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This is a link that I came across about a month ago and saved immediately because of the wealth of information it contained. Now I am passing it along to you hoping that it can be a great help, or at least provide some insight into the process that is involved/required when designing a logo for your brand. I am hoping that it will shed some light on the cost of logo development. Have a look through some of the processes listed and see how some really good brands come to be.
Some of my favorites are:
BountyBev: A good example of how simplicity rules, and why you should avoid stock logos or logo competitions.
Homespun Chili: I love seeing all the variations of what doesn't make the cut through the process. This example has some good ones.
Metro Aviation: This one is a very thorough look at the entire process and how much work went into the final mark.
Sponsr: I like this one because I love the final mark... also this project included custom typography.
WebMynd: This is another great mark with a good story... with a twist. The company does not use the final mark anymore and switched to something else. See their site and current mark here. In my opinion, not nearly as good or memorable as the first.