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The “WannaCry” computer virus infected thousands of computers worldwide this past weekend (May 12th 2017). A “Trojan Horse” virus, it maliciously gains access to computer systems, locking down and making inaccessible to you and others your private information and data, then requesting a financial payment for the release of same. This type of computer software attack is known as “Ransomware”.
This free online course teaches you how to avoid the virus, but more importantly explains the concepts behind these attacks. It is believed by industry experts that these types of computer virus attacks are going to become more frequent. Whether you are an individual learner, or an employer or manager with an organisation of team of staff to protect, this free course will be of help to you in spreading awareness on how to protect against this malicious threat. As of 15th of May, around $50,000 worth of bitcoin has been paid to unknown ransomers.
This free online course will be of great interest to those who would like to gain a better understanding of the latest WannaCry ransomware attack, and to those wishing to protect against it as it outlines what steps you can take to avoid the virus and steps that can be taken if your computer has become infected.
All of our WordPress themes utilize the Image Widget plugin (by Modern Tribe) to install your header file. We feel this is the best fit for keeping your header where it should stay put but remain fluid and responsive to each viewing device. You can download and install and use Image Widget direct from WordPress or from Modern Tribe both.
Tuxedo Themes is proud to announce full WordPress integration with Kryptronic’s Click Cart Pro Version 8 E-Commerce Software. This is a perfect integration for most users of WordPress and Click Cart Pro that want to incorporate WordPress into their store from via adding a link to the top of your existing skin. This theme is the main skin we use since the custom settings in Click Cart Pro’s Desktop skin allows for so many options in colors. Whether you are happy with the (default black/gray) or prefer red, orange, green, blue, purple or custom, we can help you.
You can see the live demo here.
What is your WordPress Themes Type*
When first setting up any website, one of the hardest — but most important — things to decide is what to call it. Your website’s domain will play a big role in defining your brand’s image, search optimization, “buzz-worthiness,” and more. Unique domains are becoming increasingly scarce commodities as thousands of new sites come online each year. With millions of websites already vying for real estate on the web, and each with a distinct domain name, finding the perfect thing to call your site is now more important than ever.
Of course, understanding what to consider when choosing a domain requires that you know what a domain really is. In simplest terms, the domain name is made up of two parts: the part you create from scratch (like “TuxedoThemes”) and the part after the dot, known as the “Top Level Domain” or “TLD” (such as “.com,” “.biz,” “.org,” etc.). You officially buy your domain and register it on the web through a registrar. The registrar ensures that you are the only one who can use that domain while you own it and notifies computers all over the world that when a user types in your domain it is your site they should reach.
5 Considerations for Choosing the Perfect Domain Name
Now that you understand what a domain is, what the parts of the domain name are called, and how to purchase one, it is time to make your choice. But, you need to do more than just pick the first name that comes to mind and happens to be available. After all, this domain will have a huge impact on your success online. So what should you think about when choosing your domain name?
1. Target Audience
Who will you be trying to convince to buy your product or service? Are they young? Old? Male? Female? Do they live in a certain area? When people use a search engine to find you, what sort of search terms will they use? Is your business online or does it have a physical presence in the real world, too? All of these considerations should factor into your final decision.
You also need to think about the terms people will use when they search for your type of product or service. If you can incorporate one or more of those terms directly into your domain name, you may get a direct boost to your search ratings. For example, if someone searches for “teddy bears,” a company with a domain like “FluffyTeddyBears.com” will probably rank higher than something with a generic name like “JimsToys.com.”
Similarly, if your business has a physical location, and you want people in your area to find you, consider including your city or state name in your domain. If someone in your vicinity is searching for a place near them offering your type of product or service, they will likely start their search with the name of your city. So, “DetroitCarCareExperts” or “BestPizzaOrlando” will be more likely to show up in their results than just “A1Mechanics” or “MariosItalian.”
2. Don’t Use Your Own Name
You may be very proud of your company or organization’s web presence, but you should probably avoid labeling it with your own name. While it might be a good idea to own and control the domain of your name for personal purposes, for business purposes there is really no benefit. It is highly unlikely that you share a name with whatever it is your company does, so anybody who is not searching specifically for you may miss you in search results or not understand what they are seeing.
