Purpose of this site
Many print-related sites assume the buyer knows exactly what they want and that the buyer also understands the pitfalls associated with supplying artwork in the correct format. For the average buyer, finding the right information beforehand can be tiresome. We will hopefully help the buyer make an informed choice before parting with any money. Please feel free to contact us with any queries or if you wish a site recommendation.
If you have an artwork problem, then please use the 'Ask A Question' facility.
Webmasters! Get your print / graphic design-related site or blog listed in our Free Directory.
Write For Us! If you write print or graphics-related articles, and would like to feature your own site here on our site, then please drop us a line, or click here for more details.
There’s never been so much choice when it comes to getting a logo designed.
Online prices can range from $20 (approx. £11) up to around $400/500 (approx. £200/250) with various package options along the way. Prices don’t just stop here, they can go into the thousands and many large companies will spend this type of money on a corporate re-design etc.
However, this article is aimed at the small business owner, or anyone just looking to get a logo designed at a realistic price. If you need the logo printed on some stationery then check with your printer first, as most print companies will have an experienced designer on-board who can often produce what you need at a favourable price, as generally, print companies are more interested in getting regular, repeat work (the stuff that gets printed) whereas a designer’s only bite of the cherry would be the initial design, hence the higher cost. This doesn’t always follow, as many print companies are pushing more on the design side, due to the lower costs and good return on investment.
However, not every designer can produce a great logo so this is where a logo-dedicated designer may well be more suitable for your needs.
IMPORTANT: if you need the logo to arrange some printed stationery – business cards, letterheads, invoices etc. then I would strongly recommend that you contact your print company and get prices for various colour options. Let’s say, for example, that you decide you are happy with the 3 spot colour prices. This means that the printer will produce your stationery using 3 separate colours that you have agreed on. You can now approach your logo designer with the brief to produce a logo using the 3 spot colours you’ve already decided on. For instance, you may have decided to use Black for all the text on your stationery, and Pantone 032 (Red) + Pantone 072 (Blue) for just the logo. You can instruct your logo designer to produce a logo in 032 + 072. Black could also be added, as you will be using this anyway for all your text.
To recap: make sure you know how many colours you have available before you employ the logo designer.
What format will I need for my logo?
At the very minimum you will need an eps (encapsulated postscript) file of the final design, with any text converted to outlines.
What this means is you will have an industry-standard format that should be perfectly fine for sending away for various uses, e.g. magazine adverts, t-shirt/clothing printing/embroidery, printed promotional items (mugs, plates etc.), signage, vehicle livery, etc. etc. The list is endless. The main plus point of the .eps format is that it is totally scalable, in other words the file can be enlarged to any size you require, without loss of image quality, as would happen in bitmap formats, tiffs, jpeg’s for instance.
You will also need a hi-res jpeg format of your logo which you can use yourself in Word, Publisher, Powerpoint etc., just about any decent program will be able to use this format.
Important: I’ve seen some logo design companies who only offer a high-res jpeg, as part of the package, and asking for an .eps file costs extra. This is ridiculous as the logo will probably have been designed in Adobe Illustrator or Macromedia Freehand and the native format for these type of programs is a vectored image (eps). In plain english, they will make an eps first, and then produce a jpeg from this image, so to charge extra for an eps sucks.
Even if your new logo is for your new website it would be worth thinking ahead. Are you ever likely to need business cards, letterheads etc. to advertise your website? If there is a possible ‘yes’ to this answer then, as previously outlined, get costings for various different colour combinations and order your new logo based on your findings.
Is it risky ordering a logo via an internet company?
As long as you choose a company with a good track record there should be no problems when using an online supplier. It would probably make sense to order from a company in your own country, should there ever be a problem.
Who should I commission to design my logo? A designer or a print company with in-house designer?
There’s a couple of ways at looking at this. Firstly, it has to be born in mind that generally speaking, a designer has one shot at designing your logo, then you may never need his/her services again. Which would explain why his/her costs could be quite a bit more expensive than using your local print-shop’s in-house designer. The print shop, however, wants you as a regular client, so quite often their costs for design work would reflect this. In fact, many printers will throw the artwork in free of charge and make a nominal charge for the logo. Are you getting the best design for your money? Well, a ‘top’ designer would probably not entertain being employed by a print shop, as he/she would obviosuly be seeking a position with a ‘top’ design agency. However, just because a designer works for a print shop does not mean you will be getting an inferior design. Far from it. To prove the point, ask your print shop for examples of work designed in-house and you may well be pleasantly surprised. Just because you’ve spent £500 ($1000) with a ‘top’ designer doesn’t automatically mean you will like the design. It’s purely a matter of taste.
Hope this helps a little when making your logo design choice.
Many people have been caught out as they believe once they’ve paid for their logo, then it belongs to them. In my view, this is how it should be, but time and time again I hear of people being charged extortionate amounts for having their logo/artwork ‘released’.
It is vital you check this point with the company commissioned to design your logo.
Make sure you have confirmation in writing that once the logo has been designed, and paid for, that all rights to title belong to you.
If you do decide to use a ‘professional’ designer I would also recommend you ask him or her if there is any charge for putting your artwork on a CD. I personally know a person who was charged £150 ($300) for this ‘service’.
Not all designers behave in this way but it’s worth finding out, before you commit yourself, if there are going to be any ‘extra’ charges.
Further reading: Copyright – Who Owns It?