Web Design

What Does It Cost To Develop A Logo?

If you were to poll a random passerby on the street and ask them how much they thought it would cost to design a professional business logo, chances are they would guess below $1000. If you were to then show them a series of popular logos, such as Google or Nike, and ask them how long they thought it took to develop these popular brands’ popular images, chances are they wouldn’t be guessing more than two weeks at the very most.

These misconceptions of brand identity are incredibly widespread in today’s business community and often lead to business owners being caught completely off guard by not only the actual costs of developing a logo, but also the sheer amount of time and effort that go into a developing a seemingly simple piece of art. A well-done original logo, developed by a creative graphic artist will cost you, at a bare minimum, approximately $5000. Doing a simple search for brand identity in Philadelphia and Denver brings you an array of pricing ranging from $5000 to $25000. Imagine the look on Caroline Davidson’s face were she to have seen these prices today. For those of you unfamiliar, Caroline Davidson was the woman who was paid $35 to draw the “checkmark” that became the hugely popular logo of Nike.

We understand that these figures seem exorbitantly high to those outside of the world of brand identity, but this does not change the reality. So let’s work together to determine where exactly these prices are coming from and what exactly goes into creating a professional brand for a business today.

Logo design of Junction VenturesLogo design of Anya KayLogo design of Philadelphia Party PlannerLogo design of Restaurant ChiefLogo development for Bambo JamboLogo development for Lotus Beauty SpaLogo development for AESLogo development for Panayiotis PattichisLogo development for Lucky TipLogo development for This Side UpLogo development for Free Philly Photos

Before we dive into this, we would like to note that the logo development process described below is that of our own company, Direct Line Development, and there may be some steps that differ from those of other brand creation companies. The basic steps, however, will all be the same regardless of the company creating the logo.

Before any work can begin on the design side, we must first learn all there is to know about the company for which we will be working. We will schedule an initial meeting that requires the business owner as well as all other people involved in the decision to fill out many different pieces of information that detail their likes, dislikes, preferences, style inclinations, attitudes on certain colors, etc. The goal is to ask enough questions upfront so that before our designers even hit the drawing board, they have a relatively good idea of what the business will like and what it will not. Having a structured web development process is something we focus on heavily. This will save time and effort in the long-run, both of which contribute to the overall cost of the project.

Our initial analysis does not stop with the business itself but also continues on to an analysis of the industry and that business’s direct competitors. It is incredibly important to understand the design trends of the industry because it helps us to better gauge what customers in this sector are receptive to and what they are not. It does a company no good if they love a logo that is created uniquely for them, yet feels out of place to potential customers. Each industry has a set of “branding standards” that act as guidelines for acceptable branding. This is not to say that these guidelines are set in stone or that it is always inadvisable to stay within a safety zone, but when creating a logo, it is important that each move and stroke of the pen be calculated and their effects are understood well in advance before the brand is formalized.

At this initial meeting, as a rule, we always have the account manager, art director, and at least three designers present. These people need to hear the details directly from the customer because communication, while important in all types of business, is doubly so in brand identity. Once the meeting concludes with the business people for whom the brand will be developed, our personnel then host a team-wide meeting to discuss the customer’s needs and preferences. They will brainstorm ideas and categorize their thoughts into a uniform, concrete plan that outlines a timeline, goals, budgets, etc. Having a plan to work with is key in successfully creating a unique and creative logo for any company. After this meeting, the initial stages begin, and each designer/ artist is given a few days to prepare his or her ideas and present them to their team.

Different concepts for Anya Kay logo designDifferent concepts for Junction Ventures logo designDifferent concepts for Bambo Jambo logo designDifferent concepts for Lotus Beauty Spa logo designDifferent concepts for Lucky Tip logo designDifferent concepts for PPP logo design

The second meeting is where the team congregates as whole yet again to discuss their initial works and to consolidate popular themes and ideas and discard those that won’t bring more value to the project. The art director plays a key role at this meeting because it is their guidance that is to keep to the team on track while pushing the project forward and avoiding stagnation and inconsistency. As a general rule, 1-2 concepts presented by each designer are selected by the group to be pursued in further detail, taking into account the findings and decisions of the meeting.

What one must understand about this stage of the brand identity process is that we are not only trying to nail down the idea for what the logo will consist of, but we are also laying the groundwork for the company’s overarching brand style as a whole. The logo, while the main face of any company’s brand and image, also sets the framework within which all other aspects of the company’s brand must fit. If your logo is soft and relatively monochromatic, your business cards should not be vibrant and edgy. These inconsistencies are what make a company seem disorganized and out of sync.

