This is the 2nd installment of the Logo Design series. We now have a good understand Why Is Logo Design That Important. Yet, many of us are not investing in a good logo design.
We know a good company name is very important. Some would even spend a tidy sum to get a renowned marketing research company to discover a good brand name to synergize the name of product/service with the market place. A few of us might even consult a geomancer (aka feng shui master) to ascertain that our personal name and company names are auspiciously congruent with the elements! Yet, many shun away from investing in a good company logo design. Instead of going to a branding expert, marketing specialist or graphic designer, many run to a local printer whose specialty is print production, to do a logo design and quickly whip up their letterheads and other stationery.
Recently, my designer friend was infuriated with a distant cousin’s request to create a logo design plus a set of stationary comprising business card, letterhead and invoice for under USD150. While I can empathize with her outrage, but honestly, a Google search will yields thousands of websites offering cheap logo design from USD39, USD79, USD99, etc .
I cannot imagine how you can get an original logo designed which truly reflects your corporate persona with such a cheap logo design fee. It’s more likely, you will get a royalty-free clip art icon which cannot be copyright, and that means somewhere, someone, might be using the same icon that you so proudly put on your name card, signboard, paper bags ! Or you could get a design that is moderately adapted from an established template that is being recycled endlessly. One other possibility is for the logo designer to up-sell you when you sign on the dotted line. This means you would have to pay extra for the other necessities. To illustrate, you might be asked to pay for an extra artwork for the logo to be rendered in black-white, or you need to pay for the logo usage guide to state all the specifications that you’ll need to produce a brochure or TVC later on.
How much should you pay for a company logo design? Ask that question to any Fortune 500 company and you might just get an astronomical figure. To us folks that firmly believe a logo forms a formidable part in the formation of the corporate persona, corporate branding, marketing and public relations; the logo is definitely much more than just an illustration or graphics! You have to pay for research, concept, design assembly and production execution. Your hired help has to look into your corporate mission, philosophy, beliefs, objective, goals, and aspiration just to understand your company, and probably you if you are the boss. Without such in-depth understanding, the logo experts will not be able to translate any corporate values into a coherent, creative graphics. The logo will be soulless. Did you know the winged logo of Nike has a story behind it? It is fashioned after the Greek Goddess Nike who personified triumph and victory. Her wings supposedly signify the fleeting nature of victory. Now, can you see the relation and association between Nike the sports good company and Nike the Goddess? Even the expert and the client agreed on the concept “wings”, but how should the wing look? Should it be Pegasus spreading wings or something more stylized as seen on the logo of Singapore Airlines? The marketing and creative people would have had to burn much midnight oil to come out with a concept that fit the overall corporate persona and branding. When the concept is worked out, skilled designers will still have to spend long hours working on their Macintoshes to translate that idea into a finished product that we can see, feel and touch. But even then, the job is not done. The next important task is to create a Logo Guide in which every conceivable application and usage of the logo is described, be it at the top of your building or as small as the engraving on your pen, whether it is printed in full colour or in black or applied with a hot-stamp. And so on, and so forth
So much work? Yes, it is that much work. After all, your logo design is supposed to help you:
- Elicit immediate recognition (especially if the company has a common sort of name)
- a visual short-cut to convey the company’s personality, character or attitude (in short, corporate persona)
- Relate to your clients by conveying a feeling of familiarity and credibility
- Association with quality and satisfaction
You might like to have a further understanding on Why A Logo is Still Important These Days in my earlier post. Does this convince you that you cannot simply pay fifty bucks to the logo expert just for a few minutes of his time to do up a logo for you?
Depending on whom you hire, the fees will vary. However, it is safe to say you would most likely be charged based on:
- the experience and reputation of the logo design expert. (Branding Expert, Advertising Agency, Graphic Designer and Freelancer all command different price tags)
- the size and budget of your company (the bigger you are, the more comprehensive your needs will be)
- the scope of work involved.
And, please, please understand that you might be charged a new fee (and not an add-on nominal extra fee) should you change your brief or direction after the logo design expert has started his work.
If you want the branding works, be prepared to fork out at least USD15,000 and more (and that is considered cheap). If you want a professional logo design package that calls for original design, production guide, all workable softcopy files for print and web plus full release of all font and graphical elements, you are looking at least USD50,000 and up. If you are a start up or small business owner, tell the logo design expert specifically what you want and don’t want. Be honest and frank about your budget. They will work out a respectable looking logo that fits your needs, and it can range anywhere from USD300 to USD2000. Even at this price, make sure you negotiate and get the correct files and releases, you do not want to end up getting a second designer to do a touch up on a supposedly ready-for-production logo version.
Lastly, don’t lose the logo files you were given. This is no joke. My client lost his logo files and I had to get my people to manually trace a 16KB 72dpi logo, horrendously printed on a Micosoft Word document; and do touch-up. Then, we had to re-match the logo colours using both CMYK and Pantone PMS and then finally to convert it into a vector file! You don’t want to waste time, effort and money this way !
To have an another view, please read Davild Airey’s “What ‘s Your Logo Worth” and Tara’s “6 Reasons Why Your Lunch Should Cost More than Your Lunch.
Alternatively, go read this interesting book, Logo Design That Works, which examines 100 logo designs by illustrating how and why the design works.
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