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What a Bad Logo Will Cost You

Sometimes when we quote a logo redesign or identity package update people are surprised – surprised at what a great logo can cost. I can explain until I’m blue in the face why you need a professionally designed logo and why you should find a company you admire to develop one (and pay them a reasonable sum of money to create one), but somehow people still doubt what a great logo is worth. So, to make my point another way, I’ll explain what a BAD Logo will cost you.

Lets start with your image to the outside world:

  • A poorly conceived/executed logo (1.) will not connect with your prospects; (2.) can deliver the wrong message about who-you-are and what-you-do; (3.) give the idea that you have poor quality standards; (4.) may be too generic to be memorable; (5.) is hard to read on business cards; (6.) will confuse people about what you do
  • A logo that hasn’t been updated in years (1.) will tell your customers you are too cheap to keep your image fresh; (2.) may no-longer represent the company and its values; (3) will project a lack of interest in your own business and brand value; (4) looks boring and not fun to work with

Now, let’s consider, more importantly, the image to your employees:

An old logo that hasn’t been updated will tell employees  (1.) “We don’t care about the future of the company;” (2.) “We are cheap and don’t understand the intrinsic value of our Brand;” (3.) “We don’t understand what the current Brand represents or where it is headed;” (4.) “We fear or are against change or improvement.”

A poorly conceived/executed logo tells your employees (1.) we do not connect with our employees; (2.) delivers the wrong message on who-the-company-is and what-the-company-does; (3.) gives the idea that we have poor quality standards; (4.) steers potential applicants away from applying by having them think, “If they don’t invest in their image, they probably won’t invest in me either.”

Next Printing Cost:

I’ll have to preface this with some basic info – a professionally developed logo is successful in black and white, one color – possibly two color. When contrasted with some poorly planned logos that are full-color for no good reason:

  • Printing cost for full-color, all of the time, will normally double or triple any printing job’s cost (Example: business cards for a two-color logo can run about $100, but the cost can easily jump to $200+ for full color on the same paper stock)

Imagine printing letterhead, envelopes, and business cards for an office of 10 people. If you have professional designed stationery with a two-color logo, your cost may be $2,000 depending on paper stock and quantities. For similar paper stock and quantities, using a logo that is full color, you will easily spend $5,000. So, you can see that anything you saved on the logo redesign is eaten away by poor planning and execution.

Another problem with an unprofessional logo, we have seen this more times than I like to admit, is when the logo is created in a non-scalable format. They had a friend put something together in a desktop publishing program and they only have one file format and it isn’t scalable. Each time the logo is used on different media such as on letterhead, then billboards or shirts, the company they contract with has to re-make the logo, OR turn it into a two or one color, OR (the worse) stretch the logo to fit the size so the final print/production is warped, fuzzy or pixelated.

We have encountered several poorly conceived, badly executed logos that are not helping the companies they are supposed to represent. So, if you are concerned about how much a good or great logo will cost you, it is nothing compared to what a BAD LOGO will cost you.

Think about what big prospects have walked away from your company because your brand looks old, confusing, or poor quality. How much did that logo really cost you now?

Written by Adrienne Folse

Adrienne founded Design the Planet in 1998 with a desire to provide high-end creative resources to Louisiana businesses at reasonable prices. As an award-winning, multi-disciplined designer and brand marketing coordinator, she manages web, print media, interactive, brand identity, and marketing solutions with innovation and flair.

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