Why we charge $10,000 for a Logo Design

The number one question I get asked from a lot of startup entrepreneurs is, “How much do you charge for a logo design?” As a graphic designer, that’s the most difficult question to answer, because it’s like being asked, “how long is a piece of string?” When I started my career 20 years ago, I would’ve said “$50”, “$100”, “$500”, “$1000”. Of course, all that seems pretty ridiculous now, especially in this crowd-sourcing economy where you can get some kid with no formal design training offering to design a logo for your business for $5 on Fiverr.com or 99designs.com. Or better yet, why trust someone to design your logo for you, when you can do it yourself using WIX Logo Maker (lets go back to the days of desktop publishing — done & done!).

Yes, I’ve offered links to the above sites — if a $5 logo or a do-it-yourself logo is what you are looking for and you think that will satisfy your business requirements, then all the power to you (please stop reading this article).

Now if someone were to ask ME, “How much do you charge for a logo design?” — I’ve gotten my response down to a science. This is what I tell them:

“Hey, thanks for getting in touch with us .. and yes, we’d love to help you with your logo design, but to give you the best estimate, would you be able to answer the following 6 questions for us..”

1.) What kind of logo are we designing ? (what’s it for?)

2.) Is this a new brand or a re-brand? (what stage are you in, in your business lifespan?)

3.) Why do you want this logo designed ?

4.) Why are we designing this now (how urgent is it)?

5.) Why did you decide to approach us to design your logo? (by looking at the quality of our work on our website, you can tell we’re not gonna be cheap)

6.) If we decide to work together, and we knock this outta the park (and we always will) — what does success / final outcome look like for you? (we want to know what is your long term vision for your brand).

The last question is important, because I’m going to base my pricing proposal on what the final desired outcome is for the client. I want to make sure that whatever client gets in touch with us with regards to designing their brand, knows that we are a strategic partner, and not a pair of hands to be ordered around. You are the expert at what you do. And we are the experts at what we do.

Once the prospective clients answers the above questions, I tell them straight off the bat — we don’t design logos, we design brand identities based on a brand strategy (there’s more thought that goes into that, and that’s why we charge a premium). A strong brand is more than a logo design and some pretty colours. Your brand runs through your business, from the way you communicate, to the way you advertise, the language you use, the beliefs you instill in your staff, and more.

If you just wanted a logo, you can get it from any of the sites I listed above. Secondly, we don’t bill by the hour. WE BILL BY THE AWESOME! (ie. our business model follows a VALUE based pricing, so how much value we are creating for the business, is how much we charge).

So here’s the starting price that we offer for our services: $10K (this includes brand strategy & brand identity).

Let me break it down:

Brand Strategy (starting at $5000 : 10 days)

Your brand strategy is the backbone of your brand and helps to enforce or reinforce your position in the market. Essentially, your brand strategy is “the thinking behind your brand. It is a plan of action for your business, that helps to outline specific, long-term, goals as well as your brand mission, and brand story.

Through our collaborative discovery session, we will work together to answer the following:

  • Identifying your target audience
  • Brand values — what value your brand brings your customers
  • Brand promise — what you mean to your customers
  • Brand positioning — where you fit into the marketplace
  • Competitor research and analysis
  • Brand mission — your ultimate goals
  • Brand story — the “why” of your mission, why you set out to do what you’re doing
  • Tone of voice — how you communicate and the language you use
  • Brand pillars — the main pillars and driving factors of your brand
  • The elevator pitch — a 30 second explanation of your brand and what you’re about

This will all be wrapped up in a tidy document for you to refer to when needed.

Brand Identity Design (starting at $5000 : 10 days)

Your brand identity is the visual representation of your brand, and is the visual manifestation of your entire brand strategy. It’s the part in the branding process that everyone always wants to jump ahead too. And that’s because it’s exciting to see your vision come to life!

Your brand identity will typically include designs for the following;

  • Naming and messaging
  • Logo Designs (3 design options)
  • Corporate stationary (business cards, letterheads, envelopes etc)
  • Brand Guidelines
  • Image Library and Filter Enhancement
  • Photography Style Guide
  • Custom Graphics Set
  • e-Mail Signatures
  • Presentation / Powerpoint Slideshow Template
  • Social Media profile setup (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.)

What about website design ? That’s a whole different project in itself, and will range from $5000 to +$10K

Now this all must be very overwhelming, especially if you’re a small business, or startup,. And we totally understand that you have budget constraints .. but we also assume that you have put together a business plan, where you have allocated a certain amount of money for marketing your business .. or at least have secured some kind of funding from a financial institution. We strongly believe that you get out of your business, what you put in. Branding should always be looked at as an investment into your business.

Check out this logo design case-study video I did for one of our clients, and let us know if you will get the same level of thinking from going through Fiverr:

At the end of the day, $10K is not chump change — and we get it. The service we offer is not for everyone. Rayvn Design is a boutique design studio based out of Toronto & Boston that specializes in branding, website design and digital & social media marketing. We’re very good at what we do, but we also have limited resources, which means we can’t work with everyone, so we have to cherry pick our clients. We don’t have a B-Team that we could assign lower priced projects to. We only have an A-Team. And that often means having to say ‘No’ to a lot of people — a lot of good people — entrepreneurs who genuinely believe in their business, but do not understand the value of a logo or a brand, and therefore can not afford us.

Now I know this sounds a bit harsh, but I do give two things that are of value to entrepreneurs for at least reaching out to us — I point them to my FREE e-book link: How to create a Killer Brand in 5 steps .. my goal is to educate them on what good branding is, and why they should invest in their brand. I also run a podcast, called “Killer Marketing for Startups”. In the podcast, we take a look at; identifying your customers, defining your brand, the benefits of your business, your mission, your story, and finally, the visual brand identity.

I hope you found this article enlightening. Feel free to reach out to me at denny@rayvn.io, if we could help you with your brand. What is your brand experience worth to your customer base? Let us know in the comments below.