Our immediate need is for a logo that communicates a balance between these three ideas:
a) safe and cool
b) solid foundation (our 20 years exper) and gee-whiz brand new
c) effective and fun.
My personal bias is toward minimalism with bold and clean lines.
NEED TO AVOID CLICHES such as umbrellas, raindrops or any legal biz images, e.g., gavels, justice scales, etc. Ugh. Gradients are ok, but please no extensive use of shadows. Overall design advice is that "less is more."
We'd also like to keep the design within the blue/grey/black family of colors as these tend to be more "corporate" and fit well with our intended audience. Orange, Red, Purple and other such colors are not appropriate given our market.
Almost all usage will be for electronic publishing, e.g., blog masthead, product masthead, email signatures, LinkedIn/FB pages, etc. So we'll want vector format.
Future: Obviously, after we find our design partner, we'll need design help with all the other use cases cited.