Using Psychology in Logo Design: The Best Way to Design Amazing, Mind-Blowing Logos

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Colors, shapes, and fonts, oh my! You’re not in Logo Design 101 anymore – this is the advanced course for anyone looking to take logo design to the next level. 😉

In the past, we’ve covered basic logo design principles, but things are going to get even crazier in this article! Today we’re talking about using psychology when designing a logo to make it more marketable, memorable, and awesome.

Creating an effective logo is about more than throwing a watermark and fancy graphic together. The best logos are the ones that speak to people on a deeper level. How? These logos use tools like color, shape, and font to communicate more about a brand without ever saying a word.

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Whether you’re designing a logo for yourself or a client, you don’t want to miss out on the benefits of logo design psychology. Below we’ll discuss:

  • Why design psychology is so important
  • Logo color psychology, typography psychology, and more
  • What elements you need to consider for your next design

Ready to get started? Let’s go!

Why Are You Drawn to Certain Brands?

You’ve heard the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but what about, “Don’t judge a brand by its logo”? Yeah, there’s a reason no one says that one. Logos are, after all, the face of your brand. And we all know that people are definitely going to be making snap judgments about your company based on how your logo looks. 🤓

Your logo design could be the very thing that draws consumers to you or — pushes them away.


via Giphy

Unless you’re a long-established brand with a huge following, you know how hard it can be to break into the market. Luckily, a well-designed logo is much more likely to capture the attention of your target audience and get them to choose your product or service.

When your visual identity speaks to a consumer, it allows you to form a connection with them — and often, that connection will lead to a sale.

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So, how do you create logos that speak to people? It’s all in psychology. 😎

The Psychology of Logo Design — 4 Basic Concepts

When you think about using psychology in logo design, you likely focus on color, symbols, shapes, and fonts. Yes, these are all important, but there are other parts to great logo design as well. Here are some of the most basic concepts that influence the logo design process.

1. Symbolism

Signs and symbols can instantly spark a connection with your audience and convey a lot about your brand in just a few seconds. Logos themselves act as symbols for your brand to communicate your message to consumers. Many symbols are universal, so using signs and symbols in your logo design is a great way to get a message across quickly and easily.

2. The Gestalt Theory

Gestalt principles are like mental shortcuts that our brains use to better understand the world. They can be very beneficial when it comes to logo design.

There are six important Gestalt principles:

  1. Figure-ground — The idea that we instinctively perceive foregrounds and backgrounds.
  2. Focal point — The idea that anything that stands out from surrounding objects will capture your attention right away.
  3. Proximity — The idea that objects which are close to each other are related.
  4. Similarity — The idea that we naturally group similar objects (i.e., by color, shape, size, organization, etc.).
  5. Continuity — The idea that objects which are aligned a certain way are more related to one another.
  6. Closure — The idea that our brains fill in missing parts of an image to make it recognizable.

3. Target market identification

If you want your logo to speak to your audience, you must understand them first. Therefore, identifying and getting to know your target market is one of the most important parts of logo design. Sure, it takes time — but the better you know your audience, the easier it will be to connect with them.

4. Differentiation

A successful logo stands out — after all, you don’t want to advertise for your competition. Even before the design process starts, it’s important to understand what makes your brand unique. Knowing this in advance will help you make a logo that matches your brand identity and accurately portrays what you stand for. 💪

On to the good stuff! Let’s talk about all the different design elements that go into your logo and what they silently say about your business.

You Hue-d It Here First: The Psychology of Color in Logo Design

It seems like everyone has heard about logo color psychology these days. Not only are colors one of the most important aspects of your logo, but they’re also just really fun to learn about!

There are plenty of studies out there that prove that colors affect the way that people perceive brands. So, what are your colors saying about you? While every culture has a different relationship to color, here in the U.S., we generally follow this table.

Combining different colors can have an even bigger impact on your audience. For example, using several bright shades can make your brand appear youthful, energetic, and exciting. A monochromatic color scheme can make your logo look clean and sophisticated. A black and white logo can ensure that your brand feels luxurious and refined.

The Shape of the Matter: The Psychology of Shapes in Logo Design

Shapes play an important role in logo design. After all, whether your logo is just the name of your business or a single visual, there are shapes involved. There are a few different categories of shapes to consider, and each one will say something distinct to your audience.

