The meaning behind shapes in logo design (2023)

Just as colors evoke certain feelings in the client and are associated with different meanings, so do shapes. A shape is the outline of a surface or figure; it is a geometric figure that can be recognized on a global scale. Shapes can be as complex as dodecagons and as simple as triangles. When it comes to logo design, shapes play a key role in the brand message.

Shapes and forms send subliminal messages to potential customers you may not know. If you haven't created a logo yet, it's important to understand whatdifferent forms and the meaning behind them.

different kinds of shapes

It is generally accepted that there are three main types of shapes: geometric shapes, organic shapes, and abstract shapes.

Geometric shapes are often associated with mathematical equations and include the most common shapes such as square, circle, triangle, oval, rectangle, and diamond.

Organic shapes can best be assigned to the four elements (earth, water, wind, fire). They can be flower shapes, water drops, leaves or clouds. Organic shapes don't necessarily have to be symmetrical either, and their lines tend to flow more freely.

Abstract shapes are unpredictable, asymmetrical, and complex. These shapes are sometimes a combination of geometric and organic shapes. This style of logo design is an interpretation of actual ideas or instructions, but translated into a vague representation of the image.

Geometric shapes and their meaning.

The meaning behind shapes in logo design (1)

  • circles and ovals.As one of the oldest known shapes to mankind, the circular shape can be found in all cultures. This form is found everywhere, from religion to branding. Zen Buddhism believes that the circle represents perfection, unity, and enlightenment. The ancient Greeks associated the circle with creativity, the Romans later with monotheism. In logo design, circles can wrap around other design elements or block design elements. For example, the Intel logo is circular and includes the company name. The Pepsi logo, on the other hand, leaves the company name on the outside of the circle. Regardless of which design variant you choose, the circle always stands for the same ideals, i.e. unity and strength.
  • squares and rectangles.Squares and rectangles are the most common shapes in logo design. The squares are associated with equality, stability, reliability, and conformity. While some may consider squares and rectangles "boring" shapes, there's a reason they're so popular. This shape is associated with everything related to the number four (for its four sides), such as the seasons, cardinal points, elements and more. Square logos look welcoming, confident, and trustworthy, which is a great attribute for any business that wants to earn their customers' trust. If you want to create a mixed-style wordmark or logo, a rectangular design works best.
  • triangulos.Triangles symbolize power, light and energy and are often used as beacons of hope in many ancient religions and civilizations. Triangles are associated with something triple, such as mind, body, and spirit or past, present, and future. On the other hand, due to their odd number of sides and vertices, triangles can also symbolize tension and instability. Triangles are the most commonly used shape of all geometric shapes when it comes to logo design. However, triangles encourage eye movement throughout your logo design, and when used correctly, can create a perfect sense of balance. There are different types of triangles, including equilateral, right, and obtuse triangles, all of which can be used in logo design.

Organic shapes and what they mean.

The meaning behind shapes in logo design (2)

  • earth figures.Flowers, leaves, trees, and rocks are common organic forms. In logo design, there is order and chaos in organic forms. Floral motifs symbolize hope, calm and femininity. Earth-based shapes in logo designs give clients a grounded feeling. Companies with earth shapes in their logos are trustworthy, welcoming, and confident in their field.
  • water shapesWaterfalls, drops, and waves are other common organic shapes often found in logo design.Water symbolizes dynamism., fluidity, purification, stability and change. Many outdoor-focused companies use organic, water-based shapes in their logo design, symbolizing that they are dynamic and engaged. Water is also often depicted as an inverted triangle, another popular geometric shape in logo design.
  • air forms.Associated with life, knowledge, imagination, harmony, and creativity, this organic shape is popular with technology companies, music-related businesses, and travel agencies. Air shapes include spirals, clouds, wind, and swirling lines, and are used in conjunction with text-based or mixed-style logos. Companies with air shapes in their logo design are great advocates of innovation, ingenuity, and communication.
  • shapes of firefire as elementsymbolizes passion, energy, inspiration and strength. Brands like Mozilla Firefox and Google's Firebase use fire in their logo design. This organic form is used primarily by technology-based companies, as it is generally associated with dynamism and vision, two qualities that help tech startups succeed. Businesses that use fire-based shapes often use an upward-pointing triangle, which is the geometric symbol for fire.

Abstract shapes and their meaning.

The meaning behind shapes in logo design (3)

Abstract shapes can be a combination of different geometric shapes to create a bigger image. When designing a logo, circles and ovals can be combined into a single shape.Apple's logo🇧🇷 The squares together form the famous Microsoft "window" icon. SoundCloud's organic cloud logo is also abstract due to the addition of vertical lines.

