Logo design can be seen as both a product and a service. While you have the physical logo (the product), you also have the creation of the logo (the service). To freelancers, especially those just starting out, it can be painstakingly difficult trying to attach a price tag to your work. Should you charge a flat rate? Per hour? How about trading a logo for 100 chicken nuggets from Wendy's?
I have been freelancing as a logo designer for over two years now. In that time, I have designed over 40 logos for brands of all different shapes, sizes, and industries. I have also developed a strategy on how to charge for logo work, and I want to share that with you in hopes it can help.
It's About Value.
If you have a plain t-shirt, the shirt is worth as much as the materials used to make it. Now, if you take this logo and place it on the shirt, you have something worth upwards of $30. That is value to a company.
Where this logo might not have been worth much if it were designed for a small-town zebra habitat, the value that it brings to one of the largest sport gear companies in the world is billions.
You can not treat each client the same, because they're not. For a real life example, let's use two clients I designed logos for. Client A is a music student that wanted a logo to place on their resume. Client B is a construction business that did jobs in over four states that wanted to use the logo on their trucks, signage, uniforms, and more. Each client is drastically different because the value is greater to Client B than to Client A.
On Fiverr.com, you can find logo designers that will design you three logos for $5 within 48 hours. You can almost guarantee that a large company, or even a medium sized company, is not going to purchase a logo this way. Those logos are going to be purchased by individuals, maybe for their resume or YouTube channel. To those people, they won't be making a great deal of money from that logo. It's not worth the same to them as it is to a company.
It's Not About Time.
Don't be punished for being efficient.
Paula Scher, a New York City logo designer, along with her company, were brought in to design the Citibank logo in 1998. During the meeting, Scher was sketching ideas that were being said on a napkin. After just five minutes, Scher turned the napkin around to show the Citibank executives and said "This is your logo." The client, skeptical, asked why they should pay such a high number for a logo that took 30 seconds to create. She told them it was because it didn't take her 30 seconds, it took her an education that cost 6 figures and 34 years of experience to design that in 30 seconds.
When calculating a price tag for your logo, try to avoid an hourly rate because again, it goes back to worth. Using the same example I used above, Client A and Client B took me the same amount of time to create a logo for; however, each had very different invoices sent to them. Where Client A was focused on just having a little something extra to be attached to a resume, Clint B had a large printing budget that would inevitably lead to revenue for the company.
It's Also About Confidence.
Clients aren't concerned about the 'best' option, because they are more concerned with the least risky option. It doesn't matter if you are up against 10 other designers for a logo job that are all better than you. If you speak to the client and they're unsure about which designer to hire, it's your first job to put their mind at ease.
Social proof is going to make all the difference. Clients want to see recommendations and testimonials. They want to see case studies. If you present yourself as a professional, the client will see you as a professional. It's not about showing them that you're the best there is, it's about showing them that you come without risk.
"W-Wait...You Haven't Told Me How Much To Charge."
I know, because no one can tell you how much to charge. Only you know how much you're worth and how much you believe the logo is worth to the client. There is no cheat sheet online to tell you how much a logo design job should bring.
If you go to a website looking for logo designers, prices range from $5 to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just remember that every client is different. Client A and Client B were very different and they received very different rates because of it.
In terms of valuing yourself, just think: Have you been trained in logo design? Is this your first logo design job? Do you have the social proof to charge more?
When I first started out, I was selling logos for $10-$50. Now that I have a portfolio with case studies and testimonials, I can charge more if I felt the company should pay more. If the world's best logo designer was approached by a Ma and Pa store located in Tumbleweed, Iowa, the designer could accept the job for a sandwich if they wanted to because for that store, that's what the logo might be worth to them.
Figuring out how much to charge for a logo design job can be difficult, but it all comes down to value.