Logo Design Price: tested from $5-$50,000 (2023 study)
Last update: 9 August 2023 at 08:50 am
A logo is one of the essential components of every brand. It is what every customer will see of your company on social networks, your website, your premises, and your commercial proposals. Simply put: a logo is high stakes, and that makes logo design price, an important topic.
To make sure your logo design stands out and conveys your brand’s message, you need to make the right choice. But with such a breadth of professional logo design services with different prices and packages… you should know what you’re paying for—or missing out on—before you choose one.
So: how much does a logo cost? Here’s a quick summary of price points:
|What you get||A very generic logo, most likely made using free logo makers.||A unique logo, but with minimal research: potentially a generic design as a result.||A well researched, high quality logo that represents the values and positioning of your business||More than a logo. Ranging from a set of graphic material to represent your business, to a new imagining of its position and a visual identity to match.|
|Who makes it||A non-specialist freelancer. High risk of plagarism.||A freelancer making five per week, or a student.||An experienced freelancer or an agency||Branding agencies with strong positioning experience.|
|Who should try it||Almost nobody, you’d be better off using a free logo maker yourself.||The budget conscious companies just starting out – looking to develop their offering with design not a top priority.||Companies that understand their positioning, and just want a logo to represent that accurately, not much else.||Companies in a moment of change, looking to totally refresh their positioning, either graphically or from the ground up.|
In order to guide you through the jungle of logo design prices, we’ll dive into detail of each one.
$5-$50 Range: Bargain Basement Logos
For a long time, this price range simply didn’t exist. But the rise of cheap freelance platforms with a global reach (see fiverr, and upwork) has made business owners think when it comes to their brand.
Why am I paying a high price for a new logo, when I can get it done for a fraction of the price?Many business owners
Indeed these platforms are one of the reasons that we’re having this conversation in the first place, never before could you get a logo designed so cheap, and so quickly.
Average Prices on Upwork
We looked at the price range on Upwork, one of the most popular platforms for finding a logo designer in this price range.
And as you can see, the two most common prices sit at $30 and $100, with the vast majority of logos costing between $20 and $100.
Upwork has two “premium” classifications of its members – Top Rated and Top Rated+, and for both, a “client success rating” of over 90% is required, as well as a complete profile
This seems to be a good place to start benchmarking prices, as these are among the most qualified and vetted profiles on upwork’s platform:
|Upwork rating||Avg within $10-$50 range|
|Top rated +||$37|
|Avg budget overall||$34.35|
And there is a slight difference in logo design cost between the two ratings (in the region of 10%): which makes sense when you look at the conditions of these rankings. To become “Top Rated+ you need:
- Total earnings over $10,000 in the past 12 months.
- To have worked or working on one or more large* contracts in the past 12 months without negative outcomes.
And here comes the first insight into the process working with one of Upwork’s super cheap freelancers.
Get what you pay for: the super-budget logo process
Some simple mathematics give you an idea of the process thart goes into making these logos.
To generate $10,000 at a per-logo rate of $37, your average “Top Rated +” logo designer on upwork has to make a new logo every 1.35 days – and that’s not accounting for weekends, holidays or sickness.
From receiving the brief to final delivery in 11 hours on average.
Depending on your perspective that’s either impressive efficiency, or worryingly fast… but here’s the secret to them being able to churn out so many 🤫
The Bargain Logo Design Process
The first thing any professional designer has to take into account when setting their price is their overheads.
Standard would be:
- Apple iMac
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Indesign
This represents a substantial initial and monthly outlay, and makes it highly unlikely that anyone offering logos at such low prices uses a professional tool stack.
|Item||Overhead cost||Number of $37 logos to pay for it|
|Adobe Photoshop||$29/month||0.8 / month|
|Adobe Illustrator||$29/month||0.8 / month|
|Adobe Indesign||$29/month||0.8 / month|
And that’s without mentioning the thousands of dollars professional designers spend on education.
So it stands to reason that those offering cheap logo services on Upwork and similar platforms are not professional designers.
They won’t be using professional tools, and it’s unlikely that they’re designing from scratch.
It’s more likely that they’ll put something together using a free tool like Canva, logo templates, or perhaps one of the free logo generators such as looka, and they’ll almost certainly use one of many templates to create a generic design.
That’s at best, and at worst… it might be simply plagarised (and yes, we find some instances, below).
And beware, in many cases you’ll get a logo on a white bakground, making it near-useless or as a .jpg (shudder) rather than .SVG file, making it pixellated when blown up.
