It’s subjective… like how much does it cost to build a new house? Or how long is the string? Where are you in your business and brand journey? Are you just starting out, making decisions, changes, and revisions? Or are you solidly established and in need of a complete logo redesign or brand update? The answers to these questions will help you decide on a budget, and select from the logo design options below.

Let’s start with free.

You could run a contest, ask a friend or relative, or contact a local school with a design department and propose a class project. I don’t recommend any of these, but I know it happens, and sometimes people get decent results. But more often than not, the quality of the results is reflected by the price. This type of request is often called spec work, where logo design submissions are requested with no guarantee of compensation. Most professional graphic designers refuse to do spec work. Can you blame them?

Next are online logo generators, free to low cost.

You can play with different shapes, tools, colors, and fonts. You either come up with something passable, or get totally frustrated because you can’t make it look like you want. There are sometimes limitations to using these tools, like up-charges so you can get the scalable vector files, not just the JPEG files to use on social media. But try them out, some are fun. At the very least you might come up with an idea that you want refined. Here are some options:

Third in line is crowd sourcing.

This is where you create a project, enter your business info, your project description, and budget. Then it’s essentially a design contest where you receive options from many designers. You pick and choose from the options; ask for revisions on a few. Then purchase your final choice. While this method gives you lots of options, it’s lacking the personal touch, and designs can start to look like (or even BE) clipart or stock graphics. Plus, it’s another version of spec work, where designers invest time and talent with no guarantee of payment. The quality and caliber of designers will be reflected in the results. You can expect prices to range from $100-$300 and above. Here are some popular sites for crowd sourcing logo design:

Next in line are freelance and sole proprietor graphic designers.

I would also include in-house graphic designers within print shops. Graphic designers in this group are able to work one-on-one with you to create custom logo designs. Their hourly rates will run from $25-$150 and up, depending on their experience and reputation. Graphic designers may also offer tiered pricing packages for logo design, with each package including more support in the form of branded designs, layouts, and consultations. Packages may start around $250 and go up to $2500 and more. If you’re thinking of hiring a freelance graphic designer, download my free e-book for some additional advice.

At the top of the price range are ad agencies.

Ad agencies will have a team to work on your complete branding project, including market and competitive research, and your logo design. They will also provide branding that applies to all of your sales and marketing materials including websites, plus a comprehensive style guide to keep your brand on track as your business grows. Your investment for these services will start in four figures, and easily go into six figures.

To wrap it all up.

Next time you wonder how much a logo design costs, these are the reasons my answer will always be “it depends”– On where you are in your business journey, and where you want to go. These options will fit different situations at different times, and it’s your job to decide how much to invest in your logo design and business.

I hope this high level view of logo design pricing will be helpful when you are ready to make an investment in building your business brand. Take the next step and start your brand journey with a free logo style guide – click the button below to get started now.

Post originally published here.