I have written before why I think a logo design is worth investing a little time and money on, but a friend told me something a little while ago that shed a whole new light on cheap logo design.
My friend another freelance designer had recently started working with a new client who unfortunately had already had their logo design done by a cheap logo designer. He had now approached my friend to help with some design work after the problems they had had with the cheap logo. They had basically commissioned someone to do a really cheap logo, they were happy with the design and so had it printed on they stationery, literature and vans. The problem began when they found another local company in the same line of work had a very similar logo. I don’t know whether both logos were done by the same designer, or perhaps two different designers used some logo clip art, or the designer copied the other logo, but either way it was an expensive mistake. The cost of van graphics, literature and stationery could easily outweigh the costs of using a reputable graphic designer who charges realistic prices because they spend time thinking about and designing a logo and not just using clip art or copying designs.
Its a pretty embarrassing thing to be driving a van which looks very similar to your competitor too.