By Cecilia Li
Your business’s logo is your first chance to make an impression. It can send the message that you’re an established company or make you look like a novice. Even if you’re brand new in the home services industry, you want to project experience and trust. Your logo can help make that happen.
There are several factors that go into choosing your logo. The color scheme is one of them. Did you know that 80% of consumers say the color of a logo affects their ability to remember the brand? Colors also help define reputation. Shades of green are often associated with natural, fresh, or earth-conscious brands. Orange, on the other hand, is usually attached to brands that want to convey friendliness and affordability.
While you’re contemplating your brand logo, you’ll also need to choose a font and decide which words to include. Should your tagline be a part of the logo? There are a lot of decisions.
At some point, you’ll have to ask “How much does a logo cost?” The answer isn’t simple. Pricing schemes are based on logo complexity, research required, and the skill of the designer. Here is a quick breakdown of what to expect when commissioning a professional logo.
Simple Logo Designs
Typical Cost Range: $50 – $200
What to Expect: A simple design is just what it sounds like. At this level of service, you should receive a logo that includes your business name and a design mark. The logo will be unique, but it may incorporate some stock icons. You probably won’t get several design treatment options, but you may get a round of edits so you can give some feedback on the designer’s first attempt.
When you’re paying for a simple design, the designer won’t do a ton of research about your industry. That being said, you can give them an idea of what you’re looking for or what to avoid. If you want any research to be incorporated, do it on your end and provide some bullet points.
Who Works on Simple Logos: If you are getting a simple logo, you’re probably not getting it done through a professional ad agency. But then, as a new small business, you may not need to partner with a full marketing team. Many freelance designers or graphic arts students make business logos at an affordable price point. You could also go online and work with an outsourced, offshore designer who is able to come back with a super affordable bid.
Who Should Get a Simple Logo: Simple logos are great for small businesses. They help you stand out in your local market without spending a fortune. Simple logos are easy to print on business cards, banners, and the side of your service vans. Because they’re based on generic fonts and imagery, they can often be resized without a problem.
Bottom Line: Simple logos are good short-term designs for companies who plan to grow, and could be a permanent logo for a small home-based company.
Intermediate Logo Designs
Typical Cost Range: $500 – $1,000
What to Expect: When you pay more in the world of design, you’ll get more. Intermediate designs offer a more complicated level of patterns and fonts than simple logos. In addition to having more detailed graphics, a complex design is less likely to rely entirely on stock fonts icons. What’s more, you’ll probably get multiple treatments to choose from. For instance, your designer could give you five first drafts and then refine the one you choose.
When you pay for a more complex design, the creator is more likely to do research about your business and the competition. They will consider your brand’s values. They might even provide multiple color variations of your final selection.
Who Works on Intermediate Logos: Many freelance designers also take care of intermediate designs. But while a simple design is likely to be drafted by a student or new designer, you can probably get someone with a more robust portfolio by spending closer to $1,000. This sounds like a lot, but keep in mind that a single logo could require 20 hours or more of the designer’s time. You may be able to partner with a small marketing agency for an one-off project with this budget, especially if it’s a start-up.
Who Should Get an Intermediate Logo: Intermediate designs are also good for small businesses with a single location. Especially if you live in a big city. When customers have a lot of companies to choose from, it becomes all the more important for your business to stand out. In an urban area, there may be 20 plumbing companies with a blue logo — you need to make sure yours will be memorable. An increased logo investment is warranted.
Bottom Line: Intermediate logos are ideal if you’ll be printing your logo on a variety of platforms or have a specific vision. Small- to medium-sized businesses benefit from a budget that lets you create something more customized.
Advanced Logo Designs
Typical Cost Range: $1,000 and Up
What to Expect: How much does a logo cost at the advanced level? At this tier of logo design, you can easily pay up to $10,000 and beyond. Don’t worry — you’re unlikely to pay that much unless you’re a major national brand. Because you’re paying more, you’re pretty much guaranteed to end up with a design you’re happy with. You will likely receive as many as 10 logo options and the logo can include very complex computer design and illustration.
Your industry will be very well researched and the logos of your competition will be analyzed before logo options are drafted. You can expect the designer to provide you with their thought process so you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
In some high-level logo packages, you may also get some branding help. Your design team could pitch new taglines, or offer data-backed advice about logo sizing and other important branding decisions. Your designers will likely spend more time on your logo at this price point, so you can raise your expectations about error-free work.
Who Works on Advanced Logos: You can afford a full-time designer if you are paying for advanced work. You’ll probably partner with a professional agency, though you could still go through an expert freelancer with a huge portfolio. If you’re working with an agency, you may even be assigned multiple designers to make sure the logo is perfect. When you commission advanced work, the logo will come from a pro who knows which types of graphics earn trust and draw in new business.
Who Should Get an Advanced Logo: As a small business, you may never need an advanced logo. On the other hand, if you are planning on expanding your business to multiple locations, a rebranding may be in order. What worked for you as a single-location business may not be right as you become a franchise operation.
So, how do you know when you’re ready to graduate to a more advanced logo? If you are starting to offer a wider menu of services at higher price points, you’ll probably want to upgrade your logo. Likewise, when you’re starting to ramp up your advertising efforts, a new logo is often called for. In other words: When your logo is about to be everywhere, invest in a better one.
When you purchase a more complicated branding package from an agency, a highly customized and complex logo will probably be a part of the deal.
Bottom Line: Major national brands often choose advanced logo design. Even if their logo ends up being fairly simple (like the Target or Pepsi logos), the level of research and focus groups that go into the creation are advanced. Unless you’re going to open franchises over a large area, you probably don’t need to pay upwards of $1,000.
Another Option: Free DIY Design Logos
If you’re Googling “How much do logos cost?” and you’re underwhelmed by what you can afford, you may want to go the DIY route. For new businesses that have more time than they do money, forgoing a logo quote for a weekend project at home can be the right choice.
So, where do you begin? If you already have a logo design in mind, you can upload it to a logo grader to see what you’re working with. A grader will tell you how your design holds up in categories like readability, color/contrast, and uniqueness. If a grader tells you it’s time to step up your game, a logo generator can step in.
Logo generators deliver design options based on your industry, color preferences, and other filters. You’ll get to choose from at least a dozen designs, and they’re generated in just seconds. This option is great when you need a logo fast and don’t have a budget for advertising. You can usually export the image as well, so it’s in your hands for use on business cards and more. Logo generator images rely on generic fonts and stock images, but you can still make the logo your own with creative taglines and other elements.
The Bottom Line
There’s a reason why logos cost so much. They are the first thing a consumer sees when they consider whether to do business with you. National brands throw massive budgets at creating the right logo. Pepsi paid $1 million in 2006 for their logo redesign, and the BBC paid $1.8 million in 1997 for a new logo. You may not have pockets as deep as these major brands, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put your best foot forward.