If we got a quarter every time we heard someone say “That’s way too much! I know someone who can make a logo for $150 ...” well, we’d be really rich. Like, REALLY rich.
Logos are polarizing. Every business needs ‘em, but few people understand why some people charge $150 and others charge much more.
Prices vary drastically. You can hop on Fiverr and get one for just a few bucks, while other designers and agencies will quote you in the thousands. What’s the difference? Well, it’s actually pretty huge.
Author’s note: This article isn’t meant to belittle anyone’s work, logo, or budget. Instead, we want to tell you where those dollars go and the difference between your logo and brand. So, let’s start with the basics.
What is a logo?
Sure, this seems simple! A logo is an image that represents your company, right? Right. But. It’s also the first impression a potential customer or client will have of your brand, so it better be a good (*ahem* professional) one.
When you purchase a cheap logo, that’s probably all you’re going to get - just the logo. When you invest in creating a brand identity, you’re choosing to inform everything else your company does, based on that image. A logo is a visual representation of your company, but your brand is the real meat. It’s what people feel, see, and say about your business.
Ask yourself: Does it tell your story? Is it timeless? Does it appeal to your audience? Can it be used on a variety of media? Does it even qualify as a logo?
What a lot of people don’t know about logos is that in order to actually qualify as a logo, it must be:
One of a Kind - Research must be done to ensure your logo isn’t plagiarized or similar to any others in your industry.
Scalable - The logo must be a vector in order to be enlarged to any size without losing its quality.
Clear - Can you still understand what the logo represents when you scale it down for a business card or smaller?
Versatile - You’ve got to be able to use it on all kinds of different media like print, digital, and even embroidery.
If your logo doesn’t meet each of these criteria listed above, it’s not really a logo.
What’s involved in creating a logo?
How can we create a logo to represent your business and all of its many layers if we don’t know your business? This is one of the biggest differences between a “cheap” and “expensive” logo.
To start, we get alllll up in your business to make sure we know you! We need to know exactly what you do, how you do it, who you do it for, why, and what message you want to get across. This informs the design, colour choices, everything.
The research might even take a deeper dive by finding out what resonates with your target audience via surveys and focus groups.
Next, we have to ensure your logo is completely unique. We check out what’s already on the market so it’s not like anyone else’s, and so it differs from your competition. Many cheap logo designers are actually selling you plagiarized images. There are also tons of “designers” with no training or experience.
Next, we mockup several logo concepts - often quite different from each other. This means creating an image from scratch, choosing colours which represent your company’s values, adding text beyond the name - like taglines and slogans.
We spend time tearing into the details and making changes before it ever gets to you to look at and then, only after we have internal approval, do we present four or so options to you - the client - with clear reasoning about why we made each choice we did.
Now the client - you - tell us what you like and dislike and we make edits to your favourite logos. This can be as quick as one short round of edits, or can be three or more! But, since we’ve been in the business so long, we know how to probe for the right information, resulting in fewer revisions.
Got the design hammered out? You love it! Great! But your logo isn’t done yet. A professional designer will create variations of your logo for different uses. You’ll need it in black and white, single colours, and you might need variations in composition - stacked or wide for example. That’s all part of the package.
One of the biggest things “discount” logo designers miss is the brand standards manual. This is an essential piece of the branding process because it tells you exactly how the logo can be used, what colours and variations it can be displayed in, as well as the exact fonts and colour codes we used so you can use it too. Send this document to your printer and they’ll get it right every time.
Now, this is something special. Not every professional agency will provide this service, but we do. We feel it’s the icing on the cake of your brand to be able to tell how your company came together, why it exists, and how it makes an impact. We do this through a brand story - it’s basically your website’s About page, it’s your elevator pitch, it’s your guiding principles - all summed up in three to five paragraphs.
So, is that stellar deal you got on a logo setting you up for success? Because your logo is way more than just a pretty picture.
If you’re building a brand that’s going places, your logo’s got to stand out for the right reasons. And it just so happens that branding is one of our absolute favourite things to do in the world. The world! Get in touch so we can talk about how to propel your company forward.