What’s the real cost of your cheap logo?

Logo design is one of the most common requests we get from clients. The first question is usually, “how much do you charge to design a logo?” We outline the starting costs of such a project and it’s about this point we find the clients fall into two groups. Group A decides to move ahead with their project. Group B makes a hasty retreat with a view to find a cheaper option.

This cheaper option mostly comes in the form of out-sourcing websites such as 99designs, fiverr and even logo generating apps such as Graphic Springs. Although these services offer the allure of a quick and cheap logo solution, what is the real cost of going down this path?

You just don’t get it

There are many things you won’t get from a minimum budget solution and although this may not be an issue for many clients, for those who want the assurance of a professional solution it’s worth noting the following deliverables.

Vector power

A logo should be provided in a vector format with all fonts outlined. This will allow for the logo to be used at any size and in any environment without loss of quality. Outlining fonts means you won’t have to field calls about missing fonts files when sending your logo out to printers, contractors etc.

Photo-free

A logo should never be designed to incorporate a photo. A photo file will not reproduce with guaranteed quality results, leaving your logo looking pixelated and unprofessional in many cases.

Sans stock image

Many out-source services will use artwork downloaded from stock library website such as istockphoto, gettyimages. This use contravenes the license restrictions allowed for these files and can result at the very least in a cease-and-desist action or in a worst case scenario, legal court action. The impact of changing a logo after it’s been applied across many items such as stationery, posters even vehicles could be a deal-breaker for many small businesses. 

There is also no guarantee that a single stock image has not been used in multiple of different logos, again leaving the client in a vulnerable position with regards to copyright infringement.

Version control

Typically a low cost design service will supply you with a single logo design.  It’s essential to request from your designer several different versions of a logo for a variety of applications. These include a black and white version, a white/reversed version (for dark backgrounds), a stacked version if for applying to a narrow space and an in-line version for applying to a wider space. Jpgs and GIFs for web application should also be supplied. 

Logo guidelines

A logo guideline document would be supplied by any professional design company worth their salt. This document can be used internally as well as provided to external providers as a set of guidelines on how to apply the logo to ensure the consistency of your brand.

Your logo is the foundation of your business and as such should be approached less as a cost and more as in investment. A professional design service should provide you with not only a great logo but also peace of mind and on-going support.