The psychology of shapes in logo design

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The psychology of shapes in logo design

When it comes to the world’s most recognisable logos, it is important to note their specific shape or combination of shapes. The shapes were not chosen simply for their pretty aesthetic. These iconic logos did not just happen by chance. There is a deep rooted psychology behind logo design. Designers need to do their research. Every aspect of the logo design including colour, shape, and typeface, needs to be carefully considered before being implemented.

When it comes to developing a brand, logo design should be a priority. The logo is your most powerful marketing tool and has the ability to subconsciously, or consciously, elicit emotions. The logo is the recognisable face of your business, and plays a big role in the consumers purchase decision – a well-recognised logo is a trusted brand.

Today, we focus on the psychology of logo shapes.

How the Consumer Views the Logo

There is no denying the complexity of the human psyche. There is a complex process that we go through when interpreting and consuming visual information. Our subconscious mind reacts differently to different logo shapes. Circles, lines, jagged edges, and curves have the ability to impart varied meaning and elicit different emotions in the viewer.

Take the iconic Nike swoosh into consideration:

This logo represents a brand that embraces an active lifestyle. With this in mind, the combination of curves that end in a sharp point, strongly signify a sense of movement and energy, fully conveying the brand primary message.

Logo shapes and their particular messages:

Circles, Ellipses, and Ovals

These rounded shapes project a positive image, suggesting a sense of friendship, community, relationships, and unity. The curves of these kinds of designs reflect a feminine feel, associated with nurture and warmth – and ultimately trust. A ring shape also represents marriage and partnership, reflecting stability, commitment, and longevity.

Triangles and Squares

Logos with a strategic edge suggests durability and stability – implying balance. These straight lines communicate strength, efficiency, and professionalism. In regards to triangles specifically, it has been suggested that this shape speaks to a masculine audience, so it is no coincidence that most brands with a male dominated bias, have triangular imagery in their logo.

However, when filled with certain colours, these shapes can give off different meaning. For example, if a square logo is filled in with grey, it makes the company appear cold and uninviting. But, when filled with dynamic colours, the logo has the power to give off a creative and fun-loving feel.

Typeface Shapes

Shape in logo design also refers to the typeface used. Angular typeface designs represent aggression and this is why they are often found in the logos of rock bands and brands that represent this “heavy metal” lifestyle.

On the other end of the spectrum, softer, rounder fonts provide a youthful and delicate appeal. Italic typefaces appeal to a feminine audience while a bold blocked typeface speaks of a masculine target market.

The Gestalt Theory

Now it is time to dig a little deeper…

If you are interested in expanding your understanding of human interpretation of imagery, read up on the Gestalt Theories of German psychologists, published in the 1920s.

The Gestalt Theory of “Closure” is often made use of in logo design. This refers to an incomplete object that offers enough detail for the human eye to form the entire picture. One of the most famous examples of this kind of logo design is the World Wildlife Federation logo:

Other Gestalt theories suggest that the human brain amalgamates the visual to form a “whole” that carries much more weight and meaning in the psyche. Essentially, human beings form patterns out of similarly shaped objects, while objects from different shape groups then become the focal point of said image.

In Conclusion:

It is important that you work closely with a professional logo designer and printing company when it comes to creating the ideal image for your brand. They will work closely with you, ensuring that your corporate values, mission and vision, and target market are fully represented in your logo design.

When customers and potential customers walk by your billboard, store, and brochure prints, or whether they come across your website, they should immediately be able to identity your business because of your logo.

Jetline Print on Demand: Leading Printing Company and Graphic Design South Africa

The key to a successful logo design is to create a look that works well on all platforms, while fully embracing the aesthetic of your business. Jetline offers design, printing services, and digital solutions to embrace your brand identity.

Contact us today for your design, print, marketing, and brand management solutions.

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