It can be really hard to demonstrate the value of logo design. Good logo design.
Some things, like the value of web design, are much clearer to understand. Pretty much everybody knows that there’s a lot that goes into designing and building a website. There’s coding, planning, creating a tonne of graphics, organising content, and a bunch of other stuff going on in the background that, even though you can’t even see it all, you know is there. You may not understand how it works, and would be very wary about even attempting it. So hiring someone who knows what they’re doing is a no-brainer! And at the end of it all, you have a beautiful, functional website which is where most of your online business takes place, and brings in your profit.
When it comes to logo design however, the complex stuff in the background is much more invisible. With a logo, it seems like what you see is all there is and “hey, it doesn’t look so hard! I could do that!”, right? And also, what difference is there really between a hundred thousand dollar logo and a $20 one?
The cost value of logo design
As a graphic designer, I find myself in a position of having to defend the cost of my services more often than I’d like, and the cost of a logo design seems to be one of the things that surprises people the most. How does a little thing like that cost so much? Why is it that I charge less for a double-sided flyer design, that has so many components and looks like a more complex piece of graphic design, than I do for a logo? How come it takes so long?
I can’t speak for every logo designer out there, but in this post I’m going to outline the reasons why I believe good logo design is so valuable, and therefore worth the price tag that can come with it. Why your logo is not something you want as cheap as possible.
Consider how much use you get out of a logo. A good logo will be timeless and versatile. You’ll be able to use it for years, on your website, your business cards, your packaging, your social media, across all your marketing material and anything else related to your business. Think of how many people see your logo and the value it brings to your business by helping it to be more visible, and look professional.
The extensive use of your logo, compared to a “one time” design, like a marketing flyer, is one reason why the price of a logo becomes high. The reliability and longevity the logo needs to have is part of why so much research and thought has to go into its design.
Your logo is a core visual element of your brand, and your brand is a central part of your business. A good brand is often the difference between a successful business, and one that never manages to take off. Your logo is part of a strategy that determines how you define your business. How it attract customers. How it set your business apart.
To be able to do this, your logo needs to be authentic and unique. It needs to represent your business perfectly. Your logo is one of the first things that a potential customer might notice about your business. How much is a good first impression worth, for you?
I had a professor at university once tell a story about an electrician who was called to fix a faulty light switch. The electrician came, took a look at the wiring, and after a couple of minutes, tightened one screw that fixed the problem. He then passed a bill for $200 to the customer who baulked. “$200 for two minutes work where all you did was tighten one screw??” “No,” said the electrician. “$5 for my time. $195 for knowing which screw to tighten.”
See, you’re not just paying for a file of an image. Not even just for the time it takes to create it (although that’s certainly part of it too, don’t get me wrong). You’re paying for knowledge and expertise. Often years of it. Not everyone with a copy of Illustrator knows how to create a good logo.
There are plenty of design elements to consider — Is it balanced? Is it still readable at tiny sizes? Will it work in one colour? Does it communicate the brand’s message? There are also more technical elements — Has the logo been created as a vector? What file formats should be provided? CMYK, RGB, Pantone?
Don’t underestimate the care it takes to create a logo that performs well.
So, I think this covers the main points I want to make about why good logo design is worth a decent investment (along with the rest of your visual branding). I hope it helps to clears up any misconceptions about all logos being created equal.
I think some people view a logo as just another thing on their checklist of “things businesses need”, and that something they get off Fiverr will do the job. But there is always going to be a world of difference between the service and result that comes from the team at a big branding agency, versus what comes from a design student.
Usually you get what you pay for. Obviously not every business (especially new ones) have a big budget for branding, but I do want to help people consider their options and make an informed decision about what’s best.
Looking for more content? Try these:
- What is brand strategy and why is it necessary for your business?
- The difference between art and design, and how design solves business problems
- What is brand equity and what does it mean for small businesses?
- What is branding, and why is it so important?
- Why logo templates can’t stand up to professionally-made, custom brand identities
- Should you hire a graphic designer for your small business?
- 5 essential elements your visual brand identity needs
- Consider these 8 key points when designing an awesome logo