Symbolism - Geometric Shapes

Geometric Shapes: Regular patterns from geometric shapes tend to indicate an organised and efficient mind. Triangles are a geometrically stable shape but also suggest direction and sense of purpose. The triangle has been adopted into various symbol systems, for example, a pink (usually inverted) triangle represents gay pride.

The Circle: The circle appears in every culture as an archetypal form representative of the eternal whole. With no ending or beginning, it revolves in an eternal cycle and is linked to the sun-disk and the attendant concepts of the yearly cycle, the moon, and the wheel. In some symbol systems it also represents the universe.

The Square: The square represents the formal, mathematical, scientific order of the universe. The square represents earthbound matter, and correspondingly, with its two sides delineating a two-dimensional surface, may symbolize the earth or ground, or a field, especially in eastern pictograms. In Buddhist symbolism the relationship the square within the circle represents the relationship of the human and the divine.

Everything has a shape but the basic shapes of circles, squares, and triangles can be very effective in logo design, in part because of their simplicity. These shapes have certain sub-conscious meanings as well.

  • The circle is protective or infinite.
  • The square denotes stability, equality, and honesty.
  • The triangle suggests tension or conflict or action.
  • There are so many things you can "draw" using only circles, squares, or triangles. Group several together to form interesting patterns. You can make one shape from another -- such as the group of circles that form a triangle,in the illustration.
Alternating direction or color, disrupting a pattern with another shape or a shape out of alignment can add interest or suggest abstract ideas. A triangle alone or a series of overlapping ones can "point" in one or more directions.

Replace letters in a word or name with shapes that suggest those letters. A triangle for A or V is obvious. Less obvious is the E made of squares (in illustration) or perhaps two stacked circles for an S or a pair of triangles (one up, one down) for an N.

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