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Understanding The Psychology Behind Logo Design: Colors and Shapes

Nidhi Dave

Every company has a distinct logo, which defines its existence and evokes an emotional response, impacting its brand image. An extensive process goes into the planning and creation of a logo to ensure it has a resounding effect on how customers view your brand. 93% of purchasing judgments are made on visual perceptions. The psychology of the logo design, therefore, plays an important role in the process of creating a logo. It can provoke the desired response in the brains of consumers. By understanding the mental effect of colors and shapes and using that in your logo design, you can create a long-lasting impact on the minds of prospects.

 

This post will throw light on the psychology of logo design, explaining you the hidden messages behind using different colors and shapes to help you craft the perfect logo for your brand.

 

Colors

“Mere color, unspoiled by meaning, and unallied with definite form, can speak to the soul in a thousand different ways. ” - Oscar Wilde

Color is one of the most powerful forms of nonverbal communication, carrying messages, evoking emotions and adding brilliance to your brand’s logo. 84.7% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product. It is, therefore, vital to select the right color for your logo to create an emotional connection with your potential customers. Below listed are some of the colors used in logos with their interpretations and examples.

 

Blue:

Blue is a calming color and the most popular choice for logo design, representing confidence and success. The color evokes the feeling of peacefulness, trustworthiness, and security.

 

dell-logo GE-logo Ford-logo

 

Image Source: Dell      Image Source: Wikipedia       Image Source: Carlogos

 

Black:

Black signifies power, boldness, authority, and strength for a brand. It symbolizes elegance, sophistication, and glamour as well.

 

Nike-logo       gucci-logo1       The-New-York-Times-logo

Image Source: The Next Web     Image Source: Wikipedia      Image Source: EUI

 

Red:

Red color evokes strong emotions and raises heart rate. It resembles power, excitement and high-energy. It also represents love, passion, romance, and anger.

 

Coco-Cola-logo Canon-logo kelloggs-logo1

Image Source: Coca-Cola               Image Source: Canon                 Image Source: Business Wire


Green:

The green color is a soothing color and represents life, renewal, growth, and peace, evoking a feeling of relaxation and freshness. It is youthful and earth-friendly, favored by many eco-friendly brands. It is also associated with finances, money, and safety.



 

Android_logo   Animal-planet-logo    tropicana-logo1

 

Image Source: TechCrunch     Image Source: PromaxBDA        Image Source: Wikipedia

 

Yellow:

Yellow color attracts attention, gives a warm feeling and creates happy emotions. It symbolizes optimism, cheerfulness, playfulness, happiness, joyousness, clarity, etc. and encourages communication. It is also used to indicate caution.

 

Shell-logo     McDonalds-logo       snapchat-logo

Image Source: Designhill    Image Source: MaltaToday      Image Source: Variety

 

Orange:

The orange color is a representation of creativity, thinking, ideas, innovation, enthusiasm, modernism, youthfulness, and approachability, favored by brands to showcase light-heartedness.

 

Fanta-logo   nickelodeon-logo1     Payless-shoes-logo

 

Image Source: Logopedia           Image Source: Logopedia            Image Source: Keloland

 

Grey:

Grey is a neutral color and stands for balance, stability, calmness, security, practicality, maturity and respect. It demonstrates authority along with modesty.

 

prodesigns logo         Mercedes-logo           wikipedia-logo1

 

Image Source: ProDesigns      Image Source: GrabCAD          Image Source: Wikimedia

 

Multicolor:

Using multiple colors in a logo can be a vibrant combination, symbolizing unity and diversity. It stands for playfulness, authority, fun, openness, and informality. Brands using multicolor in their logos want to show that they are multi-disciplinary, easy-going, creative and child-like.


