Logo Shapes: How To Use Them For Unforgettable Logo Designs
Everyone always urges you to look at the bigger picture, isn’t it? It’s great, yes. But we have a different take on some aspects. And logo designs for your brand are one of them. Here, it is best to pay attention to every detail so that you can achieve your business and branding goals with ease.
A good logo design represents your brand properly, conveys information about your brand, elucidates your brand personality, and attracts the customer to you.
But how does it do that?
It is the result of the effort and impact that every design element in your logo design brings to the table.
There are three significant design elements in each logo design – color, font, and shape. We have discussed the impact of color and font in detail but there is a lot to know about shape in logo designs too.
In this blog, we will explore the significance of shapes in logo designs, the most commonly used shapes, and how you can use shapes in your logo designs for the best possible results.
So with no further delay, let’s get into it.
- Significance of shapes in logo designs
- Best logo shapes and what do they mean
- Logo design ideas: Best logo shapes and how to use them
- Leverage best logo shapes for unforgettable logo designs with Kimp
Significance of shapes in logo designs
Now you may wonder why is shape so important in logo designs? Do they also impact on how the customer perceives a brand or is it just for aesthetics? Well, the fact is these factors are not unrelated to each other. How a customer sees your brand also shapes their opinion on the aesthetic of your logo design.
For example, if a customer considers your brand to be rigid and conservative, they may judge your brand’s aesthetics from the same lens.
Now, moving on to shapes, you know that our brain perceives everything around us shapes and colors. These are the two most distinctive characteristics we register for any object around us. So, when a customer interacts with your logo design – they are going to look at the color and shape before anything else. This makes logo shapes more important than the font itself.
Journal of Customer research has reported that just by changing the shape in a logo design, brands could alter perceptions on products and services in the customer base.
This may sound far-fetched, but it is really not when you get down to think about it.
Just like color, customers encounter different shapes in their daily life and associate them subconsciously with certain characteristics, meanings, and symbols. This then shapes their judgment.
Factors like nostalgia, cultural reference, and even social media can impact how customers perceive some shapes. For example, in some cultures, the V symbol means victory while in others it signifies peace. There are generational references too. For example, the fire symbol for the older generation means danger but for the younger generation, it denotes something that is fun and brilliant.
Best logo shapes and what do they mean
Now that we know that logo shapes mean a lot when it comes to logo designs, you must know what each shape means. This way, you can leverage each shape’s meaning and creative logo designs that convey what you want them to.
With this precise knowledge of logo shapes, it is also easier to exhibit brand personality without taking the help of content marketing.
So what are the most commonly used best logo shapes and what do customers understand about your brand from them?
Let’s take a look.
1. Geometric logo shapes
When we talk about shapes, geometry is what comes to our mind instantly. Most of the shapes we see everyday are geometric shapes and that is why they are also one of the most common logo shapes.
The general consensus in the public is that geometric shapes are man-made but if we look closely at nature, most of these shapes exist there too.
So what are the most common geometric logo shapes and what do they mean?
Circle: This is the most common logo shape from the geometric section as you can see it features in brands across industries. Right from automobile brands to electronic brands, you can see circular logo designs everywhere.
Common traits that customers associate with a circle are community, relationship, friendship, continuity, attention, and protection to name a few. The connection between circles and creativity comes from Ancient Greeks while it is Zen Buddhism that links circles with unity and perfection making it perfect to represent community.
Other shapes that are curved and have spirals are usually used to represent creativity, femininity, motion, rhythm, happiness, pleasure, growth, and evolution. Most curved shapes fare well in representing feminine and happiness-oriented emotions.
From curves, we move to the straight edges. In this, Rectangles represent trust, order, peace, uniformity, and rigidity. Customers also associate rectangles and squares with a conservative personality and relate it with the stability trait.
Triangles usually represent power, power, science, religion, law, strength, purpose, masculinity, energy, and some natural elements.
Lines too have special meanings in logo shapes and work well in conveying the energy, emotion, and personality you wish to exhibit. Vertical lines usually denote aggression, motion, and energy while horizontal lines stand for calm, community, and tranquility.
