How much does a new logo cost?

|| July 24, 2014

There are now companies that offer a logo for $5, and pieces of software which promise to come up with an endless variety of logos for free. However, the true cost of the logo is not the cost to design it, but its effect, positive or negative, on your business as a whole, and any additional costs it brings in terms of reproduction.

The process for establishing a visual identity begins with reviewing your brand's promise, its values, market category, style, brand strategy and name. Only after those steps are complete is it possible to properly brief a designer, and then know whether what the designer produces is appropriate or not. However, as part of the brief, you need to consider a brand's 'touch points' — all the ways in which the brand will be presented to customers. This will include visual touch points such as packaging, signage, emails, business letters, the web and advertisements, but also non-visuals, such as telephone messages, word-of-mouth references, and the feel of your products. 

Any designer capable of producing something suitable will need all of this information in the design brief, which may run to many pages if examples of your touch points are included, which they should be. The designer will then need to have a number of meetings with the person running your brand redevelopment in order to get to something which fully satisfies the requirement.

The job is not yet done, though, as you will then need a process of internal consultation and checking to make sure that nothing has been overlooked. In one programme we were involved in, a promising design had to be scrapped when a relatively junior member of staff took it to the principal packaging suppliers, who informed him that it could not be reproduced on the flexo technology in use. The cost of getting this wrong could be many millions of pounds.

It is not unreasonable for a designer to spend as much as five design days working up a logo, once they have been briefed properly. If the resulting design is rejected — perhaps for very good reasons — the designer must literally go back to the drawing board.