Once you have a business name, one of the next steps in branding is logo design. A professional business should look professional. This means you don’t want to design the logo yourself (unless you are a graphic designer) and you don’t want to use clip art since clip art isn’t really a logo.  And you don’t want to go with a local print shop who is not proficient in graphic design to do your logo either. If your logo doesn’t look professional, then neither will your business.

So, if you aren’t going to design the logo yourself, who should design it?

Here I discuss options:

Many design firm’s will charge anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000 for a logo. Because crowd sourcing is so cheap, many people choose this option. With crowdsourcing a logo a bunch of designers will enter their designs into a contest that you are running for the creation of your logo.

99 Designs and 48 Hours Logo  are two of the most popular choices.

Crowdsourcing sounds like a fabulous option at first glance but for a fabulous logo we don’t really recommend it. Why did we recommend crowdsourcing for name ideas and not for a logo design? Designing is different. You want a logo that is high quality, not a quick replica of something that might have been done before. Quality can be more important than quantity. In this article from a design firm called Forty, the CEO explains why you aren’t likely to get a high quality logo when using crowdsource options.  And in Guy Kawasaki’s book The Art of The Start, mentioned in the previous post he discusses how he tried crowdsourcing and then ended up hiring a graphic designer to have the job done right. 

Will you get a logo from this process without spending much? Sure! But you can’t be guaranteed you won’t find that same design on someone else’s business cards or company vehicle at some point down the road.  If crowdsourcing is the route you choose, that’s fine. It will get the job done but just be aware that there are a few pitfalls.

The best option for the entrepreneur on a budget to get a high quality logo with originality and the right concept is to hire a recommended freelance graphic designer local to you. Being local allows for you to meet with him or her in person to collaborate and costs can typically be as little as $15 an hour to as much as $150 an hour. If friends and family or your LinkedIn connections don’t offer a referral for a graphic designer who has done great work then Craig’s List and Thumb Tack are sites that can connect you with a local freelancer. An idea for those who are on a budget is to check with local universities to see if any graphic design students are looking for portfolio projects and will work at a low rate.

If you can’t afford a high quality graphic designer to give full attention to your logo design then outsourcing to an online is a great cross between going to a local designer or design business and going cheap with crowdsourcing. Fiver can be an option to get a logo done for very little cost, but if you want rights to the logo or several options the price typically goes up accordingly. Toptal, Upwork and Freelancer.com have also been cited as great resources for hiring an inexpensive graphic designer as well.  If you take this route be sure to see that they have good reviews.  Interview and ask the graphic designer questions and take a look at their portfolio.  They should be able to not just help you come up with a great design but also a great concept.

What have your experiences been with logo design? What has worked and what has not?