentiate you from your competitors, it can also become a critical part of your brand identity, sparking recognition and loyalty in your audience, and ensuring you stand out from the crowd.
The importance of a good logo is so significant most professional brands wouldn’t dream of acquiring their design through anyone other than a professional.
In fact, some of the most memorable logos in the world cost a small fortune, such as:
The average cost of a logo is dependent on a number of factors, including whether you have pre-existing ideas to work from, what kind of company you’re working with, and whether you need any complementary branding assets to accompany your logo.
Many business leaders will purchase a logo alongside a brand name, or a website design, for instance.
Logo pricing can also vary depending on where you are in the world, and what kind of industry you’re looking for help with.
Most of the time, we can divide logo design cost into three pillars:
Budget logo design
The first thing we should note here is budget logo design rarely works out in the long-term. Investing in a budget logo usually means settling for an unprofessional dime-a-dozen image, created using a random graphic generator, or drawn by someone in the company.
Budget logo design is risky for a lot of reasons. You’ll have a higher chance of getting a design similar to something that already exists in the market, and there’s a good chance you won’t be able to use your design for long.
Budget design costs include:
DIY logo makers: $0 to $50.
Logo template: $5 to $100.
Logo contests: $50 to $500.
Mid-range logo design
Mid-range logo design is a little more reliable than budget options. With a mid-range logo, you’re likely still going to pay for a professional, but they might not have quite as much experience as someone with years of logo design expertise.
While there are a handful of freelance designers out there capable of offering a decent logo design, you’ll need to be very careful doing your research to ensure you find the right provider. Still, mid-range logo design is sometimes the best option for startup companies with limited budgets.
Mid-range logo design prices include:
Beginner freelancers: $100 to $1000.
Experienced freelancer: $1000 to $5,000.
Renowned freelancer: $5,000 to $20,000.
Small studio: $5,000 to $30,000.
Mid-sized agency: $5,000 to $50,000+
High-end logo design
High-end logo design is the cream of the crop for professional branding. This kind of logo design is going to cost a lot more than your average mid-range project. However, you do get the benefit of a true expert working with you on your brand.
High-end logo designs usually involve paying for more than just the initial logo. You may also get access to strategy and global identity planning. You can also access consulting support, and various other essential features.
High-end logo pricing may include:
Branding agency: $50,000 to $150,000 – may include brand identity guidance.
Renowned agency: $100,000 to $1,000,000 – may include extra services.
Famous designer: $100,000 to $1,000,000+
How much does logo design cost? Your options
As you can see, there are a lot of potential answers to “How much does a logo cost”. When beginning your journey into the world of branding, it’s worth taking some time to make sure you understand exactly what you need from your logo designer.
Let’s dive a little deeper into some of your options.
The cost of a logo: The budget option
As mentioned above, the budget logo isn’t a long-term strategy for most companies. It’s intended for beginners who are just getting started in building a brand, and don’t have the cash to hire a professional.
This design will usually be a placeholder until you can get something more professional.
If you’re serious about your business and making a lasting impression on your audience, you’ll want to upgrade from a budget logo as quickly as possible.
When it comes to budget logo design, there are a few ways you can approach the process:
1. DIY logo design
This is really only an option if you have access to the right software for designing vector graphics. However, if you do have a little skill, and the right technology, you might be able to sketch out a handful of designs to serve as initial inspiration for your logo.
The biggest cost with creating your own logo is the time you’re going to need to commit to the project. Remember, you can’t just sit down and start sketching. You’ll need to research your audience and competition to ensure you’re creating a logo with impact.
The good news is there are a handful of tools out there to experiment with, such as:
Sketch: $99 for a one-year license, this is a vector-based design software which will allow you to export your logo in a range of formats to suit your needs.
Illustrator: The go-to choice for vector graphics working with other Adobe programs, Adobe Illustrator allows you to export your work in more than 10 formats.
Probably the most dangerous way to approach design when you’re trying to reduce logo pricing, an online logo maker is a tool you can use on the web to combine templates, shapes, and fonts into a logo. Crucially, there’s very little room for creativity here.
Even if you pay for a premium logo generating tool, you’re still going to get access to nothing more than a handful of the same resources everyone else has. The result is an extremely generic logo, and very little opportunity for customization.
There are also a handful of websites out there for designers in the freelance market where you can find logo templates listed for sale. These “templates” often include a handful of shapes and tools you can use and customize to create your own logo.
The templates you get could come with extra features like a brand color palette and a selection of fonts. Unfortunately, you’re still going to end up with a bundle of resources very similar to something anyone else could get online.
4. Cheap services and crowdsourcing
At this point, you might be thinking “Wait, I’ve seen people on Fiverr offering logo design for cheap, what about those?” While it’s true you can find freelancers out there with a low logo design cost; it’s worth remembering you might not get the best quality of service from these creators.
Cheap services like Fiverr and Upwork are usually filled with people who rush through jobs to try and increase their earnings as much as possible. The designs are notorious for being plagiarised, and most people won’t invest a lot of time into your project.
Logo contests on crowdsourcing websites can be similarly dangerous, as the people competing for the prize of designing your brand image will put very little time into creating something high-quality.
