Last week I wrote about the importance for a company to look really good.

This week I want to talk specifically about the company logo.

One of my clients recently asked me what the “Return on Investment” (ROI) is on spending money on a logo. I find this a fascinating question.

Let’s start by asking how much logo design cost? The answer is you can get a logo from R2,000 to R20,000.

If you get a great logo for R2,000 the investment case is pretty straight forward. For relatively little money you have something nice to put on a business card; that stands out and creates some interest. Is it worth R2,000? Pretty much.

But what if you spend R20,000 – 10 times more? Even worse, let’s say you get only 1 design option for this price? Surely this is a waste of money?

It boils down to a fundamental question: what is graphic design? And why spend real money on it?

Clearly if graphic design can be accomplished by anyone with the right tools – a computer with a software package, some practice and a hour to spare, then it should be cheap. Indeed, this is the type of logo design most companies buy.

But what if you view logo design as business problem solving? What if a logo can visually capture the true essence of your business so crisply that it provides total clarity and alignment for your company? Would you pay R20,000 for this?

Indeed, this is how the legend of logo design, Paul Rand, approached his work.

According to Wikipedia: “Paul Rand (August 15, 1914 – November 26, 1996) was an American art director and graphic designer, best known for his corporate logo designs, including the logos for IBM, UPS, Enron, Morningstar, Inc., Westinghouse, ABC, and Steve Jobs’s NeXT”

Rand was known for providing his clients with only 1 logo option. In fact, when Steve Jobs asked Rand to come up with “a few design options” for one of his companies, Rand declined, stating: ‘No, I will solve your problem for you. And you will pay me.’

In Rand’s own words: “Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”

Do yourself a favour and watch the below YouTube video to hear Rand describe the components of good graphic design. You’ll never pay R2,000 for a logo again.

Next time someone offers to give you multiple design options for R2,000, ask them to do only 1 option for 10 times more money. You’ll quickly see them turn down the job. Because in essence you are asking them to solve a problem – not draw a pretty picture.

Would you pay R20,000 for a business problem to be solved? Watch the below video – it’s simply brilliant.