I’ve had to make quite a few logo’s in my time and there are a few ways to get them done. My preference these days is actually to do them via a crowdfunding site but for the sake of completeness let’s discuss the various options.
Working with an advertising agency can be very beneficial. They can help you decide on a design if you don’t have one, work with you on the concept and the overall colour scheme and finally manage the relationship with the designer themselves. However, with an agency you are paying for their expertise and this is probably the most expensive option.
With a direct relationship model, you work directly with the graphic designer to create your logo. With a direct relationship model, the danger is in making sure you picked the right designer in the beginning (skill levels and aesthetics vary widely) and then communicating your design to them in a way that they understand. In a direct relationship, the need to provide clear design direction is a must – you don’t have the back-up of an agency to work with you on this. The biggest advantage in a direct relationship model is that often, you can get the logo’s done at a cheaper price.
In a crowd-funding environment; you work with a variety of designers by providing the job description on a website and multiple designers apply to win the design prize. You have much of the same disadvantages in terms of design direction at a higher price. In addition, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find a design you look. The big advantage of a crowd-funding option is that you can generally find some great designs (especially if you are willing to up your project price); and sometimes the designers will come back with new, cool ideas that you’d never have thought of yourself.