Abstract shape logo designs abound in any industry and make up the majority of mixed style (icon + text) logos. Typographic glyphs and symbols are also considered abstract shapes. Abstract shapes are ideal for companies that want to create movement and negative space in their logo design.

Using Shapes in Logo Design

Now that we know the different types of shapes used in logos, it's time to explain why and how we use shapes to create the perfect business logo.logo designerUse shapes to:

  • Convert ideas or concepts into symbols for easy understanding and recognition.
  • Organize complex information by separation or connection.
  • Communicate a certain mood or emotion to the client, e.g. B. Confidence or happiness.
  • Create depth, movement, or texture in a logo design to increase brand awareness.
  • Control how the client's eye travels through the logo design.
  • Emphasize a specific section or aspect of the logo design that will make it more memorable.

WhenDesign of a company logo, try to make sure that all the shapes in the background of the logo are simple and large. For example, if you have a badge or emblem logo design, you might go for an attention-grabbing hexagonal perimeter shape that draws attention to the center of the shape, where the company name would be. It's about using a large shape to draw the focus inward.

However, try to limit the use of shapes in your logo design. For example, if you're a beauty salon or spa, chances are you've gone with a basic organic shape in your logo. Since organic shapes are already more fluid than geometric shapes, it's best to leave geometric shapes out of the design. Conflicting shape styles will make your logo design confusing and disjointed. Try to stick to one or two shapes, or go for an abstract shape.

Where to create a logo with shapes?

You can create a logo for your business with abstract, geometric and organic shapes right here at FreeLogoServices. Our logo gallery has thousands of pre-designed templates, many of which include shapes and icons representing dozens of industries.Create a logo for freein minutes!


What is the meaning of shapes in design? ›

When it comes to the use of shape in design and layout, designers use shapes to: symbolise ideas or concepts. set a mood or emotion. create a travel path for the eye around the design. create depth or movement.

What does circle symbolize in a logo? ›

Because of this, circle are universally symbolic for wholeness, perfection, completeness and cyclic motion. They are also representative of community, friendship, inclusivity and strength. So, it is no wonder that circle logos are one of the most popular logo shapes.

What is the psychology of shapes? ›

The science studying the influence of shapes on people is known as the psychology of shapes. The study claims that each shape has its own meaning and influences our minds and reactions differently. There are many psychological tests that are used to define the personality or mental condition via shapes.

What is the significance of shape? ›

But shapes are more than just practical, constructive tools: their meanings are what allow designers to communicate visually. This is sometimes called shape language or shape psychology. Along with the other elements of design, shapes allow designers to convey characteristics and emotions in a nonverbal way.

Why are shapes important? ›

Learning shapes helps your child learn to differentiate between objects. In order to memorize how shapes are different from one another, they'll learn to pay attention to the little details that distinguish shapes.

What does rectangle mean in logo? ›

Squares and rectangle shapes represent stability. In fact, the rectangle is the most used area shape in logo design. The reason for its popularity is because it is a trusted familiar shape that represents honesty, solidity and stability.

What does a square symbolize? ›

Squares symbolize order, trust, stability, and being grounded. One of the most familiar geometric shapes in design, squares, and rectangles are used to organize and define a design, adding comforting structure along the way.

What is the meaning of triangle shape? ›

A triangle is a closed, 2-dimensional shape with 3 sides, 3 angles, and 3 vertices. A triangle is also a polygon. The above figure is a triangle denoted as △ABC.

What emotions do shapes represent? ›

Table 1
EmotionShape attributeLine attribute
AngerRed downward triangleCurved black lines, double
DisappointmentRed downward triangleSharp blue lines, single
DisgustGreen downward triangleSharp brown lines, double
DistressBlue downward triangleSharp purple lines, doubled
21 more rows
Jul 23, 2018

Why are shapes important in design? ›

They may used in a variety of ways, such as to organise, connect or separate elements and content. Shapes may also symbolise or represent a concept, create movement, provide depth or texture, and a lot more. Shape creation has become much easier and faster these days with the help of modern graphic design tools.

Can shapes convey emotions? ›

Simple geometric patterns might convey emotional meaning. For example, diagonal and angular configurations tend to be associated with threat, while rounded features and curved lines tend to be linked to pleasantness and happiness.

Why are colors and shapes important? ›

Learning colors and shapes helps your little one: Understand math and geometric concepts like shape, size, space, and position. Learn to sort and categorize, which are essential for problem-solving. Learn letters and numbers, because those are made of shapes!

What is the most important shape? ›

Triangles are extremely important shapes when it comes to engineering. From bridges to houses, and even airplanes -- using triangles in structures will always be important!

