Logo design is a huge topic with a vast amount of opinions as to what a logo should look like and cost, so im going to keep this short and give you some tips to consider that I use when designing a logo.
You can pay thousands of pounds for a logo design, you can also use a free logo generator. No designer can tell you the industry standard cost of a logo design because there isn't one. - You can pay literally every price in between.
Pay what you believe is the true value of a logo to your business. Just remember trends come and go, design tools and techniques will evolve, however what usually stays throughout the entirety of your business is the logo. - with a task to identify your service or product!
A logo is for identification, not communication!
When you picture a business in your mind, you often immediately picture the logo, be it the golden arches or the apple with the bite out of it. Likewise, when you see a logo you’re familiar with, as you do with the Nike and Apple logos, you’ll immediately associate it with your memories, experiences, and interactions with the brand.
I strongly advise when you contact a designer or agency not to ask for a "Logo Design" ask for "Branding". - Branding is a visual concept of the entire brand assets and how they will appear on multi-media that’s suited to your business. - Business stationery, Clothing, Vehicle Signage etc.
The reason you want branding and not a logo design is you want to visualise your business in it's entirety. For example; a logo can be a nice clean font! When a brand is designed well it can be identified by the fonts and colours alone. An example of this is UK Supermarkets: Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda. - Text logos with strong brand colours that we identify with each.
If you approached a designer and request a logo design and they typed out the name of your company or created a simple coloured shape like the Nike tick and presented just that on a plain piece of paper, it's highly likely you'll reject the concept because you cant visualise the brand.
If you're asking for a logo design it's because you're looking to use a logo for communication, not identification. - You wont achieve the brand identity to represent you for a lifetime.
1) Keep away from gradient colours, you'll have doubts and question is your logo outdated as trends change.
2) Use solid colours, people cant tell if it's old, new, expensive or cheap.
Solid colours will also save you money in production for items such as clothing or vehicle signage.
3) A logo is for identification not communication.
Think of it as a tag! - It's purpose is to identify who this message is from. It's got to be visible, but not overpowering.
4) A good logo design can be seen at any size!
Squint your eyes, or step back a few meters can you still identify the logo? - Will it be seen when it's as small as the logos in the tabs of your internet browser?
5) Keep it simple, Less is more!
Simple, Clean, Iconic.
Below are examples of companies that refined their logos for what I believe to be the reasons mentioned above. Something I've noticed (but advise with caution to brand new businesses, until you become more established) is all the refined logos have removed the company name from the logo...
Every logo is more clean and polished, all the slightly messy areas or thin lines that cause complications to visualise as logo's get smaller have been removed. Every logo is clean, sharp and created using shapes and colours.