Of course, there are two notable exceptions to this suggestion. The first is if your name is your brand, such as a celebrity or famous athlete. In that case, it makes total sense to use your name for your domain, because that is what people will be trying to find. The other exception is for a business that already shares your name. Many industries like to use the proprietor’s name, like fashion designers, hair stylists, realtors, and others. In that case, it might make sense to have a domain with your name in it. But, for an added boost, if your business has your name in it, but you want to appeal to a broader audience, you could have a domain that describes your business, like “RockportHairDesigns,” but then incorporates the actual owner/business name in the content throughout the site.
3. Spelling Counts
Some may find it fun to include obscure words or intentional misspellings in their domain name as a way to set themselves apart. But, be careful doing so. This may, again, exclude your site in search results for common words. For example, a company selling low-rider truck customization may rank lower in search results if they call their site something like “LowRyderz.” It may also make it difficult for users to find your site if they only hear the name and try to type it in directly, not knowing how to spell it. Go with something easy to spell for your domain name, and save the tricky and artistic misspelling or difficult verbiage for individual products or accent points on your site.
4. Brevity is the Soul of Wit
It was true in Shakespeare’s day, and it is still true in our modern, digital age. What seems more likely for someone to remember: “DetroitCornerBakery” or “DanAndGlendasBestLittleDetroitCornerBakery?” The more words you add to your domain name, the harder it is to read and remember. The perfect length domain name is a careful balancing act between brand identity and search engine optimization. Great online brands like Google, Ebay, Yelp, and others have learned how to mix a strong brand presence in the marketplace with a very short domain name that people can easily remember. They have also spent millions in search engine marketing and optimization to make sure they rank highly in search results. On the other hand, smaller businesses may need the boost of adding things like a product name and location in order to boost search results, but have to avoid getting too wordy. A possible compromise may be using widely accepted abbreviations, like “auto” instead of “automobile,” “SoCal” instead of “Southern California,” or “NY” in place of “New York.”
Also, avoid using articles, like “a,” “an,” and “the,” such as “TheDenverRealtyCo.” People are likely to forget about these words when typing in your domain, and may end up on a competitor’s similarly named site by mistake.
5. Avoid Mimicking Another (More Popular) Brand
Speaking of similarly named sites, many find it a pretty tempting pitfall to try to use a domain name that closely resembles someone else’s site name. Many have thought if they could use a major brand name in part of their domain, it might trick customers into visiting their site, driving up traffic. This was actually a favorite trick of unscrupulous web developers in the early days of the Internet. But, with a deluge of trademark and copyright infringement lawsuits, and the purchase of many variations of popular brand names as domains, the practice has almost entirely fallen out of favor. It is much more likely that using a variation of a more well-known brand in your domain will not generate any more business for you, but could anger site visitors looking for the other company, attract lawsuits, and create a number of other headaches you would probably prefer to avoid.
Use the Goldilocks Approach
Finding the right domain name may be tricky. But, keeping these ideas in mind should put you on the right path. Take your time, think it through, and find a domain that is just right for your business or organization. Want to try out more than one variation? Buy them all and see which generates the best results. In the end, choosing the right domain name will be a mix of careful strategy, intuition, and a dash of your own personality.
Help with your brand color selection
Choosing colors for your brand shouldn’t be about your favorite color, but rather what you want your logo to say about your company. Here’s a crash course on color psychology and what the 100 most valuable brands in the world are doing.
How do companies pick logo colors?
People pick their logo colors for a wide variety of arbitrary reasons. Some choose their favorite color. Others like the color of their first car because of what it represented at the time. I originally picked purple as The Logo Factory‘s official color because it was my (now) wife’s favorite, purple and teal was a trendy color scheme at the time and red, my favorite, seemed a little garish for what I wanted to portray. Others take a toss-the-dice approach, hoping to stumble upon a color scheme that looks “nice” on a webpage. All fine and dandy, but colors mean things and if used effectively as part of a design philosophy, can add an entire new level of effectiveness to your logo and the brand that surrounds it.
How important are colors anyway?
The most valuable brands
We can take a look at the 100 most valuable brands in the world are doing and how they use color in their logos. These companies spend millions (often billions) on marketing and brand development and they KNOW a little something about the colors they’re using. There’s reasons why the most valuable brands in the world use mostly primary and secondary colors, a restricted palette of one or two colors, and (mostly) limit their colors to the bars at the head of this post. It all has to do with color psychology. Accordingly, here’s some diagrams that takes a look at some of that psychology, the stats of the top 100 brands and examples of logos, broken down nicely into their various color schemes:
What can we learn? A (slight) majority of the top brands are monochrome – they only use one color. The most utilized color is a shade of blue, followed (ironically) very closely by black. The color that gets the least use is purple. By a long shot. Now that we know that, let’s take a look at the psychology of various colors – descending order from most popular to least – and look at how they’re used by other famous corporations and brands.
