Oct 08, 2015

7 Key Factors To Pricing Logo Design

7 Key Factors To Pricing Logo Design

Pricing for logo design can be tricky. It’s more abstract then say a website or a typical brochure. Should you charge per project? Per hour? Level of complexity? All projects are unique. There’s no magic bullet. David Airey’s design pricing formula is a great example of why it can be a challenge to give a client specifics on how a project is expensed.

Be an advocate for your talent and assign value to the work that you are doing. When pricing just about every project, here are a handful of things I consider:

  • Budget. This is the most important. Does the client have a budget? Have you asked? Always ask— for God’s sake always ask. Before you invest too much of your time the client should have a ballpark idea of costs.
  • Time. I estimate all of my projects based on how many hours I think it will take to complete. If you want to do a thorough job consider the review process. For me, four to six rounds of review with and feedback and design factored into each is commonplace. And make sure you have a little wiggle room!
  • Experience. How much experience does the client have in this area? Have they rebranded before? Who have they worked with in the past? Talk with the client. Listen. Get an idea of expectations and go with your gut.
  • Background. Does the client have a firm idea of what they are looking for and do those ideas seem valid? As designers we shouldn’t be looking to the client for a recipe, it’s our job to help create the recipe and execute. However some clients just need a simple update. Some are starting from scratch. These things impact time and budget.
  • Communication. How accessible are the decision makers? There’s no bigger frustration in a business relationship than poor communication. Being in direct contact with the decision makers will yield faster turnaround times and help alleviate confusion. Always request a direct line to “the boss”.
  • Definition. This one’s the most ambiguous and takes some digging. There are a few factors to keep in mind while you’re making your assessment.
    • Has a target-audience been defined and does the current brand have equity in the marketplace?
    • Are you creating a logo for a company or product—is said product part of an existing line of merchandise or is it an offshoot?
    • Are there existing brand traits and are they valid?
    • Is there an established look and feel?
  • Documentation. Always, always, always have some type of documented agreement between you and the client. For me, creating documentation usually comes in two steps: first I create a proposal that’s a bit loose and has a ballpark on costs. Once the client’s agreed on the proposal I create a work order. The final work order has more specifics: how many reviews, final deliverables, schedules, etc. You don’t need to write a book but having some type of outlined agreement between you and the client is important. With a new client, it’s a must.

Remind clients that design is here to make them money. It is not an investment it’s a foundation. In all instances the mark you are creating should align with the company’s business objectives. Creating design that caters to that takes time and should not be an afterthought. At its core design is a solution to a problem. Our job is to solve it with good design.

Remember, diplomacy is good but don’t bullshit, be honest. If you believe in your work the client will respect that.

Relevant articles:

The Accidental Story of a 1.6 Billion Dollar Brand

Logo & Brand Identity Design – Nudging Clients In The Right Direction

How To Give Constructive Design Feedback Over Email

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