1. Less is Not More, but Memorable: Humans are programmed to remember things better through simplicity. Let's examine the McDonald's logo. It's a simple golden M. It's not an M with cartoon fries beside it to identify that they sell fries. It's one letter that represents a multi-billion dollar brand. Your logo should be easy to remember by remaining simple. If your company's name is Big Tree Towing Company, you don't have to have a logo with pictures of a tree, car, and tow truck. That would be showing the obvious. Your name already explains what the company does. A logo's job is to give your brand character. A simple TREE image can represent the name overall as well as strength.
2. Your logo should be able to easily convert to black and white: Color is important for brand recognition and a black/white version is important for functionality. Your logo should still hold it's presence through a fax or laser print. Try to avoid logos that rely on color for an effect.
3. Avoid boxing your logo: For advertising purposes, consider a logo that does not have to be confined to a box. It should be able to work on any background. When I do graphic work that requires multiple logo placement, I am usually annoyed with the logo that is confined to a white box. It is not attractive against a solid color background and it usually has to be resized according to the box and not the actually logo design.
4. Death to the ClipArt and stock vectors: Using these items in a logo makes it less personable or more like a default image. It's almost like dressing your brand in a uniform. Even though templates, stock and clipart may be cheaper and can be done on your own, it doesn't say anything to your audience.
5. Avoid using popular fonts as your logo: You as a non-designer would not be familiar with popular and overly used fonts. However a seasoned designer would know, and hopefully they would avoid incorporating them into your logo. I had a client request that I use Comic Sans as her logo font. She said that she saw that font often and had an overall love for it. Not only did that font retire in the 80's, but wanting something that you see often is a mistake in itself.
6. Be Original: Copying another logo or idea goes against the purpose of branding. You won't gain more success or clientele just because your logo is similar to that of a successful company.
TIP**When working with your designer, be sure to request the following variations of your logo:
-Your logo as a .png or .tiff
-black and white
Hopefully these tips have been helpful to you. Please follow my blog to be notified of Part 3: The Wonderful World of Marketing. Your comments are appreciated.