How Shapes Affect Logo Design

Shapes are all around us and part of our everyday life. And, whether we believe it or not, they play an important role in building and defining a brand logo that serves as an anchor for an organization in its industry. Shapes in brand logos are often overlooked or misunderstood by business owners with most emphasis being focused on color, font type and format. It is important to give shapes the same amount of attention when creating a logo to:

  • Symbolize different ideas
  • Direct the eye from one element to the next
  • Convey emotion and mood
  • Create trust and professionalism
  • Deliver a sense of depth
  • Connect with an audience

Shape elements, including circles, squares, rectangles, triangles, vertical and horizontal lines, organic shapes and spirals all communicate different meanings. Let’s explore how each element translates in a logo and provides a connection point for current and potential customers.

A common feature in logo design, circles are used in 20 percent of the most recognized brands. Using a circle in a logo conveys positive emotional messages through unity, friendship, commitment, strength, and steadiness. They connote softness, bonding, consistency, sturdiness, and reliability. In some instances, they imply marriage and partnership to show stability and endurance.

Squares & Rectangles
Another popular and common design form, squares and rectangles create an idea of proportion, balance and dependability. While the corners found in these elements are sharp and abrupt, they also help to inspire trust, safety, maturity, intelligence and strength about the brand for consumers.

The triangular shape in logo design shows dynamic power, hierarchy, and continuous motion and/or improvement. The shape of a triangle seems to be pushing in a specific direction which helps to give a perception of brand innovation and resilience. Again, the sharp corners help to emulate trust, safety, maturity, intelligence and strength for consumers

Lines tend to be the least popular and are often used as a secondary element, but still can significantly impact logo design for the better. Vertical lines can portray strength, sophistication, and, in some instances, aggression. Horizontal lines convey community, tranquility, and calm.

Organic Shapes & Spirals
Not every logo has to be based on circles, squares, rectangles, or triangles. The use of organic shapes, which are naturally occurring forms (shapes), and spirals are often used to create unique logos that are a literal portrayal of a brand. Spirals are used to be centralizing, transformative and are often considered to be hypnotic as well. Organic shapes make people feel warm and comforted by portraying well-recognized elements that tug at heart strings or good memories.

Shapes are building blocks and create patterns, providing something for our brains to memorize and recognize. The use of different shapes, or the use of one strong shape, in logo design can help to create an emotional and psychological bond between a brand and its consumers. It is important to understand how shapes affect your logo and how to incorporate them in order to create a brand connection.