As defined by Wikipedia is: A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organizations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. A the logo for your company or organization is the mark by which all of the public will recognize your company. Look at Companies like Nike, Target and Apple they can be identified solely by the graphic part of the logo, no words necessary. Now, not every business needs to or has the funds to put that much time and money into research and design. There is even the occasional ‘mistake’ when it comes to spending lots of money on branding and assuming that money will be returned in profits or sales. Look at the new 2012 Olympic brand and logo. It is a graphic rendering of the year 2012 in a blocky, jagged font style. It was supposed to represent the younger computer generation and draw in a more youthful crowd. The new brand has not been well received, responses so far reflect that the branding is flop. It is hard to read, hot pink and reminds me more of my childhood in the 80’s rather than the digital world and that branding cost just north of $800,000! OUCH!

But for small and local companies you need to weigh the cost and benefit. And just a tip, if you take your company seriously and want other people to do the same avoid the $49 logo specials online. Those are produced by logo factories and could have similar versions of the same logo, similar version of your logo! There are all kinds of tips about how a logo needs to represent your company as a whole and everything it stands, which is true but don't let all of that information cloud the logo design.When working with a designer give them one or two paragraphs to sum up your company, give them a couple bullet points about what you would like to see and a couple bullet points of what cannot go on there. List your biggest competitors so the designer can do research and now to stand out from the crowd. Then let the designer do what they do best, DESIGN.

When it comes to being the ‘Keeper’ of your logo, no one is going to do that better than you can. Usually in small businesses the owner is still very involved in the day to day and I cannot express how important it is to get and keep good digital files of your logo. I have been working professionally as a designer for years and every time it comes to small businesses there is an issue with logo files. They only have low resolution, fuzzy, black and white or even scanned copies. When going through the logo design process from the beginning that is the perfect time to make sure you get all the file types you need. At the very least I would request

Full Color Logo Only   
Separated 2 color Logo Only    (optional but good to have for budget and printing reasons)
Black and White Logo Only   
Full Color w/Tagline
Separated 2 color w/Tagline
Black and White w/Tagline

within each of these variations I would request different file types
.png (for web)
.ai (Adobe Illustrator) - you may never be able to open or see this file unless you have Adobe

Illustrator but this file type is so important for anything you do in print. Another good thing to ask for that not all designer do automatically is ask for fonts in the logo to be made into ‘Outlines’ and ask for the designer to list all fonts used, either on the side of the document or in a separate word file. That way you don’t have an issues with the font not looking right on other computers and you will always know what fonts are in your logo, in case you want them used in body text for a letterhead or advertising piece. If the designer users Pantone colors ask them to list those also. I may  have gotten technical in those terms and I you can research things like Pantone colors for a better understanding but you don’t have to know what all of that is to just bring it up to a designer.

That is 30 files total but as long as they are well labeled and kept in one folder on your desktop it shouldn't be too hard to keep track of them.

Your logo is important, it is the first impression of your company. Some companies spend thousands to get the logo and branding just right and some times all money still doesn’t get a good logo. But once the logo is yours it is up to you make sure a good and consistent quality is always used.