Creating a strong brand identity is a crucial first step for your business. It’s exciting – it’s easy to want to jump in head first to bring your vision to life, but before you do, make sure you’ve done these two things:
- Define Your Brand: Start by clarifying your brand’s identity, including its values, target audience, and overall aesthetic. This will help guide your design choices and make sure your brand identity is effective. The strategy should align with your business plan and marketing plans.
- Understand Your Budget: It can be easy to dive into brand design – it’s when your brand comes to life, and that can be truly exciting! But before you do, you need to take a look at your cash flow and create a budget that includes all other startup expenses – from manufacturing to marketing, there are other areas in your business that will require investment. Understanding your budget can help you choose the right option for you today.
Now let’s move on to your brand design options, from working with pros to budget-friendly design solutions.
Option 1: Professional Design Agencies:
Hiring a professional design agency can provide you with a comprehensive and customized approach to brand identity design. These agencies often have a team of experts, including graphic designers, art directors, and strategists, who work collaboratively to create a unique brand identity. However, the cost of working with professional design agencies can vary significantly. Depending on the agency’s reputation, location, and scope of work, prices may range from $5,000 to $50,000 or more for a complete brand identity package. The higher costs are typically associated with those with a strong track record of working with well-known brands.
Option 2: Freelance Designers
Working with freelance designers can be a more cost-effective option while still receiving personalized attention and creativity. Freelancers often offer flexibility and a more direct collaboration experience. Rates for freelance designers in Canada can range from $50 to $200 or more per hour, depending on their experience and expertise. For a complete brand identity package, including logo design, typography, colour palette, and brand guidelines, the cost may fall within the range of $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the complexity of the project and the specific services required. Freelancers may have diverse portfolios, allowing you to find a designer whose style aligns with your brand vision. If you’re not sure where to find freelancers, you can start with UpWork or Toptal.
Option 3: Online Design Platforms:
In recent years, online design platforms have gained popularity for their convenience and affordability. Platforms such as 99designs or DesignCrowd offer crowdsourced design solutions. Here, you can create a design contest, set a budget, and multiple designers will submit their concepts. The pricing on these platforms varies depending on the package you choose and the number of designs you want to receive. Prices typically range from $300 to $2,000 or more, depending on the complexity of the project and the level of expertise desired. While these platforms provide a wide pool of designers to choose from, the quality and expertise of the designs may vary. It’s important to review designers’ portfolios and ratings before making a selection.
Option 4: Design Schools or Students:
Another cost-effective option is to collaborate with design schools or students. Many design schools or programs require students to work on real-world projects as part of their curriculum or portfolio-building. By partnering with design schools or students, you can access creative talent at a lower cost. Rates for design students or recent graduates can start from as low as $20 per hour, or they may offer fixed project fees based on the scope of work. While this option may require more guidance and involvement from your end, it can provide an opportunity to support emerging talent and benefit from fresh perspectives.
Option 5: Online DIY Tools:
Canva is an online graphic design platform that offers a user-friendly interface, pre-designed templates, and a vast library of elements. Users can customize designs by adding text, images, and graphics, and then download or share their creations. It’s a versatile tool that lets you create professional-quality visuals without the need for extensive design skills. If you’re going with Canva, you want to make sure you’ve defined your brand first. Create your own “Brand Kit” so you’re using the same design consistently, and not changing your look-and-feel with each new template. This can make your brand look like it has many different personalities, and makes it more difficult for potential customers to recognize you in their busy social feeds.
Designing a brand identity is a crucial investment for businesses in Canada, and the available options cater to a range of budgets and requirements. Professional design agencies offer comprehensive services but come with higher price tags. Freelancers provide a personalized touch and flexibility at varying rates. Online design platforms offer crowdsourced solutions with a wide range of pricing and design quality. Finally, collaborating with design schools or students or DIYing it with online tools presents a cost-friendly solution.