How to Choose the Right Shapes for Your Logo Design

Various shapes create distinct contexts in which they've also been considered symbolism.
Let's find out how to choose the right shapes for your logo design!
Created by Alex Aperios | https://dribbble.com/shots/14437434-Experimental-Type-logos
 

A logo design is one of the important aspects of a company or a brand as its identity. Without a solid design of the logo, a brand will be hard to get attention, loyalty, and recognition from the target market. It is because the audiences hardly remember the brand or the shape of the logo design that represents the brand itself. That is why it is not surprising that many companies or brands consider many aspects in creating their logo shape. Even some companies open a design contest for their company. 

In research towards consumer behavior, it shows that the average logo design becomes more important than the company realizes. A study reported in the Journal of Consumer Research found that the basic element in the logo, such as the shape, is enough to influence people to know the value, products, and services of the company or brand. The question is how to create the shape for a logo design to get the best design of the logo for the company. 

Created by Fede Cook | https://dribbble.com/shots/11875950-Q-Logo-animation

 

1. Understand the Meaning of the Logo Will Be Created

Starting to create a company’s logo design by understanding what meaning of the design will be shared with the audience. Understanding the meaning of the logo is crucial because, later, the logo shape will represent the company or brand. In other words, the design of the logo becomes the face of the company itself. Make sure that by looking at the logo, the targeted audiences will directly know what company or brand it is. 

In this case, the designer can start by knowing the products offered, its vision, and its mission. Knowing the basic information about the company will help the designer to decide the best color and shape for logo design. That information usually can be found in the company profile, or the designer asks the representative of the company. 

Created by Saidur | https://dribbble.com/shots/18761569-Abstract-mark-dribbble-2022

 

2. Understand How Humans View the Shape and Typefaces

Humans subconsciously respond to each logo design shape in different ways. All shapes in the human mind have each meaning. Straight lines, curves, jagged edges, and circles in the design will be read differently. The designer will consider this matter when they want to use shapes that represent the value of the brand. For example, it is in the Nike logo. The combination of the curves with a sharp ending shows a strong suggestion for the audience to move. 

Created by Muhammad Ali Effendy | https://dribbble.com/shots/14971552-Breadcrumb
 

To get to know other meanings of shape for logo design, here are several shapes and its meaning.

  • Ovals, Circles, and Ellipses: The shape of ovals, circles, or ellipses shows a positive emotional message. The circle design means community, love, friendship, unity, and relationships. Besides, it implies partnership and marriage, which refer to endurance and stability. This shape is quite common in logo design. Many iconic brands that use these shapes are NASA and Olympic Rings. 
  • Curves: In nature, curves design tends to see as feminine shapes or symbols. This shape tends to choose for a brand that wants to show happiness, a sense of rhythm, and generosity. Usually, this shape is used together with an angular line to represent innovation, like in the logo of Nike. 
  • Squares: Square is one of the popular shapes in logo design. This shape will depict the ideas of balance, proportion, and professionalism in a design. Square or rectangles also can inspire audiences who look for safety and strength. Some examples are a house or a vault logo. 
  • Triangles: A triangle shape for logo design is usually associated with science, power, religion, and law. This shape is also seen as a masculine symbol. Thus, it is not surprising that many companies selling men or masculine products use a triangle in their design logo.
  • Squares: The square shapes used for the straight-edged logo suggest stability and balance. Added with a straight line, the logo will show professionalism, strength, and efficiency. However, these shapes can show cold and uninviting if they are combined with grey and blue colors. That is why combining them with more dynamic colors in the design is recommended for better and positive meaning.
  • Vertical and Horizontal Lines: Vertical lines design can show strength, aggression, and masculinity. Meanwhile, the horizontal lines tend to read as calm, tranquility, and community. Some companies that use vertical or horizontal lines in the logo are Soundcloud, Viracon, and Cisco.
  • Organic Shapes and Spirals: Organic shapes in the logo design represent the shapes of nature. It is intended to create warmth and comfort senses which those senses cannot be portrayed by circles or squares design. Meanwhile, the spirals generally can have a different impact on the audiences. Spirals show centralizing or hypnotizing. It is a perfect shape for those who want an engagement with the audiences. This shape also expresses the ideas of fertility, birth, expansion, and transformations. It is because spirals can symbolize DNA design.
  • Angular, Soft Rounded, and Curved Typefaces: The angular design also has different meanings for different typefaces. The angular will look more aggressive or dynamic. On the contrary, the softly rounded typeface looks more youthful. In addition, the curved shape tends to be more feminine. 
Created by Fede Cook | https://dribbble.com/shots/11079602-Semorant-animated-logo

 

3. Apply the Psychology of Shapes

After understanding the psychology of shape above, the designer can apply it to create the design of a logo for a company or brand. In this case, the designer has to choose the right shape for the logo design depending on the value that will be brought in it. Besides, in deciding the design of the shape, another consideration is the products offered to the customer. Whether the products are for women or men, it will change the best shape of the logo. 

