Are you ready to take the leap and design a logo for your startup? What about take old logo from drab to fab via a rebrand? Woohoo! We live for branding project. But, before you/we get to the fun stuff of bringing your branding and logo design vision to life, you need to set a budget for your new logo. If you’re asking yourself, “how much does a logo cost?” then let’s crunch some numbers and explore your options.

Logo Design On a Budget: Branding Options for Every Business

The Cheapest Option: You Can Design a Logo For Free Using Free Logo Design Tools

logo design is not free

Calling all avid DIYers! If you have the time, knowledge, and skills to create your own logo, then go on with your bad-self and do it! However, we cannot advise you to do so without the following disclaimer:

If you are not a professional graphic design artist, we highly recommend hiring the right branding agency like Charm School. Why? Because your logo represents your entire brand, so you really need to do it right. You DO NOT want to cut corners and save money here. On the contrary, you need to prioritize your marketing budget starting with your business website and branding.

Logo design is complex. Branding design is just as much about the aesthetics as the strategy. A logo that is too messy,  confusing, generic, or off brand will turn customers off. If you’re reading this saying, “but I can do it myself!” then don’t let us stop you. Here are ways you can make a logo for cheap.

The Cheapest and Easiest DIY Logo Design Tool for Beginners: Logo Makers

If you’d like a fast and inexpensive way to generate a simple logo without learning how to use design software, look no further! Some logo makers are free, but most have a cost upon download. Beware though: free/cheaper options have limited and generic graphics. They may not have the proper files or customer support you need either.

Here are some logo makers we love: 

  • Looka $20 offers a basic .png package for $20 and up to $65 for high-res .png, .svg, .eps, and .pdf files.
  • DesignHill $20 has three package options: $20 for a .png logo, $65 for high-res logos, and a $125 premium option where you can customize your logo with a designer. 
  • LogoMaker $40 has two pricing options: $40 for high-res logos and $99 to work with one of their designers to customize your logo.

Affordable Intermediate Logo Design Tools: Customizable Logo Templates

If you have software (like Adobe Illustrator) to customize a found template, then this is a great option for you. Like Logo Makers, beware the generic logo options. You don’t want to have the same logo as 20 other businesses in your industry. 

Find a customizable logo template here: 

  • Canva Free! Canva is an amazing resource for logo designs. There are over 18,000 free options and additional, more high end logos if you are a pro member ($119.99 per year).
  • Adobe Spark $9.99 per month An awesome option if you already have a knack for design. Simply edit the customizable templates as needed to fit your brand.
  • Etsy starting at $10 Find with a seller that fits your style, just be sure you receive the file types that you need (hey, vector). Some sellers may even work with you to personalize your logos for an additional fee so you don’t have to go it alone.

DIY Logo Design Tools for Experienced Graphic Designers

Again, unless you are a skilled graphic designer there is a reason that people are hired to create logo designs… because they’re great at it. If you’re one of those branding wizards, you can design a logo from scratch. That way, you’ll have total control over the design and full bragging rights: 

  • Adobe Illustrator $20.99 per month (with the annual plan) THE platform for logo design. 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 USD per month on an annual plan or $31.49 USD for month-to-month use.
  • Sketch $99 per year This program is only available if you have Mac OS X, but is a vector-based program that has multiple image file export options. At this time, Sketch does not allow for exporting in printer-friendly options, so we recommend using it solely for virtual images.
  • Vectr FREE Use Vectr online, or download it to your desktop, if you’re looking for a simple graphics editor. Files can be exported in multiple formats and the program offers lots of tutorials as you go.

The Best Bang For Your Buck: Hire a Professional Logo Designer

Professional Branding and Logo Design Agencies: $1,000- $7,500 

If you don’t have an in-house graphic designer or the ability to design a logo yourself, consider going to an agency and have them bibbidi-bobbidi-boo the perfect design. A branding agency like Charm School typically costs anywhere from $1,000- $7,500 for a logo. If you’re hiring an agency you can sit back, relax, and simply let the pros do their work. 

