Believe it or not, the most important part of logo design happens before the designer even starts to sketch. The power of any logo comes from the original logo concept. This concept is the image you envision the logo representing for your business. First, think of a simple thing that relates to your industry. It may be a computer for a software company, or a vacuum for a cleaning service. Or it could be more abstract, like a blurred image for speedy service.
Don't just go with the "in" style of the day. Changing your logo in the future can be a costly expense, so try to imagine something that will look fresh in 10 years. You don't want to have to reprint all your stationary and business cards just because bubble letters went out of style.
Think about the style of your logo. There are several of these out there, which you've probably never thought of, so here's a primer:
Iconic logos: These are some of the most common you'll see out there. They're simple, usually just one graphic element, icon or design. They often include the company name on the bottom or to the side of the graphic element. When utilizing and iconic image, the best figures to go for are usually symmetrical geometrical shapes. That way, they can be placed anywhere and they'll still look balanced in the layout.
Logo types: These words are graphic in themselves. Think of Sony, Kellogg's, Coca-Cola and IBM. There are no drawings, per se, but these words express as much in their design as they do in their meaning.
Illustrative: You'll know an illustrative logo simply by its eye-catching design. This is probably the most impressive (and also expensive) kind of logo to create, as they are detailed and try to represent the company's business using just a graphic.
Integrated: This is the combination of illustrative and logo type. The words and pictures work together to create one solid logo. These are a rarity because they are the most expensive to create.
To wrap up, logo design is one of the most demanding areas of graphic design. Logos have a big job to do: they represent your company, convey your image, and greet customers on the face of your stationary and business cards. Choosing the right company logo design, and the right design firm, is one of the best things you can do to help your marketing efforts.