I think it’s more about amateur designers devaluing the work of professionals. This isn’t to say that there aren’t great designers who focus on logo design, but in general, designing a logo for small businesses is no longer profitable unless that small business owner is savvy enough to realize that a logo is just one aspect of a larger strategy-driven branding problem.
Most small business owners seem to feel that a logo is a personal representation of their hopes and dreams for their business. They want to fall in love with a logo based on what they like and don’t like rather than viewing the logo as a strategic asset designed to appeal to their target market and add value to their business. As a result the logo becomes a beauty contest for them and a source of low-paying frustration for a designer.
This whole problem has been exacerbated and reinforced by the crowdsourcing sites that cater to the notion of a logo being a pretty picture designed to order like a burger from any one of dozens of fast food joints.
My thinking is largely in line with the guy in the video. I didn’t watch the entire thing given that it’s over 30 minutes long, but I watched enough to get the gist of it.
Some people take an hourly approach to design, as in it’ll take five hours of effort, so multiplying an hourly rate by those five hours determines the cost. Other’s take a value-driven approach, which I think is often misunderstood and oversimplified as charging more for bigger clients and less for smaller ones. Personally, I think it’s more complicated than that.
A small client often just wants and expects a logo that he or she likes with the expectation that it won’t cost much. A larger, more savvy client knows that a logo is a cornerstone of the business that serves as the basis for a public face. As such, it takes a great deal of research, thought, experience, evaluation and the development of strategies and tactics for implementing a broader brand specifically tailored to add very real monetary value to the company. In other words, this can involve lots of time, teams of people and a good deal of money that pays for an investment that will more than pay for itself, despite the high cost. It’s very difficult to compare a $60 crowdsourced logo to a similar $60,000 logo since that $60,000 logo buys a whole lot more than just a simple logo.
I don’t have a typical price since it’s just not worth it to me to get involved with one-off, low-paying logo designs for small businesses. Every now and again, I’ll take something on for very specific reasons, but it’s rare. More typically, if a logo is involved, it’s because it’s part of a much broader project.