(Please note: This article has been updated since original publication in 2011 and the most recent article is called Frequently Asked Questions.)
As a logo designer I am often asked various questions about what I do, how I go about it and what a job will involve from the client’s perspective.
Here you can see general answers to some of the most common questions I am asked.
How much will a logo cost?
I don’t like to respond with the cliché “how long is a piece of string” but it’s often tempting!
The logos I design are bespoke: that is, they are completely custom built for the client’s needs and as such, each project can vary massively from the last.
As such, a ‘standard price’ is difficult to give without an understanding of the brief involved. I do tend to say, however, that you shouldn’t be spending less than £500 on a logo due to the amount of work that goes into making sure it’s built to last due to thorough research and professional execution. Have a look at my design process – this will give you a good idea of the time that is taken to achieve this.
The chances are that you are likely to be quoted in the region of £750 – £2,000, depending on the requirements and deliverables.
Do you design websites?
I will be happy to discuss designing a website for you but I have to be honest and explain that the code development part of the job will be outsourced to a trusted associate of mine.
That said, I would take on all design and project management responsibility to ensure the process is as straightforward as possible for you, the client.
I actually design other things too, if you’re interested. With a background in mainly print based design I can quote to design your business stationery, advertising, posters, point of sale displays, packaging, signage, brochures or a variety of other items. Please ask for more details.
Who have you worked for? Have you designed anything I’d know?
In my career I’ve had the privilege of working for some pretty high profile clients – mostly through the agencies I’ve worked for in both full time and freelance capacities. You’d recognise global names such as Citroën, Reef, Skoda, Wrigley and BP/Castrol from my CV, and if you’re in the UK you will probably know of St Austell Brewery, Thatchers Cider and the National Marine Aquarium too.
You may have seen some of the work I’ve done for these clients, depending on whether you spend a lot of time in car showrooms or if you work for one of the companies mentioned!
The experience I have gained through working for clients like these stands me in good stead and has provided me with the experience to know how best to approach a job and, importantly, please busy customers. However, many of my favourite jobs have been with smaller clients where I have been able to become more deeply involved in the process from start to finish, working closely with the clients and seeing them benefit from the investments they have made.
Have a look here to see some of my work
How do you design a logo?
I have developed a process that helps me to understand the objective of the brief concerned and effectively solve it. I’m a big believer in getting the foundations built properly so I always aim to incorporate suitable research and plenty of sketching into the job. As previously mentioned, each job is bespoke and different, so the process is flexible to cater for that, but you can see a detailed explanation of my process on this article.
Who owns the design rights?
Once the final bill is paid I transfer the rights to you, the client.
I retain the right to showcase the work online and in my portfolio for self-promotional purposes (unless negotiated otherwise) but you have the right to use the logo as you wish. I prefer that you don’t edit, customise, or claim authorship of it, and I offer some basic logo usage guidelines to help keep it consistent, but at the end of the day, you’ve paid for it and it’s yours to do with what you like.
If you commission me to design a logo (or anything else, for that matter) you’ll be asked to sign a contract which includes some further details regarding copyright and ownership in the terms and conditions.
How long will it take to design me a logo?
Again, each job is different but ideally I’d like to allow at least 4 weeks for a small to medium logo job, probably more like 6 weeks ideally. That is not to say I’ll be working exclusively on that particular job for the entire time (unless that is covered by the budget, of course!): it’s likely that I’ll be working on 2-3 jobs simultaneously.
It’s possible to work to shorter timescales for some jobs but rush fees may be applied. Likewise, a bigger project may require a timescale of several months depending on the amount of research and development required.
You’re in Plymouth – I’m in London/USA/Narnia… Will that be a problem?
No. The internet really does make the world a much smaller place!
Using email, Skype and telephone (and magic wardrobes where necessary…) I am able to work remotely yet remain in almost constant contact. I welcome national and international customers and am very happy to speak to you to encourage or reassure you regarding any queries you might have.
When will you charge me, and how?
For most jobs I will request a deposit prior to starting work, usually between 30-50% of the total fee (or higher in some specific circumstances). The remaining balance will be charged in one or two further instalments, with the final payment being due before artwork files and rights are transferred at the completion of the project.
My preferred payment method is by direct bank transfer (bank details are provided on my invoices), although a cheque is also acceptable if enough clearing time is allowed against the invoice due date.
For international clients I accept payment by PayPal but it should always be made in UK Pounds Sterling to the value of the invoice amount, rather than a converted corresponding amount in another currency.
What do you need to know about my company to be able to start designing?
Quite a lot, actually!
I like to know as much as I possibly can, to give me the best possible insight into the requirements. I have a questionnaire that I send out to potential clients which asks a range of questions relating to their business, their target audience, their preferences etc. You can download the questionnaire here and you can see an explanation of how to write a design brief here.
I’m a start up company. Will you design me a logo for free/in return for my services?
Probably not, sorry.
In some rare instances I have agreed to work for free or for substantially reduced fees but I place a high value on the work I do and as such these occasions are almost always restricted to family, close friends or the church in which I am involved (and even these don’t necessarily get freebies every time!).
I’m open to developing relationships with associates with whom I am able to reduce my rates in return for regular referrals or services but again, these situations are quite rare and at my own discretion.