More than 40 years ago, Nike bought its logo from a college student for $35.
When companies hear that logos can come with such a low price, they often don’t understand why you might charge exponentially more than that.
Non-designers also sometimes think that a logo shouldn’t cost much because of its scope — since it’s just one measly design, it should cost way less than, say, a website.
If a client starts nickel and dime-ing you when you offer a logo design proposal, here’s what you can say to help them understand the value of your design.
“You’ll use this logo everywhere.”
Logos are used hundreds — if not thousands — of times. Remind your potential client that the logo will appear on everything from websites and business cards to email signatures and social media profiles. Depending on the organization, the logo could end up on movie screens or billboards, too.
Because a logo is so widely used, it’s incredibly valuable. If you can communicate the breadth of the design’s potential, clients will understand why the design is valuable beyond its one file.
“It takes time to make the perfect logo.”
People tend to think that a skilled, professional designer should only need a few hours to throw a logo together. Non-design types don’t always understand all the intricacies of a quality logo design.
There are a few reasons logos take a long time (that your client needs to know). First, a designer should spend some time getting to know a company’s values, goals, and mission to design accordingly. Second, because logos are so important, the revision process is often lengthy — which is expected and OK, but important. Finally, the company should want the logo to be pixel-perfect. And perfection takes time.
“It’s more than just one image.”
Some clients seem to think their logo design will come in one 300-pixel square. They don’t always understand that a professional logo design will result in a folder full of different sizes and formats of the image.
Help out-of-the-loop clients by giving them a list of images they’ll get: They’ll receive full-color, one-color, and black-and-white options. They’ll get horizontal, vertical, and square designs. They’ll get colorful backgrounds and white backgrounds. They’ll get images with and without the company name. You could even throw in a style guide, detailing the specific colors, fonts, and other elements the brand could use in other projects moving forward. The more you can quantify the final product, the more value it will appear to have.
“Your brand will look more trustworthy and experienced.”
You know that your experience will show in your design. But clients don’t care about your personal experience — they just care about their logo.
Take that opportunity to explain how your expertise will affect their corporate image. Hiring an amateur will result in an amateur-looking logo — which won’t reflect well on their company. On the other hand, hiring an experienced (albeit pricier) professional will give them better results. Ultimately, they’ll look more credible, authoritative, and trustworthy.
“It’s not just an image — it’s a copyright.”
When you send over the final logo design, your client will gain copyright ownership of the image (depending on your agreement). But most of your clients won’t be well-versed on copyright law.
That’s your chance to explain the value of ownership. Explain that they’ll have unlimited access — they can use it wherever, forever. That might not be the case with less-than-professional (read: cheap) designers. Let them know that the cost of ownership is factored into your fee.
“You get what you pay for.”
Sure, the client could go the way of Nike and purchase a quick $20 logo on some sketchy website or attempt to design their own in Microsoft Word. But it won’t look nearly as good as what you could produce.
You can explain that as a designer, you know more than just how to make something look pretty — you understand how to make a design match the brand’s style and values.
You can also delve into the fact that a cheap logo will be tough to work with. They’ll likely get one file. If it’s a low-quality image, they’re S.O.L. A higher price will give them higher quality files that will last longer and work on multiple platforms.
Ultimately, when it comes to logo design, value-based pricing is more important than the time it took to create the design or the complexity of the project. A logo is a company’s identity — it’s invaluable. And you should be able to charge accordingly, whether you’re a freelancer or a designer at an agency.
If you are prepared to justify the cost to your potential clients, you’ll not only earn what you think is fair, but you’ll also create a transparent, honest relationship with the client.