A logo is the visual representation of your company. It graphically imparts information to everyone who views it, subtlety informing them if your organization is creative or conservative, playful or serious. Coming up with the perfect logo for an organization is not always easy. It takes creativity and diligence to develop a design that captures the essence of your company with just a momentary glance.

Graphics, Text or Both?

Decide if you want a logo that features a graphical image or one that uses text as a word-mark. Graphical logos may work well for companies that want to impart information on products and services, while text-based logos lend themselves to professional services organizations such as lawyers, insurance companies and accountants. Many companies combine text into a graphical element, thus achieving a compromise between the two styles. If you decide on this route, be sure that the logo is cleanly designed so all elements can be easily recognized. All three approaches for logos are appropriate for any size company, with the decision usually hinging on personal choice.

Scale and Color

When designing a logo, consider how you are going to use it. A full-color logo that looks great on a sheet of white paper may not look great when reproduced in one color on a pen or other promotional item. Consider also how the design will appear in black and white. A logo needs to look good on business cards, letterhead, fax cover sheets, emails and on websites. Ask your designer to provide you with samples of a number of different uses to allow you to decide if the logo reproduces well across a portfolio of documents before you incur any additional expenses.

Gather Inspiration

There is a wealth of online resources that aim to provide designers and business owners with ideas and inspiration when considering logos. Many of these sites present you with hundreds of logos that, in somebody’s opinion, were well-considered and designed. Spend some time on these sites to see what general trends appeal to you, as well as which color palettes catch your eye. While it is never a good idea to steal another company’s idea, use the examples for inspiration, and to help you brief your designer on what appeals to you.