OMG. Free Logos.

I’m as thrifty as the next guy, and I know what it is like to bootstrap a business. It’s not easy when you have a very limited amount of money that you have to leverage & prioritize in mighty ways in order to get something going. With this in mind, what I'm about to say might sound odd coming from the creative director at a branding firm, but I actually think crowdsourced logos, free logo sites, or online design template sites are sometimes appropriate.

You should consider these options if…

You haven’t proved your business concept yet.
Developing your core product or service will require most of your capital.
You have an immediate sales opportunity and “just need something” for the meeting.
Speed is more important than quality.

However, you should consider hiring an agency if…

You have already proven your business concept and are ready to scale.
You need help getting a leadership team to agree on a direction.
You need help managing existing brand equity.
Setting the right perception from the start is mission critical.
There is a bigger business problem that needs to be addressed (like positioning, naming, increased competition, etc.)

Why invest thousands into an idea that might not even work? The best brand identity in the world won’t save a bad idea. Look at JCPenney. Great branding work over the last few years, but not a great business model.

Prove the business idea first then develop the brand. Good business always precedes a good brand.