Why hire a professional?
Graphic design is a specialized field in which technology and artistry align for a purpose of promoting a business, giving clarity to information, and bringing something unique for the buyer to the marketplace. The field is a large one, and there are many distractions out there offering a 'free' or cheap logo, services that will customize clip art or templates, or the services that operate as a logo mill (giving you many to choose from, but little depth in the concept).
The best way to choose a designer is to find someone who has a more mindful and client collaborative approach. A collaborative designer is someone who will:
- Walk you through the process from consultation to completion
- Ask questions to learn about your unique business and the industry your in
- Research and learn their own insights about your business
- Set reasonable expectations for milestones and closing the project
Find someone who you feel comfortable working with, and displays a focus on getting the work done together with you. They will offer a more unique symbol/logo that identifies with your business and clients...not something someone else shows on a card for a similar service because they got a logo from their online printer.
Where to hire?
Designers van be found through word of mouth, posting an ad on sites such as Thumbtack.com, or finding a local service provider on the web.
People to ask may include sign shops, non profit companies who have a logo that appeals to you, or asking local businesses who did the work for them. Word of mouth advertising still is the best advertising for most designers, and they appreciate the repeat referrals from satisfied clients.
So...what is it going to cost me?
Every designer has different rates, and they may promise you pie in the sky results for very cheap. When you hire a cheap design service you won't get that last part...service. Client focused attention, a more available path of communication, and a unique logo all come with a little more of a cost. What I charge is very different than a designer just getting started in the field, and so the best way to get started is to ask around and set up a budget for your logo and branding. This will give the professional an idea of the amount of time they can devote to the project, or perhaps find someone who will do it for that amount.
Personally I know a logo for a small business takes me, and this is just my estimate, about 8-16 hours of research, design, and revisions. In the end you'll get all the files to put your logo across a variety of mediums, and something both designer and client will be satisfied with.