Just like colour, shapes have the power to make or break your logo design. From the powerful triangles of CAT and Mitsubishi, to the fun rounded logos of Pepsi, Starbucks, and most social media platforms. Shapes play a big role in brand psychology.
We have previously considered the psychological impact colour has in logo design and branding. Today, we delve into the power of shapes in logo design.
Rectangular or square logo design denotes a sense of stability, trust, and balance. For example: the BBC logo promotes a sense of confidence in the brand. It’s powerful shape is strong, established, and has a solid foundation.
Square logo designs run the risk of becoming boring and dull. Grey squares aren’t exactly eye-catching. This is where colour psychology and shape psychology come together. Consider the difference between the Microsoft logo and the BBC logo. Both these logos make use of squares. However, the BBC logo is black and white while the Microsoft logo is made up of a variety of colours.
Both designs are strategic in their implementation and neither are dull. Both speak to their industry and their audience.
Masculine, powerful, and with strong edges, triangular shapes are mostly used in the motor, construction, legal, and scientific industries. CAT, Adidas, and Mitsubishi all have iconic triangle logos.
Diagonal lines in triangles can also be used to make a brand appear dynamic and lively – if implemented strategically. Take Red Bull for example.
The triangular shape appears dynamic due to the colours used and the triangular shape that is created by the arched back of the bulls as opposed to rigid, straight lines.
As opposed to the masculinity projected by triangular designs, circular shapes are feminine. They project a positive, united, and comforting energy.
An iconic example of circular logo design would be the Olympic rings. They capture the unity that the event and brand itself stands for. This is a literal example of the circle logo.
Then there is the more abstract circular movement in logos. This can be seen in Coca-Colas curvaceous, circular logo and font. This kind of flowing design denotes movement, warmth and comfort.
Vertical lines are powerful, drawing the eye of the viewer downwards quickly – usually directing the eye to the brand name. They have an almost aggressive feel to them. Like square logo designs, vertical lines convey professionalism, a strong foundation, and stability.
SoundCloud is a powerful music platform and its vertical lines may represent “sound” but they also ground the logo in a deeper way. This is a great example of strategically combining shapes in logo design.
The circular shape of the cloud is disrupted by the vertical lines. This combination makes the brand fun as well as professional.
In contrast, let’s look at Cisco.
This technology conglomerate’s logo makes use of vertical lines. This is ideal for such a male dominated sector.
Dramatically opposed to vertical lines in logo design, horizontal lines are almost calming. A great example of this would be IBM’s iconic logo.
This is also another example of colour and shape working together. The tranquility of the blue, combined with the level-headed feel of horizontal lines makes the brand appear safe, comforting, and above all else, trustworthy.
Your logo forms the foundation of your brand and brand identity. It is what is seen on all your marketing materials, from your business cards and packaging through to your corporate stationery and social media platforms.
When the consumer views your logo design, they should immediately recognise your business and service/ product offerings.
Designing a logo is not an easy process. It takes strategic thinking, testing, and a professional graphic designer.
Looking to create an effective and eye-catching logo for your company branding? One that will work across all your branding platforms, from print to digital marketing?
Contact our graphic design, print, and branding experts today.
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