Moreover, the combination of the typefaces in the logo design is important as well. As it is known, there are many typefaces that designers can choose. From the angular design to the curved one, those typefaces will deliver different meanings. Thus, choosing the right combination between shape and typefaces is needed to make the right and best logo for the company.

Created by Connor Fowler | https://dribbble.com/shots/9874100-WW036-Square-Abstract-Logo-5

 

4. Understand the Psychology of Color

Choosing the best logo design and logo shape cannot be separated from the color choice. The psychology of color relates to marketing aspects. Here, color psychology focuses on how color in the logo will impact the customers’ impression. Otherwise, with this study, the company will know how to persuade customers and make a purchase using the best design. Then, for those who want to create the best shape for logo design, below are some colors and their meaning in psychology.

  • Red Color: The greatest attention in the logo design is the red color. It means excitement, danger, passion, action, and energy. As the most intense color, red can provoke the strongest emotions and danger in certain designs. Coca-Cola and YouTube use red in their logo shape because they want to represent happiness and excitement. 
  • Orange Color: For companies that want to show creativity, enthusiasm, balance, success, and adventure, the orange color in their logo shape is the right choice. Many marketers use this color in their design to get more attention from their audiences. Home Depot and Nickelodeon are an example of logo designs using this color. 
  • Yellow Color: Yellow means positivity, happiness, summer, and optimism. However, it also means deceit and warning in a design. This cheerful color is used by popular logo-shape brands such as Ikea and Ferrari. The companies here want to bring the feeling of happiness and a carefree lifestyle to the audiences through their logo. 
  • Pink Color: The pink color is associated with femininity, immaturity, playfulness, and unconditional love in a design. Because this color usually represents the female audience in the logo design, some brands with products for girls or women use pink. The most popular brand that uses pink for its logo is Barbie. The pink color here helps their feminine branding. 
  • Green Color: Green is connected to nature and money. Besides, the psychology of green represents fertility, growth, generosity, and health. However, this color carries negative meanings like envy for a certain design. For the brand offering a health or fitness niche, this color is the right color for the logo design. Popular brands using green in their logos are Roots and John Deere.
  • Blue Color: This color is close to the sky and sea color. Blue in a design means harmony, stability, calm, peace, and trust. At the same time, blue has the opposite meaning, such as coldness, sadness, and depression. That is why blue is used in the logo of banking and government to represent trust. Besides, Facebook, Skype, ad Twitter use this color in their marketing design as well. 
  • Purple Color: Purple is associated with a royal color in a design and is connected to nobility, luxury, wisdom, power, and spirituality. Using this color too much in a logo is not recommended because it can cause feelings of frustration and arrogance. Some brands that use purple in the logo design are Hallmark and Yahoo. 
  • White Color: White shows cleanliness, innocence, humility, and goodness. In some parts of the world, white has the opposite meaning too. Commonly, white will be combined with black or grey in the background to get the best design of the logo. Adidas is an example of a brand using this white color in its logo. 
  • Black Color: Black in psychology means power, elegance, mystery, and sophistication. Besides, black in a logo design also carries a meaning of anger and sadness. This color is popular in retail. Chanel and Nike are two retail companies using black in their logos. Also, many retailers combine black with white color in one design. 
  • Grey Color: Grey represents balance and neutrality in psychology. However, the shades of black and white also come with negative connotations like loss and depression in certain designs. One of the most well-known companies that use grey color in their logo design is Apple. The company chooses grey to represent balance. 
  • Brown Color: As an earthy color, brown relates to down-to-earth, comfort, and security. It is the color of the earth which can be found in wood and stone. That is why many natural products and food use brown in their design of the logo to show the earthy image. UPS is the brand using the brown color. 
Created by Anano Martsvaladze | https://dribbble.com/shots/17823399-Love-Flow

 

5. Combine the Shape with The Right Color

After knowing and understanding the color of psychology in a design and how it works for the audiences, it is time for the designer to combine the shape and the color. In this case, the shape they have chosen must be colored the right color to represent the company’s logo design. Referring to color psychology is the best idea for all designers to get the best shape for logo design.

