This might sound funny but it is important to have basic knowledge about human psychology. Graphic designs are nothing but visual illustrations and it is important to know how to make people like them. Since different visuals manipulate different emotions, knowing human psychology can actually allow you to manipulate your audience behaviour.
Different emotions are triggered by different visuals, so it’s important to recognise them to use in your favour. Colours and shapes—both have their own roles. This article will discuss about shapes and Part Four will feature Color Psychology.
What do Shapes mean?
Circles have no beginning or end. They represent the eternal whole and in every culture, there is an archetypical form representing the sun, the earth, the moon, the universe, and other celestial objects. Circles are used to suggest familiar objects such as wheels, balls, many kinds of fruit etc. They suggest well-roundedness and completeness. Circles suggest community, integrity, and perfection.
Squares and rectangles are stable. They’re familiar and trusted shapes and suggest honesty. Rectangles are the most common geometric shape encountered.The majority of text we read is set in rectangles or squares.
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.
Abstract shapes do not have any particular shape or sometimes the shapes are incomplete but they can bear an inner message and it’s easily decryptable when you look at it.
Shapes in Designs
Microsoft has been using squares as their branding logo for quite a while. In the beginning it was a spiral shaped distorted square but recently they picked up the flat design and it’s looking better than ever.
Mitsubishi has been using triangle as their shape since the beginning. Triangular shapes are rather rare in logos where sphere and squares are frequently seen.
Here are some more famous logos that used shape as their main resource:
Adidas uses triangle in their logo, probably because of their masculine product line.
BBC uses squares in their logo. It signifies stability and honesty.
PEPSI has been using circle from the very beginning.
Whether we like it or not, math and science is everywhere. It’s wise to learn them so one can use them in their favour. We’ll find shapes everywhere but knowing what they mean makes it easy for us to use them in our own creations.
Next article in the series will discuss about Color Psychology. Stay tuned.