I’m with the folks who think outsourcing a logo is usually a bad idea. Something for your kid’s school project? Great. Something for your blog or personal project? Also great.
But for your business, you need more than something that looks nice. I’m sorry some of you have had lousy experiences with designers - that sucks. Unfortunately there are people out there who probably shouldn’t even be going after design work - or web/software development or copywriting, for that matter.
A good designer understands color and typography and balance. They will learn about your business - its mission and goals, business model, customer base, and plans for the future. They’ll research your competition. And they’ll deliver variations on the mark - tiny to huge, print and web, color and black & white and reverse; different aspect ratios of each (mark above name, mark next to name) if applicable; simpler variations that work with different types of printing.
Downsides of outsourcing:
- As David Rowell mentioned, you may end up with something copied from another company.
- You could end up getting copyrighted material without even knowing it.
- You have know way of knowing if the designs you get will be reused on other projects.
- As you grow and have more and more needs for application of the logo, or you need your logo to evolve, you’ll likely find you need to work with someone who really understands your brand. And that designer will be stuck working with something they know isn’t effective. Unless that designer is really hungry, they’ll be reluctant to take on a project that they won’t be proud of.
And yes - it devalues the work of professionals. Companies end up thinking design is just a matter of a quick drawing. I don’t know how many times I’ve had people come to me with the expectation of getting a logo for $100, or a website for $250, or an entire marketing strategy for $500. I’ve learned to identify them pretty quickly, but it still ends up wasting time.
I understand not everyone has the budget to go the “full service” route, but there’s plenty of room between cheap outsourcing and high end design, and paying for some value that will better serve your company.