The combination of some colors that will be used must be considered in the design as well. Thus, the knowledge of the color pallet and the best combination of colors becomes crucial in the logo shape. In color, combination studies show that consumers prefer similar hues of color patterns. Also, consumers are likely to choose highly contrasting color palettes. This concept has a big role in marketing, so the shape of the logo design should be colored with the consideration above.

Created by VASK® Studio | https://dribbble.com/shots/19120399-Seventy-Studios-Visual-Identity

 

6. Know the Theory of Gestalt

The theory of Gestalt is a theory by a German psychologist from the 1920s. This theory is recommended to learn for the designer because it relates to how humans see a logo design. The human brain will unify the visual elements in a design they see as a whole form or shape to get a significant meaning. It means that humans will see a logo as a whole visual, not from each element in it. People will create a similar object in their brain from the patterns they see. Then, the object that is different in the group will be the point of the image. 

Another Gestalt principle is closure. This principle is often used in creating the shape for logo design. The main idea of the principle is if there is an incomplete object, but there is still enough detail, the human eye will create a whole picture of the design. It means that even though it is an incomplete picture, the human brain can create a whole picture in their brain after looking at the logo shape. 

One example of a logo with an incomplete object is the World Wildlife Fund logo design. The WWF design uses the principle of closure. Here, the incomplete object shown is a panda. Even though there is no clear picture that it is a panda, the shape created refers to this animal.

Created by Fede Cook | https://dribbble.com/shots/11038750-LHO-logo-animation

 

7. Strip the Shape Back into Basis

A golden rule to design the best shape for logo design said that create the design as simple as possible. This simple point helps the designer not to put overwork execution. Besides, a simple logo shape is easier to remember than the complicated one. For example, many big companies such as Nike and Apple use simple and memorable. People who see their logos will directly know the brand. How to apply this simplicity in design? The answer is the designer subtracts the elements they create until it reaches the most basic form of its logo design. 

Created by Ninn Gelashvili | https://dribbble.com/shots/18463864-geometric-abstraction

 

8. Master the Grids and Structure of Logo

Grids and structure of the logo shape become another important thing in designing the logo of the brand. The principle of the golden ratio is somehow used in the process of designing. One example is the Twitter logo design which uses the golden ratio of 1:1.618. In other words, the designers cannot ignore the grids and structure elements. These points will actually help the designer to find the best design for the brand itself. 

Created by Fede Cook | https://dribbble.com/shots/11984084-RZNG-MEN-Logo-animation

 

9. Use the Negative Space

In creating the shape for the logo design, somehow, there is negative space in the design that looks unimportant. However, the designer can use this negative space to add the meaning of the logo shape. The way is by adding little differences in the space. One of the examples is the logo of NBC. There are six colorful rainbows, and the negative space in the middle is created with a simple shape of the head of a “bird.” The result is the audience can see a peacock design there. 

The best thing which all designers must know is they need to use the negative space cleverly and appropriately without forgetting the message that they will deliver through the logo design. Moreover, since the negative space in the logo shape can add extra meaning to the design, the designers need to apply the simplicity theory here. They do not add too many details or new designs in the negative space to avoid a messy logo. 

Created by Aleksandar Savic | https://dribbble.com/shots/16632964-Black-Sheep-logo

 

10. Twist With A Bit Of Wit and Humor

Being creative is a must for all designers. They have to use their imagination, including their wit and humor in the logo shape. Adding wit and humor will make the design more attractive. The leading pioneer of this idea is Alan Fletcher. He is the founding partner of Pentagram and practices this idea for logo design. One example of a logo with humor and wit is Amazon. The line arrow from the A-to-Z letter can show there are A to Z products on Amazon.

Created by Yehor Haiduk | https://dribbble.com/shots/6976365-Logo-animation

 

Final Words

To sum up, there are at least ten tips that designers can do to choose and create the best shape for the logo design of the company or brand. Creating a logo is not only about creating a graphic design only. However, it is also about how the design will influence the audiences or people who see it. The experiences will have a big impact on the final result. Finding support from seniors can be another idea to help all the beginners in creating logo designs and shape to give them any new feedback on the design.

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