How important are shapes and lines? ›

Answer: The main purpose to use line, shape, and form is to define the subject matter and provide the needed information in the painting. Artists learn to visually organize those elements in ways that create strong compositions.

What is the meaning of circle triangle and square logo? ›

These three primal shapes—circle, square, and triangle—are essential symbols in ancient cultures. Zoroaster spoke of them as three symbols of man. The founder of Aikido spoke of the triangle as body, the circle as mind and the square as solidity.

What shapes represent strength? ›

Triangles: Power, science, religion, law, masculinity, strength, purpose, energy, precision.

What does triangle mean in business? ›

Used in logo designs, this shape conveys a sense of protectiveness, reliability, strength, and purposefulness. The stability inherent in this particular shape makes it perfect to be used for a tech, energy, or finance brand.

What does a hexagon symbolize? ›

A symbolic shape that still carries a great deal of tradition and cultural heft. Six is the number of creation, and perfection, symbolizing divine power, majesty, wisdom, love, mercy, and justice.

What does circle in design mean? ›

Circles represent wholeness, a natural sense of completion. When we think of things shaped as circles in the world around us, there are so many things that we can name.

What does circle shape mean? ›

A circle is a round-shaped figure that has no corners or edges. In geometry, a circle can be defined as a closed, two-dimensional curved shape.

What shape represents peace? ›

The olive branch. The use of the olive branch as a symbol of peace in Western civilisation dates back to at least 5th century BC Greece.

What does 3 triangle symbol mean? ›

The nine points of the triangle have been associated with the nine worlds of Norse mythology, and the three interconnected triangles have been said to reflect the connection between Earth, Heaven and Hell. The symbol has also been associated with ecstatic Seidr magic, of which Odin was a master.

Why are triangles the strongest shape? ›

Triangles are the strongest shape there is. Any weight placed on them is evenly distributed on all 3 sides. They represent geometric sturdiness; no matter how much weight you put on any side, it will not break.

What are shapes in design called? ›

Shapes in design are categorized into three main types – geometric shapes, natural (or organic) shapes, and abstract shapes. Each of these three basic shapes groups and their meanings bring something very different to a design and suggest something subliminal about the brand or company using them.

What is the purpose of a shape in elements of design? ›

The second element of design is shape, when a two-dimensional line encloses an area. A shape can be geometric (like a circle, triangle, or square), or it can be organic (such as leaves, flowers, and animals). Boundaries—including lines and color—ultimately define shapes and can also help emphasize an area of the page.

How do shapes help form design? ›

Designers use shapes to express different ideas, create the notion of movement, offer texture and depth to an image, suggest a mood or emotion, or emphasize an area of interest. Most of the time, the designs will get paired with a color.

How does shape affect design? ›

Shapes are the main part of graphic design by choosing the shapes which provoke the desire response, designers are able to influence the way in which people feel about the design and ultimately, how they perceive what the shapes stand for.

Why is shape important in graphic design? ›

Shapes are a vital part of communicating ideas visually. They give images heft and make them recognizable. We understand street signs, symbols, and even abstract art largely because of shapes.

What shape represents power? ›

Triangles. Triangles have two meanings depending on their position. When pointing up, they represent stability and power, when pointing down they become unstable. The triangle is primarily a masculine shape, but when inverted it also represents female reproduction.

Why is shape important in a logo? ›

Logo shapes help set the tone for your business beyond just their aesthetic appeal. Research on visual communications shows that specific shapes hold associations in the human brain, with the ability to amplify an intended message to a target audience.

What are the principles of shape in design? ›

There are twelve basic principles of design: contrast, balance, emphasis, proportion, hierarchy, repetition, rhythm, pattern, white space, movement, variety, and unity. These visual and graphic design principles work together to create appealing and functional designs that make sense to users.

What are the 7 principles of designs? ›

Principles of design include emphasis, alignment and balance, contrast, repetition, proportion, movement, and white space.

What do shapes do for an image? ›


Shape elements are often found in photography in the form of patterns. They can also be use to draw emphasis to part of the frame. Shapes can create contrast between the subject and their environment. These are just some of the uses.

What shapes represent unity? ›

Circle. Circles are among the oldest of geometric symbols, and commonly represent unity, wholeness, and infinity. Pythagoras called the circle "monad," the most perfect of creative forms, without beginning or end, without sides or corners.

What is the strongest shape in design? ›

It is impossible to collapse a triangle without breaking one of its sides, which makes it the strongest straight-edge shape.

What shape symbolizes success? ›

For example, triangles can represent success, and squares can symbolize balance and security.


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated: 02/08/2023

Views: 5857

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.