Safe to say nobody’s putting a $37 logo on a billboard!
Who’s designing your bargain logo
To take an example, here’s one “Top Rated Plus” Upworker,with a solid rating, 4.5* out of 5.
If a restaurant had 4.5* on google my business – I’d eat there!
So should I order a logo from Jackson?
At first glance his profile is OK, a little generic perhaps, but well, they’re logos and they seem on-brand for a modern, sleek adventure or travel company.
But digging into the comments turns up a strange mix of projects: strange for a designer!
And indeed Jackson is more of a virtual assistant
Perhaps he might make you a logo on the side, but it’s not his profession per-se.
And when we dig deeper into his designs, we find some disconcerting similarities to other results on the internet:
What more could you expect for $37?
Who should choose a bargain basement logo
Pretty much nobody.
You outsource services to someone who has more skills, better tools and greater experience than you, and in this case you get none of that.
A freelance designer at this price will use the same free tools as you have access to, with the same level of skill. But, crucially, they have much less knowledge of your brand positioning, your company values and the core message you’d like your logo to transmit.
The output will be much worse than if you’d just done it yourself.
Perhaps a company that’s really just starting out and testing the waters, might be interested in a range of services, from an all round virtual assistant which might include a logo.
In that case, it might be worth $10 or $20 to just take the logo off your plate… but with something so widely used and fundamental to every brand, do so with the knowledge that if the business goes anywhere, it’s going to be the first thing you want to re-design (with a proper designer of course). That $20 is a sunk cost, and time mis-spent.
Also, buyer beware, to avoid any copyright issues, you should reverse image search the portfolio items of any freelance designer you work with, to make sure you’re not going to get something plagiarised.
$100-$500 range: Cheap Logos
Again I benchmarked Upwork, to get an idea of the average prices within the $100-$500 range to find the average price for a “Cheap” logo – looking specifically at the “Top Rated” and “Top Rated +” freelancers.
|Upwork rating||Avg within $100-$500 range|
|Top rated +||$195|
|Avg budget overall||$175|
The Cheap Logo Process
For a “real” logo, in .SVG, format, made by someone trained (if not necessarily professional) and with the right tools… this is really as cheap as a logo its going to get.
But who’s going to be doing the work? And what are you going to get out of it?
Who’s designing your cheap logo?
In the United States, the average hourly rate for a Graphic designer according to Indeed is $19.80. That means that a designer would, theoretically, be spending around 10 hours on delivering each logo to make an average wage from this “cheap logo” price of $195.
Cost of living, and average salary, varies from country to country. But there are a couple of ways these kind of logos get made:
- By professionals churning out five or more logos every week
- By students or part-timers willing to accept a bit less
And each comes with its own process:
The Professional Logo Designer Process
Logo design is a creative pursuit, and just like it’s difficult to optimise for efficiency when painting a portrait, or writing a novel, it’s hard to cut the fat in the process of making a logo.
What that means is the designer is often forced to cut corners on the creation process, and specifically on the research.
A day or two of work just gives a designer just enough time to go through the basic logo design process:
- Understand and clarify the briefing
- Speak to the client for inspiration (fonts, colours, mood boards…)
- Creating some quick variations of a logo based on those themes.
- Refining the chosen logo.
- Final delivery and invoicing.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t include anything that’s going to make your company stand out. It doesn’t include a deep-dive into your positioning in the market (and how your design might stand up against competitors).
It’s a process with no time for understanding the values and direction of the business and its industry.
The end result is often cliché, and perhaps soon to look dated as the industry moves on.
The Student’s Cheap Logo Process
A graphic design student or part-timer is more willing to put in the hours, given that it’s not their main source of income, and one of the motivating factors is the experience they gain working on your project.
You might get lucky, and find a rising star who’ll make you a good logo.
But it’s a higher risk, and while a student is more likely to invest the time to research your niche, they are also more likely to commit some cardinal design sins. And you might not notice them untill it’s too late.
These could be innocuous but frustrating:
- Is the logo too complex to be seen in a small size, such as on a pen?
- Could it be embroidered on a t-shirt without too much trouble?
- Will it look good in black and white, as well as full colour?
Or they could be more fundamental. Remember that your logo, in theory goes everywhere. Forget the spend on the logo, imagine the money you would invest on materials, uniforms, signage and flyers, only to find that your cheap logo designer had made one of these schoolboy errors.
