Having a new logo developed for your business can either be a smooth, pleasant
experience or an absolute nightmare. Here is a quick guide for business owners.
How do I choose a logo developer?
There are thousands of logo design firms out there. LITERALLY.
How do you choose which one to trust with your logo development?
The first rule is:
If you’re unsure about a logo development company, show them the door. There are many where they came from.
The second rule is:
Price is not always an indication of quality. Internet logo development services compete in a global arena. Some of them are US based, some sit in Guatemala. They could deliver the same product at radically different prices.
How much should I pay?
You should not pay more than $500 for a logo – and definitely not less than $100. Cartoon and mascot logos are more difficult so they go up to about $2,000.
Yes, you can buy a “logo” for under $100. The catch is that these very cheap logos are usually resold. No, I’m not kidding. They sell the same logo to many different companies. Yes, it’s ridiculous.
I once saw “template” logos going for $4.
Look, over the next 5 to 10 years you’re probably going to spend thousands of dollars on burning that logo into the minds of your target audience. All that money is wasted if you have to start from scratch with a real logo later on. Better to get it right – right from the start.
What about “pre-designed logos”?
Yes, that’s a good option, provided that they are not resold. The correct terminology is:
– Template logos: Logos that are resold
– Pre-designed logos: Unique logos, designed from scratch, each sold only once.
The problem is that some design firms call their template logos “pre-designed” logos. Sometimes they even charge higher rates to add to the deception.
There are only a handful of sites that sell real (unique) pre-designed logos. You’re on one of them. The pre-designed section of this site is here. If you shop around for pre-designed logos, always read the fine print!
What do I really need?
That depends on what you’re using the logo for.
For web use:
You need a jpg file and/or a gif file. Here we send clients a couple of gif files in different sizes. Gif files tend to be smaller (depending on the complexity of the logo) which means they load faster on a web site. We also send you a very large jpg version of the logo from which your site developer can produce decent quality copies in different sizes.
For desktop printing:
If you’re printing your own letterheads etc., you need a large, 300dpi version of the logo in jpg, bmp, tif or psd format. Jpg is the most common format. We normally send a 300dpi jpg in color and include a black and white version for use on faxes etc.
For professional printing:
If you’re having business cards etc. printed or if you print anything bigger than letter size, you’ll need a vector image of the logo. All that is, is a format that’s based on mathematical formulas rather than resolution – which means you can stretch it to billboard size without any loss in picture quality. Your logo developer should be able to give you either a cdr (Corel), ai (Adobe Illustrator) or eps (Encapsulated PostScript) file. Preferably they should be able to produce any of these depending on the format your printers require. We send clients a cdr file as standard and send additional formats on request. No charge.
This is something to watch out for.
There are logo developers who limit the number of formats you receive – and make you pay for additional formats.
As far as we’re concerned, logo developers get paid for the DESIGN part. Sending the logo in all the necessary formats is just part of making sure the product can be used as intended. We consider that part of the job and do not charge extra for it.
One more thing…
Full color logos look great, but they cost a lot more to print. A common mistake among novice designers is to go ape with the color-depth… and you pay for it later.
Ideally your logo development should be done in Pantone (printer friendly) colors. Four colors tops. The fewer colors used, the cheaper it’ll be to print.