What is your logo worth?

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A $25 pair of Old Navy sneakers are fine for kicking around the house on a Saturday. But if you’re training for a half-marathon you’ll happily hand over $300 for a pair of professional running shoes.

But some entrepreneurs and small business owners will buy a $25 logo from an online catalog to represent their brand. Your brand speaks about who you are and the value you bring to the world so it’s definitely worth more than a cheap pair of sneakers, right?

The face of your brand

You probably spend at least 20 minutes every morning making sure the face staring back at you from the mirror is ready to present to the world. So why wouldn’t you take the time to make sure the face of your company is ready for the world? Your logo is the face of your brand and should be carefully considered and custom-designed to reflect the values and personality of your company.

a visual system that grows with your company

Successful logos are part of larger identity system that includes fonts, a color palette, and other visual elements. Logo variations are created to be readable at a wide range of sizes, in color and black & white, and produced in various materials and production process. That’s why many organizations have extensive brand guidelines to educate their employees and partners on how to properly use their logo.

 
 
This is a very simple logo usage guide I created for a recent client. More complex branding guidelines include information about color, typography, imagery, marketing copy, and more.


This is a very simple logo usage guide I created for a recent client. More complex branding guidelines include information about color, typography, imagery, marketing copy, and more.

 
 

an emotional connection to your audience

Every time you spot the logo of a well-known brand you connect with that brand in an emotional way. I don’t mean you burst into tears or scream for joy, but your brain instantly recalls your last experience with that brand; good, bad, or otherwise. This is important because consumers make purchase decisions based on emotion, not logic.

A well-designed logo that is consistently produced across all marketing channels will help your customers easily recognize your brand wherever they see it and make that emotional connection.

 
In the coffee brand wars, which tribe do you have an emotional connection to?

In the coffee brand wars, which tribe do you have an emotional connection to?

 

How much should you pay for a logo?

That depends. You might not have the resources of a Fortune 500 company with the ability to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on your brand, but designing a successful logo is an investment in your company, not an expense to be pulled from the office coffee fund.

To get a sense of how much you should set aside for developing your logo, use the same consumer logic as you would for building a house. You’ll be living in it for many years so it needs to be well-built, comfortable, and large enough to grow with your changing needs. The house should be in a good location and fit well in the context of its surroundings. You want a good working relationship with a talented architect that will help you build your dream house but also respect your budget.

My Process

I typically have one or two meetings (before I start sketching ideas) to discuss my client’s needs and learn all I can about them and their business. Then I come up with some rough concepts and present them for review. There’s a good amount of back and forth as we refine the strongest concept into a more finished form.

Recently, I was walking a client through my process and explaining the benefits over buying a stock logo online. She summed up the entire experience in one word: bespoke. I may spend weeks developing a logo but the goal is to make sure the final product is personalized and custom-fit for the client. If you want to see an example of this, check out my logo for a high-end metal craftsman that is truly tattoo-worthy.

 

Sneaker photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash