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Logo Design Costs: Million Dollar Babies

Updated on August 1, 2013

Everyone agrees that a great logo must be eyecatching, enduring and easily recognizable. After all, the role of a company logo is to draw attention to itself and to stick in the memory of the viewer. But when a company wishes to create a highly memorable logo, how much are they prepared to pay? Don’t forget it’s not just the design of the logo that costs hard cash – every single customer-facing item will need to be re-designed with the new visual identity of the brand. Here’s the rundown on the prices of some of the most expensive logos of all time:

Symantec logo: $1,280,000,000

When Symantec acquired VeriSign for $1.28 billion, one of the key things it wanted to get its hands on was the VeriSign check mark logo. A huge part of Verisign’s successful business was based on the logo which shows online shoppers they‘re on a safe website.... encouraging them to spend more money. In fact retailers which show the VeriSign check mark see more sales that those that don’t. Once Symantec had VeriSign, the new Symantec logo was created, cunningly incorporating the famous check mark.

So while the design of the new Symantec logo didn’t cost over a billion dollars, the value of the VeriSign logo gave great negotiation power in determining the final acquisition price.

BP: $211,000,000

When BP wanted a more modern logo in 2010 to replace their out-dated green shield, they commissioned advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, creative agency Landor Associates and PR consultants Ogilvy PR. Obviously making it clear they were planning to spend quite an amount to get their new logo spot on. The final result for such a huge expenditure? A vibrant green and yellow flower design with the BP letters in lowercase giving a softer look, and launched with the tagline ‘Beyond Petroleum’.

Has it paid off? The logo is certainly eye-catching and certainly memorable. But it didn’t convince Greenpeace USA who started their own BP logo redesign competition to raise awareness of BP’s dangerous offshore drilling. With these less than flattering flower design logos smattered across the internet, BP may have got a different type of exposure than they were hoping for.

Posten Norge: $55,000,000

When the Norwegian postal service wanted to update its logo from a well recognized gold crown atop a golden horn, they worked with design company, Grow. The new logo is highly corporate, in staid grey and red. With a final bill of $55 million to fully implement this logo across the service, many have questioned whether this redesign was really worth it, particularly when the original was truly unique and memorable. And others have unfavourably compared the new logo to the Death Star from Star Wars.

Australia and New Zealand Banking: $15,000,000

Back in 2009, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) revealed its new logo which was met with astonishment from some. Gone was the simple wordmark using the ANZ letters, to one that now had quite a strange geometrical shape accompanying it. At the time of the launch, the ANZ CEO explained that the three blue shapes represented their three key markets: Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific. Now look careful and try to see the outline in black between the shapes – that represents a client of the bank.

A great concept for sure, but for many people the human outline is hard to pick out so all they see are three round blobs. Worth the $15 million price tag? It seems pretty difficult for ANZ to justify.

BBC logo: $1,800,000

Back in the 1980s, the two BBC channels (creatively called BBC One and BBC Two) had no visual brand harmony whatsoever. But by the end of the 1980’s a corporate image was called for to be used on and off air. The resultant logo evolved from a previous version and had three slanted boxes each with a coloured line below. However by the 90’s another corporate revision was required as the existing logo didn’t perform well on computer screens. The final logo, which cost nearly two million dollars, consisted of straightening the boxes, removing the coloured dashes and changing the typeface to an enduring Gill Sans. A high cost for sure, but this logo seems to be standing the test of time – it hasn’t been altered in over 15 years.

Pepsi: $1,000,000

Pepsi paid the Arnell Group a cool million in 2008 for a complete rebranding project with the aim to create a more dynamic look to target the younger generation. However if you merely glance at the logo from 2003 and the newest logo you may be forgiven for missing the subtle change: it appears as though the blue, red and white sphere has just rolled over a little to the left.

Is it a million dollar baby? Jury’s definitely still out!

Copyright 2013 Michelle Collins. New Design Group Inc.


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