What blue means: Trusted. Conservative. Staid. Dependable. Honesty. Calm. Secure. Cool.
Notable: Most popular corporate color. Used frequently for online businesses & financial institutions. Masculine color.
What black means: Sophisticated. Luxurious. Formality. Style. Elegance. Expensive. Authoritative.
Notable: Black is used by “high-end” brands as main or paired with another color. Black is somber, serious. Most logos are actually designed in black & white first.
What red means: Bold. Passion. Strength. Attention. Love. Exciting. Action. Aggressive.
Notable: Red works equally well on black and white backgrounds. Can mean stop, danger and hot. An exclamation color. Pinks (tints of red) are generally considered feminine colors.
What yellow means: Logical. Optimistic. Progressive. Confident. Playful. Creative.
Notable: Yellow is (generally) too bright a color to stand on its own and will require a secondary outline, background or bordering color. Universal caution color. Represents clarity.
What orange means: Happy. Energetic. Sociable. Friendly. Affordable. Enthusiastic. Sunny.
Notable: Orange is thought to stimulate appetite. Orange is used in some warning labels. Used frequently in retail. Often a “call to action.”
What green means: Nature. Wealth. Fresh. Life. Harmony. Environment. Growth. New.
Notable: Green means “go.” Used frequently to represent eco-friendly companies and products. Thought to be a calming color.
What purple means: Royalty. Mystery. Pomp. Ceremony. Creative. Unique. Majesty.
Notable: Once the most expensive color to reproduce (it was made from hard-to-find sea weed) purple is often viewed as “elitist.” Appeals to children and often used in candy and toy packaging.
What rainbow colors mean: Fun. Easy-going. Child-like. Internet. Multi-disciplinary. Authority.
Notable: Multi-colored and “rainbow” colored logos are a relatively new phenomenon due to the web and more economical four color printing. Represents a color-branding challenge.
01. Fresh & Bright
Fresh greenery and colorful blossoms make springtime a welcome sight after a long winter. This color palette features bright shades of green and coral that will make your design pop. These types of colors might be used for a spring- or summer-season event poster or perhaps an advertisement that wants to come across as fresh and youthful.
02. Subdued & Professional
Red and blue are some of the most common colors that businesses use for branding, and for good reason. Red says “confident and powerful,” while blue says “calming and trustworthy.” This palette offers a little bit of both, with slightly desaturated shades that aren’t overpowering. To the conservative blue and gray hues, the brick red shade adds a burst of extra color that is still professional. This would work well in any corporate context or for a more “serious” design project.
03. Dark & Earthy
Desert landscapes are full of dramatic contrasts, and so is this color scheme. For an unexpected color combination that is more toned down than bright and garish, try this pairing featuring shades of plum and reddish-orange.
04. Crisp & Dramatic
Iceland’s natural beauty is legendary, and this palette tries to capture its dramatic contrasts. The warm, grayish undertones of the top two colors contrast nicely with the cooler greens. A range of lighter and darker shades makes it easy to combine any two or three of the colors and have them still complement each other.
05. Cool Blues
Monochromatic color schemes (made up of the various tints, tones, or shades of one color) are extremely versatile. While this palette may not qualify as monochromatic according to the technical definition, for visual purposes, it creates a similar effect. With a color as multipurpose as blue, this combination could be used just about anywhere.
06. Outdoorsy & Natural
If you have a brand or need a design that emphasizes natural or “green” qualities, a color palette featuring greens and browns is a logical choice. Rather than your typical dull shades, this palette brightens things up with a splash of lime green.
07. Watery Blue-Greens
08. Primary Colors With a Vibrant Twist
09. Refreshing & Pretty
Crisp turquoise hues set off bright yellow and bubblegum pink for a palette almost reminiscent of Easter candy. If the pink makes the palette too “girly” for your design’s purposes, just leave it out and opt for the top two aqua shades plus the yellow for a bright, clean combination.
10. Playful Greens & Blues
The bluish shades at the top and bottom of this selection have gray undertones, which makes them almost neutral — a great foundation for playing with more daring tones like the lime green.
