The Psychology of Shape

Laura Busk
Nov 15, 2019 · 2 min read
Photo by Callum Wale on Unsplash

While many companies continue to consider “shape” to be something of a juvenile topic, the truth is that just like fonts and colors, shapes are an important aspect of logo design, capable of symbolizing ideas, expressing moods, and leading the eye. In fact, you’re probably aware of countless shapes each day — even though you don’t realize that you’re noticing them. After all, shapes make up everything around us.

The question is, how can you use shape to influence the thoughts and opinions of your customers through logo design.

The simple reason why shapes are so crucial is that the human brain is hard-wired to memorize, and assign meaning to them. In fact, the way that we process shape is a fundamental aspect of how humans learn things. A distinctive shape remains stored within the banks of your memory long after you’ve seen it.

However, there’s more to making the most of shape in design than making sure your customers can remember and recognize your brand. The shapes that you choose also need to convey the correct messages to your audience. For instance, vertical lines, circles, squares, and triangles all communicate different meanings.

At HiveBrand, we use logo shapes to direct the eye from one element to the next, convey emotion and mood, create trust and professionalism, and connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Let’s talk shapes-

Circles are softer and more welcoming than harshly angled triangles or squares. Rings are often connected to marriage, so they create a bond with your customers. Circles are consistent and sturdy with no breaks or turns, representing reliability, strength and community.

Squares are used to depict proportion, balance and professionalism. They inspire trust, strength and safety. The shape is often associated with homes and buildings conveying trust and a sense of authority.

Triangles inspire dynamic power, a sense of hierarchy, and continuous improvement. They have an energy because they are pushing in a certain direction. Masculine and powerful the triangle is commonly used in construction, motor, legal and scientific industries.

Lines: Vertical lines create a subconscious association with strength and sophistication, while causing logos to appear slimmer. On the other hand, horizontal lines create a sense of tranquility and calm.

Obviously, shape is just one factor in designing your brand identity. It all goes back to listening to our clients and dissecting the design brief to deliver the full story.


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