When designing a logo, it's important to remember that this image or graphic will represent an entire brand, its employees and its products. Ensuring that the logo is timeless and elegant are important factors of the designing process.
Designing a good logo is hard. For clients who may not have formed a distinct company culture yet, or clients who might not know where they're going, having a logo that will stand out and become recognizable is simply a business necessity.
That being said, there are a few ways to tell whether a logo is junk or gold. First. check for scalability. If a company is planning to advertise on a billboard, the logo should be able to fit that need. And vice versa: if a small print ad is bought, the logo should be adjustable.
Another thing to check for is color. If the logo is designed in color, check that it also looks good in black and white. Building an advertisement that will eventually be sent off to a magazine or newspaper for printing means that it's out of company hands after a certain point. Ensuring that a greyscale logo still looks good is essential for print ads.
The design should also always be fresh and relevant. If the designer uses a style that's trendy right now, the logo might not look great in another six months. When discussing ideas, mention that the logo must be able to stand the test of time without sticking to a certain timeframe or trendy style.
And finally, the last thing is to make sure it's memorable. If the company's logo is forgotten, then the brand and product will be forgotten as well. Keeping the design simple, but distinguished is possibly the most important thing to remember during the designing process.
Just remember, when the time comes to sit down with the graphic designer, be very specific about the brand's needs. Mention the strong points and weak points of the company and tell the artist that the logo must be versatile and timeless.