For these brands, a cheap logo turned out to be very expensive indeed.
Who should choose a cheap logo?
Unlike $37, bargain basement logos, these kind of logos do in fact have a place.
Companies just starting out, developing their first product lines, and testing the waters often look for a logo at this price point. Especially if we’re talking about a bootstrapped start-up or small business, without the funds to
For these companies, their main focus is to get that first handful of customers, get as much feedback as possible, and develop their product offering and positioning. The logo is secondary, and as a brand-new business you’re probably going to pivot, and change your offering based on experience.
Think of it as a placeholder, cheap enough so that you can focus on other
But make no mistake, the day will come when that logo won’t cut it, and you’ll invest again in another visual identity. Trust me, I know – it happened to Sortlist when we rebranded.
And if you’ve got a little bit more budget, and your positioning clear, it’s worth spending that little bit more to get it right first time.
$1,000 – $5,000 Range: Agencies & Top Freelancers
When we get to the mid level of $1,000 to $5,000 – the scope of both the project and the deliverable changes radically.
And the end product might look similar to a $190 logo, if it’s not your business.
So what do you get from the higher ticket?
One of the positives of working at this price point, is the very weakness of cheaper logos: the research.
When you understand the competitive positioning of the brand, its history, plans for the future, and existing designs in the sector, you look at that logo and say: “yes, that’s exactly us”.
At this price point, you’re not just talking about working with an experienced, professional freelancer. You could equally work with a branding and design agency. In fact, 13,000 branding agencies have completed projects at this price point on Sortlist.com.
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Why an agency?
You can take avantage not only of their professionalism, but their larger team. With a range of experts in specialised roles and agency doesn’t just give you great design, but a much improved experience with specialists along each step of the way.
The Agency Logo Design Process
The first big advantage is that, when working at the mid-price point, an agency might turn down your project.
Sorry, what?! How is that an advantage?
Well, while cheap freelancers will take amost any project, an agency specialises in certain fields.
If they specialise in sleek, modern design, and you’re looking for a cartoon logo for your pet food brand – they won’t waste your time (and might suggest an agency that’s a better fit).
That means you’ll be geting a genuine specialist in not only logos but your type of logo.
And they’ll be up front about their process, including their design philosophy, revision guidelines, and business policies – all of which helps you decide if they’re a good fit too. It’s a mutual decision.
If you decide to go forward, then research begins:
Logo Discovery Process
First up they’ll likely look in house – asking questions such as:
- What is the purpose of your logo? What challenge are you facing?
- How would you personify your brand? What traits would you assign to it? (smart, cautious, etc.)
- What is the tone of your brand? (articulate, formal, humorous, etc.)
- What are your core beliefs and values?
- What makes your brand unique and differentiates you from your competitors?
- How do you want your clients to talk about your brand?
Then an agency will look into your competitors.
For example, green is a common logo colour in the health and wellness sector, for its associations with nature, health, growth, and harmony. Many health and wellness brands use green in their logos to convey a sense of calmness, freshness, and vitality. Take Whole Foods and The Body Shop.
You can either go with this colour because it’s proven to work, or pick a different colour to set yourself apart from the rest. The decision depends on your branding strategy and how much you want to stand out. But you need to do the industry research first to make a smart choice.
An agency will:
- Learn what logo techniques, colours, and shapes are common in your industry.
- Steer clear of what logo techniques are overdone and boring.
- Spot what logo techniques are overlooked and could make you stand out.
- Know what kind of customers are most common in your industry (and their preferences).
Agreeing on the aesthetics
An agency will present images related to client’s services for inspiration and symbolism. These won’t be copied, but used as a jumping off point to discuss and explore further.
Among the elements discussed will be:
- Colours – Choosing colours first for mood and differentiation. Colour makes brand identity stand out – so they’re a fundamental element of the process, and getting the right fit between brand and palette is essential.
- Typography – Finding fonts that match client’s aesthetic preferences from brand strategy session. Showing them early to confirm their vision.
- Real world applications You migt be shown potential real world applications of a logo, such as on a business card, signage, office wall, window decal, car… to see inspiration in context.
The creation process
Design is unique, and each designer has their own creative process. Some will dive straight into illustrator, and some will sit with pen and paper.
But the common thread will be the inspiration taken from that in-depth research phase. The design will almost always begin with the common associations that come from the brand identity previously discussed.
