How Much Should a Logo Cost? In my opinion not $35, and certainly not $300,000!

How much does a logo cost and what is important to consider in logo design?

How much does a logo cost and what is important to consider in logo design?Full disclosure: I AM a creative person. I have been a designer all of my life, as well as a life long musician. I have seen many artists taken advantage of, and not paid a fair amount for the work they have done. This is sadly a common occurrence.

For every hundred starving artists there also seems to be one who is capable of helping well heeled corporations part with large sums of cash for what to me seems like very little work.

Here are two interesting examples of how much a logo can cost:

The iconic NIKE swoosh was designed by a graphic art student in 1971 for $35. Nike’s owner told her, “I don’t love it, but I think it will grow on me.” Obviously it grew on him, as they are still using the swoosh 45 years later. (Cool side note: In 1983, Nike give the logo designer a golden Swoosh ring with an embedded diamond, and an envelope filled with Nike stock to express their gratitude.)

In 1997 the Italian motorcycle company Ducati decided to refresh their logo and image. They spent $300,000 to come up with a circle with a slash through it. At the time I owned a Ducati, and thought the new logo looked like a very plain coffee bean. The agency that did this work shared some amazing hyperbole on how the “stylized D reflected the Ducati lifestyle,” and how they spent considerable resources and interviewed focus groups around the world to distill the heart of the brand into this design. I thought, “I like simple, but a spot with a line over it might be too simple. A child could have come up with this and made it in Microsoft Paint.” I don’t know if I would have had such a strong reaction if I didn’t see the $300,000 bill that came along with the design. 10 years later Ducati completely dropped this logo.

What does it take to actually develop a logo?

  1. Research, and lots of it. We like to learn as much as we can about the company, and the industry before we even start brainstorming and sketching.
  2. Drafts, and likely a lot that the client never sees. This is getting the ideas out on “paper.”
  3. Color selection. 
  4. First drafts to share with client for review
  5. Working with client to finalize
  6. Post process. Once a design is finalized, we develop a logo specification sheet. This gives the company a simple way to access various versions and rules for usage.

The above overview is a very brief list, but can take many hours to do correctly. Some of the questions we are asking during development and review are:

  • Is the design as effective in black and white as it is in color?
  • Is it original and unique?
  • Is it a design that will look good 5, 10, of 15 years from now?
  • Is it scalable? (Looking professional on a biz card, polo shirt, or a bus)
  • Does it convey the company’s personality, character or attitude?
  • Does it convey a professional image?

Is it time to invest in a new logo for your company?

If so, we would love the opportunity to work with you. We can also help you with new business cards, stationary, flyers, websites, etc. Drop us a note letting us know what you need, and we will share some ideas along with cost details. Contact:

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