Does your company have the right logo?
More specifically, is it using the right shape?
Identifying the perfect shape for your logo is more than an aesthetic decision. It’s more than just making it look appealing.
Let’s uncover why shapes matter when it comes to designing a logo.
Shapes are easily remembered
We can remember a distinctive shape long after we see it. Think about the Nike Swoosh, the McDonald’s Golden Arches, or the Olympic rings. Even if you took away the colour or replaced it with a different colour, you’d still recognise the shape. That’s why a lot of brands can get away with changing up the colours for special occasions or specific products because other aspects of the brand remain consistent. For example, we see the Nike Swoosh in different colours across trainers, clothes, and bags.
Shapes influence people’s perceptions
When people see different shapes, different thoughts, feelings, and perceptions arise. For example, if we see a soft, wavy line we might find it fun and friendly. However, if we see thick lines with sharp angled edges, we might find it serious and sturdy.
Research has found that the mere circularity and angularity of a brand logo is powerful enough to affect perceptions of the attributes of a product or company. But this goes beyond physical characteristics of softness or durability. For example, circular shapes in logos evoke associations related to softness, whereby the company is regarded as being warm, caring, and sensitive to customers’ comfort. On the other hand, angular shapes in logos evoke associations with hardness, resulting in perceptions of heightened durability.
But it’s much more than this…
Different shapes communicate different meanings
Circles, squares, triangles, spirals all communicate different meanings. Vertical lines, horizontal lines, and diagonal lines also have different connotations. For example, circles are considered more graceful and feminine, which gives a sense of comfort and friendliness. On the other hand, squares represent order and structure, which conveys rationality and formality.
Research shows that specific shapes hold associations in the human brain. This means that adding a deliberate shape to your logo design won’t just change how it looks; it’ll change how your audience understands and perceives it.
The meaning of shapes should align with other design aspects of the logo and your brand’s overall identity. That’s because when layered with colours, fonts, and other design elements they will take on an even stronger meaning or they may even take on a whole new meaning. For example, if you select colours and fonts to align with your serious personality and structured processes, then you add a free-flowing shape which looks bold and fun, there would be a disconnect.
You want all the different visual elements of your brand to be sending the same message, and that message to align with your brand identity. On the other hand, adding a splash of yellow compared to blue to a logo can give a completely different feel.
In conclusion, similar to fonts and colours, shapes are an important aspect of logo design. They communicate meaning, express moods, and draw the eye.
Do the shapes you use in your logo reflect your brand? Share your thoughts in the comments.