Following the research phase, revisions tend to be minimal. That’s why the process is so extensive, in the end it saves time, and gives a better final result.
Normally an agency will let you know up front how many rounds of revisions are included in their initial price, with further revisions subject to an extra fee.
But the reality is, that these revisions are almost never used in their entirety – and changes tend to be only small details.
The logo will then come in a range of formats, with a range of colour variants and different backgrounds and the logo in context with some common (and requested) use cases to show best practices.
It will come with a written guide, helping to align your team on how to use the logo, and (more importantly) how not to use it. That helps keep your team aligned and means your logo stays your logo, without distortions
When it comes to formats and variations, standard would be:
- A range of formats including SVG, PDF, AI and PNG.
- RGB color for digital use and CMYK/Pantone colors for print.
- Colour, inverted (light on dark), and black & white variants.
- Horizontal version, stacked (vertical), and icon or monogram version (as applicable).
Real Life Example: the Impact of a €2,000 logo
Take The Globe, an E-learning start up based in Granada, Spain. Omibu was the agency that won their project to update their brand image, with a new logo to inspire more confidence and embody maturity.
The project, and logo created, focussed on the three major business areas for The Globe – Children’s tutoring, exam preparation and tutoring for professional qualifications. And the logo looked to create an educational universe out of these three areas.
The thinking behind this new logo is made clear in the agency’s video:
And while the result, on their website, looks like this:
But the logo goes much further, and being so deeply researched and thought out means it forms the centre point of a brand story.
The benefit of working with an established agency shines through in the breadth, and potential application of the finished product. The thought behind the logo aligns it with the business strategy, and communicates The Globe’s value proposition in every swipe of the app and every card key: to every single client.
Quite different from what a free logo maker might offer.
Who should choose a mid-price logo?
A mid-price logo is the right option for a company with a strong sense of its own identity, and who needs only a centrepiece to make that identity shine.
And it’s right for a company whose positioning isn’t likely to change in the near future the logo represents an investment in communicating that brand personality, and if it’s subject to change, the logo might have to change too.
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$5,000 – $50,000 range: Complete Branding Projects
Not to brag, but there are over 10,000 branding and positioning projects posted on Sortlist every year.
So safe to say we’ve got some data. The average price of agency works including logos, as uploaded to their portfolios on Sortlist.com, is €22,000 (and for more data like this, check out our branding report)
And I say “agency works including logos” rather than “logos” because many, if not all, of these projects go much further than a simple logo.
Price Data From 40,000 Branding projects
So how much do these more complete branding projects cost?
On the Sortlist platform we have two data points, projects posted (over 37,000) and agency projects uploaded to their portfolios, or works (3,000) which can give us an idea.
It’s important to say that the works uploaded to agency portfolios might be on the high side, while the budget earmarked on projects posted are sometimes on the low side. So looking at the mid-point is a good place to start.
Why we look at the median logo price
Though looking at the mean offers valuable insights as to the trend in price over time, median prices are perhaps a more accurate measure of what you could actually expect to pay.
Prices tend to broadly follow a "normal distribution" - which could look a bit like this (this isn't an accurate representation - rather an example)
So we try to take the price represented by the middle of that bell curve (from the 40th to the 60th percentile) to give an idea of the most likely price range. Depending on the country, expertise, and sector, this might look different.
Doing so gives us a more accurate average logo design cost:
As you can see there are some large variations, with the projects from the United Kingdom representing the high end ($13,000-$16000) and Spain representing the lower end ($3,000 to $6,000).
But when taking these projects into account, we must bear in mind that the business is getting much more than a logo. At minimum they're getting a whole new graphic universe (as was the case with the example of The Globe) and perhaps they're getting in-depth brand consulting
What you get for your money: logos from experienced agencies
Many logos, especially those at the higher end of the scale, are, simply, represent more than just a logo.
They are complete branding projects, and many include extensive brand positioning work. A logo acts as the centrepiece of a brand, but it’s held up by hundreds of other graphic elements.
The research part will be similar to that mentioned in the mid-price logo, but deeper and greater in scope. how much deeper depends on the deliverable that you've agreed in the initial stage - and then of course that deliverable itself vaires based on the scope fo the project.
What could that deliverable be, and how does it impact the price?
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Comparing real-life projects ($10,000 - $30,000)
The difference between these two price ranges, is truly how far away the project deviates from simple logo creation, towards the creation of a graphic universe, and into the creation of a business universe.
