Unless you're really new around here, you probably know I'm a bit passionate about things like brand, and color theory, and typeface selection. That's my nice way of suggesting you avoid me at any dinner parties if you don't want to hole up and chat about this year's color of the year, or how to best select a font hierarchy for a swift hour or two. Consider yourself warned.
Perhaps not all designers geek out quite to the the degree of threatened party hostage situations, but I think you'll find most of us are unanimous on one account. We all abhor logo mill houses. 99designs makes us want to execute 100 crimes. It's not because we are logo snobs or boorish when it comes to budget. Nope, we just know good work and how important it is to deliver it to our people. Logo mills...just like puppy mills are more about quantity over quality.
Don't know what I'm talking about? Let me introduce you to a designers dread: the budget logo website. For a small price (typically $50-$100) dollars you can submit a brief request and have dozens, maybe hundreds, of "designers" submit their work for consideration. To be clear, this is not the same as a legitimate design contest. Some design contests are fabulous, especially for newer designers. Nope. This situation we're discussing today is a website (a whole industry, really) with the main goal of offering you a bevy of logo options for your identity needs without including an educated, experienced guide for your overall business needs. The typical result is an endless series of template-driven logos with about as much personalization or care for your actual brand as a grocery cart.
I recently read an article by a fellow designer, Angela Reichers, outlining her foray into the sport of cheap logo games and I wanted to trumpet her experience to all who are willing listen. Angela was unsurprised to experience poor service, off-the-mark branding, and outright copyright infringement. I highly recommend you give it a read next time you are looking for a good thriller! Angela points out the major flaws in this bulk buy method, and I am proud to see her standing up for quality designers who have both experience and skills to help you hone your business needs into a solid brand, including a logo identity.
Like a good pair of shoes, logo development requires craftsmanship. It can sometimes feel easier to buy that pair of wedges on Amazon, but those shoes are never going to get you where you need to go.