Have you noticed how many logos are essentially designed using simple geometric shapes? Right off the top of your head you may think of brands like BMW, Pepsi, Microsoft, Olympics, Target, IKEA, AT&T, Red Cross, Adobe, or Google Drive. Why do they, and how do they, capture your attention?
On the Job Example
I was recently asked to create a new logo for a residential property. In researching the address I saw that the buildings were designed similar to college dorms rather than stylish dwellings with welcoming elements. I wanted to be accurately represent the property but I needed some inspiration for home renters to see beyond the brick walls.
I decided to use creativity with some geometry. I started with a vector image of an apartment building – a simple rectangle with rows of square windows – on a perspective. I then duplicated the image, reversed it and reduced its height. I added a third copy of the building image, scaling it to be a little taller. I now had three buildings, similar but unique, side by side in fan fold style. I incorporated the colors of the company brand and filled each building with one of, or a tint of, the blues and greens. It was just what was needed.
Geometry in images – logos, templates – whether for print or web is full of unspoken communication, style, and beauty. In the job example above, the four-sided images represent solid structure, stability, and reliability. The images are based in an engineering and mathematic platform and often used by companies in finance/investment and in building industries. In the case above, adding the company colors with unity and detail, connected the simple building style to the beauty within the structure.
Shapes in Nature Have a Message
I enjoy and appreciate nature, and the more I study it the more I see not only the colors and light and uniqueness, I also notice the geometry. Nature and geometry go hand in hand, reinforcing why mathematical based images speak so clearly. Our minds comprehend the meaning of certain lines and shapes.
We understand when we see a circle for instance, like the sun or moon, that it represents wholeness, collections, even international groups. The logo for the Olympics is made of 5 circles and is a great example of how the use of this shape conveys that message.
In nature the intersecting of rivers and streams as they flow to a larger body of water is an example of two items, different and unique, joining together. The intersecting of lines in logos speaks of working together, joining unique abilities to accomplish an objective. For instance, hospital and non profit logos are often comprised of crosses and lines joining together, conveying their mission and purpose.
Triangles which are so prevalent in foliage, mountains, and bird formations, usually point us somewhere or represent a strong base with inspiration to go to something great. You may notice that software images and car manufacturers often include a triangle in their logos.
Star shapes are numerous in nature in leaves and flowers and of course, the night sky. Stars represent greatness. For instance, we give 5 stars when rating an excellent restaurant. You may see logo designs using this geometric shape as you travel, or in the entertainment industry.
Geometric shapes speak to us because we have knowledge of how they convey a purpose in the creation around us. When used in combination with pattern and colors, the simple use of these combined lines and shapes blossom into creative beauty, a message that needs few words, and has a natural energy to cement that image into memory.
Shape Up with Your Own Geometric Design
Next time you are out for a stroll study the shapes in creation. Make note of what you see, how it is used, and if you connect a message to it. Look for repetitive geometric shapes in structures around you; what does it say to you? Then watch for logos and make the connection between the shape and the message. For a little extra fun, create your own logo representative of something you are passionate about.