The pros of working with a branding design agency for your logo design:

  • Proven track record and testimonials
  • Cut and dry deliverables and packages
  • You’ll own your own logo design
  • You won’t have to project manage your logo design project
  • You get a high quality logo and brand style guide

Freelance Graphic Designers: $250 to $2,500

Hiring a freelancer will be a cheaper way to design your logo. Freelancers typically charge anywhere from $250 to $2,500 depending on their experience. However, where you cut costs you incur more responsibility and potential headache. You always get what you pay for.

Here’s a few things to consider when hiring a freelance logo designer: 

  • Do they charge hourly, or on a project basis?
  • How much experience do they have? 
  • What types of files will they export to you? What will you get in your final design package?
  • Will you own your logo?
  • Do they have a contract with exact deliverables listed? They should!

This is all well and good, but how does one find a freelancer? Below are several websites that can help you choose a designer who fits your needs:

  • Fiverr $5-$150 per hour (depending on the seller’s package you select) Fiverr freelancers offer their own basic, standard, and premium packages with design and file format options (eg: 5 edits, 10 edits, unlimited edits on your logo) for you to choose from.
  • Dribbble $15- $200 per hour (+ a designer search package at $299-$499 per month) Though there are affordable designers on the site, you do have to pay for Dribbble’s monthly (or quarterly) package options to contact them.
  • Upwork $10-$200 per hour A basic account on Upwork is free (though you do pay a 3% transaction fee). However, if you upgrade to a pro account, they’ll do some of the legwork for you and choose freelancer options for $500 and an additional 20% transaction fee. A bonus for Upwork: they hold your funds in escrow, so that designers must complete the job in order to get paid.

Popular Crowdsourcing Platforms for Logo Design: $130–$300

If you don’t know exactly what you want for your logo—and have a small logo design budget—then crowdsourcing might be your jam. Post your logo design brief and the price you’d like to pay, and then let the games begin! Freelancers will compete and post designs for you to choose from. Once you’ve found your match, they’ll tailor their design for your needs and you both win!

Check out: 

  • DesignCrowd $129 This crowdsourcing platform lets you set a three, five, or 10-day deadline for your design contest. You’ll receive at least 50 designs from all around the world based on your brief. If you aren’t satisfied, DesginCrowd offers a money-back guarantee.
  • DesignHill $249 A DesignHill package starts at an upfront cost of $249 for a minimum of 20 designs and unlimited designers. You can upgrade with 4 package options, with the highest being $999 to work with the best of the best designers and have perks like social media promotion on their platforms. They have a 100% money back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied.
  • 99designs $299 At 99designs, you enter your design brief, name the cash prize, and begin the contest. Logo design contests have 6 days in the qualifying round, and 5 days in the final round. The contest is divided into two rounds where you have the opportunity to give feedback and then choose up to 6 designers to get into the final round. Four different logo packages range from an upfront payment of $299-$1699 (depending on the level of designers you’d like to work with) with a 100% money back guarantee.

Whichever Option You Choose To Design a Logo for Your Small Business…

PLEASE remember these ground rules:

  • Your logo should be an all encompassing, unique, and on-brand symbol for your business.
  • You want to be proud of your logo, and it should send your business message quickly and easily to your clients.
  • When designing, remember that simple is best! You want a clean logo that can translate even when it’s shrunk down to an itty bitty favicon.
  • You should own your logo—check the fine print with freelancers!
  • You get what you pay for. It’s better to invest in a logo and branding that will last, than skimp out and regret it. Buy nice, or buy twice!
  • Be sure to have color, light, and dark options for your logo, as well as versions with a transparent background, so that it looks phenom no matter where it lives. 
  • Don’t forget that your designs and color palette must be ADA compliant (it’s the law)! Everyone should have a chance to see your logo clearly and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
  • The best way to ensure that your logo stands the test of resizing is make it into a vector or raster file for high-res options across all of your marketing platforms. We recommend vector as it can be altered without the risk of distortion.
    • Vector files (ai, .eps, .svg, or .pdf.) can be scaled up and down drastically without losing the integrity of the image. 
    • Raster files (.jpg, .png, or .gif.) are typically used more often for detailed graphics and photographs and are measured in DPI (dots per inch). Because these files are on a pixel grid, they can look wonky when the image size is changed. 

And there you have it, a logo design option for every budget! Whichever direction you choose to go in for your logo design, we can’t wait to see what beautiful design you come up with. Please reach out if you’d like Charm School to help with everything from business development consulting to brand name development and logo design.