Does Shape Matter in Logos?

Everything there is a new logo on the plate, there’s a lot to think about: colors, fonts, imagery, target audience, brand objectives, messaging, display channels, and so forth.

But what about shape?

Yes! Whether the logo will be more rectangular, circular, square, or triangular — shape absolutely matters. The purpose of a logo is to provide a unique portrait of your brand for your users and customers to be able to identify you. You want to put your logo anywhere you can.

The problem is your logo might not serve you to it’s full potential everywhere you want to put it. If the shape isn’t right, it may end up too small, illegible, or hard to identify.

When presenting your brand to the world through a logo, you have to think of every space you put your logo as real estate. And you want to make the absolute most of your real estate. It would be a shame to leave space empty where you could be reaching your audience. You don’t want to put a cottage where you could put a skyscraper.

For example: say your company sponsors an event and they want to put your logo on the back of their t-shirt along with other sponsors. They tell you the spot for your logo is 2×2 inches.

In this situation the ideal shape for your logo would be a square or circle.

Here’s why. Say this was your logo:

As you can see in the sample below, in a 2×2 area, this would be really hard to read and have standout; versus a logo shape that better filled the 2×2 area, such as a circle or square.

Of course, what if the area for the logo was for the hero section of a website where the dimensions were 1920×1080 pixels? In the case of web, you typically want your logo more rectangular to maximize the available screen space without taking up space for the content or making the page too long. Same potentially with packaging and collateral materials or other areas where you have a lot of content you want and can’t afford to have the logo taking up real estate.

You could also wonder how it would look as an app badge, across promotional materials, billboards, banners and so on. The scenarios for where you might want or need to put your logo can be limitless and as such you want to be prepared for all of it.

All this to say, while shape does matter the solution is versatility.

When designing your logo, you want to make sure you have a version of your logo for a few different shapes so when the situation arises you have exactly what you need to optimize the space you have with your brand’s identity and logo.