Why Are Logos So Expensive? [And Cheap Alternatives]

Why Are Logos So Expensive? (And Cheap Alternatives)

Whether you are starting a new business or blog or are looking to make changes to your current one, you need a good logo. However, hiring a designer to create a logo can be expensive. So you might be wondering about that high cost and if you can bring it down.

Why are logos so expensive? Designing the right logo for a brand or company can take a lot of time, and designers are professionals that want to be paid. Logo design includes working with the designer on a concept as well as possibly multiple rounds of design changes. But DIY designs and other services can lower the cost.

Understanding why logos are so expensive can help you understand the value. For many businesses, a logo is an investment because it is the first thing many people will notice about your business. But if you still cannot afford it, you can find cheaper options.

What Goes into Designing a Logo

Part of what makes logos so expensive is the process of designing and creating them. Especially if you work with a designer that has a lot of experience, you can expect to pay a premium. After all, you are paying for their time to create the logo, and you’re paying for the right to use the logo for your business or blog.

Any good designer will start by talking to you about what you want. A designer should consider your brand colors and your target audience. They might also look at your competition to see what works well in your industry and what doesn’t.

Then, of course, they must design your logo. Depending on the designer and the logo, this stage could take a while to complete. After that, your designer will have to prepare the logos to show to you. And only after they show you a logo that you like will you be done with the process.

The logo design process may sound like a lot, but it’s worth it. After all, a logo is probably the piece of graphic design that you will use the most. Marketing campaigns come and go, but your logo will stay with you for years.

Planning and Research

The first step in designing a logo is planning and conducting research. When you first hire a graphic designer, they might schedule a consultation with you to go over the design. You can tell or show them what you want your logo to look like.

  • If there is a company logo that you admire, you can show your designer. Or, if you have a specific design in mind, you can talk about that.
  • Of course, you don’t have to have a logo idea in mind. You can tell your designer about your brand so that they can come up with a design that matches your style.
  • After you meet with your designer, they will probably take some time to research your competition. Not only can that help them find ideas, but it can tell them what works and what doesn’t.
  • Your designer will probably also do more research on your business. They will need to know your target audience and industry so that they can design your logo with those factors in mind.

If you do not work with your designer at the start of the logo design process, they may not know what you want. They might find a random idea and go with it, and you may not like it. And if you don’t like what they come up with, you will have to pay for their time to redo the design.

Initial Designs

After the planning and research phase, a graphic designer will start designing the logo. Depending on the designer, they might start by sketching a design on paper, or they will go straight to the computer. At this point, a logo designer will probably create a few different designs.

Of course, you’ll want a small logo that can work well on business cards and other small print materials. In some cases, this logo will not include the full name of your business. However, you may also need a logo with your entire business name.

The different types of logos should have a coherent design, but your designer should give you a couple of options for the fonts or layout. Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over how long this process can take. It can depend a lot on how many clients your designer is working with and their workload.

Your designer may play around with the layout, and if you have a new business, your designer might look at different color schemes. Once they put the logo in a design program, they can tweak the design. Finally, they will let you know when the logo is ready for you to see.

Present to the Client

When presenting logos, your designer might keep things simple. They could put all the logos in one document to send to you. If they make multiple styles with different fonts, they should separate them.

Now’s the time for the designer to sell you on the logo. Of course, if you brought in an idea, they should have something based on that. However, they may also come up with something that you didn’t think of.

As the client, you have a chance to review the different logos they show you. You can ask questions about the designs, which can be useful if you like a design but want small changes. In this stage, you should have an open mind.

Of course, you may not like what the designer gives you. But give them a chance to explain their reasoning and why they think their design would work for your business. Luckily, you can think about it for a day or two, based on your contract with your designer.

Client Feedback

Once you get the logos from the designer, consider each of the options. You should think about the fonts and color schemes and how your audience might react to the logo. If you have other friends in the business world, ask them for their opinions. And do not be afraid to tell your designer that you do not like any of the logos.

  • If you do not like any of the logos from your designer, you can send them back. Try to give your designer reasons why you don’t like them. Then, the designer can return to the drawing board with more insight into what you want.
  • If you like one of the designs, you can tell your designer. You can say that you like it as is, or you can ask for small tweaks. Perhaps you like the overall design but would prefer a different font. Your designer can make those small changes and finalize the logo.

As the logo design client, you should give the best feedback that you can. Whether you have positive or negative feedback, your designer can use that to make your logo even better. Then, they can polish the logo and present all the versions of that logo to you.

Final Package

Once you get a logo that you like, your designer can finalize the graphics. They should provide you with a small logo that you can put on business cards and letterheads. However, you should also get a logo that works well on your website or other materials.

