When a client comes to you for business card design, you always ask for their logo. But what if your client doesn't already have a logo? Of course, that's good because you can get paid to design the business card as well as a logo for it. It also gives you the freedom using a completely original design, since you don't have to adhere to a pre-existing logo's color scheme.
Here are a few tips for developing professional business cards with sharp company logos.
Know your client
If you're going to be developing a logo, make sure you understand not only what your client does, but what their goals are and - this is important - what their budget is. Using an abstract symbol as a logo is not necessarily a good choice for small businesses with a relatively low budget, because it could potentially take thousands or even millions of advertising dollars to influence potential customers to make a positive association between the symbol and their company. Take the Reebok logo, for instance; the symbol by itself is meaningless without the association to athleticism the company has manufactured through a robust advertising campaign. If your client doesn't have the budget to compete with that, you're better off using a logo based on the company name or an easily recognized symbol, like a hammer for a construction company.
Text doesn't have to be boring
Some of the best logos are of the company's name - usually with a twist to make it stand out. Try making your text lines and curves in different thicknesses, and using strikethroughs, slants, or other effects. You could even use the first letter of a company's name with a few diagonal lines through it and an added drop shadow. Experiment and give it time - with a little innovation you could turn the most boring of names into striking marketing material.
If you've been in the design field for any length of time, you've heard this phrase before. "Keep It Simple Stupid" is a tried-and-true tenement of the graphic design industry, and it should always be incorporated when creating logos. Use simple lines and shapes in different thicknesses, sizes and colors. In most cases, two colors are plenty for a logo, but don't be afraid to try three or just go with one color. Most importantly, remember that a logo is there to achieve recognition, not confuse the client or make them think - you want them to feel a positive emotion about your client.
But my client REALLY wants a cool graphic
If your client is set on you developing a great-looking symbol for their logo, and you know they that don't necessarily have the means to put together a million-dollar marketing campaign, don't fret. You can still use a symbol - after all, just because your client isn't at that level yet doesn't mean they won't be some day (and wouldn't it be great if you developed an internationally-known logo?). Develop a great symbol that captures the emotion and attitude of your client's company, and then pair it with the company name to kill two birds with one stone.