11. Fresh & Energetic
The almost neon shades of blue and green balance out the other two more conservative colors and add a bright freshness that gives the combination some kick. This kind of scheme might work well for a fitness brand or any design that needs to balance a businesslike feel with an energetic vibe.
12. Surf & Turf
This landscape features both warm and cool colors in both bright and subdued shades. The beachy, mellow color palette inspired by it draws from those contrasts for a combination that brings to mind relaxing island vacations — just one example of how we can associate color with certain places, moods, or emotions.
13. Autumn in Vermont
14. Icy Blues and Grays
Contrasting warm grays with cool, glacial blues makes for a dynamic color scheme that’s more visually interesting than your average combination of drab blues and grays. If you’re in need of a palette that’s more restrained, instead of opting for navy and dark gray, try these lighter, brighter hues.
15. Birds & Berries
16. Day & Night
17. Stylish & Retro
The muted shades of this color scheme have a vintage vibe, with the light aqua and gold particularly being colors that were popular in the 1950s and 60s. But that doesn’t mean this combination looks dated. These colors (and the mid-century modern aesthetic in general) have seen a resurgence in popularity and still look stylish.
18. Shades of Citrus
19. Sunset to Dusk
20. Bright & Tropical
21. Warm Naturals
22. Bold Berries
23. Summer Sunflower
This combination has an outdoor feel to it, like a summer baseball game: you have the red dirt of the baseball diamond, the green grass in the outfield, the bright sun in a blue sky overhead. However, it’s more subtle (and has more variety of color) than, say, the more obvious greens and browns in #6.
24. Modern & Crisp
Pairing black and white with bright, crisp shades of green makes for a modern palette that is sophisticated without being too serious. Instead of pairing red or blue with your black and white, freshen things up with some green.
25. Timeless & Nautical
Food & Drink
26. Neutral & Versatile
Neutral colors like the shades of gray and tan here are very versatile and can be paired with almost anything. A color scheme of all neutrals, however, can be quite nice, too. Depending on how you apply it to a design, it can be upscale and sophisticated (think branding for a luxury hotel) or calming and comfortable (think the décor of a favorite neighborhood coffee shop).
27. Cheerful Brights
28. Garden Fresh
29. Summer Barbeque
30. Berry Blues
31. Lemonade Stand
32. Serene & Spa-Like
Calming, spa-like greens and blue — great by themselves — look a little more lively with a splash of raspberry as an accent color. Adding a brighter or bolder accent color to a more restrained selection is a nice technique to liven up a color palette and give it a little extra interest.
33. Fun & Tropical
This happy blend of colors doesn’t take itself too seriously. Have a summer party invitation to design? Maybe a children’s event poster or advertisement? A palette like this one will make it clear where the fun is at.
34. Spicy Neutrals
Shades ranging from light to dark make it easy to apply this color palette to a design. There’s enough contrast that you can choose a background color, a text color, and an accent color or two just from these four.
Applications for a pastel palette will be somewhat limited — designs having to do with Easter, spring, babies, or tea parties are pretty safe choices. Pastel colors generally come across as pretty and delicate, so you’ll want to make sure your design calls for a similar mood if you want to use a color combination like this one.
36. Bold & Cultured
37. Sunny Citrus
38. Crisp Complementary Colors
Red and green is one of three pairs of complementary (or opposite) colors on the traditional color wheel; others include orange/blue and violet/yellow. When combined, these colors make a striking, high-contrast impression that can be a little jarring if you don’t use them carefully. That’s why, for this palette, the reds and greens have been balanced and toned down (not full saturation like the red and green you see on Christmas decorations) for a fresher twist on a complementary color palette.
39. Warm & Rustic
40. Neon Night
41. Jewel Tones
42. Polished & Inviting
Warm grays with a pop of golden yellow is a combination you’ll see sometimes in interior design and home décor contexts. It’s primarily neutral (and the warmness of the grays feels calming and inviting) but the yellow adds some cheerfulness and energy for an overall palette that’s refined but not stuffy.
43. Fresh Greens
44. Wintery Reds
Reminiscent of winter berries and bare branches against a snowy sky, this combination of colors would make a great alternative to your traditional Christmas or holiday palettes. The rich reds paired with violet-tinged grays feel festive, but sophisticated.
45. Summer Fiesta
46. Chocolaty Browns
Who says brown has to be boring? Add some red and violet undertones, and you have a full, rich color palette that — like these chocolate cupcakes — feels a little decadent.
