If you’re thinking about taking your side hustle to the next level this year, getting a killer logo design can help transform your business idea into a money-making venture.
Which begs the question: how much does a logo cost? From DIY design to working with a graphic designer or agency, the cost of a logo can vary from $2 to $2500+, with several options in between. Mid-range options include buying a logo from an online logo maker (starting at $20) or a design crowdsourcing website (starting at $99).
But the truth is, there are so many variables that factor into how much you’ll pay for your logo design. Here’s what you need to know before choosing how to make your logo.
The logo-making journey
Designing a logo with or without outside support is an iterative and multi-step process that can involve research, brainstorming, sketches, and several design concepts.
That’s why custom logo packages can wildly range not only in price—from relatively free to a few thousand dollars—but the amount of time and effort needed to get the job done.
Before we dive in, take a step back to figure out how you’ll be using that logo across channels and branded applications.
Will your logo only live digitally, or do you plan on printing it on business cards and other marketing materials? The answer to that question can change the kind of logo file formats and color variations you’ll need.
Let’s start by explaining that there are two basic categories of image files: raster and vector.
Raster files are measured in DPI (dots per inch) and have a file extension of .jpg, .png or .gif. Since raster files are based on a pixel grid, you run the risk of your logo becoming distorted when you change the image size. Vector files, on the other hand, can be scaled to any size without losing quality—from an Instagram profile picture to a subway station ad. They can be opened, edited, and saved in different programs, and have a file extension of .ai, .eps, .svg, or .pdf.
Raster files are measured in DPI (dots per inch) and have a file extension of .jpg, .png or .gif. Since raster files are based on a pixel grid, you run the risk of your logo becoming distorted when you change the image size.
Vector files, on the other hand, can be scaled to any size without losing quality—from an Instagram profile picture to a subway station ad. They can be opened, edited, and saved in different programs, and have a file extension of .ai, .eps, .svg, or .pdf.
While you can make a high-resolution raster file work for you, they’re not ideal for all applications. Vector files are what you’ll want to ensure your logo looks amazing across branded assets.
And when it comes to color variations, make sure you’re getting light, dark, and full-color versions of your logo for your branding needs, as well as versions with transparent backgrounds.
The exporting options for color can range, too: RGB is used for digitally displayed logos, and CMYK is best for printed products (Pantone can work for both).
Is your head spinning yet? Don’t worry — we’re here to guide you through the cost of making a logo and what each type of package includes.
Option 1: Do it yourself
If you’re looking to flex your design chops, you might want to take a stab at making your own logo. But creating a design that fits your brand and can be used across channels is a challenge.
The biggest cost will be your own time crafting a logo on paper and choosing the right design software to bring the sketch to life.
We want to warn you there is a reason why people pay to design logos. It isn’t easy, especially without a background in design.
The good news? You’ll have complete creative control, and there are online tutorials to hold your hand as you learn new software.
Only available for Mac OS X, Sketch costs $99 for a one-year license. The vector-based design software will let you export your logo in various formats: PDF, SVG, PNG, JPG, and EPS. While Sketch is steadily becoming a favorite in the design community, it isn’t a tool for print design since you can’t export logos in the printer-friendly CMYK colors.
Illustrator is the design industry’s go-to app for vector graphics and is built to work with other Adobe programs. You can export your work in over ten formats for digital and print use. Access the software through an Adobe Creative Cloud membership for $20.99 per month on an annual plan or $31.49 for month-to-month use.
A free (but basic) vector graphics editor, Vectr can be downloaded onto your desktop or used online. The program offers in-app lessons, and files can be exported in both raster and vector formats, including AI, PNG, JPG, and SVG.
Canva’s paid subscription costs $9.95 per month or $12.95 paid monthly on an annual plan. The program features more than 1000 logo templates to customize and lets you download your finished work as a JPG, PNG, PDF, or GIF.
Option 2: Buy and customize a logo template
Pre-made templates cut some of the effort and time required to create a logo from scratch.
Because you need software to customize the design, most template logo files are compatible with Adobe Illustrator (again, you’ll need a paid subscription to these programs). It then takes time to alter colors and change the generic text to your brand’s name.
These templates can come with more than just a logo, offering up a branding package and social media designs. Make sure you read the template description to know what you’re getting, including the file types included.
And remember: using a template does mean other people could have a very similar logo to the one you choose. We don’t want you shelling out your hard-earned cash for an overused and unoriginal design!
There are over 49,000 logo templates on Creative Market to explore, ranging from as little as $2 to $500. The bulk of the templates are between $19 and $39 for a bundle with two licensing options: standard, for businesses that aren’t going to exceed 500 sales, and extended, for unlimited sales. Expect to spend three times the listed price for the extended license.
GraphicBurger carries batches of logo-worthy icons in a variety of formats with complete kits for anywhere between $20 and $100 a pack—ranging from a couple hundred to a few thousand icons. These icons can be pulled into design programs like Sketch or Illustrator to be further modified and paired with typography.
