The Importance of Shape In Graphic Design

shape in graphic design

When small business owners, professional marketers, and corporate executives think of graphic design, they usually think of logos. They might also think of posters, banners, and signs that brand and market varying businesses. Most businesses and consumers know graphic design has many elements that go into creating attention-grabbing branding and marketing. Many people think of color and typography in relation to graphics – but shape in graphic design is equally important.

Just as color and the psychology of color play an important role in choosing the best graphic design components for your business, so does the psychology of shape. Shape in graphic design and communication can evoke specific feelings and make images and words pop. Shape can also influence consumer behavior. Think of how we already associate certain shapes with certain perceptions and actions. Consider these shapes and colors:

  • Most people know a red hexagon is a stop sign. Would your perception of that same sign and your knowledge of what to do change if the sign were round or square?
  • You see a yellow sphere with protruding rays and know it’s a depiction of a sun, right? What if it were a rectangle or an octagon? Would you still think it was a sun or would you spend time trying to decipher what it is?
  • A white crescent in the night sky immediately tells you you’re looking at the moon. What if you looked up at the sky and the moon was a long, straight, or curved line?

From the examples above, you can see how shapes in nature and in our everyday environment play an important role in how we perceive different items and in how we act on that perception. You can also see how seeing an unfamiliar shape in an unexpected place can pique curiosity. That curiosity can have a tremendous impact on marketing and branding for your small business or corporation. Here’s how.

  • Use of an unexpected color or shape in graphic design can do more than catch your consumer’s eye. It can draw their attention, pique their curiosity, and lead to them focus on your graphics while they try to make sense of its meaning.
  • Use of an unexpected color or shape can set you far apart from your competitors. When every widget maker in town is using the same visual perception of a shape to brand their widget, it has the potential to create brand confusion. When your company opts for an unusual shape or color, it stands out in a crowded marketplace.

Marketing and branding work together to create the graphic communication pieces your business needs to reach your target audience. The shapes you choose can make your graphic designs blend in or they can make them stand out – which can make consumers sit up and take notice.

When your logo and other visual elements of your marketing and branding need refreshing, rebranding, or a simple touch up, call our graphic design and communications team. Our graphic design professionals can guide you through the best uses of color, typography, and shape in graphic design – and in your visual identity and marketing materials.