How much do logo designers make?
A logo is an essential part of any brand’s identity—it’s often the first thing a potential customer will see, and it’s critical to use a logo that stands out from the competition. But how much should a logo design cost? As with all business spending, you want to weigh the cost of logo design against the quality and value you will gain.
If you’re thinking about taking your side hustle to the next level this year, getting a killer logo design can help transform your business idea into a money-making venture.
Which begs the question: how much does a logo cost? From DIY design to working with a graphic designer or agency, the cost of a logo can vary from $2 to $2500+, with several options in between. Mid-range options include buying a logo from an online logo maker (starting at $20) or a design crowdsourcing website (starting at $99).
But the truth is, there are so many variables that factor into how much you’ll pay for your logo design. Here’s what you need to know before choosing how to make your logo.
The logo-making journey
Designing a logo with or without outside support is an iterative and multi-step process that can involve research, brainstorming, sketches, and several design concepts.
That’s why custom logo packages can wildly range not only in price—from relatively free to a few thousand dollars—but the amount of time and effort needed to get the job done.
Before we dive in, take a step back to figure out how you’ll be using that logo across channels and branded applications.
Will your logo only live digitally, or do you plan on printing it on business cards and other marketing materials? The answer to that question can change the kind of logo file formats and color variations you’ll need.
Let’s start by explaining that there are two basic categories of image files: raster and vector.
Raster files are measured in DPI (dots per inch) and have a file extension of .jpg, .png or .gif. Since raster files are based on a pixel grid, you run the risk of your logo becoming distorted when you change the image size.
Vector files, on the other hand, can be scaled to any size without losing quality—from an Instagram profile picture to a subway station ad. They can be opened, edited, and saved in different programs, and have a file extension of .ai, .eps, .svg, or .pdf.
While you can make a high-resolution raster file work for you, they’re not ideal for all applications. Vector files are what you’ll want to ensure your logo looks amazing across branded assets.
And when it comes to color variations, make sure you’re getting light, dark, and full-color versions of your logo for your branding needs, as well as versions with transparent backgrounds.
The exporting options for color can range, too: RGB is used for digitally displayed logos, and CMYK is best for printed products (Pantone can work for both).
Do it yourself
If you’re looking to flex your design chops, you might want to take a stab at making your own logo. But creating a design that fits your brand and can be used across channels is a challenge. The biggest cost will be your own time crafting a logo on paper and choosing the right design software to bring the sketch to life.
- Do it Yourself Illustration
We want to warn you there is a reason why people pay to design logos. It isn’t easy, especially without a background in design.
The good news? You’ll have complete creative control, and there are online tutorials to hold your hand as you learn new software.
Only available for Mac OS X, Sketch costs $99 USD for a one-year license. The vector-based design software will let you export your logo in various formats: PDF, SVG, PNG, JPG, and EPS. While Sketch is steadily becoming a favorite in the design community, it isn’t a tool for print design since you can’t export logos in the printer-friendly CMYK colors.
- Adobe Illustrator
Illustrator is the design industry’s go-to app for vector graphics and is built to work with other Adobe programs. You can export your work in over ten formats for digital and print use. Access the software through an Adobe Creative Cloud membership for $20.99 USD per month on an annual plan or $31.49 USD for month-to-month use.
A free (but basic) vector graphics editor, Vectr can be downloaded onto your desktop or used online. The program offers helpful in-app lessons. Files can be exported in both raster and vector formats, including AI, PNG, JPG, and SVG.
Canva’s paid subscription costs $9.95 CAD per month or $12.95 CAD paid monthly on an annual plan. The program features more than 1000 logo templates to customize and lets you download your finished work as a JPG, PNG, PDF, or GIF.
Choosing the right option
Even if you’re just getting a business off the ground, a logo is the starting point for building your brand identity.
After you have an idea, think about how you’ll be showing off your brand online and offline. Then figure out what logo design package price will work for you.
On the under-$100 end, you could look at designing a logo yourself or customizing a template if you have some editing chops. An online logo maker is an affordable logo design choice. If you don’t want to buy design software but still want control over the process it might be your best bet!
More to spend? You can check out design crowdsourcing, or hire a freelance designer or agency if it seems like a good fit.