How to Create a Company Logo for Your Business

Starbucks and McDonald's logos side by side in a shopping mall Sandsun / Getty Images

A logo is a core aspect of your company's image. It will reach your potential customers before almost anything else, and should impart information about your business and your brand at little more than a glance.

Both design software and design professionals are easy to find today, which means that there are many ways that you can develop a logo for your company. So, let's take a look at how to create a company logo that will best represent your business and fit your budget.

Different Methods to Design Your Logo

There are four standard methods available to you when you set out to design a logo for your company. These include:

  • Making it yourself
  • Hiring a designer
  • Commissioning a design studio
  • Crowdsourcing a logo design

Which one you choose depends on a multitude of factors, chief of which is likely to be financial resources; however, there are other things you should take into account, too.

Here are the chief advantages and disadvantages of each of these methods:

Making a Logo Yourself

Short of a total lack of computer literacy, nothing is stopping you from sitting down, opening up Photoshop (or a similar free online design tool), and making a business logo on your own. It gives you complete creative control over the finished project, and you can put unlimited hours into achieving your vision. 

If you want to go down this path, though, you need to take stock of your skill level with the tools you will use to create a logo. Realistically, it will probably take you about five to twenty hours to come up with a finished project, although on the plus side it won't cost you much – depending on how valuable you find your own time.

While getting the logo you had in your mind at no cost does sound appealing, you also need to be aware of whether you have the necessary expertise to execute your vision. You can spend all the time you want researching theory on colour schemes and font choices, but you need to know how to use tools to put everything together. Otherwise, there is a risk that your logo can look amateurish when compared to your competitor's logos, which were most likely produced by professionals.

If you decide to create your logo in house, at the very least see if anyone your team has advanced design skills, and get a second opinion on your concept and final product. The last thing you want is your logo holding your company back.

Hiring a Designer

Probably the most common way of getting your logo created today is to hire a freelance designer. The gig economy has created an abundance of easily accessible skilled contractors, and the cost can still be quite reasonable. 

When you hire a freelance designer, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $2,000 depending on the level of experience of the individual you are contracting. Of course, the upside of this is that when you hire a professional, you can be reasonably sure that they will have the skills needed to pull off a high-quality design. The process may only take a day or two, or it might take a couple of weeks, but in all likelihood, you will have your design within the timespan of a month. 

However, the main disadvantage of using a freelance designer is that you lose control over the process of the logo design. You can expect to have a conversation about what you are interested in seeing represented in your logo, but the actual nuts and bolts of putting it together will literally be out of your hands. 

This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Many freelance designers are creative-minded professionals who may have ideas you would otherwise never consider.

On the other hand, you may be given something that is not in line with your vision for how the company should be represented. A freelancer may be unwilling to revise the product, or might require an additional fee to do so; furthermore, some freelance designers do not offer guaranteed delivery. They may walk away from the job, leaving you back at square one.

Crowdsourcing

Another, often cheaper, option, is to crowdsource your logo. You can find multiple websites that will present you with a variety of options, allowing you to pick whichever one you think is the most appropriate for your business. 

These services typically charge somewhere within the range of $100 to $1,500 for a logo. This is a good option if you have no idea what you want for a logo – often you'll get submissions from designers around the world who will have different interpretations of how to represent your business.

This process can be hit or miss, however. Designers might misinterpret what your business is, especially if it is in a niche or developing industry. The quality of the design is usually directly in line with the amount you end up paying, too, and cheaper options may not even use original art, relying instead on pre-packaged images. You will also be forced to choose and pay for one of the submissions, even if you don't think any of them are the appropriate logo for your business.

Commissioning a Design Studio

In reality, the only way to guarantee a high-quality logo crafted to your exact specifications is to appoint a professional design studio. Be prepared to spend, however. While you might find a small studio that would be willing to make you a logo for a couple of thousand dollars, you can end up paying between as much as $20,000 and $100,000.

You get what you pay for, though. When you enlist the help of a design studio, you get access to the resources of a premium design team that will provide you with an entire suite of marketing material to accompany your new logo.

A design studio will also work with you to present their best ideas that are pulled directly from the concepts you bring to them. At no point will a design studio drop a logo on your lap and hope that you will be happy with it. They will carefully shepherd you through the entire process and ensure that you are fully satisfied with the final results. You can expect that final result to stick, as well – most design firms expect never to see a client again and have a mission to deliver a logo that will last decades.

Another disadvantage beside the price tag is time. Design studios move slowly, focusing all their resources on your company in an attempt to find the perfect representation of it, so don't be surprised if it takes several months before you are presented with the final logo. You can be assured it won't be just a logo, though – it will be an entire package, designed to meet the needs of your brand strategy.

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A strong logo is essential for your brand, so however you choose to design it, ensure that you're happy with it before you move forward. It will appear on all your branding and advertising materials for years to come, so don't be tempted to rush the process. Who knows, in the future, it could be one of the world's iconic logos, so ensure that it's professional and robust enough to stand the test of time.

Don’t forget to take a look at our guide on how name your company, either!

What logo design tips would you give? Let us know in the comment section below.