One of the most difficult and intimidating factors of being a freelance designer is trying to decide how much to charge for a logo.
There’s this constant push and pull of wanting to charge more, but afraid that your work isn’t good enough, or clients will say you’re too expensive. You clearly are wanting more design jobs, and looking for the best approach on how much to charge for a logo, but struggling to find the balance.
Well, first, you have to get rid of the imposter syndrome — the idea that you’re not good enough and can’t charge what you’re worth.
The truth is, and I realized this many years ago, that there will ALWAYS be someone better than you. You cannot worry about comparing your work to someone else — what you bring to the table, and your approach and creativity, is unique in itself. As long as you have expertise and knowledge, there will be clients out there for you.
So, how do you setup your logo pricing? There’s a few approaches and many factors to consider.
How much should you charge for a logo design?
As mentioned from the start, deciding how much to charge for a logo, or any project for that matter, is not easy. You can look at it just like you would when trying to figure out your hourly rate.
When you’re first starting out as an amateur designer, you probably shouldn’t be charging as much as a seasoned 10-year designer. Right?
I think that’s a fair assumption, and one of the starting points for deciding how much to charge for a logo design. But it’s just a vague scale, as you can find freelancers charging $50 for a logo, and also find agencies charging $50,000.
I started out charging a mere $150 because I was too afraid to charge anything more than that based on my experience. Now, I can confidently charge $1,000+ knowing that I bring value, creativity and expertise to the logos I design.
Because there’s so many other factors that play into this, there is no golden answer here that fits everyone, however I have a few approaches to talk about for you to consider, and what elements play a part in your logo design pricing.
Logo design pricing structures
There’s a couple of different approaches you can use when deciding how much to charge for a logo — heck, you can use them all depending on the client, if you wish. The important part is being confident in yourself and your pricing structure you choose. I personally have used them both.
Hourly based logo pricing
So the first pricing structure you can take a look at is hourly-based. This method is one that I would suggest starting out with, so that you can at least get paid for your time (at minimum). One of the worst things you can do is totally undercut the time it takes to design a logo, and end up feeling totally unmotivated and undervalued.
As you figure out your hourly-based logo pricing, think about every step in the creative process. Try to utilize a past experience when you designed a logo, and guesstimate to the best of your ability about how long it took you to complete each phase of the logo.
For me, the steps usually consist of:
Research > Sketches > Typography & Color Discovery > Conceptualize > Create > Revisions > Finalize & Deliver
These are the proper stages I go through to ensure that I’m delivering a quality, well-thought out logo design that will represent the client’s brand to the fullest. As you can see, it’s a lot of work!
If we take a closer look at these steps, and roughly guesstimate the hours it takes me for each on an average logo design :
- Research: 1.5 hours
- Sketches: 1 hour
- Typography & Color Discovery: 1 hour
- Conceptualize: 2 hours
- Create: 2.5 hours
- Revisions: 1-2 hours
- Finalize & Deliver: 1 hour
So if we add this up, we’re looking at roughly 10-11 hours total. If you take your hourly rate, let’s use $50/hr., that adds up to $500-$550.
Now, your process may vary, and I suggest you lay out the stages like I have above with estimated hours it might take you. Add them up, multiply by your hourly rate, and that will provide you your base price for what you should be charging for a logo.
Keep in mind, this pricing approach is only to cover your time it takes to design the logo — you are not getting paid for your value and expertise in the final deliverable. Let’s talk about that next.
Value-based logo pricing
So value-based logo pricing varies slightly from hourly-based in that you are charging based on the value you are providing to the end client (not just your time).
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consider your time involved in creating a logo, but it forces you to alter your thinking and ask yourself questions like: Who is the client? How will this logo be used and seen? Is it on a national scale? What’s the logo worth to the client? How much money can this logo potentially help them make?
Take for example a small, local pizza joint in your town reaches out to you for a new logo. It’ll only be used on their pizza boxes, and storefront, and maybe a few marketing materials (like to-go menus and website). The value of a new logo to them is still pretty important, as it could help them differentiate themselves from the other pizza joints in town — but more than likely they don’t have a huge budget. In this case, how much you charge them for a logo will be based on a smaller scale in terms of value, and can come in around $1,000.
Next, let’s take a national chips brand, like Frito-Lay. If Frito-Lay finds you, loves your work, and asks for you to price a logo design for them, you will already get a feeling like — woah, this is big! Right?! And with that feeling, comes the idea that you know it’s going to be a huge undertaking, TONS of research, several months of work, and the logo will be viewed nationally on millions of chip bags by millions of people.