47. Naturally Elegant
48. Cozy & Warm
49. Violet Sunset
50. Strawberries & Cream
The world of web design has changed quite a bit over the years and continues to evolve as mobile-friendly design becomes more of the rule rather than the exception. When it comes to choosing the right layout for your website, there are a number of factors to keep in mind including style, typography, imagery, user experience, performance and online ranking just to name a few.
It used to be that sites were built with fixed dimensions – that were meant to be viewed on a desktop screen only. Now there are variations based off this original idea to make room for the influx of mobile users. Your users are demanding to view your site – not only on a computer screen – but on a tablet or a mobile phone. As a result, three popular considerations for web page layout are: responsive, adaptive, and fluid design. While each of these web designs has similar features, they each have their sets of pros and cons.
Defining The Different Types of Design Types
Responsive: websites are built with media queries that target more general break points that scale images, wrap text and adjust layout accordingly. This is my prefered strategy when building websites.
Adaptive: websites are built with media queries that target specific device sizes (e.g. iPhone, iPad, Android, etc). One of the problems with an adaptive layout, is that as new devices get introduced your code will need to be updated. Which isn’t ideal.
Fluid: websites are built using percentages for widths. The concept of fluid design was being used way before Ethon Marcotte coined the term “responsive design.” It’s pretty safe to say, that fluid design evolved into responsive design.
Fixed: websites are built using fixed pixel widths. While a design with fixed dimensions can sometimes be the quickest way to get up and running, it’ll provide a less user friendly across multiple devices.
Diving in: Responsive vs. Adaptive Design
Responsive web design (RWD) is what is recommended and rewarded by Google. The search engine continues to change its algorithm to include the growing number of mobile users and take into consideration how a mobile-friendly site should and does rank higher than those that are not responsive. A responsive design can help ensure that your website provides both a good user experience and adequate load time when viewing on a phone, tablet, or other mobile devices.
However, many web designers and developers have debated whether adaptive web design (AWD) edges out responsive, especially for older sites that already have a strong domain and web history. Think about it: it wasn’t that long ago that we designed solely for desktop. As new mobile devices are created and different screen widths and resolutions become a factor, it’s important to be able to go back and make an existing site mobile-friendly rather than starting over from the beginning. Adaptive design allows for this.
AWD uses a series of static layouts and detects the screen size to load the layout to fit however it’s being viewed. Typically, there are six common screen widths that cover the different ways that a user might view a website. Although creating multiple widths for the design of one website might seem like extra work, in some cases, in can be better for the overall performance and display.
The benefits of an adaptive site is that you can measure which views and resolution options are performing best and alter design and development for the sizes that are getting the most online traffic. For example, if your site drives the majority of its traffic through desktop, than you’ll want to make sure that you’ve addressed all constraints such as site speed, usability, aesthetics, and media load time (when applicable) that a desktop user might experience. You can still add views for different types of mobile devices, but with adaptive design, efforts can be based on what is top priority.
Alternatively, the benefits of responsive design are that it takes far less work to build and maintain. It’s applicable for all screen sizes and will adjust accordingly. While responsive design is fluid and will adapt to the screen no matter what device you’re viewing the website on, this type of design is far more complex and can create issues depending on the amount of content and media on the site. This may slow load time and ultimately, hinders the user experience.
The designer must keep in mind the widths of images and different features that will appear differently when automatically “resized” as a person changes their view from mobile to tablet to desktop. In each case, it’s important to perform testing and QA on multiple devices. For new sites, responsive would be the easiest way to go, but for sites that already have a desktop build, adaptive would most likely be a better option due to its ability to retrofit.
How Fluid Design Compares
A third option is a fluid design, which has the same adaptability as both a responsive site and an adaptive site. Fluid design doesn’t use fixed units, as with static sites, but rather uses the same percentage of space no matter what screen you’re viewing the site on. It’s able to fill the width of a page, but this can create challenges depending on the size of the browser.
Say for instance you’re viewing a multi-column web layout on a smaller screen, like a mobile phone or a tablet, the content may seem to be crowded within the page. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, if you’re viewing on a large desktop or a smart TV for a presentation, the content can look stretched. The styles and features of a website will affect fluid design and may affect the amount of whitespace seen depending on what size screen you’re viewing the website on.
The benefits of fluid design are that it’s user-friendly because it adjusts to whatever device the viewer is looking at, same as responsive design. It’s definitely an improvement over a static design; although some designers might still argue that it doesn’t allow for as much control.
