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How Much Should You Pay For a Logo?

June 3, 2021

Wondering how much you should pay for a logo? Here’s some food for thought. Between 1886 and today five companies have dreamed up some of the worlds most powerful logos.  These logos are so powerful just mentioning the word logo you likely see these company logos in your mind.

How much should you pay for a logo? First consider a little logo history

Around 1886 a bookkeeper for company selling sugar water that contained actual cocaine used a popular writing script to design the company logo.  He thought the two c’s in the company name would really pop in ads.  The logo cost the company $0.

In 1968 a rising fast food king pin changed an existing logo design himself to look more like the doorway’s to their growing restaurant chain (it also looks like two arched french fries…at least to me).  Cost $0

Then swoosh in 1971 some other guy making sneaker soles with waffle irons paid 30x what the two previously mentioned companies for something that looks like an upside down wave of some sort.  Cost $35

A few years latter a company named after a fruit hired Rob Janoff to redesign their existing logo.  His brain child of an idea…how about an apple with a bite taken out of it…because that’s the way the apple in all the children books look (true story folks).

In 1987 a company selling coffee and tea paid zero dollars and chose a naked mermaid to represent their company, I’m not sure why but maybe it was because all mermaids drink coffee.

starbucks original logo and current logo

So what do all of these wildly successful logos have in common? Nothing!  Some are simple, some are flamboyant, some are artsy, some were expensive, and some were free.

A Few Other Famous Logos

The London Olympics paid $625,000 for their logo which is only remembered these days for how poorly it was designed.  British juggernaut BP paid $211,000,000.  Can you draw it from memory?  Enron paid $33,000 for their logo and look what happened to them.   Twitter paid $15 to iStock for the rights to the Twitter bird.  The designer was likely paid a commission of $6.

Paying a lot for a logo does not make sense because the logo doesn’t make the business the business makes the logo.  McDonalds, Nike, Apple, and Starbucks aren’t popular because they paid an agency a lot of money, got great logos, and the logos made them strong brands.  Those companies made the logos popular.

Seth Godin writes that “Your brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another”. Your logo isn’t your brand.

So how much should you pay for your logo?

Not a lot because no one is going to pay you more money over your competitor because you’ve got a better logo.

Learn more about what the worlds most famous logos cost to design.

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