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Don't think that because a logo looks simple, it's simple to create. In fact, the simpler it is means more effort went into the design. Your logo will be the graphic "identity" for your company – make sure it's something you can live with and will grow with you. Your company deserves an identity that looks professional and works the way you need it to.
What the heck is the difference between these terms?
Logo is the generic term, but it really refers to "logotype" – a unique typographic treatment of your company's name. Because it is unique, not just simple typography, it can be trademarked (think of the Microsoft logo). A "mark" is a graphic image, usually abstracted, of something that relates to your business (think of the Apple logo). Some companies (like Microsoft or Apple) only have one or the other, or sometimes a company will have both. The unique part is what gets trademarked (if you apply for it), the generic portion is only trademarked when it's used in conjunction with the unique portion in a defined way.
It must be original; I start with your information and develop a logotype or mark from scratch.
It needs to be appropriate now and be something that can grow with the company. I will try to anticipate what may be needed in 5, 10 or more years.
It must be constructed correctly – that is, in a way that can be manufactured (printed, applied etc.). All logos and marks will be designed and delivered in a vector file for infinite scaleability.
It has to be used consistently. Repetition is key to instant recognition, and it should be used the same way as often as possible. I will design and write a "style manual" if needed, so that you and your associates, vendors etc. will all be using the same files in the same way, with the same colors, sizes, proportions etc.
Just a small business or an internet company now? Don't expect your logo only has to work on your webpage. It will probably need it to work on all kinds of things – posters, books, brochures, ads, T-shirts, cups, pens and anything you can think of that can have a logo applied. It needs to scale up and down in size, for tiny stuff like pens and pins or really big stuff like trade show banners (and if you can think that far ahead, perhaps a billboard, bus or jet).
I will design your logo so that it can be used in the most simple way – black & white – for applications that will only let you use one color. Then we can decide how the rest of the colorways will work. The American Cabinets logo shows how the colors can break, but the original will work in black & white. That allows for embroidery, vinyl window graphics and screenprinting on small things like pens.
You can always ADD color, it's really difficult to take away color if the logo is designed incorrectly!