In other words, you might say, how much it veers into positioning the company, rather
To get an idea, let's compare and contrast two different projects found on Sortlist:
Kook Creative for NED: $10,000
Our project in the $10,000 range comes from Kook Creative Studio, who were contracted to modernise NED properties, a traditional Dubai-based real estate company.
The first port of call was a custom logo, designed to not only transmit the sleek and modern new brand identity, but also to function equally well, and convey the same feeling in both Arabic and English.
The campaign however extended far beyond this one touchpoint, to ensure this new brand identity came across in a coherent experience.
That meant print, digital, and communication assets were also redesigned to embody the new Ned look: from business cards to letterheads and social media.
The logo is the centrepiece of a larger campaign, but the work went far beyond: ensuring that the design and mood was coherent throughout.
Visuelle Fabrik for ODEYA: $30,000
In this case, it was a Swiss hotel that looked to rebrand following the addition of a conference centre to its offering. Of course, a high quality logo re-design was included:
So why such a difference in price?
The hint is in the logo: not only did the hotel get that new design, but a new name to go along with it.
With the addition of a conference centre, the business was in a moment of profound change, and its core identity had to change along with it. Its value proposition changed, from a hotel for tourists to a hotel for business too, and it now had to set itself apart in a new market.
What made it stand out? In their research, the Visuelle Fabrik team understood that it occupied a privileged space: in Basel's largest private park, but in the middle of the city.
So its new brand came to embody that unique advantage against other conference venues in the city. Not just in design, but in communication and copy. It became central to the business, something that can be seen clearly in their website, referencing an "urban wild garden" and "delicious things from the garden".
This competitive advantage, its natural location, is present in the logo, of course, but also in all the other client touchpoints.
And the work of the agency even extends to the creation of sub-brands for each individual segment of the hotel's customer base.
Positioning is the differentiator at this price point
It's clear: the amount of design work is what differentiates a $1,000 "logo-only" from a $10,000 one that goes beyond into other materials.
Then the amount of positioning work is what differentiates a $10,000 "logo-and-more" from a $30,000 one, that spreads out from just design towards "positioning" of the brand.
For many agencies, especially when it comes to "positioning" the work is more than just the visual, and the external, branding can almost be like business consulting. It involves deep analysis of the personality of the business and then concrete strategies to transmit that, both internally and externally.
Belgian branding agency Nemesis sum it up well:
You can listen to more of this side of branding from the horse's mouth: in our chat about branding's impact on companies in a recession 👇
Who should choose a top end logo?
Really, it's companies who want and need just a bit more than a logo. The common thread is that we'll be getting a campaign that revives and renovates multiple touchpoints.
This might be a graphic universe, with materials ranging from the digital (logos, colour scheme, email signature, social graphics...) to the physical (business cards, letterheads, pens...).
The "low end of the top end" will focus above all on the visual.
But if your the company is looking for collaboration in a reinvention that goes beyond the purely physical
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So, how much should I pay for my logo?
How much you should pay for your logo, really depends on what you're looking to achieve and whether you really need a professional logo design.
But there are some general rules of thumb:
Super budget logos ($5-$50) aren't worth it. The time you spend briefing a freelancer, you could use one of the free logo tools out there (which is what the freelancer will be doing anway). That's at best, at worst, you'll be getting a letter from the lawyer of whoever's logo they plagarised.
Budget logos ($50-$500) have their place, especially at the higher range. It might be worthwhile if you're a brand-new company, launching an MVP, who just wants to launch and start testing the offering.
You'll be getting somebody that's got the tools - but we're either talking about a professional who's churning out a logo per day, or a student who might be subject to some basic errors. If you're willing to run that risk, it might be for you.
Mid-price logos ($1,000 – $5,000) is when we start talking about the real deal. Perhaps these logos are most worth considering if you're a more mature company, that knows what it stands for (or have this clear from the beginning).
You'll get an experienced design and branding agency, who dives deep into the company and its position in the market. You'll get something that looks as good on a pen, as a website, and a billboard. But more than that, you'll get something that encapsulates the brand, makes it stand out against competitors, and transmits its values in every usage.
High-end logos ($5,000 – $50,000) are really more than logos. For companies looking for a total re-imagining of their identity, ranging from the purely visual, to the
At the low end, an agency crafts a comprehensive graphic identity for a company, spanning digital and physical touchpoints. At the higher end, the agency advises on business essence, revamping elements to distinguish and collaborates on defining standout strategies.
The decision is yours.