Any business with the minimum interest to be successful should concentrate on developing their corporate image. "Corporate image" might be a big word for such small ventures, however, what I meant by that is how the business wants themselves to be perceived by their customers. Irrespective of the size of the business it is very important to determine how do you come across to your potential customers? How do you compare to your competitors? These factors are largely determined by your branding and marketing strategies. Branding tools like logo designs, business cards etc goes a long way in creating your corporate image. Any marketing communication material should ideally have your corporate logo on it, which would give more credibility for your business as well as help your client to perceive your business as a professional enterprise.
Logo design is an absolutely indispensable part of corporate branding strategy and should always be assigned to professional logo designers. A professional logo designer is not just a graphic designer but he should also have ideas about branding and positioning of business. Depending on your requirements he will create a logo that would successfully exude the nature and attitude of your business. He also needs to understand the media in which you are going to use your logo; it can be web, print, electronic media (TV commercial etc) or a mixture of all of these.
Basically there are 3 types of logos, glyph, alpha-glyph, or a combination of any of these. There are a number of factors that should be looked into to determine what would be the ideal solution for you. A professional logo designer or a specialist logo design firm can definitely help you with decision making in this aspect.
Types of Logos
Glyph: This includes symbols, icons, pictures etc that represents your company. These are most widely used for secondary communication rather than business logos, except for few like, Apple. Glyphs though used rarely as logos, if created properly by talented logo designers can be extremely sophisticated and create a deep impact as a corporate identity. However, we need to be careful that glyphs need to be done by well experienced professionals, an amateur attempt can simply male your logo unattractive and useless and might even cause loss of credibility to your business.
Alpha-Glyph: An alpha-glyph logo uses a letter from the name of the company to graphically convey the nature of the business. At times picking the first letter of the company name and designing it in a particular way also do this. Ideal examples of this type of logos can be seen with Extreme Championship Wrestling Honda, Motorola, and Oklahoma State University. This type of logo is also not used very commonly and shares the same advantages and disadvantages as the glyphs.
Combination Logos: This is the most common type of logos and is found everywhere. Most of these are actually glyph or alpha-glyph with an alphanumeric company name. It is the arrangement of the company name and the image and their color combination that plays the most instrumental role in the effectiveness of the logo. Some good examples of combination logos are Red Hat Linux and Intel.