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One way is to start with public domain pictures, black and white drawings, shapes etc. - color them, edge them, move them around, and most importantly KISS (Keep it simple stoopid!)
Remember the most effective logos have always been extremely simple. It is the style of the simplicity that makes great logos. Make it so it looks good in both color and b&w.
Dont go to impress prople with your ability to run a graphics program. Make your logo memorable, simple, fast, and easy to adapt into "sub-logos"
There you are ... a brand and sub brands in one!
Fax - You need to keep the lins big enough to show up if it is faxed somwhere.
Business Cards - Will it show up if it's that small?
You should use the name of the company and as little else as possable. Try to use a distinctive but readable font.
If you want to post the name of the company and tell somthing about it perhaps we can make some suggestions...
That is to say, if a shape (etc.) can convey an idea it will leave a much longer lasting impression that a word will ever scream a brand.
Have a look at the greats, Mau, Lowery, etc.
It's more than a stamp.
Also the greats never had to bother with Ill. 9 eps gradients etc. A good rule is that if you can make it (with hard pantone and a knife - you are half way there)
Never spell out the name.