Hieroglyphs, symbolism, and signature marks are the very first ways of communicating by ancient man. Later on, individual humans and communities used these visual marks to identify their status and possessions and differentiate themselves. In the pages of history, much of the symbolic design work is all about communicating identity visually.
As man groomed himself and began developing civilized societies, small shops and pubs used signage to represent who they are and what they did. Entering the 20th century, the ‘modern logo designs’ evolved alongside mass printing.
Evidently, logos have a glorious past that proves their importance just enough for their worth in dollars. Yet, today, how does it really matter to you and your business is the main question. So, let’s get that clear now.
In its most basic form, a logo is a combination of colors, typographies, images, and shapes. All these together depict the name and purpose of a business. Nevertheless, a well-designed logo is more than a symbol of identification. It tells your company’s story - the personality, the values it stands for, and what your brand is all about. And the best ones succeed in establishing an emotional connection with the audience. It happens in a subtle manner and the viewer might not even realize it consciously.
One color or a blend of colors used in a logo goes way beyond the aesthetic appeal. They are the core messengers of your brand identity. They tell your target audience whether your brand is innovative, serious, caring, timeless, etc.
Typically, this is known as font to the non-design folks. Typography is a beautiful art and technique of designing and arranging letters to make them appealing when displayed. Designers use different shapes, lines, and spaces to build a consistent design that reflects their business purpose. You will find logos built using a single letter (monogram) or a full word that may be the name of a business.
You will find a tagline located under a logo. It is a catchphrase designed to clarify what your business does - and hooks your audience. Here’s an interesting read about how you can rightfully nail a successful tagline.
Let’s understand each element of a logo through a real logo design developed by PulsAero. Our creative agency was approached by WeHear, an innovative Ahmedabad-based startup that launched India’s first-ever ear-health friendly headphones. Coming directly to the point, the startup wanted a modern brand logo that represents innovation and care.
Hence, after carrying out in-depth exploration sessions to understand WeHear’s core values and to develop a user persona, we started crafting a logo that reveals the essence of the company.
Beginning with the colors, we created a unique color palette comprising orange, pink, and purple hues. The resulting effect reflected a sense of creativity, vitality, and care.
After several iterations, we came up with the main image of the logo. It was an undulating sound pattern with a human ear silhouette.
We selected Azonix as the official typography of WeHear. This font family was chosen because it looks and feels modern and reflects a sense of sophistication and technological advancement.
The final logo clearly identifies the company’s personality, vision, and purpose which was lacking in their previous design system.
If art can be worth a million dollars so can be a logo (only if it is ‘designed using the right direction.’)
You can easily compare a logo with an artistic masterpiece. The former requires a great amount of exploration, analysis, contemplation combined with artistic and scientific skills to achieve the purpose. The process, efforts, skills that go into designing a logo are the same as that of an artistic masterpiece.
The finest artworks in history have made a lasting impression on the viewers conveying a positive message. Similarly, a well-crafted logo can impress and engage customers, and keep them hooked with their positive brand communication.
When an artwork achieves fame, automatically it’s value and worth goes up. And when a logo earns fame it’s a signal that your brand is growing with an increase in sales and the number of loyal customers.
Some people are expert judges in matters of taste. They easily recognize and understand the value of good artwork. So, a well-designed logo attracts such connoisseurs which may become your high-end clients or your customers.
A unique artwork enjoys legal protection by copyright. A logo is a customized design system that is a major element of your brand’s identity. People recognize your company, your products, and your services through a logo. Hence, such unique logos are protected by copyright.
More importantly, if your business cheaps out on a logo, there is no legal protection available for it. And you might find any other company doing business with a similar logo.
Besides, a cheap design may be perceived as a joke which may eventually trouble the business while attracting clients, customers, investment, and talent.
Logos can cost from a few dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. You might have read about logos that cost brands millions of dollars. Although this crazy range of prices is complicated to explain, there are certain facts that can help you understand.
Logos that come for a price as less as $5 to $500 dollars are not designed by an expert. They could be just a version of some other logo or a mere sketch with no insightful knowledge involved in the creation. It does not make sense in investing such logos unless any random representation is okay for you.
The prices that go $2500 upwards comes as a shock, especially if you are beginning as an entrepreneur. But why is it so expensive? Well, a straightforward answer is that takes a great deal of time and talent to create a top-notch logo design.
To make it more clear, a professionally designed logo is created by several rounds of:
Based on the type of organization, one or an entire team works on the creation of a logo. It may require days, weeks, or sometimes months to come to perfection and relevance.
When you see a “swoosh” symbol on a product you know it’s Nike. Well, the company and many others take great care of their logos.
Nike, in particular, paid a surprising sum of $35 to Carolyn Davidson to create a logo in 1971. The graphic design student at Portland State University created the “swoosh” symbol which the co-founder Phil Knight did not love it. But he stated*, "maybe it will grow on me.”* Later on, when the brand went public, it offered 500 shares to Davidson. Recently, the total worth of these stock prices have been $4,100,000 making the logo one of the most expensive ones of all time. And Carolyn Davidson surely deserves it as the “swoosh” has grown on Nike fans worldwide.
If we talk about rebranding, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) got their logo redesigned in 1997. The company paid a shocking $1,800,000 for the entire rebranding cost. And their monochromatic logo became one of the instantly recognizable logos.
When a logo costs millions, it necessarily doesn’t mean it will be entirely loved by the audience. This happened with the London 2012 Olympics logo designed by Wolff Olins with the vision to reflect London’s historical architecture. But, the logo drew a lot of criticism. Some also felt that anybody could have drawn such a logo. While others said the design has no cultural insight. Yet, the Olympic Committee in London paid a heavy price of $625,000. And today this logo is famous for being one of the most expensive ones.
When you begin your hunt to get the right designer for your logo, you will get people charging $50 to $5,000 - as we discussed. So, how do you make an informed decision?
When it comes to budget, evaluate how much value you expect from a logo. Decide what kind of deliverables you are looking for. For example, if you only need a logo it will cost less than a full brand identity system. Based on that you can select what level of designer you are interested in hiring.
Are you an entrepreneur launching a new startup? Then maybe with limited funds (as in most cases) going for $500 could be a wise move. But this is only until you reach a point when you have full faith in the success of your venture. On the other hand, if you have an already established company with business on the growth curve, expect to spend a minimum of $3000. This will also depend on the scale and size of your business.
If you instantly like a logo design made for your business and feel that it resonates with your values, you might be wise to take a long hard look at it, trash it, and start again. Sagi Haviv, partner at New York graphic design firm Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv (CGH) believes. The company holds the credit of designing some of the most recognizable business logos in the US for 50 years.
According to Haviv, “We remind our clients - and we open every presentation with a slide that says - it’s never love at first sight.” So, you might want to look at a logo design several times before you realize it’s the best fit for your company.
Well, to sum up, what we’ve covered so far, ‘a logo is worth the dollars you pay.’ As long as the end result is an on-brand and professional design. It doesn’t matter whether you collaborate with a professional logo designing company or get your job done by a standalone freelance designer.
The most important thing is that when you are at the stage in your business when branding becomes a ‘serious need’ don’t neglect the significance of a logo. Just get it done!
Because one of the greatest graphic designers said, “logo is a silent ambassador of your brand.” It continues to make a difference.
Hope this read helps you to move in the right direction :)