A former co-worker is setting up his business and going through the LLC, Naming, and Logo process, and I offered him some information based on my experience. I’ll present it here more organized.
I’m no designer, but I separate the logo into three things:
I chose to make the colors represent something for Upper Cut. I also wanted to choose colors that would go together well and look good when converted to grayscale and black-and-white. I also wanted to reduce the use of colors to minimize printing costs when I order business cards, brochures, and other materials. A simple color scheme that is clean and clear is also visible from a distance.
The Image part of the logo is the iconic representation of your company that someday will become recognizable by everyone on the planet, and it doesn’t usually have letters on it. The NIKE Swoosh is recognizable without the word NIKE below it, same for the IZOD alligator.
This is the part of the logo that actually displays the name of the company. Most of the time this isn’t just the company name in Arial (please, fontgods, no!) – it has artistic elements. The z in amazon.com has curves up on the bottom to allow for the arrow.
Microsoft nudges the o and the s together with a bit of a cutout wedge
This is probably the most famous treatment of text.
Composing the Image + Logotype
I think it is important for the Image and the Logotype to not overlap. This way they stand on their own and can be used separately. You should also make sure your Image + Logotype can be arranged in different ways for different uses. A horizontal and vertical arrangement are usually enough.
You’ll want to make sure when you use an external designer that you get all the elements handed over in the right formats. Usually Adobe Illustrator and high-resolution PNG files are best. If your designer used a special font, they probably can’t give that font to you, because they’ve licensed it for their own use. Get them to tell you what the font is and where they licensed it, so that you have the option of licensing it yourself for use on your materials.
Make sure when you pay the designer that they transfer the full copyright of the logo to your company. This way your company owns the logo and can modify it or use it in any way. Designers usually retain the right to display your logo in their portfolio.