What follows is a deeper look at the psychology of logo design, in terms of fonts, shapes, lines, colors and composition -- and how these elements affect your logo's influence on customers' purchasing decisions. The psychology of fonts Fonts have a psychological impact on people. Geometric shapes Geometric shapes look man-made. Shapes with jagged angles may create feelings of anxiety, while shapes with soft curves make them feel more relaxed. The psychology of lines Lines divide space. They communicate direction. This makes them very expressive and the least stable of all the line positions. The psychology of composition Fonts, shapes, lines, and colors are the building blocks for a great logo design. So, things appearing on the left side of the logo will be viewed first and perceived as the most important. Layering items together creates visual relationships, so be mindful of how you combine shapes and lines.
Square? Circular? Geometric? Organic? These elements actually communicate different things. Be sure you know what those are.
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Your company’s logo is the visual figurehead of your brand, so it’s important to get it right. Whether intentional or not, every detail of your logo will influence people who see it. That’s why nothing should be arbitrary.
In fact, it’s in your best interest to make sure that every logo design choice is intentional and communicates the message you want to convey, because thoughtless design choices lead to misleading or confusing logos.
Worse, thoughtless choices can lead to logos that don’t say anything at all.
What follows is a deeper look at the psychology of logo design, in terms of fonts, shapes, lines, colors and composition — and how these elements affect your logo’s influence on customers’ purchasing decisions.
The psychology of fonts
Fonts have a psychological impact on people. The emotion they generate is directly tied to the shape of the letters and our psychological response to those shapes. So, how do you know which font style will work best for your business?
The Software Usability Research Laboratory (SURL) at Wichita State University ran a study that examined the traits people associate with varying fonts. Among the people surveyed, traditional fonts including Arial or Times New Roman were categorized as “stable” and “mature,” but were also considered “unimaginative” and “conformist.”
In contrast, fonts described as “youthful” and “casual” fonts — like Comic Sans — were considered “happy” and “casual.”
Most important in anyone’s font decision is certainty that the company name is legible and readable. You’d be surprised how many logos we’ve seen that are unreadable. And, really, how can you remember a business if you don’t know the name of that business?
The psychology of shapes in logo design
All logos — whether they include an icon and text, an icon only, or even just text — have a shape. The three major categories — geometric, abstract and organic — all come prepackaged with their own psychological associations.
Geometric shapes look man-made. Mathematically precise squares, perfect circles and Isosceles triangles don’t tend to appear in nature. So, using these shapes communicates a sense of order and power. The various types:
Squares and rectangles convey stability, reliability, strength, order and predictability. Think of the bricks used to build sturdy, stable buildings. If you want your logo to communicate strength and reliability, consider incorporating squares or rectangles.
Circles are never-ending. So, they may be the right choice if you want to make consumers think of harmony, unity, eternity or timelessness. Curves are also considered feminine; and, as such, circles communicate softness, gentility and femininity.
Triangles are a directional shape. As a result, they change meaning depending on how they are positioned. When right side up, triangles convey power, stability and upward momentum. Inverted triangles suggest instability or downward momentum. And, triangles pointing to the side convey movement and direction based on where the triangle’s point is facing.
Abstract or symbolic shapes
Symbols are simplified shapes that represent something specific in a culture. And, because symbols have clear, common meanings, they are relied upon heavily as a visual language.
Stars can convey patriotism or religion or even “show business” and “Hollywood ” depending on how they are used.
Hearts can be used to communicate love, relationships and marriage, while broken hearts…