So when you’re creating your logo design proposal, you must consider the scale and value of this new logo to Frito-Lay — it’s going to mean A LOT and potentially bring in millions of dollars in revenue. Therefore, the value of your logo design increases significantly — in this case, you could (and should) charge $15,000 or more. In my opinion, if you came to Frito-Lay and told them your cost is $750, they would probably laugh and walk away — thinking that you don’t understand the value and scale of the project.
Remember, in this approach, you must price the value of the logo — not your time.
What to factor into how much you charge for a logo
Now when you’re putting together your logo design pricing, here’s 6 things you don’t want to forget to factor into your cost.
Just like we broke down in the hourly-based pricing structure, you must consider how long it takes you to design a logo — from concept to delivery. Charging too little, and you’ll find yourself working for free — and with bills to pay, you can’t be working for free.
Does your client have a hard deadline? You should have a normal turnaround time for your creative process, and anything less than that with urgency from the client, you should be charging an additional rush fee. I’ve found it’s actually really difficult to rush a logo anyways, and you should always try to convince the client first that it takes time and you want to create a design that’s going to last — so you shouldn’t rush it. But in the scenario that they need a quick turn, charge a rush fee in the form of either a % of total cost, or a flat fee.
Always be sure to set the guidelines on your revisions — allowing unlimited revisions can quickly get out of hand and you can see your profit go out the window. I normally include 2 rounds of revisions, which 98% of the time is the right amount and the logo gets completed within those rounds, while still allowing me to cap my time spent.
Don’t ever undervalue yourself based on your experience — if you’ve done a couple dozen logo designs, you’ve got some serious experience under your belt and should be confident in charging what you’re worth. As a beginner, you probably can’t come out of the gate charging premium rates because you just don’t have that same level of experience in what it takes to design a logo.
One of the easily forgotten aspects of how much to charge for a logo design is the cost of your design software. This is considered overhead costs on your end to do your work, and should be factored into your logo design pricing.
Do not get comfortable in providing a flat fee for every single logo design project that comes your way. Some clients require much more complex designs, such as custom illustrations or custom type. This can increase your time spent on the logo design and should influence how much you charge for a logo.
Tips to help you land more logo design jobs
Don’t just lower your rates — lower your deliverables
I can guarantee you’ll come across a situation with a potential client that wants you to give them a discount. Here’s my advice—don’t do it!
Instead, offer a lower price, but with less deliverables. If you’re providing 2 rounds of revisions, only offer 1 and lower the price accordingly.
Never should you offer the same set of deliverables for a lower cost — it will set you up for a situation with the client that they will always expect you to lower your rates for them.
A successful approach when figuring out how much to charge for a logo is to create logo design packages. I’ve found that clients like to see a few options, so they can weigh out the deliverables and cost.
I recommend structuring 3 different logo design packages — each with a different set of deliverables, with the cheapest one the bare minimum, and the most expensive a full branding suite. This sets it up so that instead of them comparing your prices to another designer, they are comparing your packages to each other — all offered by you— which increases your chances of landing the job.
The packages can include more concepts, more revisions, a style guide, stationery design, etc. — all materials that relate to getting a new logo and help you create lower to higher tier packages.
If done properly, many times you will find that clients choose the middle package which will often bring you more revenue if you were to normally just charge the bare minimum.
Be reliable & communicate
Word of mouth referrals will become your best friend as a solo freelance designer. In order to increase your chances of gaining these referrals, you must be reliable and communicative. So many people have had bad past experiences with designers, but if you can provide an excellent service, with quality design, it’ll be a no-brainer for them to refer you. Update them at every step of the process, meet your deadlines you proposed, and you’ll create happy clients.
Show off your work on Instagram
Instagram can be a great social platform for showcasing your work and increasing the chances of being seen by potential clients. It should not, however, be your only source of work, as you need your own website still, but the image-sharing social network is a great place to share your designs.
Are you ready to charge more for your logo design?
As a logo designer myself, I know that figuring out how much to charge for a logo is no easy feat. It takes time to tweak, figure out, and find the sweet spot that you feel works for you, the clients you want to work with, and allows you to make a nice profit.
So don’t be shy about charging what you’re worth — your time, value and expertise are not to be ignored. If a client can’t see that, then they are not the right fit for you.
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