How much should a logo really cost?
How much does a logo cost?
This is one of the most common questions I got when I first started freelancing. Prospective clients would always throw this question out when I started, sensing I was young and still not privvy the ways of the world.
Naively, I would always throw out a number without much though.
Typically that number was small. Without fail, halfway through the design process, I realized I completely lowballed myself.
Over the years, I've learned more about what it means to price a logo. More specifically, I've learend what it means to build a brand for a company. So here's some advice in the hopes that those of you don't make the same mistakes that I did.
Lately, there's been a race to the bottom in logo design (thanks to the DIY websites). We can talk about how degrading that is to our craft, but I don't want that to be the point here.
What I want to focus on is the process itself and how to sell yourself better (and not short) when someone asks you for a logo.
It makes a difference, and it's how I was able to charge over $5,000 for a logo.
A logo is more than a logo. It's part of a brand. I stepped prospective client through how the logo impacted everything else. Colors, typeface choices, photography, etc. There's envelopes, business cards and advertisements that need to look like the brand.
Once the client began to realize the gravity of what “getting a new logo” would entail, they realized that even if I charged $500, they wouldn't be happy.
There would be no instruction after the fact. How are they going to use it? How are they going to implement it? Who is going to control the brand?
Once we sat down and had that discussion, they quickly discovered the value in what a brand means. When that happened, it allowed me to come back with a larger proposal that wasn't just a logo.
Because they trusted me and understood how I was trying to help, it was easier to justify paying more than what they initially thought.
While we're at it, let's talk about presenting your work, too.
I was careful about not showing them the logo on its own. I had to show it in context so they understood how it worked. This meant mocking up signage in front of their office or on the glass doors for the conference rooms.
It involved mockup business cards and letterheads too. They didn't necessarliy become the final design, but it go them considering the system as whole. They were able to provide valuable feedback and not only focus on a small detail in the logo they might have hated.
There's value in stepping your client through the context of a logo instead of only showing the logo by itself. It shows your the expert and that you can drive the conversation and process, instead of the other way around.