A logo or logotype is a graphical emblem or mark used as an identification and public recognition of an entity, such as business enterprises, government bureaus, or organizations. It is a visualization of the vision or values upheld by the entity. As a graphical representation, a logo is comprised of symbols and color schemes. Sometimes, a typography is incorporated to the logo as well.
Together, the combination of these graphic images has its own representation, but each elements has its own story to tell. Everything from geometric shapes, graphic images, and typefaces functions as a medium to convey identifiable values from the entity they represent.
In mathematics, geometric shapes are defined as 2-dimensional enclosed figures which consist of points, lines, or curves. It may have multiple points or angles connected by lines or curvatures. Triangles, quadrilaterals, squares, circle, and ovals are among the most common geometric shapes utilized in a logo.
Each geometric shapes can be perceived as a symbol associated with certain feelings or values. However, there is no fixated association over the shapes. These associations are as diverse as the cultures and ethnicities in the world. A certain shape might be associated with certain values in several communities, but it might represent an entirely different values in others.
Squares are quite popular in logo design, being one of the most used area shapes. It is a familiar shape and can easily be found in our surroundings. Squares—along with rectangles, which sometimes referred to as an elongated square—all have straight, parallel lines with four right angles, giving a very mathemathical and balanced feeling.
As far as squares go in our society, it’s rigid form represents stability, conformity, solidity, and honesty. It also conveys feelings of reliability, practicality, and rationality. In Buddhism, squares symbolize one’s bond with earthly matters or desires.
Triangles has been utilized in the logos of popular brands such as Adidas, Caterpillar, and Qantas Airlines. The three-pointed shapes are quite interesting because it gives different feelings depending on whether it has uniform sides or not.
Nevertheless, triangles represent power, progression, and purpose as the shapes are often used to point directions. These shapes are also associated with masculinity, as arrow- and spear-heads were triangular. It also associated with holiness and divinity, as triangular shapes can be found in pyramids and other ancient religious buildings, while in christianity the shape is associated with the Holy Trinity.
Circles and Ovals
Other popular shapes for logo design are circle and ovals. Both shapes don’t have any point whatsoever. The key difference between circles and ovals are their overall outlines. Ovals or ellipses outlines are shaped more like an egg rather than a ball.
Curves in general are perceived as the more feminine shape as opposed to the masculinity of rogod shapes like rectangles or triangles. The lack of edges in its outline is giving circles and ovals an association with unity, community, commitment, and love. It also signifies a free sense of movements.
By definition, a graphic is a visual image imprinted on surfaces to inform, illustrate, or entertain its viewers. In terms of logo design, graphic images may refer to the logo itself or the element inside said logo. Graphic images incorporated in logos varies from animals, person, or other symbols, each represent different values.
For example, the brand logo of sportswear manufacturer Puma features an image of a leaping puma. The feline silhouette represents to visualize the brand’s vision for their product as having the quality of a puma cat—strong, agile, flexible, and durable. It was also meant to promote an active lifestyle, hence the leaping gesture of the puma.
Simply put, a typeface is a design for letterings. There are four major categories for typefaces: serifs, sans serifs, script, and display. What differs from each other are the thickness, height, decorative aspects, or its overall shape.
Typefaces symbols in logo designs are used to convey feelings or visions to its viewers. For example, using a serif font can give your logo a more sophisticated, professional, and reliable image. On the other hand, using a more modern typefaces like script-type fonts will make your logo radiates elegance.