  • Geometric shapes: These shapes look perfect, sleek, and streamlined — obviously manufactured. Some of the most common geometric shapes we see are squares, rectangles, circles, and triangles.
  • Symbols: Examples can include stylized hearts, arrows, stars, or diamonds. Symbols can communicate an idea quickly and easily, but you need to be creative when using them so that you don’t appear unoriginal.
  • Organic/natural shapes: These shapes are imperfect and irregular. They can be anything from a flower or leaf to blob-like abstracts that don’t look like anything at all. Some of the most common organic shapes are spirals, whorls, and curves.

Depending on what shapes you use, you can:

  • Evoke certain emotions
  • Direct the audience to particular elements of the logo
  • Communicate more effectively
  • Create a memorable, eye-catching design

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Drawing the (Right) Line: The Psychology of Lines in Logo Design

Like shapes, lines are a standard part of any logo design. They can be used to create pictures, divide your logo into sections, and much, much more. Here are a few ways that you can use line psychology in your logo design.

  • Suggest elegance, fragility, or flexibility with thin lines.
  • Make your logo look powerful with thick lines. You can also use these lines to emphasize or draw attention to certain features.
  • Straight lines communicate structure, rigidity, and strength.
  • Use flowing, curved lines to add energy, grace, interest, and fun to a design.
  • Add horizontal lines to encourage the eye to move from right to left. These lines can also indicate motionless rest, stability, or distance.
  • Emphasize vertical lines to make your logo grand, energetic, and dynamic.
  • Diagonal lines can create the illusion of instability, excitement, energy, and movement.
  • Zig-zags are exciting, irregular, and dynamic. They can create a strong emotional response (either negative or positive).
  • Create a playful, wholesome look and add a casual vibe to your logo with irregular hand-drawn lines.

You’re Our Favorite Type: The Psychology of Fonts in Logo Design

Yeah, your words may have an impact on people, but did you know that even the type of font you choose can say a lot about your business. Just like colors and shapes, fonts have personalities — so choosing the wrong one can make your logo confusing and ineffective.

Here are a few font examples and how you can use typography psychology to make a statement. 📌

Serif fonts.

These fonts offer a classic, sophisticated look. Use these fonts if you want people to perceive you as:

  • Trustworthy
  • Respected
  • Well-established

Sans serif fonts.

These fonts lack the feet that serif fonts have and therefore look and feel more modern. It’s a great choice if you want people to think of your brand as:

  • Modern
  • Futuristic
  • Straightforward

Script fonts.

These elaborate fonts give your type a unique, old-fashioned feel. Use them when you want to portray:

  • Elegance
  • Whimsy
  • Creativity

Decorative fonts.

Decorative fonts can make a strong statement and are a great way to add a unique touch to your logo. Use these fonts to make your brand look:

  • Fun
  • Engaging
  • Unique

Bringing It All Together: The Psychology of Composition in Logo Design

You’ve got all the design elements, but now you’ve got to bring them together. And — surprise, surprise — the way you compose your logo can also say a lot about your brand!

Logo composition utilizes a few different concepts. Here’s what they are and how they influence consumers’ perceptions.

  • Balance. Your logo must take everything — from font and shape to colors and white space — and combine it in a way that makes the design feel cohesive.
  • Size. Larger elements will look more important and draw more focus than smaller elements will.
  • Horizontal placement. Elements on the left side of a logo (typically the side we view first) will be seen as more important.
  • Spacing. Grouping elements in different ways can make them feel connected, make your logo feel cluttered, or create different emotions (remember the Gestalt principles?).

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Extra Effort = Epiic Logo

Great logos make us feel things, create memories and connections, and (ultimately) lead to sales. So how can you make your logo stand out?

Understanding the psychology of logo design (and applying it appropriately) can help you create a great logo. And a great logo will subtly speak to your audience and score you that sale. 🏆

In other words, design psychology is surprisingly effective at attracting audience attention. And once you have their attention, the battle is half won!

Apr 19, 2022

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Rebecca

A copywriter with hundreds of projects under her (figurative) belt, Beka enjoys the challenge of crafting unique content. She loves writing just as some people love trolling online message boards :) — in an unabashedly enthusiastic and slightly concerning way.

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