2. Organic logo shapes
From rigid and predefined geometric shapes, we move on to organic logo shapes. These logo shapes come from natural elements customers encounter in their daily life and derive their meaning from context and cultural references.
However, generally due to their free-flowing nature, customers find them soothing and the younger generation associates these with modernity as well.
Customers also perceive most free-flowing and organic logo shapes similarly to how they would circular logo designs and other logo shapes with curves. Some common traits that you can choose organic logo shapes besides other symbolism are pleasure, comfort, youth, peace, and spontaneity.
Some common organic logo shapes in branding and their meanings are :
Rock: Stability, strength, power, and energy
Leaf: Connection to nature, green businesses, sustainability, and eco-friendly ness
Tree: Prosperity, growth, community, wisdom, and longevity
Water: Calmness, strength, vastness, connection to nature; waves signify growth, energy, movement while ripples show impact and growth too.
Sun: Strength, abundance, vastness, and power
Fire: Energy, fire, spirit, and youth
Mountain: Summit, victory, power, energy, success, and progress
More than what these shapes mean, you have to realize that the context and their cultural references matter. Usually, nature has a close link to religion and culture because of it. So when you use these shapes in your logo designs, you must consider the target audience to understand if they will take it the way you mean.
You may even want to reference particular natural elements such as specific trees, hills, and water bodies for some meanings.
Pick the shape but understand the context for your organic logo shapes.
3. Abstract logo shapes
We have understood what man-made geometric logo shapes mean and what natural organic shapes mean in logo designs. But designers don’t always use the exact shapes we see around us in logo designs. Sometimes, you have to innovate and reinvent the wheel. That is how abstract logo shapes are born.
Abstract logo shapes combine one or more conventional shapes to create a custom and meaningful logo shape for your brand. They also use symbols from popular culture and create symbolic references in your logo designs.
Some common abstract shapes we see in logo designs include :
- Star: Religion, patriotism, Hollywood
- Hearts: love, friendship, relationships
- Arrow: direction, movement, travel
- Freeflow: Youth, femininity, music, and joy
- Lightning: Energy, electricity, and power
We can never list all the abstract logo shapes. The world is your oyster and even if you feel that none of the existing shapes fit what your brand demands, you can always make one for yourself. As long as you can make it work for your brand story and it is easy for the audience to understand, abstract logo shapes are great.
Now that we know the basic logo shapes most brands use popularly, let us look at some logo design ideas with these shapes.
Logo design ideas: Best logo shapes and how to use them
Each logo shape has a specific meaning and we have discussed those for the most common logo shapes. But we are great believers in showing than telling. So Kimp brings you a compilation of logo design ideas that leverage shapes to express the brand’s message succinctly.
We hope that from these you can understand how impactful logo shapes can be, and choose to use them judiciously.
Let’s get started.
1. Combine shapes to bring out the brand personality
Today, brands have to attract a wider audience and show a sophisticated personality with multiple characteristics to stand out in this competitive world. So, you can’t stick to just being strong or denoting energy in your logo design. You need something more.
Here, you have two options :
- You can combine two or more geometric or organic shapes so that you can exhibit your complex brand personality via the logo design itself.
- Design a custom abstract space that shows the world who you are.
Both these approaches are valid and it truly depends on the characteristics you want to exhibit.
For the first approach, if your brand messaging and characteristics fit those of a typical geometric shape or organic shape, it would work the best.
But for the second approach, you want to invest in something new that holds a unique meaning to your brand and its target audience.
Let us consider these examples from Kimp projects for our customers.
In this logo design, the designer has created abstract shapes to create a unique shape (of a meditating person) for the brand. They have not used a typical human shape but reinvented the wheel so that the curved shapes can leverage negative space and the infinity symbol. These symbols are relevant to the brand hence this logo design is a huge success.
This logo design is for a coaching center where characteristics like strength, power, and energy must be at the forefront. For better emphasis, the team has combined many vertical and horizontal lines and achieved a stronger impact.
