Designing a logo from scratch can be a hugely daunting challenge.

How do you condense an entire organisation’s operations into a single image? And what’s the best way to represent a company without falling victim to the many, often unspoken pitfalls associated with logo design?

Unfortunately, there is no golden formula you can follow when designing a company logo. However, there are many rookie errors you should be aware of that’ll hopefully steer you away from any embarrassing boo-boos.

Too simple
While it’s true that some of the most recognisable logos are little more than a few squiggles and lines, play it too simple and you run the risk of saying absolutely nothing at all about your organisation.

This is often witnessed in sectors such as finance and insurance; industries that can be tough to visualise tastefully and with class. As such, it isn’t uncommon for organisations in these spheres to opt for some basic blocks with their name thrown in somewhere.

Too busy
You can go too far the other way as well, oversaturating your logo with too many colours and words, shapes and lines. Try to resist the temptation to cram in every last detail and leave a little intrigue to what you guys do.

Overloading your logo means you could end up with a design with uncoordinated font choices and contrasting elements.

Too gaudy
This is connected to the previous point but by applying too many colours, a logo can become garish and gaudy.

You can say a lot with colour choice so agree on roughly three compatible – and tasteful – shades that not only work together but also represent your company’s attitude and values.

The wrong fonts
Comic Sans was never ‘fun’ and the fact that it is still deemed acceptable for school display boards sends the wrong message to tomorrow’s generations that this unpopular font is fit for public consumption.

Okay, rant over. Over time, Helvetica has become one of the most used fonts for company logos (to the point that there’s a whole documentary about its widespread use) and you’ll find it in the logos for the likes of Evian, BMW, Panasonic, Skype and Microsoft.

Designers often opt for this font because it comes with an intrinsically familiar feel that improve the chances of connecting with new customers.

Another ubiquitous font is Garamond, which has been used by Apple, Google, Vogue, Rolex and Abercrombie & Fitch over the years.

We’re not suggesting that these two are the only fonts you should consider but they are tried and tested, and in an arena notably lacking in safe bets, this is a rare exception.

By all means get creative and play around with new and obscure fonts but if in doubt, there’s always Helvetica and Garamond to fall back on.

Defining what makes a logo memorable isn’t straightforward, but it is often the result of bland and unremarkable choices along the design journey.

Uninspiring colour choices, a dull font, shapes or images that say nothing: what comes out at the other end is likely to be forgotten as soon as anyone looks away.

Branding is the cornerstone of marketing. Nail your logo and brand identity and your business can enjoy huge success.

Find out more on why it’s vital to boss your branding.