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The Impact of Shapes in Logo Design

As a small business owner with a limited marketing budget, you may be wondering if it really is worth it to splurge for professional logo design.

The answer: yes, absolutely, because poor logo design can damage your brand.

However, designing an aesthetically-pleasing logo that represents your brand should not be your only priority. According to recent research, another critical component of logo design is its shape.

How Shape Plays a Role in Logo Design
This research reveals that the circulatory and angularity of a logo can significantly impact your target consumers’ perception of your brand. Circulatory logos indicate softness while logos with more angles associate hardness with a business.

While this information has long been known by marketers, what made this research different was that consumers perceive the shape of a logo to extend well beyond a product’s physical qualities. For example, instead of a company’s circular logo sending the message of softness to consumers, it also can connect the feelings of caring, warm, and sensitive to the company. A logo design with angles could signify durability and ruggedness.

According to a 2013 study in Psychological Science, a company’s logo design and branding have a significant impact on a consumer’s decision to make a purchase. Visible logos on products can demonstrate value, especially when a preferred brand is involved.

What Shapes Say About Your Logo
Careful consideration needs to be taken when choosing which shape(s) to include in your logo design. To help you choose the best shape for your logo, here is an overview of the psychology of shapes:

By definition, circles are inclusive. The shape has no beginning and end, which demonstrates continuity. People also perceive circles as welcoming.

Here are some additional characteristics that circles can represent:

  • Commitment
  • Marriage
  • Community
  • Friendship
  • Acceptance
  • Femininity

Square and Rectangles:
Squares and rectangles are known to communicate strength and stability. Here are some other psychological traits that consumers associate with squares and rectangles that are included in company logos:

  • Solidity
  • Conservatism
  • Professional
  • Efficient

In some cases, consumers consider the use of squares or rectangles in logos to be boring and unimaginative. A way to overcome the perception of a dull logo is to incorporate interesting colors into the design. Just be sure to keep in mind what your color selection says about your logo and business.

By nature, triangles communicate a sense of movement. Considering the angles in triangles, the human brain considers this to be a masculine shape. Here are some other characteristics that are linked to triangles:

  • Energy
  • Danger
  • Innovative
  • Solutions-Driven

How to Choose the Best Shape for Your Logo
As you can see, choosing the right shape for your logo is critical as it plays an important role in communicating what your brand stands for. To make the process of choosing a shape for your logo easier, here are three factors that you need to take into account:

1. Industry
When choosing a shape for your logo, think about what your selection will say about your industry.

Businesses in the service-related industry typically opt to include a circle in their logo as it warmth and inclusion.

Considering that the hallmark of companies in the financial and insurance industry is trust, many of these companies choose to include squares and rectangles in their logos to provide reassurance to clients.

Since triangles often represent innovation and the intersection of ideas, this shape is frequently used in logos for companies in the religious, scientific, and legal industries.

2. Emotion
What emotion do you want to evoke in your customers when they see your logo? Since research shows that emotion impacts a purchase decision, you need to consider how your shape choice in logo design will make your customers feel.

Including a triangle in your logo can make customers conjure the feelings of excitement, danger, and risk. Circles evoke the feelings of comfort, love, acceptance, and inclusion. Squares and rectangles touch on the feelings of discipline, strength, and courage.

3. Internal vs. External Shapes
Often, logos include more than one shape. With designs that include multiple shapes, it’s important to consider what the internal and external shapes say about your business. For example, if you operate a financial services company and want to appeal to families, you may decide to use an overall square shape for your logo, but also include a circle. A company that chooses an overall triangle shape for its logo may want to soften the feelings of danger by also including a circle.

With so many components to consider when designing a logo for your business, it’s in your best interest to get a professional graphic designer involved.

Let our team at New York Ave help you brand your business with professional graphic design that tells a more meaningful story. Logo design is the visual cornerstone of your brand, which means you can’t afford to get it wrong.

Contact us to learn how we can help you create a logo for your business that communicates the right message, increases your visibility, and connects you to your audience.

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