You might need your courseware system logo to be able to hold up well at tiny sizes. You can test its scalability by creating a 16×16 pixel “favicon” of the logo and seeing how it looks–this is probably the smallest it will ever need to be in. Also, try printing it at different sizes. Scalability may or may not be an important issue for your courseware system logo, depending on its use and location.
Once you have a simple, strong design, the key is just to try different things with your logo. Test different colors, add and subtract images, shades and tones. The logo will probably be surrounded by taglines and text. Put the logo in different situations, testing taglines and texts just to see where they look best–left, right, center, etc. Test different fonts, sizes and combinations.
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