Last updated on June 6th, 2018
Process of creating a logo is not that easy as often non-graphic designers think. A professional designer takes into account a host of aspects before coming out with a design concept. The use of colors, fonts, and other elements involves a lot of strategic thinking. The fact is that logo design aims at pleasing human senses. Therefore, some Color psychology is also involved in creating logos.
When creating a logo, a professional logo designer will consider how people will react to the design. It is important to note that people bring their own prejudices in judging a graphic design for its impact. In other words, the psychology of logo design is a significant aspect of creating unique and memorable business logos.
The psychology of logo design is often overlooked by most designers. In fact, when talking about a logo, most designers relate it with different color schemes or styles. However, it is so much more than just that.
The term ‘logo design’ is often confused as the process of creating a design identity of an organization or a brand. So what’s the psychology of logo design? It is the analysis of the entire meaning and purpose of a logo, which is much more than just the identity of a brand.In this blog, you’ll learn some interesting aspects that govern the psychology of logo design process.
Here Is The Color Psychology Of The Logo Design Process
Logo Design Psychology
It makes sense to understand the psychology behind colors, shapes and styles in the logo design to ensure that your design is able to deliver a lasting impact on the mind of onlookers. Remember, every attribute of a logo adds additional meaning to the logo. The term “logo” has been derived from the Greek word “logos” which means “word”. Hence, the logo design process is the activity of creating a visual identity for a “word” that speaks about a particular business.
Studies and researches conducted across the globe have revealed that people connect with your logos in the same way with their own personal perspective. If different people with different education and academic background interpret different meanings for the same word, the chances are that they will interpret different meanings for your logo.
Therefore, it makes sense to carefully mull over each attribute of your logo to understand what it’s going to mean. Remember, the more time you devote to the work on the meanings of the attributes, the more you will be able to put across the desired meaning and message to the people at large.
Psychology Of Color In The Logo Design
Role of color is often misinterpreted not only by the clients, but also by the designers owing to the prolific availability of vibrant color schemes on the Internet. And to add to the havoc, some clients clearly specify that they want yellow color in their logo, while others demand for blue without even realizing the Color psychology in a logo design. Resultantly, the logo fails to capture the imagination of the onlookers.
It is important to understand that colors owe a special meaning and have the power to rejuvenate even a simple looking logo. However, typecasting a color with a logo only for the sake of following norms is sure to make it logo look bad. Therefore, selecting the right type of color scheme and using the proper shade of a color (if required) is the biggest stepping stone towards a successful logo design.
It is important to understand that different colors express different emotions. For example, black color is mostly associated with mystery, sophistication, power or death, whereas white color stands for hope, purity, simplicity and goodness. Red is the color that expresses love, anger, passion and romance. Blue expresses emotions of confidence, peace and integrity, while grey color represents maturity, authoritativeness, stability and security. Therefore, it is vital to understand the color psychology before using different colors in a logo design.
Here are some main colors and their psychological impact on viewers
Most of business logos are in blue. Facebook and other social media page designs have blue as a dominant color. In fact, global logos such as Pepsi, Samsung, Intel, HP, and others have some amount of blue in their logos. This is because blue has calming impact on viewers.
But the designers use this color to convey a message of confidence and success. Another quality of blue is that it expresses positive emotions and no negative emotions. So, the designers can safely incorporate this color without any fear of any evoking of negative tone in a logo.
Psychologically, black is considered as a strong color as it is known as the color of power and strength. When a brand wants to project itself as a powerful and second-to-none status in its niche market. With this color, a company can think of creating a feeling of authority. Such companies have some amount of black in their logos. Adidas and Nike logos have black color in them.
One of the reasons for grey being used in logo designs is that the color goes well with other colors. Grey is used for its neutral shade. It evokes a little cold feeling. However, many designers use grey as an alternative to black to give a bit different meaning to a logo. Grey shows modest and authority. This is the reason that powerful companies use grey in their logos and other design products such as business card design. Popular examples of global companies using grey in logos are that of Apple logo and Homewood Suites.
The color psychology behind white is that it signifies purity. Many designers use white to evoke the feelings of simplicity, perfection, and innocence. However, it is advisable to use white cleverly with other colors. Make sure that the combination of white and other colors reflect your company’s brand personality.
Green is the color of nature. But psychologically the color stands for everything earthy and healthy. Therefore, this color has a wide range of emotions in it. It can reflect renewal and life as well as peace and respect. Graphic designers associate green with the feelings of safety and finances. Many eco-friendly brands have overwhelming use of green in their logos and other design products such as brochure design. Brands like computer software, nature, food, health, camping equipment makers, and sports generally use green.
Brown is a warm color and is generally used to reflect the feelings of wood or ground so as to give an earthy feeling. It also is a color for simplicity and harmony. But the designers use brown also for showing responsibility and seriousness of a brand in a logo. Mostly, law firms, construction companies, real estate companies, etc. use brown color in their logos.
Human eye sees yellow quickly and before any other colors. Due to this characteristic, yellow is used in the signboards related to traffic. Even in a dim and misty weather, yellow is visible clearly. But the color also stands for happy emotions, sunrise, enjoyment, and festivities.
Family oriented business such as family restaurants mostly use yellow in their logos. Yellow can also be used with other lighter colors to make a desired impact on viewers. Graphic designers know which color combinations work best in creating a logo to convey a brand message.
