Logo design in today’s world is totally under rated. People do not understand how important a good logo is and how valuable it is to their business and this is why I am going to outline some very important facts telling you exactly why logo design should not cost $5 and why your logo is not something you should take lightly.
In broad terms, I will do this by comparing “cheap logo design” to “professional logo design” and I will outline the reasons why professional logo designers do not charge such low fees and why you should invest in a professional logo design.
What Is A Logo?
To understand what a logo is meant to do, we first must know what a logo is. A logo’s design is for immediate recognition, inspiring trust, admiration, loyalty and an implied superiority. The logo is one aspect of a company’s commercial brand, or economic entity, and its shapes, colours, fonts, and images usually are different from others in a similar market. Logos are also used to identify organisations and other non-commercial entities.
It makes me wonder why people have no logo or why they would even bother with a cheap logo design if a logo is meant to do all of these things?
Spec Work & Logo Design Contests
Before I get onto comparing cheap VS professional logo design I want to talk to you a bit about SPEC work. “Spec” has become the short form for any work done on a speculative basis.
ie. You design this for me, and I will pay you if I like it. - This is not right.
To clarify, let’s create a scenario in another industry where SPEC work does NOT exist.
“I went for a dental check-up yesterday. After the dentist inspected my teeth, she suggested some work to prevent further tooth decay. I told her to go ahead, and if the dental work was satisfactory, I’d be more than happy to pay. She responded that she wouldn’t be able to do that, because she normally provides a service when a fee is agreed upon up-front. I said I’d let her know after I checked in with other local dentists.”
This scenario happens in the design industry every day and is seen as very unethical as it is ruining the design industry. A designer should not have to invest time and resources with no guarantee of payment much alike a dentist or any other professional.
I do not want to go into this any further as much has been written about it but I would like to say please avoid design contests and spec work at all costs. Logo Design Contests are bad for your business. Period.
$5.00 (Cheap Logo Design)
Now that we have taken a look at the damage of Spec Work, let us now take a look at what quality you can expect from a logo in between the $5 to $200 bracket. The particular case I am looking at today is from a $35 logo design contest that was held on Digital Point Forums.
The “brief” for the logo design project was
“Make a logo for the site ‘Spela Piano’. The meaning of that is Play Piano. This is a site where our members can learn to play piano online.”
Below you can see the responses from the contest, which one do you think won?
You will notice that nearly all of the logos above use free standard issue fonts and don’t assign to the rules of what makes a good logo. Ie. describable, memorable, effective without colour and scalable.
Ask yourself these questions in regards to the logos above:
- How many of the logos can you describe or remember?
- Are these logos effective without colour?
- Are they scalable?
- Do they gain immediate recognition?
- Convey the company’s personality, character or attitude?
- Relate to your clients by conveying a feeling of familiarity and credibility?
- Have association with quality and satisfaction?
I will leave these questions for you to decide.
Professional Logo Design
Now compare these professionally designed logos and answer the same questions as above….
See the difference?
Why are they so different? As outlined in the logo design process of top graphic designers, professional logo designers have an actual design process that involves research, sketching, conceptualising, and reflection and this is why they do not charge $5.00.
The design process of a professional logo designer usually consists of:
- The Design Brief: They conduct a questionnaire or interview with the client to get the design brief.
- Research: They conduct research focused on the industry itself, on its history, and on its competitors.
- Reference: They conduct research into logo designs that have been successful and current styles and trends that are related to the design brief.
- Sketching & Conceptualising: They develop the logo design concept(s) around the brief and research. They use creativity and know how to design a logo.
- Reflection: They take breaks throughout their design process. This lets their ideas mature and lets them get renewed enthusiasm and receive feedback.
- Presentation: They then choose whether to present only a select few logos to the client or a whole collection.
- Celebration: They then drink beer or eat chocolate or sleep or start on next logo design. Or a combination.
Do you believe doing all of that costs $5.00?
On that note, did you know that the software to make the logo is USD$700 in itself, let alone the computer that it has to be installed onto or the costs associated with the essentials… paper, ink and an internet connection.
Here are some more responses from other designers on reasons why logo design does not cost $5.00.
Tara from Graphic Design Blog outlines in her 6 reasons why a logo should cost more than your lunch that
- A logo is the very first impression people get of your company.
- A logo needs longevity.
- A logo needs to be original.
- A logo should look professional.
- A logo should reflect the time and thought gone in to designing it.
- A logo is the starting point of your whole corporate image.
Now look back at those $5.00 logo designs or your even own logo to see if adheres to the above points.
How much does a logo cost?
This is the single most frequently asked question, though it is the hardest one to answer without more details of the project.
The cost of a professional logo design is a question that cannot be easily answered as every company has different needs, however, the best way to approach this question is to draw up a customised quote for each individual.
A number of factors have to be taken into consideration when designing a logo, such as how many logo concepts need to be presented, how many revisions are required, how much research is needed, the size of the business and so on.
The best way to find out how much a logo design will cost is to get a quote from the designer them self.