Think of a number…

How much would you pay for a logo? Take a moment to think and then make a mental note of it down as I’ll refer to it later. But first…

The perennial problem of pricing

Despite a wealth of advice around how to price your services as a small business, it can still can be very difficult and especially when your business is relatively new. It gets easier over time as you get more confident in your services, but there is one key thing that rings true: “You can’t please everyone, all of the time”, something I have learned to embrace rather than be worried about.

A little while ago I had a meeting about a potential logo project and he was keen to proceed, but his business partner wasn’t. The partner had previously had a logo designed for a different project, and for a fraction of what I was suggesting, so he could not see the value in what I was proposing. I saw this logo he referred to and to be fair it was a good design, but it is difficult to judge the value of the process simply by looking at the end result. In my view one of three things had happened:

  1. The client had provided a very specific brief to the designer which limited the design directions needed and therefore reduced the cost
  2. The other designer had simply produced a single logo design and had got lucky with this first attempt
  3. The other designer was undercharging. A lot.

Specific brief: If option one is true then the same logic would have applied to me if I had been asked to quote, but as I was asked for a ball-park figure I provided one that was indicative of the average logo design project (where the brief is not so specific). As an aside, I would also advise against being more rigid when briefing your designer simply to save money, as you may miss out on design concepts you would have liked better if you had given the designer a wider scope.

Lucky first time: If the reason for the lower price was option two, then the designer got lucky last time which is great for the client. However, they might not be so fortunate in future and depending on how they charge for their services the client’s bill may be bigger next time if there are more concepts and/or more amends.

Under charging: As for scenario three, well, if they are under charging then there is not a lot I can do about that, and I am certainly not going to get involved in a price war.

The price of several logos

So back to the figure you had in mind for the reasonable price you’d pay for a logo…  what if I suggested that realistically you’d need to multiply it by all the other logos that were designed as part of the process? After all, if that is the price for ‘one’ logo, then what about for 10 or more? What am I talking about? I mean the ones the designer spent ages trying to perfect, but ultimately didn’t feel were worthy of being sent for you to consider when compared to the other concepts they created, or felt they weren’t as good an idea when created on screen? Add to that all the other concepts they took the time to create and finesse, but that ultimately were rejected in favour of one or more of the alternatives on offer. And what about the design variations that were created during the journey from initial concept to the final idea? All these ‘other’ logos take time to create and are an essential part of the process in getting to your final approved design, even though they were rejected for one reason or another. Now obviously we don’t charge per concept we produce, or per amend we carry out, but that aprroved logo file that appears on your stationery and your website doesn’t accurately convey all the work that went into getting to that final stage either.

The price you pay relates to the process that got you there. In the case of Pixooma that could mean: a number of initial concepts presented to the client; numerous rounds of amends to create a final selected style; further, amends to finalise colours and fonts;  tweaks to the layout; and then the creation of all the final logo versions and file formats. And all of this for a fixed price with a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee!

All this has made me think about creating a video guide showing how the process works as I don’t think it is understood by everyone, so watch this space! In the meantime, feel free to get in touch if you have any questions of about logo design.


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