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Advertising | brand | Business | Marketing | April 15th, 2019
How much will your logo cost? This is one of the most common questions we get here at Back9 Creative. The short answer is, it depends on a lot of factors.
So what about the long answer? What does it depend on? Some of the variables that can change your final logo cost include:
At the low end, you can expect to pay about $2000 for a logo. That price can increase depending on the specific variables involved. In this article, we hope to give you a rough idea of the process of creating a logo, the things that we look at during the process, and why it costs what it does.
In the design industry, logos are perhaps the most important part of your Brand Identity–the collective way to identify your brand that includes your logo, your business style, your values, and even what you and your team wear–because the logo is literally the way that many people will recognise a brand. Connecting a quality product to a brand establishes an emotional attachment, which in turn leads to loyalty, and loyal customers can even become promoters who tell others how great you are. Customers connect that image to your products, services, and what you stand for. This can be extremely important if you have a name that’s similar to someone else’s—especially if you’re in the same industry.
Some companies design their business models entirely around riding the coattails of another successful business. They’ll create a similar name in the same industry and can even swipe some customers from their competitor merely through mistaken identity; someone thought they were going to the other place instead. A memorable logo that stands out greatly reduces this chance.
No matter what graphic design agency you choose to go with, any reputable business will carefully create your logo using design and colour science combined with your own input to make a logo that is memorable, relatable, and something you’ll be proud to call your own.
If you trust in your artistic ability and only plan to use your logo for a few small, limited projects, there’s no reason why you can’t. But if you want to treat it as an investment and use it as the face of your company for the long haul, we highly recommend working with a skilled and experienced graphic designer.
Visual communication, which includes digital graphic design, is a prestigious field in many NZ universities that requires several years of study. Designers learn not only about the fundamentals of art and imagery, but also various pieces of complex software for digital production. An important part is being able to move from abstract ideas to completed projects that make use of colour theory, human psychology, and much more. When you use a professional designer, you get a lot more than a little picture!
While the exact steps can vary, generally, the logo creation process will follow this general outline:
The first part of the process involves coming up with ideas for the logo.
As you can see, there’s a lot of time and effort that goes into creating your logo, but by doing all these steps you’ll get a logo that you’ll be happy with and gives off the right impression of you and your business.
If you read that list above closely, you may have noticed that a couple of factors that determine the cost of your logo are how much money your business makes. But why would that make a difference? Why don’t all logos cost in the same general range?
The main reason is that a larger, more prolific business will likely have a bigger budget. The other reasons are that they tend to have a larger more comprehensive review team and tend to need more variations. And if the business is replacing an existing logo, it will have more versions across print and digital that need to be replaced.
So how does a bigger budget and more review time change the process? Larger businesses tend to have more people that need to agree on the final version. And the more people that get involved, the harder it is to come to an agreement! More people means more than the standard number of concepts, and multiple developed versions for each one. Overall, many of the main steps will be the same. However, the designer can invest more time in each step; more time spent on research, more design prototypes and iterations can be made, and you can have more fleshed out versions to choose from.
Consequently, this also means that larger businesses also require a longer timeframe than smaller businesses. Sometimes the design has to be approved by multiple levels before being finalised, with each step up the chain having their own input and changes to the logo.
The bigger and more established the business is, the more important it is to make sure the logo is right. A national or multinational brand has their logo on all kinds of merchandise and branding, and replacing it everywhere is a monumental task. Think about all the work that would go into McDonald’s replacing their logo. With over 30,000 restaurants throughout 120 countries, the logo is on storefronts, food, products, commercials, websites, and so on. With the millions of dollars it would cost to replace the existing logo, they’d definitely want to make sure they got it right!
This is why logo cost should be proportional to the amount of risk for the company and how many mediums will be using a logo and how many versions it needs (Print, social media, website, signage, etc). Each version has to be developed for different size and shape requirements, and alternative colours can also be important depending on where the logo will be used.
If the logo uses a black font for instance, it could be completely invisible on a black background! Wider distribution for the logo means more of these versions are needed, which require time, research, and testing to make, ultimately meaning a higher cost for the logo.
Generally, the bigger the company, the more money they put into logo design. Take Invercargill City, for example. In 2017, they rebranded with a new logo. The cost for the design and consultation was around $80,000, with $70,000 more going towards replacing the old logo and adding the new one to permanent infrastructures and new signage, around $150,000 for the rebrand in total.
For multinational corporations, that cost is even higher. Petrol pumper BP was estimated to have spent $211 million USD (300 million NZD) on their most recent green, yellow, and white logo. That’s as much as the GDP of the entire country of Kiribati in 2019. As much as an entire country. And that’s only the 2nd most expensive logo. Symantec spent a staggering 1.28 billion dollars for branding and logo acquisition!
No, we don’t expect you to spend as much money as an entire country on your logo. This is why we say that logo cost is proportional to business size, revenue, and outreach. It’s important to remember everything that goes into making a logo. It’s complex and time-consuming to do it properly. Instead of comprising on important parts of the logo design process, some agencies will let you pay in instalments. At Back9 Creative, we include a logo as part of our package for a new start-up. That package starts at $350+GST a month with a 6-month commitment. Monthly payments are an option at Back9 not only for your logo, but for website design and development too. This means that you can get something you’re happy with and something that will be an investment for the long run.
As your brand identity and the face of your business while you’re away, your logo is one of the core assets of your business and should be researched and developed by a professional designer. Because of the hours of work that goes into getting the logo just right, costs start in the low thousands. But considering that it’s the way people recognise you, your brand, and your products, it’s an investment to get it done right—and it will almost certainly pay you back its cost and much more.