Red stands for aggressiveness, energy, love, and passion like strong emotions. Generally, logo designers use red in logos that want to target young customers. Therefore, fast food restaurant logos are mostly designed in red.
Role Of the Shape In The Logo Design
The psychology of design governs the basic shape of the logo, underlying its relevance in the entire design process. Since human brain is more likely to understand and remember shapes, the logos that essentially incorporate a geometrical shape are better remembered and liked. Olympics logo, Android logo and Apple logo are just some of the many logo designs that clearly illustrate the significance of the shape of a logo design.
However, this is not a thumb rule. Our subconscious minds respond in different ways to different logo shapes. Straight lines, circles, curves and jagged edges all imply different meanings and so a skilled logo designer can use shape to infer particular qualities about the brand. Think, for example, of the Nike Swoosh: the combination of curves ending in a sharp point offers a strong suggestion of movement.
Particular Logo Shapes Send Out Particular Messages
Circles, ovals and ellipses tend to project a positive emotional message. Using a circle in a logo can suggest community, friendship, love, relationships and unity. Rings have an implication of marriage and partnership, suggesting stability and endurance. Curves on any sort tend to be viewed as feminine in nature.
Straight edged logo shapes such as squares and triangles suggest stability in more practical terms and can also be used to imply balance. Straight lines and precise logo shapes also impart strength, professionalism and efficiency. However, and particularly if they are combined with colours like blue and grey, they may also appear cold and uninviting. Subverting them with off-kilter positioning or more dynamic colours can counter this problem and conjure up something more interesting.
It has also been suggested that triangles have a good association with power, science, religion and law. These tend to be viewed as masculine attributes, so it’s no coincidence that triangles feature more prominently in the logos of companies whose products have a masculine bias.
Role Of Typeface In Logo Shape
Choice of the typeface also determines a logo shape. There is some psychology involved in the typeface also. For example, an angular and jagged typeface may appear to the viewers as aggressive and dynamic. But if there is a use of rounded letters in a logo, such letters will express youthful appeal. Similarly, if typeface is curved and a logo has cursive scripts appeals more to women. The strong and bold lettering appeals to men more.
So, when you start designing a logo, make sure that you have the details of the attributes and values that your client’s company want to project. You should ask your client to provide the information about corporate values and mission statement. If you are selecting a strong shape for your logo and its too masculine, then use the colors that can tone down the masculine impression a bit. When choosing a logo shape and typeface, make sure that you first analyze the business and industry type that your client is in.
When picking a right shape for your business logo design, ensure that the shape is good enough to carry your brand message. Remember that each shape conveys a different meaning and message. So, a curvy shape of logo will signal a message, which will be entirely different from a diagonal shaped logo. Similarly, logos with shapes such as verticals, squares, circles, and horizontals should be picked with the business message in mind.
The Psychology Of Lines
Lines also make a psychological impact on the way we judge a logo design and get its message. For example, our mind subconsciously judges vertical lines with something strong and muscular. So, a vertical line generally suggests aggression. Similarly, when we see horizontal lines, a sense of calm, tranquility, and community prevails on us.
Here is the psychology associated with some major lines
Graphic designers use vertical lines mainly to express balance and stability. Sometimes, verticals are used to show strength of products or services in corporate logos. These are ideal lines to promote competitiveness and professionalism of an enterprise.
However, any error in incorporating vertical lines can be damaging to the logo and brand identity. This is because there may go a wrong message of aggression and domineering. If you do not intend to send out such a message, then use verticales carefully and with a strategy in logos.
If your message through a logo is of composure, silence, community, and tranquility, then prefer using horizontal lines. Their effect on feelings is of soothing our nerves and bringing calm and order.
This is why experienced graphic designer use horizontals when there is a need for a brand to project itself as trustworthy. Sometimes, if a logo has some diagonal and vertical lines, a way to negate its wrong impact is to use horizontals as a balancing element.
If there is the use of curves in a logo design, it generally expresses comfort and positive feelings. These lines are also associated with the emotions of friendship, protection, compassion, love, tenderness, care, and affection.
Another thing to note is that there is a movement in curves. The designers often use such lines to convey happiness and smiles. But an inverted curved line will give just the opposite feeling of anger and depression.
Circles are perhaps the most used lines in logos. The designers generally use them to express some partnership and endurance. Take for example the olympic rings, which has five circles. Here, circles convey the message of unity and strength.
05. Square And Rectangles
Squares and rectangles are generally incorporated in logo design to express strength and balance. However, squares lines should be used only with proper shading and color balance. If that does not happen, these lines may look unattractive and boring.
If your logo design requires to send some message of dynamism, then think of using diagonal lines. They give some kind of vibrancy to the logo and makes it look unique and memorable. However, do not overdo it as it can even send out a signal that the brand is untrustworthy.
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Professional designers understand that triangular lines are special due to their historic use. Triangulars have been in use in different cultures, religions, and in science. The designers use these lines to projects brands as powerful and masculine.
It is now clear that some psychological aspect of colors, fonts, lines, and other elements is involved in logo designs. An experienced graphic designer will consider various psychological impacts on viewers when incorporating different logo elements from their graphic design services.
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Professional graphic designers consider psychological impact of lines, colors, shapes, and other elements in creating a logo design. Each such element has the power to influence viewers. The colors, shape etc work on our subconscious mind without our direct knowing about it.