"I want to create a brochure. So, I need a logo."
Most people believe this will solve their business dilemma. It is like a "me-to" approach to business. "They have a logo, so I need one too." But why? What problems does a logo solve?
Logo design is less about producing a graphic than it is about expressing an organizational brand—its character, promises, message, and reputation. A good and appropriate logo is a product of thinking about these issues, not the end itself. When a business or organization thinks that all they want is a logo, without considering what it says about them, they are only seeing the logo as a necessary commodity. However, it is actually an investment in their future and in their relationships with their markets and with those they serve. Understanding this can avoid the hit-or-miss approach to logo design.
For instance, an organization who has built a good reputation with their markets and in the community in general, has an easier starting point for the design of a good identifying mark than companies that don't. This is because most logo designs will inherit an aura of respectability as a result of being associated with the company who has a good reputation. While other companies who don't have any reputation, or have a bad reputation, must overcome the lack of knowledge or negative perceptions to have an effective logo design.
In most situations a company or organization desires a logo because they are looking to build their brand awareness. So the process of logo design must be considered in conjunction with the overall need to build this awareness, if it is to be a good investment. To approach a logo design apart from this need is simply engaging in vanity.