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Logos are a great way to express what your company does, and who your company is! You can make yours stately, zany, cute, catchy or sophisticated. Your logo is what will stand out to people on your business cards, letterhead, envelopes and signs, so you want to pick the best logo for the job.
Consider Your Image
What do you want to portray about your business? If you run a law firm, you'll probably want to show that your firm is professional and refined. A cutesy logo won't cut it. If, on the other hand, you run a doggie day care, you want a logo that expresses the fun side of your business.
Make a list of 5-10 characteristics that represent your company. Then come up with image ideas for each one. If “classy” is on your list for your bar/restaurant, maybe a martini glass can signify that.
Get to the Drawing Board
Whether you're designing the logo yourself or letting a professional do it, sketch out a few ideas that express the different facets of your business. Figure out how you want to incorporate your company name, or if you want to leave it out completely (think: the artist formerly known as Prince).
If you want your designer to do all the work, give her some concepts to get started and see what she comes up with.
Get together three of your best logo samples and test them out on customers and friends. Make your final selection and start promoting your brand!