In today's world logo design is totally under rated. Most people just aren't aware of the time, skill and effort that go into creating a strong brand identity. So how much will you have to spend if you hire outside support?
There's no guidebook, and if you aren't in the graphic design industry you have no idea what's considered reasonable and what's over the top. The best advice is to know your price range and spend what you can comfortably afford. Like any other industry the old adage stands— you get what you pay for. Don't get stuck with a cheap logo that's generic and doesn't
properly brand your company. And you especially don't want to end up with art that's been provided in an inflexible format. It won't produce well for various marketing channels down the road. That mistake will cost you in frustration, time and dollars because ultimately you will need to get it re-created correctly in multiple formats. Run, don't walk away from cheap logo design. So, let's dive in deeper to understand the elements that can influence logo pricing.
First of all, the location and size of a design firm are big factors that will cause operating costs to differ. Think about it, a firm with higher overhead will pass that cost onto you and a free-lancer's overhead will not be the same as an agency's. You'll also be paying for an agency's distinguished reputation, efficency and staffing layers. Whereas a design student may work for pennies, but will require more hand-holding and perhaps won't have the skill and experience to deliver a brand that's right the first time, creating a time-consuming and ardous revision process.
Consider too whether you need just a logo, or fully developed branding system. The logo package affects the process, which in turn affects pricing. An agency may involve a team of designers and marketers. That means you're getting a lot more done; perhaps a more thorough research phase, a focus group, more ideas due to more designers and this approach could last several months. So the point here is that the more you invest, the more deliverables you should walk away with.
Last but not least is value based pricing. Rather than charge an hourly rate, a client's potential to profit from a logo design is a major pricing factor. Obviously return on investment will vary for a large corporation vs. a non-profit or closely-held business. How much a logo touches and its ability to help a client get more customers at a higher price point translates to profit for that company and a designer or agency should be duly compensated.
So to sum up, your logo will be the face of your brand for many years so view it as a crucial investment. Know your budget, spend as much as you can afford and don't cut corners. Have a clear idea of what your needs are going into the project. If the large agencies are too expensive, choose a smaller, more intimate design firm or a great experienced free-lance designer.
Next up; get a picture of how the logo design process should work and what deliverables you should be walking away with once you pay the invoice.