top of page

Why are logos so expensive?!

A logo design for a south-Asian female organisation

A logo is one of the most important aspects of branding for a company. It encompasses the entire image in a symbol and that is no easy feat.

A company is made up of many things; values and ethics, short and long term goals, customer service, well-chosen colours that represent the feel of the company, project management, continuous research into growing and evolving, relationships between clients and partners, a voice and much more. All of this needs to be compressed into a single image that can be used over and over again, placed anywhere to speak to an audience and inform them of what the company is about. It may look simple, but a logo is born through a deep and complex thought process. That’s the beauty of it and the reason why they are expensive.

The Process

Different graphic designers have their own way of working. This is a description of my process which I think most designers more or less follow.

Client puts out an advert for a logo to be designed. I send a message with an estimate and a link to my website. If client is interested, I request a brief and if there isn’t one, I send a document asking further questions such as: who is your target audience, what message do you want them to receive and is there a particular colour scheme you would like to stick to?

Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. I download everything I like or anything that inspires me into a folder and go through them. Creativity is very intuitive so whichever design feels ‘strong,’ I use as a starting point to produce rough sketches of the logo.

Once I am happy with two or three designs, I create a digital copy in Adobe Illustrator. Some things I consider when doing this are:

  • Font style - what character does the chosen font style exude? Does it match the company’s voice? How can I adjust the text so it looks better/unique?

  • What colours reflect the company’s values/ethos? How will the target audience potentially react to the colour scheme?

If a company wants an image as part of their logo, this will cost more as it includes further research and decision making.

Even if the logo is a text only design, it still requires a lot of thought and decision making to get to that stage. And I can guarantee that a professional graphic designer would not have just downloaded a font style and typed up the name of the company. They would have adjusted the text in minute ways that the average person wouldn’t be able to pinpoint exactly but would notice that it looked professional overall, (such as nudging the characters so they are all perfectly aligned as downloaded font often aren’t on a dead straight lines or reducing the length of the ascenders/descenders to make the overall design look cleaner and ‘wholesome.’)

Once I have two to three designs ready, I display them on individual documents. Each document contains a coloured version and a black and white version of one logo. The reason for this is because seeing a logo in black and white allows the client to appreciate the design without the distraction of colour and also envision it in different colours, on different backgrounds and other ways they could potentially use it (e.g. changing the colours in celebration of a national holiday).

Each document also comes with an explanation of the logo. Why the shapes, lines, colours, type fonts were used. It is important the client understands the reasoning behind the design so they can agree and connect with it.

Once the client has offered feedback, I work on the chosen logo, making adjustments if requested. Although the client is paying money to have a design produced for their company and therefore has the final say, it is also the graphic designers responsibility to have some professional input on adjustments requested. Clients may not be creative at all or they may come from a creative background but not within the design discipline. So they may require some guidance with decision making from a professional designer. This is all part of the service.

I normally offer up to three lots of adjustments and then charge a small fee for any more after that. This dissuades clients from taking advantage of my service (whether intentionally or not) and taking my time away from other projects I have going on at the same time.

Once the final design is agreed on, the client receives a high quality logo in PNG format (or any other format they require) and a PDF document explaining the logo, stating certain details (such as the colour code and type font used), and the correct and incorrect way of using it.

Next time a graphic designer charges you hundreds of pounds for a logo, remember that you are paying for in-depth research, several design ideas, adjustments, professional advice and guidance, editing skills, knowledge and use of a professional software, knowledge on colour theory, composition and typography, a creative eye, admin work, most likely some sort of expensive creative education, a design process that has taken at least a few days, a PNG file and a document explaining and justifying every decision made.

bottom of page