How much should a logo design cost for a small business?

In some ways, asking How much should a logo design cost? is like asking How much should a painting cost?, because it depends on many factors.

Those factors can include who is doing the design, the level and intricacy of the details, and the amount of time, effort, strategy, and craftsmanship that goes into designing your logo.

It’s hard to put a price tag on something that could make or break your company’s overall brand image. But, when shopping for logo design services, it’s helpful to understand the general range of how much you you should expect to pay. That way, you can tell when a company is overcharging for their services but also be wary when someone offers to complete the work for far less than a professional design company would charge.

In the end, part of the question of “how much should a logo design cost?” depends on what you want out of your logo design.


What you’ll learn in this logo design article:

  • The high and low points on the spectrum of logo design cost
  • Why this investment is invaluable for a small business
  • The dangers of “cheaping out” on your logo design

The Extreme Highs – Logo Designs that Cost Millions

At the top of the spectrum is high-end, corporate logo and branding designs. This, of course, goes beyond a logo into a full re-branding exercise that can cost millions.   If you’re asking how much should a logo design cost in the big-business, corporate world… the answer is “Millions!!!” Some of the most expensive logos in the word…

BP Logo
Cost: $211 Million

Accenture Logo
Cost: $100 Million

How much should a logo design cost - BP $211 Million Logo Design How much should a logo design cost - Accenture $100 Million Logo

BBC Logo
Cost: $1.8 Million

Pepsi Logo
Cost: $1 Million

How much should a logo design cost - BBC $1.8 Million Logo

How much should a logo design cost - Pepsi Logo Cost: $1 Million

 

However, those are the exceptions – not the rule… and certainly are outside of the realm of possibility for any small or medium size business owner.

And there’s no rule that says you have to spend millions, or even thousands, of dollars and logo design to make it worthwhile. Some of the world’s most famous logos cost far less, but have become cultural icons despite their low price tag.

The Extreme Lows – Logo Designs that Cost Next to Nothing

For example, the Nike logo originally cost only $35. Designed by graphic designer Carolyn Davidson in the early seventies, the logo was created years after the company was founded.  It has gone through some iterations over time, but still maintains the essence of the iconic “swoosh”.

And, at the lowest end of the spectrum, sometimes a company lucks into a logo for free, such as the case with the original Coca-Cola logo, which was created by the founder’s bookkeeper.

But where is the middle ground?

How much should a logo design cost for a small business?

Although there are cheaper options out there, if you truly want a professional, custom logo design crafted by someone who understands the ins and outs of effective logos, you should expect the price tag to be somewhere in the range of:

$200 – $800

A straightforward logo design will likely set you back about $200 – $250

For this investment, you should receive several initial concepts and be able to revise your design until you have a well-designed logo with clear, unique and professional positioning. The more you, as the business owner, can clearly outline your objectives and the uniqueness of your company, the easier it will be for the designer to complete their task within this budget.

This type of design is also usually the fastest, and you should expect to have your completed designs ready within 4 – 8 days.

A complicated logo design, particularly if you want to include custom illustration, will cost you at least $500-$800

These next-level logo designs usually include intricate patterns and unique fonts, and therefore usually costs 2x or 3x what a basic logo design would cost.  Because of the complexity of the design, you should expect to receive more concepts at the outset so that you can channel the direction of the overall logo design, and it will likely take far more revisions in order to achieve the desired final output.

This type of design also takes longer to completed. Based on the number of revisions rounds that are completed, it can often take 3 – 4 weeks from start to finish of a high-end logo design project.


Important Note:  The above estimates assume that you are looking for professional, custom logo design. Do-It-Yourself logo maker tools are far less expensive, but usually result in a logo design that is a bit more generic and does not truly reflect the image of your company. This may be acceptable for the early startup phase of a company, but expect to upgrade that logo at some point in order to improve the overall branding of your company.

 


 

Is a professional logo design worth the cost?

Yes. Most definitely. Absolutely. Yes.

A professional logo design understands the various elements that go into making a good design that will tell your company story with an image, including:

1. Color Psychology – Choosing the right color for your logo is critical. The emotional impact of colors is an talent, as picking the wrong color can have a negative impact on your customers. Used properly, the right colors can position your company in a positive light & reinforce your unique positioning to your current and potential customers.

2. Application & Usage – A good logo designer will understand the need to print a logo. An over-designed logo, using the wrong mix of colors, will end up costing you later in increased setup and printing costs when you want to imprint it on anything. A great logo also needs to look good in a single color or black and white version, as not every application can handle ALL of the colors in your logo.

2. Logo Design Fonts – A professional designer will avoid using hard-to-read fonts, and will not create a logo that overuses fonts to create un-needed complexity.

3. Graphics – Professionally designed logos will work across a variety of applications, including online, print, clothing & uniforms, signage, etc.  Because of this, your logo needs to be able to scale down to the size of a browser icon all the way up to a billboard (if needed), and a properly designed logo will do that.

4. Avoiding Blunders – The last thing you want is for your brand new logo to end up on some bloggers list of the “Worst Logos Ever Created” (and – believe me – there are PLENTY of those lists out there)!   For your viewing pleasure, I have collected just a sampling of some of the logos that have made various “Worst Ever” lists. A professional designer would NEVER let this happen to you (well, at least, they shouldn’t).

CatWear REALLY bad logo design

Do you see the cat’s butt hole that makes up the middle of the A? I can. Everyone can. The person who made this logo obviously didn’t.

Detail Doctor REALLY bad logo

I’m sorry, you’re the WHAT Doctor? Detail you say…. so why is your graphic lacking so much, uhm… what’s the word… DETAIL!!!

Definitive proof that one should NEVER attempt to create a logo design using WordArt

There is an ENTIRE CATEGORY dedicated to accidental genitalia within a logo, this is one rock solid example.


Because nothing says “Cutting Edge Dental” like a badly constructed logo using fonts that were “outdated” 30 years ago.

This is the perfect example of someone who absolutely swears that they know how to design logos. They don’t. 

The dangers of “cheaping out” on your logo design

As a business owner struggling to make every single penny count, it’s easy to find yourself tempted by less expensive alternative to the “high” cost of professional logo design. After all, you’re pretty sure your cousin Jim took graphic design in high school 15 years ago, he should be able to whip something up for you. 

There are also a lot of small businesses who look at those fancy, sometimes free, online logo-making tools and believe that the resulting logos would work just fine! And the truth is, often they do. For a few years at least.

In my past, working directly with a logo design company, the one piece of feedback I heard over and over and over again went like this.

Last time, we had our logo designed by XXXX.  We’ll never do that again! This time, we want the professionals to do it.

Most small businesses will end up replacing their low-cost logo with something that provides a better reflection of them as a company. You can save the money now by using the less expensive alternatives, and many companies do just that, but understand that this decision comes with consequences.

When – eventually – you replace your logo you will need to be prepared to:

  • Reprint all of your business cards
  • Replace any company signage (retail, vehicles, uniforms)
  • Update your website with the new logo, including any changes to the colors used
  • Order new promotional merchandise, including any flyers, mugs, t-shirts, etc. that you may have with the old logo on them

In the end, we’ve found that most companies end up wasting thousands of dollars on marketing materials and merchandise that they have to throw out later because they’re not willing to spend a few hundred dollars now.

So, when you ask “How much should a logo design cost?” you should also ask yourself:

  • How important is my logo design to the success of my business?
  • How long do I want to use this logo?
  • Is my business worth investing in something that has long-term benefits.

But — it’s your decision….



 

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