Looking for a team to design such meaningful logos for your brand? The Kimp Graphics is just a click away.
2. Circular logo designs with creativity
In the previous section, we mentioned that circular logo designs are one of the most common logo shapes in the branding world. But there are many ways to incorporate the circular shape in your logo design ideas. Based on what you want to convey, you can choose one of the following ways:
- Use a circular shape in the main part of your logo design. This can be as simple as manipulating a font to show a circular shape or be as complicated as using connecting circles. Such usage can bring out the creative characteristics of your brand.
- Make the logo design sit inside a circular shape.
- Use circles as part of the larger logo design to depict a particular message.
Usually, the second approach is very common since most popular brand logos are enclosed in a circular box. But, we are seeing an increase in the other models too.
Consider the logo designs from Kimp to understand these usages.
Here the design team has worked to manipulate or modify the letter C to depict a circular logo design. They have also added another ring on the C in addition to the curve below to depict that this is a creative business.
In this logo design, the brand kept it simple and enclosed their brand initial or wordmark logo inside a circular shape to depict characteristics such as community, unity, and femininity.
The usage of circles in this logo design is quite minimal but it packs a punch. If you look at the logo, it follows the design pattern of a combination mark. The imagery our design team has used can double up as a logo for the brand too. And by enclosing the brand’s symbol X within the circle, the logo design becomes much more impactful.
3. Use nature-inspired logo shapes
Everyone connects well with nature and sometimes the natural elements hold all the answers for your logo design issues too. Even for logo shapes ideas, if your brand matches the theme, we strongly recommend turning to nature and adopting organic logo shapes that fit the bill.
Usually, there are no specific ways to work with organic logo shapes. The Kimp Graphics team recommends that whenever a brand works with water, tree, mountains, and other such elements, using such elements improves the impact of the logo design.
For example, consider this logo design by the Kimp team for Galway Girl Cruises. The team felt that we must incorporate waves and they chose to use this organic representation. It works well with the curved shapes of the font too.
You can also use nature-inspired elements or organic logo shapes if you are working in an industry that uses this symbolism a lot. For example, you may not work with water but if you want customers to feel calm when they look at a logo, water is your best choice.
Just like how this organic shape of fire makes perfect sense, the Chakra system planner company. People can understand the symbolism from the context and connect better with the brand due to the use of natural elements by Kimp in the logo design.
4. Choose squares for stability
Do you want to evoke trust in your customers when they look at your logo design? Do you think that your most attractive and redeeming qualities are stability, dependability, and perfectionism?
Then as per the Kimp Graphics team, the best logo shape for your brand is undoubtedly squares. The connection of squares and rectangles with professionalism comes from cultural contexts and lived experiences. We have seen most old-fashioned and conservative firms adopt them and this has become the benchmark now.
The good news is that you can leverage this context and use square logo shapes to denote that you are a dependable and stable brand.
Consider this logo design idea by Kimp for RPFE. This is a company that has to inspire trust and reassure customers if they want to stay in business. Hence, the usage of smaller squares arranged in a big square was the best possible usage of logo shape here.
You can also see an innovative usage of the rectangle or square shape logo here. In this example, the brand’s initials are inside the square shape because we want to show that this is a dependable business. Also, with the presence of the shape there, customers will process this first before the name. So, the first impression is just as they want it to be.
Leverage best logo shapes for unforgettable logo designs with Kimp
The potential to use logo shapes to make your logo designs shine is absolutely immense. We have tried to share a drop of the ocean in this blog. And the examples show it is possible in every possible logo design that you can attempt for your brand.
Investment in logo design is the most important and the most challenging for any small business. Many spend hundreds of dollars but do not get the logo design they dreamt of.
Kimp wants to change this. We offer a flat monthly fee subscription that allows you to iterate as much as you want and get your logo ready for a fixed fee. No extra charges for illustrations or animations too, if you pick our Kimp Graphics + Video subscription.
You can also try our free trial to understand our design styles before committing to the subscription and commencing your logo design.
So make the most of it and sign up today!