Why Does a Logo Cost So Much?

Guess what, the cost of design is not a made-up figure. I understand the price tag may at times seem steep, but it only appears inflated to those who do not fully understand the process.

I will admit, I was given this very controversial advice by a college professor: “Charge as much as you can say out loud without laughing.”
…I do not use this as my pricing method. #lolz So to back-up my own pricing, I’m going to be fully transparent with you and break down the hours behind one of our most common projects, the logo design.

A logo design with New Breed = $1,500.00

This is a conservative starting price. My Logo Design Package is actually way below industry standard pricing (compared to design studios with equivalent experience and staff). So to help you understand how I came-up with this number, I’ll explain the following work that goes into my Logo Design Package:

  • Client briefing: 1 hour minimum for phone or Skype calls and emails to build a relationship with the client.
  • Research: Who are your competitors? What are they doing differently, and well? What is your target demographic? How do you speak to them? What makes you different from the “others?” I do a solid hour (1 hour) of research before even thinking about design so we can help you elevate your status, communicate successfully and stand out.
  • Logo Inspiration Exercise: 2 hours. Knowing what I do about my client’s business, competition, market, etc. I compile a collage of 30 – 50 logos from every industry and present them to my client for their creative feedback. I pose questions to them about what they like the look of and why, as well as what they don’t like. This helps funnel the creative direction and prepares me to deliver a “wow” factor-full first concept.
  • Concept Creation (when the actual designs take shape): 4 hours x 3 concepts = 12 hours. I will take-up my sketch pad and usually change locations to either the park outside or the dining room table or just to the floor to get my head out of “working” space and into “creative” space. I then circle all my favorite ideas and run them up to the scanner. Opening them in Photoshop, I clean-up my sketches to make them appear somewhat conceivable, and then move the saved image into Illustrator.* Here is where the magic happens. I re-draw my sketches to make them into vector art and perfect every little nook & cranny. This concludes our logo creation… in black only.
  • Revisions: There will always be change requests, that’s just life. I allow 3 hours‘ worth of revision time between all three concepts, and it usually all gets used.
  • Choosing a Colour Palette: 1 hour. We only do this for the final, approved logo concept so as not to spend time choosing colours for concepts the client decides not to use.
  • Exporting all logo files for web & print: 1 hour. 
  • Creating a Brand Manual: 2 hours. Few people who are new to having a logo designed professionally will know what this is.

*It’s worth noting that just the license for the design software I use costs close to $1,000/year. I also license a handful of online collaboration tools such as Basecamp, Freshbooks and Dropbox each with monthly fees, to facilitate client-designer communication and the transfer of design files.

Total time spent designing a logo = 23 hours

The New Breed hourly design rate is $100/hour. I’m no mathematician, but compared to billing hourly for a logo design, you actually save $800.00 by opting for the Package. #insertshamelesspitchhere

It’s like they say, you get what you pay for. And if you’re being pitched a logo design priced at anything less than around $1,000, you can guarantee the proper amount of time and professional expertise is not being put into it. I can say this, because there was a time (almost eight years ago) that I designed the $500 logo. And it was… uninspiring. So today, and every day, we decide to put forth our best work at the best price we can justify to our clients.

If YOU think we charge too much still, even after reading the breakdown — tell us. We want to know what you think.

Is there a product out there for start-ups or shallow-pocketed entrepreneurs you wish existed? If it makes sense for us all, we’re down to try it.

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