Logos are a special case for design pricing. Here are some of the things I think about:
- Company size (ie is there one “decider” or will you be having multiple meetings and feedback from a whole committee’s worth of people)
- Research required (bigger company probably requires a lot more research)
- Value to company
- Is an illustration needed? Do I need to hire an illustrator?
- Cost of font if I need to license one. (And cost if the client company also wants to license the font, although it’s not usually necessary)
- Special considerations: Will the logo need to be cast into a 3D sculpture for the lobby of the company building? Tattooed onto the CEO’s forehead? Work with different tag lines for different divisions of the company?
- Legal issues: Does the company have a legal department to handle trademark issues? Is there any question about the legality of using the words or images requested?
- Previous experience with client
- Does client have a solid vision for logo, or are they saying, “I don’t know what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it?”
One extra-special aspect about logos is copyright. Unless the designer has agreed to do a project as “work for hire,” the designer usually owns the copyright for whatever work they create. I’ve heard of designers who refuse to transfer copyright to the client so that the client can not legally reuse or make changes to the work. Sometimes the designer will transfer copyright for a large fee. That’s ok for most work. But for logos? I think that’s crazy. I believe that a company needs to own copyright to their logo, and have all rights to use and change the logo as they wish. I always transfer copyright for logos upon full payment, so I consider that in my pricing.
I was reading a discussion about logo pricing a few weeks ago, and one designer mentioned 10 to 20 hours as their starting point for estimates. Sure enough, when I review my own time tracking records for “simple” logos, that’s about right. I generally give a set price quote for a logo, but my behind-the-scenes estimate starts at about 15 hours and goes up or down from there.
I also like to build plenty of time into logo projects so there is time for me to go away from the project. I often see things or have better ideas after a day or two away that I would have missed if I rushed. So I like to schedule two weeks minimum for logo design, even if I’ll only be spending 15 hours doing actual work on the logo.
Logos are important: they represent a company now and in the future. How do you put a value on logo design?