With nearly 58,000 templates, GraphicRiver carries low-grade templates from around $10 and high-end bundles that can hit the $200 mark. Most of the non-exclusive logo packages on this site will run you $30 to $50 and come with vector-based files.
Option 3: Use an online logo maker
Without the need to purchase or learn design software, logo makers might be the cheapest option on the market. Some sites charge absolutely nothing to use the service — you only pay when you’re ready to download the logo files.
An online logo maker (like Looka’s!) can generate hundreds of logo variations using basic information about your company and design preferences; you can then edit and tweak the mockups you like.
But beware: even though logo makers run in a low price bracket, the quality of designs can drastically differ. While there are freebies on the market, a paid option is more likely to give you the correct files you need to confidently use your logo.
Looka falls in this category, offering a basic PNG logo package for $20 and $65 for a high-resolution logo package with PNG, EPS, SVG, and PDF files (more pricing info here).
You can also purchase add-ons like a social media kit (with your logo sized for different platforms) and business card design templates.
Option 4: Crowdsource the design
Think of crowdsourcing as a contest: you post a detailed logo brief to a community of designers, including the price you’re willing to pay for a design. Freelancers can then submit their unique designs for a chance to be picked.
Once a design is finalized, the designer will send your logo in multiple file types to launch your business.
99designs runs seven-day contests divided into two rounds: qualifying and final. You have the chance to give designers feedback to refine their entries, and up to two weeks to review the final submitted designs before choosing a winner.
Four different logo packages range from $399 to $1699, the most pricey option exclusive to what they call “top level” designers. You’ll have to pay for your design contest up front (before you get any logo files), but it comes with a money-back guarantee.
You can set a three, five, or 10-day deadline for your design contest on DesignCrowd and provide a detailed design brief. Launch a contest for as little as $109, and you can expect to receive up to 50 designs from a handful of designers. They also offer a money-back guarantee.
Through DesignHill, crowdsourcing a logo starts at $199, but you can set a higher budget if you’re looking to draw the attention of top-notch designers. Although you can choose the contest duration to suit your needs, you’ll have to pay the cost upfront.
Option 5: Hire a freelance logo designer
Tapping a freelancer means you’ll get to work with an expert to create a professional logo design while seeing several concepts come to fruition. Depending on the designer’s skill, a fresh logo could cost you anywhere from $250 to $2,500.
Through different platforms, there are online communities of designers you can seek out to find one that meets your needs. But remember that this will take time!
Despite offering a free basic membership, to search for designers for hire, Dribbble charges $199 for a month-to-month membership or $99 per month, paid annually.
Through the platform, you can set how much you’re willing to pay, the type of work you need, and the experience level you’re seeking. Designers set their own hourly rates, which can range from $15 to $200 per hour based on their experience.
You set the style, file format, price range, and design deadline through Fiverr. You’ll then need to pay a designer up front for their work, typically in the $25 to $150 per hour range. Fiverr offers three packages — basic, standard, and premium — each coming with their own set of design and file download options. For one, simple logo design, packages usually range from $50-$100.
Billed as the biggest freelance exchange in the world, most designers will charge between $10 and $200 per hour. A basic account is free, apart from a 2.75% transaction fee.
If you upgrade to a pro account, Upwork handpicks freelancers for a flat fee of $500 and an additional 20% transaction fee. Upwork also allows you to hold your funds in escrow, meaning designers must complete the job to get paid.
Option 6: Hire a logo design agency
The most expensive logo option out there is to hire a firm to do the work for you.
Agencies charge upwards of $2,500 for a logo design, with some hitting the $5,000 to $10,000 mark. That can be cost-prohibitive for someone looking to evolve a side hustle into their 9-to-5.
When considering an agency, here’s what to keep in mind:
- The deposit: Expect to pay up to 50% of the cost for a logo design before an agency jumps into the work.
- The contract: Not all agencies will ask you to sign a contract. If you do, you’ll be legally on the hook for paying the full fee when the work is done.
- The time: Backed by a design team, an agency can take their time crafting your logo. Expect at least one week before you see any mockups.
Extra costs to consider
After your logo is complete, you might want to consider rounding out your company’s visual identity with customized designs for social media and business cards. Establishing brand guidelines and getting a trademark might also be on your list.
These costs can quickly add up, so keep them in mind when selecting (and budgeting) a logo-making option.
Choosing the right option
Even if you’re just getting a business off the ground, a logo is the starting point for building your brand identity.
After you have an idea, think about how you’ll be showing off your brand online and offline. Then figure out what logo design package price will work for you.
On the under-$100 end, you could look at designing a logo yourself or customizing a template if you have some editing chops. An online logo maker is another budget-friendly choice if you don’t want to buy design software but still want control over the process.
More to spend? You can check out design crowdsourcing, or hire a freelance designer or agency if it seems like a good fit.
Whatever option you choose, we wish you the best in your logo-making journey!