How to use Shapes in Logo Design and the Emotions Behind them
Logo Designs have different elements in them. And the combination of those elements helps to communicate the brand. The elements work on symbolism and target the minds of the audience to establish the brand identity. The designers focus on using fonts, colors, and icons as symbols to convey the meaning of the brand. But the one underrated element in logo design which is not focused from the perspective of the symbol is shape.
The shapes in the logo affect the psychology and shape the audience’s perspective about the brand. The shape you use is responsible for how your audience feels about your brand. Think from the point of view of the audience, don’t you find round shape pleasing and rectangle shape intimidating?
The Walt Disney Company uses a circle in their brand logo, which suggests subconsciously that the brand is family friendly. And it has successfully gained people’s trust over its family-friendly brand nature. It has a subsidiary brand— 20th Television— which doesn’t share the same brand value. The 20th Television was behind the production and creation of the adult cartoon series— The Simpsons.
The 20th Century is owned by Disney since 2020 but even before that it produced, created, and developed adult animated television series and specials. So, after purchase, it got easier for the Walt Disney Company to manage its brand values. The round shape of the Logo helps the brand to imprint its brand identity. The rectangular shapes used in Adidas express solidity and boldness. The shape of the Swoosh in the Nike logo depicts the motion. As curve shapes depict motion and rhythm, Nike used this shape very well. This is how the brands use shapes for branding.
What are your brand values and what are the shape you’ll be using to convey that brand value? You need some basic understanding of shape psychology. If you want to make custom logo designs, then you must know the subconscious connotations of shapes. You can also give a try to an online tools such as Designhill logo maker. Here are the common shapes and their meaning.
Circles, Ovals, and Rings
Circles evoke a sense of community and emotions like continuity, stability, unity, and friendliness. Continuity because it doesn’t have sharp ends, and the border lines finish where it starts and never end. You’ll see this shape in many logos. The designs with circles seem welcoming and pleasant. These shapes are used in Olympics to car logos (Mercedes-Benz). In Olympics, various countries across the world unite and plays. Those five rings are the best depiction of such unity.
And this shape is more scalable than other shapes. It means you can use it even on a smaller scale like polka dots. But while using circles in your logo, leave the white spaces. White spaces help to make the logo professional, simple, and memorable. You should use a design size guide to fit the elements.
If your brand shares such a value of unity, you should use this shape. For example, the organization which brings people together, suggests unity and collaboration, in that case, this shape is best to convey that. And you can also use it to increase the friendliness of your brand with the audience (Just like Walt Disney).
Triangles are more beneficial than other shapes since they may display various information based on the direction they are facing. Consider them to be arrows, and aim them in the direction that best represents your brand.
The points of most triangles or pyramids face up. Pyramids are a symbol of architectural stability, and they make people feel secure, strong, and long-lasting. They also demonstrate achievement and authority by pointing aloft. As a result, they are often employed for scientific, religious, and legal branding.
Right-facing triangles indicate forward motion and speed or advancement. Left-facing triangles, on the other hand, indicate traveling rearward. They’re not very prevalent, but companies dealing with history, recollections, or nostalgia might benefit from them.
Triangles that point down are a bit unsettling since they seem to be unstable. However, certain businesses may take advantage of this if they want to seem unusual, weird, or obscure.
Squares and Rectangles
Squares and rectangles have a blunter shape that combines aggressiveness and balance. Rectangles are often seen as a symbol of dependability and toughness since they are connected with items such as houses, safes, and boxes where things are kept safe. Furthermore, straight lines and angles reflect order and professionalism, and they are good for evoking a feeling of power and stability.
Square logos are used by companies such as Microsoft and Dropbox to convey a feeling of order and confidence in their businesses. Microsoft’s new square design emphasizes the company’s approach as more dynamic and “edgy,” but Dropbox’s square design is utilized to express a feeling of security and confidence when paired with its blue color palette – a location where you can dump all your files and know that they’ll be secured.
So, if your brand is associated with money, journalism, or dealing with sensitive information, try employing squares or rectangles (like psychology or casework). Cleaning services and organization companies will benefit from square/rectangle logos as well, as they will assist you in conveying the impression of order that you promise to generate for your consumers.
Curves and Waves
Curvy lines and waves, like circles, let the eyes “dance,” making logos look more fun and uncomplicated. They have a vitality that adds a young spirit to logo design, even for ancient and antique businesses.
Curves, which are frequently associated with careening waves, are a wonderful method to convey a sense of motion and rhythm to a logo design. In reality, companies like Vaio employ curves to physically represent waves (in this case, analog waves).
Curves, as opposed to straight horizontal or vertical lines, are all about movement, enjoyment, and good feeling. They work better in logos and businesses that are less concerned with appealing to the corporate world and more interested in creating a personal connection with their audience.
The beauty of curves is that you can use them in other designs to provide a fun element. If you’re concerned about seeming too rigid, use rounded edges instead of pointed ones to “soften” your logo. Squares maintain most of their stability implications, albeit with a bit less stiffness.
The more curves you include, the livelier your design seems. Try introducing them gradually to get the right combination of professionalism and fun to complement your brand identity.
Circles, squares, rectangles, and triangles may be the most obvious things to think about when it comes to the psychology of logo shapes. But it’s important to remember that there’s another form, the line or linear design, that many businesses forget about.
The way you make the lines in your logo could affect how people see it. Vertical lines make people think of power and sophistication, which makes logos look thinner. On the other hand, horizontal lines make you feel calm and peaceful. The type of line you choose will depend on the kind of business you have.
Vertical lines are strong and interesting at the same time. They try to get the viewer to look down, often at the brand name. They show professionalism and a sense of mobility, just like squares and rectangles do. For example, the SoundCloud logo is made up of vertical lines that stand for “sound” and give the whole thing more depth. By putting together rough vertical lines and the curves of a cloud, SoundCloud can show both power and creativity.
On the other hand, horizontal lines give a sense of calm, dependability, and peace. When used in logo design, they look very different from vertical lines and can make your customers feel safe. The IBM logo, which we’ve talked about before, is a great example.
Spirals have all the same qualities as circles, especially how they “draw in” the viewer, but they take those qualities to the next level. Instead of being calm and easygoing like most circular logos, spirals are more active, sometimes too much so. In the worst cases, spirals can be hypnotizing or even make people feel sick. This can be good for some brands but bad for others.
Spirals are best for brands that want to look lively and full of energy. Because spirals can make you feel dizzy, you should be careful when choosing them. Avoid them if you want your brand to seem “easy-going.”
Keep your brand values in mind before using the shapes in your logo designs. You can use shapes in your logo with the help of the Designhill logo maker. It has a range of graphic design tools, which helps you to create a logo representing your brand. Not only the logo designs, but Designhill can also help you with a Label design, brochure design, packaging design, flyer maker, and many more. This is your one-stop solution for every design need.