How much does a logo cost? – A lot, if you make a bad decision.

EAG, May 30, 2018

Logo Design ImageGood design isn’t cheap. Bad design can be costly. We don’t know who originally said it but we’re giving our art director Derrick credit for reminding us; you get what you pay for. Never has this been truer than in today’s marketplace where logo design and just about all graphic design is a commodity.

It doesn’t take more than Google search of “Cheap Logo Design” to see what we mean. A brand can launch with a new logo created for as little as $39. Even at this low, low price, there are plenty of takers willing to tackle your logo project for pennies.

This is not one of those articles giving you “10 reasons why you should or shouldn’t hire an inexpensive logo designer.” We’ll convince with one true story about logo development and the consequences of low cost logo design.

The Cost of Stuff

Stuff is costly. If you put your name, picture or logo on your stuff and then have to change it, that can be costly. Business cards, signage, letterhead, brochures and advertising is costly stuff – especially if you have to change it.

There was a successful three-store retail business in Kansas City  considering expansion to its 4th location in Overland Park. In business for 9-years, this specialty food business had a healthy supply of branded advertising and marketing items, including retail signage for three, soon to be four, high profile shopping centers.

A conservative estimate of the cost of all branded materials that included the business logo was exceeding $100,000. From website to brochures, building to vehicle signage, the branding was very prevalent throughout the business and the city.

Unfortunately, the logo was in violation of a major brand’s intellectual property and could not be protected by trademark. All because one element used in the original design of the logo was not original at all.

The original designer did her best job. It really is a great logo, fitting of the business and its brand. But the designer didn’t have training in the nuances of advanced graphic design for retail. Nor did the designer have any understanding of graphic design that can be trademark protected.

Because a small element of the logo had been taken from a stock image source, and because that same element had been used by a major brand, the compiled logo could no longer be protected. This rendered all of the existing branded collateral at risk for trademark violation.

Before incurring more costly legal challenges, the business owners decided to bite the bullet and make a wholesale change to their logo and branding. This time they hired a firm that had deep experience in logo design for retail.

Risk vs. Reward

Not all businesses need to concern themselves with logos worthy of legal protection and big-brand design. A consultant producing no more than business cards and letterhead has little risk and could get by with just about any logo design.

As a business grows and uses of a logo expand, the consequences of designing a bad logo grows. If your plans include logos on your building, trucks and in your advertising – then the reward of having a professionally designed logo merits the additional investment.

What does a professionally designed logo cost? The range is relative to your capacity for risk. From $39 to $3,900 dollars – a good logo for your business costs as much as is needed to build a brand, without risk and plenty of reward.


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