Your logo designer should give you vector images, which means the logo will have a transparent background. Then, you can use the image on any color paper or background, and it won’t look out of place. If your designer does not give you vector images at first, don’t be afraid to ask for them.

You should be as happy as possible with your logos and the designer’s work. If you have any questions or concerns, let your designer know. He or she can answer your questions or fix any problems while you are still working together.

All the steps that go into logo design can make it expensive. It may seem overwhelming to meet with a designer or make multiple logo revisions. However, your logo can make or break your business, so you want to have the perfect logo.

You Get What You Pay For

While logo design can be expensive, there are reasons for this. When you work with a professional designer, you get access to their expertise. It can take time for a designer to research your company and come up with the logo for you.

  • Professional designers typically have experience designing, so they will know what elements to include and what to avoid.
  • They also usually use professional design programs, like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. The cost of those programs can add up.
  • Depending on the package your logo designer offers, you may not need to pay extra for revisions.
  • Your logo designer does a lot more than creating a logo, and they need to get paid for the time they spend on it.

Of course, the most expensive logo is not always the best one for you. However, there are many benefits to spending a little more on a logo. While you should look for a good deal, going too cheap could cost you in the long run.

Spec Work

One tempting way to save on a logo design is to offer spec work, which means free work. In a lot of cases, you can post an ad about needing a logo, and multiple designers will respond. On the one hand, you will have numerous logos to consider. You can look at the different logo options as they come in, and you can pay for the one you like the best.

However, some professional designers will not be willing to work without a guarantee of being paid. Spec work is popular for newer designers who want to build their portfolio, and so the price you would pay is often lower. But you may not get the personalized attention on your business and logo that you need.

Some designers might research your business, but others might look at the name and come up with something. If that happens, you might get a lot of logos that do not represent your business. In that case, you are better off spending the time designing your logo yourself.

Quality Is Essential

It can be easy to find a cheap designer to create a poster for an upcoming event. After all, you will only use that poster for a few weeks or months. However, your logo is different.

Your logo will live on as part of your business until you decide to change it. For a lot of companies, that means you will have the same logo for years or even decades. Consider companies like Apple or Coca-Cola.

Of course, their logos are relatively simple, but those logos have been with their companies for a long time. Imagine if Apple went with a poorly drawn apple for their logo. Customers would see that, and they might think that Apple makes inferior products.

The better quality your logo is, the more professional you will appear to customers. You’ll show them that you care about your business. Now, you don’t have to break the bank on a new logo, but you should have a good quality logo that accurately portrays your company and looks good.

Cheap Alternatives to Expensive Logos

If you want to get a new logo for your business, you do not have to spend a lot of money. Of course, it would be amazing to have a professional designer make your logo. However, that is not realistic for a lot of people, especially when it comes to new businesses.

Even if you do not have a large budget, you can still get a good logo. You just have to know a few cheap alternatives. Then, you can consider a few options and decide on the one that’s best for you.

Use a Free or Cheap Logo Maker

One of the easiest and cheapest ways to make a logo is to use a logo maker. Many of them are free or low-cost so that you can create one in minutes. You can input your business name and industry, and you can create a logo from there.

  • Once you put your name and industry, you can select the colors that you use for your brand. If you don’t have specific colors, you can experiment with different combinations.
  • A logo maker will show you different options for graphics that use your name and colors.
  • If you like one of the templates that you see, you can edit it even more to customize it.
  • You can change the colors and add accent colors. If you know the hex codes, you can specify those so that you get the precise shade that you want.

Once you settle on a template and customize the design, you can download it and use it on your website. You can also share it on your social media or print materials.

If you want to give a logo maker a try, consider Placeit.net, it’s our go-to logo maker for many reasons.

Find a Template

You can also look for logo templates from websites that aren’t logo makers. If you don’t like any of the logos from a logo maker, you can find a template that you like. Some graphic designers sell log templates online, or you can find free templates.

Design programs, like Canva, offer logo templates that you can use to create your logo. Like with a logo maker, you can customize the color and font of the logo. You can adjust the position of different elements, so you can give the logo the layout that you want.

Whether you find a free or paid logo template, it will probably be cheaper than hiring a graphic designer. You can still get some customization with your logo, but you will not have to pay big bucks. If you go this route, consider getting feedback on the logo.

Ask your customers or people in your target audience for their opinion. If you have a current logo, compare the two. Then, you can make sure you make the right selection for your logo design.

Design Your Own Logo

Possibly the hardest cheap alternative to expensive logos is designing your own from scratch. You don’t use a template or logo maker, so all you have is your design ability. Instead, you can follow the steps that any designer would to make the best logo possible.

