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Logo Design In A Small Business World

Understanding Logos

Logos are my favorite. In fact, I would prefer to work on a logo design over and above any other type of design work. But if you were to ask how many logos I’ve designed compared to other work, it would be microscopic. This is simply because I believe the logo is thought of as an item that has very little to do with the overall operation of a company.

To counteract this mindset I want to respond to three common objections/questions I have found while working with small businesses and their logo/branding efforts.


1. Why would anyone pay SO much money for their logo?

Simply answered; they understand the purpose of their logo. Their logo is their face. It is what they are remembered by when everything else is forgotten. Their logo speaks of quality and it aids the consumer/client of said company in remembrance of the service they can receive.

It is said that logos like H&R Block (yes, the green square) and Fedex cost around $1 Million. The reason that these companies were willing to pay such a steep price is because every single item that the logo would be placed on–whether it be a business card, a billboard, or a bus–would be a representation of the company and would ultimately draw in business.


2. Why should small businesses pay more?

Some of you read the first question and thought,”Yeah, but I’m not H&R Block or FedEx!” And you’re right to think this. You likely don’t have that kind of budget or reach. But what is stopping you from competing with the big companies? Could it be the way the public sees you?

Think of it this way. How many times have you been told (or told someone) to dress well and speak well for a job interview? And why is this so important? It’s because how you dress and communicate represents the potential work ethic you will bring to the company as an employee.

Companies pay high prices for logos because every time their logo is seen, a split-second interview takes place. The potential consumer is interviewing you and asking questions about your company.

Can you help me?

Are you capable?

Can I trust you?

The high price of a logo is a drop in the bucket compared to the ability to dress well and speak well to possible consumers.


3. I can get a logo online for as low as $25! 

If you are a current client of mine, you very well may have had this conversation with me. But when I have clients come to me with this statement, my typical response has been, “Yeah, but keep in mind you’re likely working with a 35 year old who lives in his mom’s basement in the middle of Guadalajara.”

Of course, I make such a hyperbolic statement in order to drive a point home.

Yes, you can get cheap design, but every aspect of the project will be just that–cheap!

When you use design-bid sites, you have little interaction with the “designer.” Because of this, you have no ability to tell what type of research went into the development of a logo. You have no ability to track the work flow. There is no way to tell if they just ripped off another design on the internet.

Now, let’s be honest. It is very easy to find logos out there that look similar to one another. As a wise man once said:

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

The difference between paying the price of a professional designer and using a bid site is that the professional can provide sketches, notes, and a variety of other proof(s) of their work in order to guarantee that there was no copyright or trademark theft. They can show that what they provided was, to the best of their ability (and knowledge), original and made specifically for you!


What does all of this mean?

As a small business, you should be willing to pay a high price for a logo. I’m not talking about $1 Million, but I am saying you should brace yourself for a price that is higher than you would expect.

When a designer takes on a logo project, it is more than likely the only thing they are working on for weeks and months at a time. And it is also how they pay their bills and provide for their family.

So when you are given a high price for a logo project, keep in mind two things. 1) The designer wants to give your company a well-dressed appearance and 2), they are trying to give your company well-spoken communication.

After all, your logo will be interviewed far more than you.