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Logo Design: Cost and How To Guide

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Logo design cost and how-to guide for small businesses and startups: find the best options for your budget and brand identity.

A logo is critical to building a solid brand for your business. It’s often the first interaction a prospective customer has with your company, and it can help communicate beyond words what your company does and stands for.

However, for a small business owner or founder just starting, it probably doesn’t make sense to go to a hugely expensive branding agency to get a pixel-perfect logo. Luckily, alternatives exist for achieving a quality logo at a fraction of the cost. Here’s our guide to getting a great logo without breaking the bank.

Essentials of Logo Design

A good logo should be like a welcoming front door, giving customers an idea of your products or services and inviting them to come in. It should be simple, easy to reproduce and understand, and versatile. Your logo will be on business cards, your website and social media, letterheads, and maybe even billboards and commercials. It should fit into a circle, square, or page's top. It might need to be both big and small and work in all these contexts.

For these reasons, you don’t want something too busy or with too many colors or gradients. That not only makes it hard to understand, but it's also hard to reproduce and use across multiple formats.

However, simplicity doesn’t mean boring. Your logo needs to convey some personality. Partly, this is achieved by color choices, which have science behind them: yellows convey warmth, blues convey dependability, and so on.

As you’re probably starting to realize, a lot of thought goes into good logo design, so it’s tough to do yourself without a design background. Luckily, we have solutions to your logo conundrum.

What does a Logo Design Cost and What are my Options?

Finding the right place to design your logo takes time and effort. Cost is the primary factor, and deciding what a logo is worth depends on several factors. Logos are more critical for consumer-facing brands, for example. The industry also factors. A plumber might not need a logo as nice as a clothing company's.

Here are a few avenues to consider for you logo design cost and options.

Freelance Designers

Freelancers are an excellent first stop for getting a logo designed. You can use platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, which connect clients to freelancers. You provide a job spec and your budget, and you’ll get dozens or even hundreds of applicants to choose from, all of whom will have a portfolio you can sort through and see their prior work.

The problem with these platforms is you have lots of applicants to sort through, you don’t get an opportunity to meet them face to face, and often they are essentially “design mills” pumping out as much work as possible using recycled templates. It can be a race to the bottom on these platforms to provide the work as cheaply as possible.

Logos on Upwork and Fiverr can cost as little as $5 or more than $1000. You get what you pay for on these platforms, so consider that.

You can also find freelancers through your network or by browsing Dribbble, where designers share their previous work. Going direct to a designer can cost between $100 and more than $1000. It is easier to go straight to someone you like rather than deal with the noise of Upwork or Fiverr. The only drawback is that you have to pay them directly (unlike the platforms that handle payment), and the designer might not be available or interested.

Branding and Design Agencies

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive brand strategy, you can go to an agency that provides a more holistic approach to branding your company beyond just the logo. They’ll have multiple people with varying skills that they can apply to not just the logo but all the other critical branding elements.

Here at Peak Digital Studio, we provide branding services on a subscription basis, so you get a complete logo and branding guidelines up front, but you pay a low monthly price. You also get ongoing support and design services as needed. If you’re interested, book a call with us to discuss! We have plans starting at $499, and we’ll present you with multiple concepts.

Most branding agencies start around $5k, which can cost $50k or more, depending on your needs.

In my experience working at and with branding agencies, they can provide excellent work and help you develop your brand beyond logo, color, and design to include things like brand voice and personality. They’ll be able to present several concepts and help you choose a brand that fits with your business.

Online Logo Makers

You can use tools to design your logo, including Looka and LogoMakr. The way they work is you provide some information about your business, select some logos you like, and they’ll generate a bunch of different logo and branding concepts.

I’ve used these in the past for small projects like Ski.Camp. They do a great job of helping you develop many different concepts and tweak them until you get something you like. They’ll even build branding guidelines and templates for social posts and letterheads. Looka costs $20 just for a logo and has various other plans that get you additional design assets.

I like these services if you need something quickly. They are also helpful for prototyping concepts. I’ve used them to generate ideas I later took to a designer as inspiration.

Design Contests

Services like 99Designs allow you to host a design contest for your logo. You provide a brief, and then multiple designers submit their ideas. You only pay for the design you like the most. This method can give you a variety of options and styles to choose from.

The drawback is that they are design mills similar to Upwork and Fiverr, with low-paid designers competing to produce something and get paid. Often, they use stock icons and recycled designs.

I used 99Designs to create the logo for my first startup. Once we selected the logo and started using it, I noticed the same logo everywhere I went. I even started a Slack channel where people posted similar logos to ours that we spotted in the wild.

99Designs pricing starts at $299, but I’d recommend going to Fiverr/Upwork if your budget is this low.

Conclusion

In conclusion, designing a logo for your business is vital in establishing your brand identity, but it doesn't have to be daunting or costly. Whether you're a small business owner or a startup founder, there are multiple avenues to explore that fit various budgets and needs. From the affordability and diversity of freelance designers on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork to the comprehensive services of branding agencies or even using online logo makers, there's an option for everyone. Remember, the key is finding a balance between cost, uniqueness, and representing your brand's values and personality. With this in mind, you can create a logo that stands out and resonates with your target audience, laying a solid foundation for your brand's visual identity.

Need a Logo?

We’d love to help you create your brand identity for a low monthly price. Book a call to get started.

Matthew Johnson

Founder
Published on

December 1, 2023