What to Consider When Choosing a Website Design
With so many similarities between these three types of design, how do you know which is best? In today’s business world, a person’s website might be the first point of contact that a consumer has with your product, business, and/or brand. This means that if the user experience is poor, it doesn’t leave a good impression to continue the business-to-consumer relationship. That’s why when deciding on which design is the best fit, your audience is the most important factor. Who’s viewing your site? Who do you want to view your site? And, what kind of device are they viewing your site on? These are some of the questions that you and your team need to analyze and then strategize for when developing a new site or altering your current one.
This information can be found through Google Analytics or even through basic focus group testing. If your analytics show a high bounce rate, your site might be loading too slowly, may not be aesthetically pleasing, or it may not have resized to their screen size. This way you can see which areas cause a person to leave your site.
The second thing to consider is whether you will be building a brand new site or working with an existing site. Most new sites are being built with responsive design, which is advantageous, again because of the increase in mobile traffic. Older sites can still transition to mobile, but may best do so by choosing an adaptive design.
Third, it’s a good idea to project your goals. The time it takes to launch or re-launch a website depends on the amount of design time and optimization necessary to make your site fully functional across all mediums. It also requires the strength of a good development team who can code accordingly and across multiple layouts.
Then, of course, there’s the importance of considering how a site design will affect your search engine optimization goals. How much content will you be placing on the home page? How will the navigation be designed to benefit user experience? What resolution do images need to be? Will there be video?
No matter which design you choose, know that every designer will have a slightly different take on why responsive is better than adaptive or why fluid is equal to either of the two. The key goals to keep in mind are: desired functionality, adaptability to mobile, and the overall user experience.
The power of a logo to elicit an emotional response can have a resounding effect on the way customers and potential customers view a particular product, service or company. A powerful logo may look simple but there’s nothing simple about creating effective logo shapes.
Be aware that the logo shapes used to portray the most visible brands in our culture have not been chosen by chance – there are some powerful psychological forces at work. In this article we’ll take a look at how the informed use of shapes can be used to give your logo the desired resonance.
How humans view logo shapes
Our subconscious minds respond in different ways to different logo shapes. Straight lines, circles, curves and jagged edges all imply different meanings and so a skilled logo designer can use shape to infer particular qualities about the brand. Think, for example, of the Nike Swoosh: the combination of curves ending in a sharp point offers a strong suggestion of movement.
Particular logo shapes send out particular messages:
- Circles, ovals and ellipses tend to project a positive emotional message. Using a circle in a logo can suggest community, friendship, love, relationships and unity. Rings have an implication of marriage and partnership, suggesting stability and endurance. Curves on any sort tend to be viewed as feminine in nature.
- Straight edged logo shapes such as squares and triangles suggest stability in more practical terms and can also be used to imply balance. Straight lines and precise logo shapes also impart strength, professionalism and efficiency. However, and particularly if they are combined with colours like blue and grey, they may also appear cold and uninviting. Subverting them with off-kilter positioning or more dynamic colours can counter this problem and conjure up something more interesting.
- It has also been suggested that triangles have a good association with power, science, religion and law. These tend to be viewed as masculine attributes, so it’s no coincidence that triangles feature more prominently in the logos of companies whose products have a masculine bias.
- Our subconscious minds associate vertical lines with masculinity, strength and aggression, while horizontal lines suggest community, tranquillity and calm.
- The implications of shape also extend to the typeface chosen. Jagged, angular typefaces may appear as aggressive or dynamic; on the other hand, soft, rounded letters give a youthful appeal. Curved typefaces and cursive scripts tend to appeal more to women, while strong, bold lettering has a more masculine edge.
How to apply logo shape psychology
Before you start designing a logo for your client, write down a list of values and attributes that the logo should convey. (This is one of the reasons you need to get to know your client and their business as well as you possibly can.) Ask your client to compile a list of corporate values or take a close look at their mission statement.
Once you have a feel for the message the logo needs to disseminate, you will be able to look at how to match this up with not only logo shapes, but also colours and typefaces as well. Use these three elements in combination to your advantage: for example, if you pick a strong shape but find it too masculine, then introduce a colour or colours that will tone down the male aspect.