Remember, you really do get what you pay for.
How much does logo design cost in the mid-range?
For most companies serious about developing an effective brand, the mid-range will be the best place to start.
Generally, when you’re asking about the cost of a logo, anything under the mid-range level should be disregarded completely, because it usually means you’ll end up with a generic image, or a design which doesn’t really work for your brand.
Mid-range solutions can include everything from working with a freelance designer, to hiring a small agency.
Let’s look at logo pricing from a mid-range perspective.
1. Working with a freelance designer
Freelance designers can be a lot more trustworthy today than you’d think. Freelancing has grown increasingly popular in recent years, and more professionals are jumping into this landscape than ever before.
However, choosing a freelance designer can be difficult.
You’ll need to make sure you check out the professional’s portfolio, and examine the quality of their work as carefully as possible before you agree to anything. Usually, freelancers will charge more depending on their experience level.
Junior: $100 to $1,000. Experienced: $1,000 to $5,000. Renowned: $5,000 to $15,000.
2. Small design studios
If you’re happy to work with a much smaller company, then you might be able to spend a little less on your logo design. Small design studios can give you an excellent design experience, and some will even provide additional branding support while making your logo.
Though prices range from $5,000 to $30,000+, it’s worth remembering you’re going to get a lot of expertise from one of these teams, as well as the skills of a group of people, rather than just one freelance designer.
3. Mid-sized agency
A mid-sized agency may have a little more experience than a smaller design studio, although this isn’t always the case. Mid-sized agencies do generally have more professionals on-board to help with different parts of your branding process, however.
This might make these companies a good option if you want help with web design, logo design, and a range of other tasks.
Mid-sized agencies do have more overheads to think about, which is why their pricing can be a little higher – in the range of $5,000 to $50,000.
Logo design cost: High-end logos
Finally, if you really want to get the most out of your logo design, and you’re running a bigger company with more revenue, then you might opt for a high-end logo design.
When you ask, “How much to design a logo?” to a renowned professional in their field, you’re more likely to get an answer with a lot of zeros, so be prepared.
So how much does a logo cost from a high-end designer?
A logo design agency is a dedicated team of professionals with specialist expertise in creating all kinds of incredible images for companies. Branding agencies won’t just offer logo design most of the time. Instead, they’ll act as a full consultant for building your brand.
Agencies take the time to conduct a thorough market evaluation and competitor analysis to learn more about the positioning of your company before they start designing. They could also get to know your customer base, and learn a little more about the kind of message you’re trying to send.
The price of your design agency will depend on their experience and background. Costs can start at $50,000 and range into the millions, particularly for multi-national branding projects.
2. World-renowned designers
Outside of working with a professional agency, one of the most common ways to invest in logo design is with a world-renowned designer. These professionals have years of experience in their field, and have spent a lot of time ensuring they stand out in the industry.
Experts like Debbie Millman, Michael Beirut and Milton Glaser can easily charge millions for their designs, as a result of the prestige accompanying their work.
Understanding logo pricing: What do you get for your money?
If, so far, the answer to “How much does a logo cost?” has been surprising for you, you’re not alone. Many companies don’t realize how much it costs to invest in a genuine high-quality logo. However, it’s important not to cut corners and pick something cheap if you can manage it.
World-renowned logos like the HP emblem aren’t rushed into existence. If you can’t afford the quality of logo you’d like now, it might be a good idea to take some time to save your cash, apply for funding (or loans), and invest more of your time into building your business.
You might be able to use a place-holder design temporarily and then invest in a rebrand later if necessary.
When you do invest in a professional logo design, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right return for your investment. You should be able to talk through exactly what you’re going to get with your designer or agency before signing on the dotted line.
However, some of the most important things to look for include:
Multiple formats of your final logo
You’ll need a high-resolution vector format of your logo for printing purposes, as well as a web-optimized format for your social media, website, email signature, and other requirements.
A copyright for your logo shows the design is yours and you’re free to use it however you like. This simply prevents you from dealing with legal problems later.
Added extras could include things like different variations for your logo (such as an app design version), or revisions if you’ve agreed to this with your logo designer in advance. Make sure you read the contract before signing anything.
Keep in mind, depending on the agency or professional you work with, you may be required to pay for a deposit up-front to ensure the agency can start the work. You’ll also need to think about any other costs which might come into play, such as extra fees for brand consulting.
How much does logo design cost? The reality
When exploring logo pricing, a lot of companies keen to get started online as quickly as possible will usually look at the budget design option as the best solution. However, the reality is this can be one of the most dangerous ways to start a brand.
You may be able to start your company faster with a place-holder logo you create yourself or mock-up using an online template, but there’s a good chance you’ll need to rebrand relatively quickly.
This means investing money on not only re-designing your logo in the future, but your website, all other brand materials, and your marketing campaigns too.
Where possible, the better option will be to make sure you have the money for at least a mid-level logo from the beginning of launching your company. While it can be a heavy initial expense for some companies to consider, the price will be worth it in the long-term.
Think of it like any other essential to starting your business. Just as you wouldn’t be able to start a food company without cooking equipment, you can’t build a brand without a great logo.