 

Google-logo    NBC-logo      Microsoft-logo

 

Image Source: The Verge    Image Source: The Independent  Image Source: Microsoft

 

Shapes

Shapes have emotional connotations just like colors. The human brain can understand and remember shapes. Our subconscious mind reacts in different ways seeing logos of various shapes. Shapes like circles, squares, curves, straight lines, etc. are used to convey the intended brand message in a logo. There can be three different types of shapes including geometric, organic and abstract, having a significant impact on how your brand is portrayed. Let’s have a look at what messages these shapes in a logo send across to the audience along with their examples:

 

Organic shapes:

Organic shapes are used to indicate spontaneity, pleasure, comfort, calmness, and interest representing things of nature like flowers, leaves, clouds, etc.

 

gatorade_logo1                     PUMA-logo

 

Image Source: Forbes                  Image Source: Puma

 

Abstract shapes:

Abstract shapes represent a company’s logo in an artistic way. They are generally used by brands to differentiate themselves from others and stand out from the crowd.

apple-logo                                 wwf-logo1

 

Image Source: DMN                  Image Source: BT Plc

 

Geometrical shapes:

Geometrical shapes symbolize logic, rationality, organization, efficiency, and stability. They include circles, squares, rectangles, lines, triangles, etc. Below are the interpretations of some of the geometrical shapes used in logo design.

 

Circles:

Circles in a logo are used to convey completeness, movement, unity, community, perfection, integrity, and intellectualism. They are a symbol of stability, partnership, love, marriage, friendship, and endurance. Since circles are sturdy without breaks, they can help you to show reliability.

Chrome-logo                               starbucks-logo1        

Image Source: ZDNet                     Image Source: Disney Parks

 

Interconnecting circles represent strength, solidarity, and resilience. The perfect example is of Olympic rings.

 

Curves: 

Curves are happy shapes and indicate femininity. They stand for happiness, comfort, rhythm, compassion, pleasure, and consideration. They also resemble tenderness, protection, care, and love.

Intel-logo                 Chanel-logo

 

Image Source: Logopedia Image Source: Logopedia

 

Triangle:

Triangles are associated with strength, energy, action, motion, aggression, direction, dynamism, science, mathematics, religion and law. They depict stability, devotion, reliability, balance, rationality, and vitality. Triangles are also a representation of the peak, resembling elevation, hierarchy, and power.

Mitsubishi-logo                         citgo_logo1

 

Image Source: Logopedia Image Source: Wikipedia

 

Vertical lines:

Vertical lines indicate stability, balance, courage, domination, boldness, aggression, masculinity, growth, and professionalism. They are powerful, dominant, engaging and bold, majorly associated with strength, efficiency, reliability, motion, and sophistication.

 

Cisco-logo              Soundcloud-logo

Image Source: Logopedia Image Source: Logopedia

 

Horizontal lines:

Horizontal lines have a calming and soothing effect, often representing tranquility, rest, silence, community and safety. They can also promote trust, making customers feel protected.

ibm-logo1               DHL-logo

 

Image Source: Logopedia Image Source: CBI

 

Squares and Rectangles:

Squares and rectangles are used to depict solidity, practicality, stability, uniformity, reliability, peace and order. They also represent familiarity, professionalism, balance, strength, and efficiency. They can inspire trust in the audience and evoke a feeling of power.

 

domino's-logo1                   BBC-logo

 

Image Source: Logopedia      Image Source: Logopedia

 

Conclusion:

These are just a few examples of colors and shapes used in the logo design with their psychology. It is important to be aware of the powerful impact they can have on your target audience. You can choose from many different colors and bring variations in shapes as per your choice.

 

An effective logo is simple, unique and can enhance your brand visibility. You should have a clear idea of the visual facet of your logo, evoking certain emotions and imparting precise messages. Choosing the right combination of colors and shapes in your logo will help you to promote your value and message easily, ensuring you stand out in the crowd.

Nidhi Dave

Nidhi is working as a content and brand strategist at ProDesigns - a graphic design company, recommending strategies to meet customers’ goals and deliver a superior user experience. She provides content leadership, ensuring that a consistent brand message is delivered to the audience.