I often get requests to design logos, and of course the first question asked is “How Much” I dread the question because after being told, most potential clients are in shock. What most don’t realize is the process and the worth of a logo.
Your logo is the first link most people make with your business. It’s what you build your business look and feel on. What if you were to spend hundreds, perhaps even thousands on advertising over the next couple of years on your business and never once used a logo? Do you think your potential customers would come to know who you are on text alone. Perhaps. If they read it, and look specifically for it. But most potential customers don’t think like that. They need to be hit over the head a few dozen times. That’s where your logo comes in handy.
Say your product is worth a pair of reasonably priced, sensible shoes. $50. Every potential customer sees your logo about 6 times before buying them. In one month you sell 30 pairs of shoes. 30×50/6= $250 x 12 months = $3000. Your logo made you $3000 in one year. While you can’t live on that, as your reputation grows so does your worth of your logo. Next year you might be selling 60 pairs of shoes and each potential customer only needed to see your logo 5 times. If you have more than one product…. do you see where I’m going with this?
Your logo is the one thing that is going to last your entire business lifetime. Investing in it now will turn results for you in the long run.
But your still asking why should I pay more than $50-$100 for something I could do with clip art in publisher on my own?
The reason is this. 1500+ other company’s in your industry thought the same thing. They could potentially be using the same clip art as you. Now your 30 pairs of shoes has dwindled down to 15 because half of your potential customers thought they were buying yours when actually they were buying your competitors because you didn’t check to see that your competitor was using a similar image, colour, font etc.
While your logo is only one part of your brand it is the most visible part. It’s what we only need to glance at to evoke a feeling – whether it’s a gotta have, hunger, happiness or a desirable feeling.
When designing your logo you have to take a wide range of considerations into account.
Does it tell my potential client what I sell?
Does it evoke a feeling? Is it the right feeling?
Does it represent my target market? Pink flying elephants won’t sell fishing rods to serious sportsmen.
Will it work with the media I’m using? Did I use a generic photograph that will only be 1 inch high at full resolution? or did I use a vector illustration that can be scaled as big as a billboard? If I need to embroider it on uniforms will it be readable?
Is it full colour? will it work in Black and white? One colour?
All of these things go into the process of building a logo.
Here’s the process I go through with about 95% of my clients.
Step 1. Potential client calls and asks to meet about designing a logo. For complex businesses I send them a Client Questionnaire. The questionnaire gives me more information about that the client is seeking, it also makes the client think about what they really want before moving to the next step.
Time Count: 15-30 minutes
Step 2. Meet with the client and talk with them for approximately 1 hr about their business, During this meeting we elaborate on the questionnaire. or If they haven’t seen it, I ask them questions I can later fill in.
Time Count: 60-90 minutes
Step 3. Quotation. Each client has different needs, therefore I don’t have a standard rate for designing a logo. Some just need something they can slap on a one time event poster – others need something that will be potentially placed in a large multi-level media campaign. I assess their needs and send off a quote.
Time Count: 30 – 45 minutes
Step4. Brainstorm. The Client and I meet once again for about an hour or so, we talk about likes, dislikes, colour, fonts, images etc. I take this back to my sketch board and lay out possibilities.
Time Count: 60-90 minutes
Step 5. First Concepts. Again depending on the need, depends on the initial concepts. Usually 3-5 is enough to get started. They are usually done in black & white. Unless I have already been given corporate colours that absolutely have to be used. If the logo doesn’t work in Black and white – it’s no use to you. I spend some time researching online what some of their clients, competitors and similar industry’s are doing, then I sketch some ideas out. Then I take the best of those Ideas and put them in a digital format.
Time Count: 3-5 hrs
Step 6. The client looks at the first round and picks out the ones they think may work for them. They give me suggestions in which direction they would like to go in. If explanations need to be made I spend some time with them discussing ideas and possibilities.
Time Count: 60-90 minutes
Step 7: Revisions. I go back with my ideas and the clients and revise what has already been done. Sometimes this means starting from scratch. I start introducing colour pallets and different fonts at this point.
Time Count: 3-5 hrs
Step 8. Client Reviews revisions. We repeat steps 6 & 7 until we have narrowed it down to 1-2 possibilities.
Time Count: Potentially up to 10 hrs.
Step 9. Refining. This is where I take the last of the revisions and refine it to the final version. Choosing the right Pantone numbers, font styles, kerning & tracking the fonts, Tightening and loosening where needed. Sometimes during this stage I show them what it would look like on stationary if they are having trouble deciding on the final file.
Time Count: 2-3 hrs
Step 10. Client Approves logo. YEA!
Step 11. I build a Visual Identity spec sheet for the client and create all the properly formatted files for them. As each client is different, each client receives different files, but most often they leave with:
1. A Full Colour Logo in Pantone (Spot colour) & CMYK, RGB & HEX (for web)
2. A 2 Colour Logo in Pantone (Spot colour) & CMYK, RGB & HEX (for web) + Reversed out
3. A 1 Colour Logo in Pantone (Spot colour) & CMYK, RGB & HEX (for web) + Reversed out
4. 2 Black & White Logos, 1 reversed out.
If there is an image or word-mark in the logo that could potentially stand alone, it would also be given in the above 4 files types. Sometimes a logo needs to be created in a vertical and horizontal format. This is also taken into consideration.
Each of these files are then saved in EPS for Illustrator, as I always do my logos in illustrator vector format. High Resolution PDF, PNG & JPG. PNG files are compatible with all Microsoft products. I also include lower resolution images in GIF or Jpg format for the web. Some of my clients use Corel, so I will save their files as WMF files as well.
The client potentially leaves my office with 18 – 72 files. Plus a Visual Identity that will last a lifetime.
Time Count: 1-2 hrs
Total Time Count… Potentially 30 plus hours. Hmmm. That number sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it? 30 X $50/hr (Most Junior Graphic Designers start in this range while experienced designers rates could be upwards of $2-300+/hr) = $1500 – Half of what your logo will potentially make you in your first year. If your lucky a 1/4. This is just an example of what it’s potentially worth. Each designer has a different way of calculating the rates and fees, based on experience, the clients needs and budget, location, and what the market will bear.
Some Designers only give you one file type and keep the rest, making you pay each time you need it in a different format or need it sent to a printer or newspaper. Sometimes up to $60 – $80 each time! I don’t believe it should be that way. Once you have paid me the logo’s worth, It’s yours. You own it. I do ask that I can use it as examples to other clients, with your permission of course.
Ok. If your still thinking but my printer said he would put a logo on my brochure at no extra charge…. He’s betting on the fact that you will have to come back to him time after time to do your printing, he’s holding your logo hostage. Presses don’t make money if they are not running, he wants to get your artwork on the press as soon as possible, if you give him completed files designed properly by a designer, most likely he’s going to lower his price. So that “No extra Charge” is actually costing you money and potentially time. Because they are not going to take the time to figure out what you actually need.
If you still don’t see your Logo’s worth after reading this, I wish you luck. There are many companies who will gladly take your money over and over again.