Visual processing is the most important way for gathering information for all human beings. A good design or graphics work is remembered for ages and that is what drives the multinational companies to spend millions of dollars on developing their logo and other branding material. They would go to any extent to create a solid visual impact and leave a permanent impression on their customer's mind.
While designing your logo and providing the necessary details to your designer you need to always keep in mind what you want your customers to feel about your company when the see your logo. A logo design can actually be a compressed story for your business and tell your customers about the nature and attitude of your business.
"Logo Design" Begins at Home
Yes, your home is the place where you take the first step of your logo design process. Look at the different bottles and pouches you are using everyday in the kitchen, look at the logos they have, look at the logos on your electronic equipment's, check the logo on the bag that you got from the shopping mall yesterday. Everyday we come across 1000s of logos but we remember just a few, if we look around, we can find different types of logos around us. Also, visit the local supermarket to check the logos on the array of products they have. It is always better to check out the logos of your competitors who are in the same industry. While doing this, you are sure to find some logos that stand out from the others and this is going to help you conceptualize your logo design.
Once you have made up your mind on how you want your logo to be, its time you write them down clearly demarcated into small objective points which can work as instructions for your logo designer.
One thing you should be careful, while going through different logos of other companies you must not be so influenced by any of them so that your logo becomes a replica or modified version of another logo that you saw. A good design often affects our sub conscious mind and we unknowingly duplicate certain parts of it. It is extremely important that your logo design is unique. A unique logo design increases the likelihood for getting a trademark protection. It is advisable that you take the assistance of a trademark lawyer for your trademark search and to ensure that you do not run into the risk of infringing some other companies trademark symbol or logo.
If you area small local business or a mom-n-pop shop you might not be that keen in investing towards a logo and establishing your brand (though I sincerely believe that's very wrong). In such situation, you can try using some high quality royalty free clip art combining it with a suitable typeface to put your company name. You can also use more than one clip arts to create the total graphics for your logo.
However, you should keep in mind that clip arts would never give you the effect of a custom logo and they can be easily duplicated or stolen. Even if you are modifying a clip art, it is almost impossible to get a trademark on that. In future, once your business grows to the level when you need to have trademarked logo you will have to get a total new logo (may be something closer to the one you have) and start with your branding efforts once again to establish that new logo.