Your brand’s logo will often be the first thing prospective users, clients and partners see. But pick one that’s unprofessional, confusing or forgettable, and it may also be the last.

It’s on you to both find a great designer and then steer your designer to create a logo that will ensure your business card doesn’t get shuffled to the bottom of the deck, so we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best resources to help.

Finding Your Designer

1. 99designs

99designs can provide you the one thing more useful than a great graphic artist working on your new logo: several great graphic artists working on your new logo. This unique site allows you to host your own design competition, meaning dozens of artists all competing to give you what you want. Pricing starts at $300 for a contest that will yield around 30 designs.

2. oDesk

oDesk is perfect for a bootstrapped operation on a budget. The global marketplace for remote workers isn’t specifically targeted towards graphic artists, but they currently boast over 5,000 logo designers, some of whom (especially the international designers) charge as little as $5/hour. A 5-star rating system means that low rates don’t have to mean settling for low quality.

3. Logolance

Logolance is a go-to source for finding actual designers. Logo artists are profiled next to their work for easy browsing, or you can take advantage of the community’s pairing service and let them find you a professional in your price range or proximity.

Directing Your Designer

4. Logospire

Logospire is an uncluttered repository of global logos that ought to help get the inspiration flowing for you and your new designer. Rather than making you wade through page after page of designs to find the real gold, their 1-5 star rating system means that the best logos float to the top.

5. Creattica

Creattica isn’t fully dedicated to logos, but its gallery does house over 3,000 of them. Beyond that, there’s tons of additional inspirational imagery, as sometimes the best way to get inspiration for a great logo is to look at, well, anything besides other logos. Only the best submissions are posted, meaning you won’t waste your time looking at anything subpar.

6. DesignGuide lacks the breadth of some of the larger logo galleries, but makes up for it in depth. Its archive presents 20 or so of the world’s most iconic logos, pairing each with the history of its inception and evolution over the years. Learn from the best.

7. Brand New

Brand New is stocked with the latest news and opinions on corporate identity and brand work. Although a good logo stands the test of time, creating one may require an understanding of what’s trending in design. The content is divided into three sections: “Reviewed,” with full stories and opinions, “Noted,” with basic facts and minimal opinion, and “Linked,” with minor descriptions and portals to outside sources.

8. Logo of the Day

Logo of the Day features only the best, hand selected by one of the best, graphic designer Jacob Cass. Frequented by design professionals, the archives house comments that often involve spirited debate, providing a window into not just what the pros think, but why.

9. LogoGala

LogoGala combines the best of both worlds: a large and browsable inspiration gallery with a smaller, more detailed “Featured” section that goes deep on selected designs, interviewing their creators about what went into the work. Best of all, the designers are linked, so you can get in touch with them if you see something you like.

10. Logo Lounge

Logo Lounge is truly massive, currently housing over 200,000 designs, many with detailed notes. For $100, you can also upload unlimited logos for comments and critiques from the community, which is useful if you’re deciding among a few final options.

Testing Your Design

11. Visual Web Optimizer

Having trouble deciding between two (...or ten!) logos? If you’d rather rely on hard data than a gut feeling, then sign up for a free 30-day trial of Visual Web Optimizer and A/B test your finalists. StartupBros has solid instructions for setting up your test.