Anya Kay logo design on business cardsJunction Ventures logo design on request formPPP logo design on website main pageBambo Jambo logo design on website main pageRestaurant Chief logo design on website main page

The designers are again given a few days to further develop their initial concepts. At the third meeting, the general direction of the project becomes more solidified, for when the design drafts are again presented, it is clear which choices will be better fit for this particular project and which ones will not. It is important though that we have our designers develop multiple options up until this point because the team needs a variety of options from which they can compare and contrast. Sometimes two or more concepts are even merged together, taking the best parts of each prototype and further enhancing the logo’s creative edge. Related MaterialsWhat is a Website’s Cost?What is a Website’s Cost?Logo design for a photographer from PhiladelphiaLogo design for a photographer from Philadelphia

If at this stage we have still not reached the point with our project where we have an idea we would like to develop further, we return to the very beginning and start from scratch. We use the best tools to help us create the best designs. Our system of creating multiple concepts, however, usually serves as a hedge against such instances, though it does occur occasionally. The more likely problem at this stage is that we have an abundance of good ideas and we have trouble determining which of them is the best. Not a bad problem to have in our opinion…

Once the best idea is finally decided upon, we schedule another meeting the with the customer to present results of our initial 1-2 month’s worth of work. This meeting is very important, and so all necessary people are again present. We take the customer and run through a detailed analysis of what was done with the logo and the thought processes behind each step. We are always sure to tie each explanation back to what was originally discussed with the client because, as you can imagine, their opinion at this stage could make or break the entire project. It is not uncommon, however, for the customer to give valuable feedback that we can then use to enhance the brand identity project to their liking even more.

There will be cases where the customer is entirely unsatisfied with the development of the logo up to this stage. The point to first be made here is that this is entirely okay. We will not argue with the customer because we too understand that a logo that you don’t love is a logo not worth having. Instead, we sit with our clients and ask very detailed questions as to what they don’t like, what they were expecting and why, and what they would prefer be different. It’s definitely great if we can meet all of the customer’s needs on the first shot, but if we do not, we want to make sure we are still making progress with each conversation. With further customer feedback in mind (in the case that they are not satisfied with the original work), we, as a rule, make one more redesign for them, taking into account all of their newly-voiced concerns and preferences.

Brand Book of Philadelphia Party Planners logo designPhiladelphia Party Planners logo main and additional elementPhiladelphia Party Planners logo options in pinkPhiladelphia Party Planners logo options in blackPhiladelphia Party Planners logo sizePhiladelphia Party Planners logo design colorsPhiladelphia Party Planners logo design on letterheadPhiladelphia Party Planners logo design on envelopePhiladelphia Party Planners logo design on folderPhiladelphia Party Planners logo design on business cardPhiladelphia Party Planners logo typography

After the logo is finally approved by the customer and everything is to their liking, we put the finishing touches on and begin our work for the rest of the corporation's brand. This phase cannot take place until after the logo is approved because, as we mentioned before, the logo sets the stage for all further aspects of a company’s brand. A good brand means overarching consistency. For our customers, we develop what we like to call a Brand Book. This booklet contains a variety of different elements of the customer’s brand that can be used for a variety of different outlets. Obviously the design specifications for a billboard will differ greatly from those required for a company-wide email signature. We always walk our clients through the Brand Book and teach them how they are can use the various aspects of it to their advantage.

So let’s summarize and briefly go over all of the stages and the time needed for each in order to properly implement each step:

StepTime Needed For Implementation
Getting acquainted with the company1-5 days
Filling out the brief1 day
Study of the competition2-5 days
Art Director meets with the designers and project manager to plan initial sketches1 day
Design team drafts the initial sketches5 days
Second meeting. Client chooses the best of the sketches1 day
Design team revisits the work, improving on the selected ideas3-5 days
Third meeting. Client chooses the idea that will be used for the remainder of logo development1 day
Final study and reworking of the no more than 3 concepts for the corporate identity2-3 days
Final presentation of the completed works. Client chooses the best1 day
Final detailed elaboration upon the final concept selected by client5 days
Development of Brand Book3 days
Delivery of all work to the client1 day
Total Process27-37 working days

What if I know my logo crap, but can’t change it because I’ve already had it for so many years?

A newly redesigned logo is a sign of company growth and its renewed commitment to the times. In fact, sometimes the only thing holding companies back from earning more profits is their image. If company hasn’t redesigned its image since the 90s, many potential customers will look elsewhere because they perceive that company to be underdeveloped and lagging in the market. Logo redesigns can be small updates or full-on massive projects. The scope of the project is determined by what the customer wants and what is discussed at the initial meeting. We can almost always breathe new life into a dying brand.

Apple logo development processRoyal Dutch Shell logo development processFord logo design processGoogle logo design processHP logo design process

Concluding remarks

We strongly advise that you consider your company’s brand identity a top priority in its success strategy. It serves as the cornerstone of its public perception. The better a company is perceived, the higher it's profits. Understanding how your logo design sets the first impression will put you on the path to success. We at Direct Line have professional artists who work with these matters on a daily basis in your local Denver and Philadelphia area. If you have any questions about your brand or logo, feel free to give us a call and we will happily guide you in the right direction!

The article was updated on January 4, 2018.


Your logo is "the face" of your business and it is extremely important to make sure it is unique, memorable and it represents who you are and what you do. That is why you need to make sure you hire professionals like Direct Line Development to create a logo for your company.

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Stephen Greenspan
Stephen Greenspan
(215) 901-2356