  • Designing your own logo is an excellent idea if you have a design-based business. Whether you are a graphic designer or want to specialize in logo design, your logo can make a great addition to your portfolio.
  • You may need some drawing skills if you want a more sophisticated logo. However, anyone can use elements like text and images to create a logo.
  • If you make your own logo, you should get feedback on it. Starting from scratch can be difficult, so ask your customers or someone else in your business.
  • Of course, do not be afraid to switch to another idea if one does not work as well.

Once you settle on a logo, you can implement it in with all your design materials. Make sure you save the logo as an EPS file and that you apply a transparent background. Then, you can superimpose the logo on anything without it being too obstructive.

Sketch Out What You Want

If you want to work with a graphic designer but you want to make it cheaper, do as much as you can of the design process. Instead of having your designer research your company and competition, you can do that. When you meet with the designer, you can present them with the information on your target audience and successful or unsuccessful logos.

You can also save your designer time if you can create a rough sketch of the logo you want. While it can help if you know how to draw, even a basic outline can help. The more information and ideas you can give your designer, the less work they will have to do.

Giving this information to your designer will cut down on the time they have to spend working on your logo. And since a lot of designers charge per hour for logo design, you can cut down on your bill. However, you do have to make sure that your designer charges hourly rather than a set rate.

Still, doing some of the research and sketching yourself can save you money on a logo. You can also save money by only requesting one logo, which will take less time for a designer to do. If you only want one option and you know what you want, you can tell your designer so that they don’t waste time on other logos.

Work with a Design Student

Perhaps you want to work with an individual designer, but you cannot afford a professional. In that case, consider working with someone who is currently in school for graphic design. Students will usually charge less than professionals because they haven’t finished their degree.

  • Depending on the student, they will probably know the basics of designing a logo or graphics in general.
  • A lot of design students have an eye for design, so they will know what looks good or not.
  • The student can get feedback from their professors or classmates before showing you the final design.
  • They might also be willing to charge less if you let them include the logo in their portfolio.
  • A design student might be more open to various design styles if they haven’t formed their own style yet.

Working with a graphic design student can be a great way to get individual help with your logo while saving money. Of course, you should pay a student designer, but they typically will not cost as much as a professional. Still, you can work with someone who has some design experience.

Find a New Designer

If you don’t want to work with a design student but still want help from a designer, find someone new to the field. Of course, a beginning designer will probably charge more than a student. However, they probably won’t charge as much as someone with more experience.

When looking for a more affordable graphic designer, compare a few designers. In general, it will be cheaper to work with an individual than with a design agency. You should look at a designer’s portfolio, especially any logos they have done.

If you are willing to work remotely with a graphic designer, you can also look at people in different locations. Because of the cost of living, a designer in New York will probably charge more than one in Houston.

Either way, be sure to shop around. Choose a designer with a portfolio that you like and find one that fits your budget.

Service Exchange

Another way to save money on a logo design is if you can exchange services. While this will depend on if you have a service they need, it can be a great way to save money. Consider these ideas for exchanging services.

  • If you are a writer, you can ask a graphic designer to do a logo for you, and you can write a page or two for their website.
  • A social media manager could manage a graphic designer’s social media for a set amount of time in exchange for the logo.
  • If you’re a hairstylist, you could offer a styling service at a similar price to what your logo would cost.

Exchanging services can be a fantastic way for you and your designer to save money. You can both get the service that you need, but you won’t have to break the bank.

How to Choose the Best Option for You

There are multiple ways you can lower the cost of logo design, and the best option will depend on you. Before you decide to go with a cheaper alternative or splurge on a designer, think about a few things first.

  • First, think about how much you can afford to spend on a logo and how much is worth it for you.
  • Consider the purpose of the logo. For example, a personal blogger may not need a unique logo like a growing business would.
  • You should also think about how long you want the logo to last. Of course, you want it to last for a while, but if you think you might change it soon, do not spend too much on it.
  • If you decide to work with a designer, be it a student or professional, look at their portfolio to make sure that you like their style.

Choosing the right option for a logo can be difficult. Whether you decide to spend a ton of money or go with the cheapest option that you can, you need to do what’s best for you.

Final Thoughts

For better or worse, some logos can be expensive. A graphic designer can take time to find the right design, and you need to pay them for their services. Luckily, you can find a cheaper alternative, like a logo maker, to lower the cost of your logo design.

Our recommended first step is to browse the pre-made logo templates on Placeit (our favorite online logo maker) and see how far you can take it. If you can go all the way to creating a logo that fits your business on Placeit, then you are far ahead of the game on cost. If not, you’ll have some great ideas of what you like to present to a designer.