Why does great logo design cost more than I thought it would?

There are many reasons that logo design and graphic design in general can be pricey, but let me just start out by saying that not every logo designer is trying to rip you off, rather, we know what goes into creating great branding that will last a lifetime. Not every graphic designer is a logo designer so you do need to understand what goes into a great logo design.

The following list is 10 reasons why logo design isn’t cheap:

1. Logo design actually takes a lot of work

We aren’t just screwing around on our computers all day making pretty pictures. Contrary to what my parents and friends think we do, graphic design is actually real work. It takes many years to become a proficient graphic designer and gain the necessary skills to properly use design programs like Adobe Illustrator. The majority of the time it takes to actually create a logo is research and sketching. Things you will never really know about.

2. We went to school to learn how to be a great graphic designer and great at branding

It’s understood that earning a degree entitles you to higher earnings in most professions. Our knowledge and skills as a college grad adds increased value and worth to your work.

Most of us went to school to learn the principles of good graphic design and we’re still paying off the student loans as proof. Most of us carry at least $50,000 in student loans when leaving art school but we understand the value in higher education and we love art so we committed years of our lives to learn and perfect our trade. Most graphic designer hopefuls don’t get into the field for the money, but for the love of creating.

3. The equipment and software we use costs quite a bit of money

Unfortunately, we almost HAVE to use specific software to do our job so Adobe has us by the balls so to speak and that software is not cheap. We used to be able to outright purchase the software and be good for a few years but everything in the industry has moved to the membership model meaning we have a lot of overhead every month, just to keep working.

We also have to use quality hardware and computers to make sure our work is safe and is not lost. Unfortunately, those things aren’t exactly in the bargain bin at Big Lots. I know you’re saying that that isn’t your problem that everything costs so much but if we charge you less than what it takes for us to stay afloat financially, we’d sink and go out of business.

4. Designing a logo isn’t just creating a pretty design

There is so much that goes into the design process itself.

If you look at the big picture, yes, we are just making you a picture, but if you break it down into all the parts that go into making that, you will see why the time adds up. Before I start using any program to start making a logo, i’ve already spent hours and hours talking to you on the phone, in-person, or via email about your business and what you are looking for in your logo. We then have to put time into writing up a proposal and a contract. Then comes the fun part; the research into your business and industry. We have to learn about what you do, what your industry does, and what your competition does. I have to compare branding across all of those as well and see what the trends are in the industry with respect to branding. Are all the logos in your industry blue? Then maybe we should use a different color. Is everyone using a tree and a house in their logo? Maybe we should use something else. We also have to research your target audience and see what appeals to them. This is all BEFORE we do any logo designing anything.

If you want to say, “why don’t you just skip a bunch of that?” let me tell you that you can’t. At least you can’t and still get a good logo.

What about those low-cost “designers” you see on Craigslist, Fiverr, or 99designs? Most of the time, they will just design something off the top of their head without knowing anything about your business, your audience, or your competition.

It might look ok but you might find out later that they stole a logo that’s already out there, and then you’ll be liable for copyright infringement. Many times they use cheap clip art that is sold on the internet instead of custom designed art which means you have no rights to it.

5. It takes more than an hour or two to design a great logo

I typically spend anywhere from 10-20 hours on every logo design that I do. This goes back to what I said about everything that goes into a logo and things I didn’t even get into such as presenting the logo and going through countless rounds of revisions until it is just right. So if I spend even only 10 hours on a logo and you pay me $50, that’s only $5 dollars an hour. If someone is selling you a logo for $20-$30, how much thought and time do you think they actually put into it.

6. I’m not in school and not a new grad; I’ve been doing this for a while

The longer you do something—the more of an expert you become at—the more value the services you provide have. When you end up in the emergency room, would you rather have a doctor that is still in school or one that has been perfecting his practice for decades? The same goes for design. We have experience, we have knowledge, and we have skills that take years to become comfortable with.

7. Everything else is built off of your logo

The logo is the foundation of all of the rest of your business such as business cards, ads, and your website. It is the first thing that people see when they see your product, your business card, or your website. Every single successful business out there uses great branding to their advantage. Nike, Apple, Amazon, McDonalds? These are all instantly recognizable brands and they’ve worked hard to get them to where they mean something. Having a great logo gives you instant credibility with your customers whether you actually are or not.

8. Your branding is the first thing people see

How horrible would it be for someone to actually end up at your website or come across you somehow and be scared away by a sad logo? It happens all the time and even i’m guilty of choosing businesses based on their “look”.

9. Your logo design will last you many years to come

A great logo will last the lifetime of your business. Don’t think that down the road when you’re making more money with your business, you’ll put more money into a quality logo. That is not how you should be thinking. Seeing a consistent logo for years is part of how you build a brand and changing it later will cost you a lot more than just the price of the logo. You will have to re-do all of your marketing materials, business cards, website, and anything else that has your old branding on it.

I’ve had quite a few projects that i’ve participated in that were simply months and months of updating marketing materials and websites with new branding. It is a pain for you and for me but at least I make money while doing it.

10. I’m not just designing your logo

It takes a lot for you to be comfortable with me and for me to be comfortable with you and know that I know what you’re about. That says a lot and I want to see you succeed. I would say that close to 100% of my clients return over and over because we’ve built a relationship and they trust me. I’ve been with many of my clients from the very start all the way through websites, newsletters, emails, business cards, etc. It is important to have a consistent feel with all of your materials and that just isn’t possible if you use a different designer for each part.

Think about some of these things and maybe you’ll have a better idea of why a great logo designer isn’t cheap and have a little bit more respect and understanding of how and why we do what we do. Don’t get me wrong. I have clients that simply know what they want, don’t want any options, tell me the color the symbols and the exact layout and that’s all they want. That doesn’t cost quite as much but they also usually don’t stand the test of time.

If I haven’t scared you away and you are ready to take your logo seriously, contact us!