How much do you charge for a logo? – A comprehensive discussion with Chris Do

“How much do you charge for a logo?” One of the questions most designers are quite hesitant to answer.  In search of an answer to settle this, I came across this video that gives me a comprehensive explanation of how you can come up with your own answer to this question.

Chris Do is an Emmy award-winning designer, CEO and Chief Strategist of Blind and the founder of The Futur—an online education platform that teaches the business of design to creatives.  Chris stands by the principle that when it comes to pricing your creative service, PRICE THE CLIENT AND NOT THE JOB.

Why logos are worth more to some companies than others?

Logo plays a big role in promotion and branding and if it doesn’t work well there is a risk.   If the people will hate it the worst thing to happen is to make a new logo and replace all of the old promotional materials that have the old logo in it.  That will double the expense and delay business success.  Some clients are concern with these issues but some are not.  That is why some companies take worth more on their logo whatever the price is as long as they are assured that they are dealing with the best designers who can give them the best logo. 

Price the client not the job

Dig deeper into your clients.  What are they willing to pay for a logo? Are they just start-up entrepreneurs or big-time companies already? Ensure things that they value in making this logo for them.  Chris said, “Depending on who you give it to, the price should change. So then now we’re not charging for time.  We’re charging for value.”Giant companies that spend multi-million dollars with their branding and promotion will not come up to a graphic designer that hasn’t proven anything yet.  Chris Do knew that every risk involved in a flop logo has a price. “So you don’t go into it saying its a flat number.  You price the client and not the job.,” as he mentioned in the video.

What does Blind charge to design a logo?

Chris Do handle a business firm and entirely different from a freelancer setup.  His service price is higher than a freelancer because of the overhead expenses that are needed to maintain.  He enumerates his package for designing a logo and each roughly priced as follow:

$20,000 to $50,000 Strategy – done before the actual logo will be drawn
$15,000 to $30,000  Logo – finished logo
$10,000   Messaging – logo messaging
$10,000   3 Applications (e.g. Letterhead, Business Card & Email Blasting)

This price breakdown guide will help you in dealing with your prospective client. Do not just throw everything as free add on or easily agree with bargaining too low for your service.  Take pride in your works and effort.

How do you quantify/justify the hours to a client?

Every freelance designer will agree to this, that service price for a logo in freelancing sites is usually rated per hour.  Chris encourages every artist to stand on the dignity of your work.  Don’t just be happy and accept the client’s price argument on an hourly basis especially when you are already having a great portfolio in making a logo.  Have the confidence that your price is right for a service that you can give to the client.

Chris sited the best example of how Paul Rand charges a million dollars for a logo. Paul is an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, like IBM, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, and ABC to name a few.  But Paul Rand always expresses his working timeline with his client ranging about two weeks to one year that he is really cannot determine and but promised the client that he will present it when he is ready. 

Did you get the great point out there why creative service must not be priced hourly? I am pretty sure you got that!

Paula Scher’s approach

You can also use what one of the mentees of Chris in the video had mentioned in justifying your service price. It is one of the client meeting stories of Paula Scher, a renowned illustrator, painter, graphic designer, and art educator.  Paula Scher draws a logo in a tissue napkin over a meeting while the client is discussing the requirements with her right there and then. She mentioned the price of the logo but the client is skeptical about the price and mentioned that what she drew is exactly what they are looking for.  Paula answered back that it took her to spent 6-figure to acquire knowledge and took 34 years of experience to draw the logo in 10 seconds. 

Most entrepreneurs value time. The symmetry of logic.

From the perspective of an entrepreneur, time is gold because time flies so fast.  Everything that can be done smartly to save time weights more than money to them. 

Make your client see the symmetry of logic.  If they will choose a logo priced in an hourly rate but will cost them to wait more because of a thousand revisions that were done by an intern artist or a one-time project-based fairly charged guaranteed to be an amazing logo that best translates the message of what their business does, done professionally by caliber designers.

Reiterate to your client the time he/she can save in choosing your service and that is why always remember by heart to be true to your words that you can really make it to reality. When you say that you will give them a logo that will be a mark that the client will be proud of, then do it.  Do not be afraid to make a commitment.  Be confident that you are actually helping them to their business success. 

Clients don’t choose the best option. They choose the least risky option.

And for the finale, Chris Do shares important areas to check on your freelancing business so you can meet the client’s criteria in picking the right vendor for the creative design needs.

  • Credit history
  • Service referrals
  • Your expertise (Do you write a book? Do you teach? Are you  a consultant?  What are your previous works?)

You need to be the least risky option to choose from to stay in the competition.  Start building your credentials and it will surely drive clients closer to you.

In a nutshell

Pursuing a career in the creative design service business is very promising.  Make your clients feel that you care about their business that is why you are pricing them right.  With these tons of information from the master himself Chris Do, I hope you already settled in your mind on how you will price a logo.

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