To extend your use of psychology to a deeper level, brush up on the Gestalt theories of German psychologists from the 1920s. They hold that the human brain unifies the visual elements it sees to form a whole that carries significantly more meaning. People form patterns out of similarly shaped objects, while objects that differ from the group become a focal point of the image.
Another Gestalt principle, closure, is often used in logo design; this is when an object is incomplete but there is enough detail for the human eye to make the whole picture. A good example of this is the panda logo used by the WWF, shown above.
The logo shapes you incorporate into your designs become an intrinsic element in the message they will convey to the company’s customers and the wider public. Once you understand the psychology behind logo shapes you will be able to use this knowledge to create powerful brands for your clients.
In the world of logo design, a shape is never just a shape. In fact, the importance of shapes is one of the reasons that logo design is both an art and a science. The shapes you choose to make up your logo can make or break your brand.
While the majority of your customers might not be aware of the psychological reactions they have to the shapes that make up their favorite logos, the effect is real. Shapes influence the way we think of brands and companies in dozens of subtle ways. Picking the right logo requires understanding the messages that shapes send and picking the best shapes to represent your brand.
The Psychology of Shapes
Let’s start by examining the psychology of shapes. Shapes play an important role in branding. If you doubt the truth of that statement, take a moment to think about how many logos you are able to recognize even without a company name – or any lettering at all.
- The Nike swoosh
- The Apple apple with a bite taken out of it
- McDonald’s Golden Arches
- The Starbucks mermaid
These logos are recognized around the world. Why? Because they use shapes wisely. Let’s break it down.
The Psychology of Circles
Circles are, by definition, inclusive. A circle has no beginning and no end. It is encompassing and also welcoming.
Culturally speaking, circles may represent marriage, commitment, community, friendship, and unity. They also represent acceptance.
Curved shapes, including circles, are also viewed as feminine in nature. Interlocking circles or rings may represent strength and solidarity.
We designed the above logo for a charity that works to destigmatize mental illness. It is a good example of the effective use of circles. It uses an overall circular shape combined with several smaller circles.
The Psychology of Squares and Rectangles
Squares and rectangles tend to be viewed as gender-neutral shapes that also convey a sense of stability and strength.
Any brand that wants to send a message of solidity and conservatism should consider using a square or rectangle in their logo. Squares also convey professionalism and efficiency, but they may be seen as somewhat boring or unimaginative, too.
Some logos that use square shapes combine them with interesting colors or other shapes to prevent them from seeming dull or unimaginative.
This logo is one we designed for a law firm. The overall shape is square and conservative, but the choice of a round and somewhat feminine font for the middle initial, and the softer italic font for the firm’s tag line, keeps the logo from seeming stodgy.
The Psychology of Triangles
Finally, the third basic logo shape is the triangle. Where circles are seen as feminine, triangles are considered to be a masculine shape.
Triangles also convey a sense of movement. They may represent energy or danger, and are often chosen to represent religion, law, or science.
Companies that choose triangles for their logos may be seen as more innovative than companies that choose squares or circles. Look at this logo we designed for a technology company:
It uses a series of interlocking triangles. The diagonal lines combined with the word “square” in the company name send a message of reliability combined with innovation.
How to Choose the Right Shapes for Your Logo
To choose the best logo shape for your company, you must think about your company and the message you want to convey. To do that, you should look at three basic considerations.
Shapes by Industry
The first consideration is your industry. Companies that are in service-oriented industries such as charity, child care, and education may choose circles because they convey warmth and inclusion. The shape underscores a company’s commitment to service.
Likewise, companies in finance, insurance, and other conservative industries are likely to choose squares or rectangles to represent themselves. The hallmark of companies in these industries is trust. Selecting squares and rectangles helps to reassure potential clients.
Triangles, as mentioned previously, are often used for religious, scientific, and legal companies. The triangle may represent tradition or innovation, and can also represent the intersection of multiple ideas or groups.
Shapes by Emotion
Feelings and emotions play an important role in branding and marketing. While we all like to believe that we make buying decisions with our logical minds, the truth is that many of those decisions come down to a feeling. For that reason, you may want to consider the emotions evoked by the shapes in your logo.
Triangles convey excitement, risk, and danger. A company that specializes in leading adventure trips or is known for its innovation might very well want to select a triangle to represent them. Triangles also have a mystical symbolism that many people associate with religion. For example, Catholic groups often use a triangle because it represents the Holy Trinity.
Circles convey comfort, love, understanding, and inclusion. They tend to send a message of compassion. It is very common for non-profit organizations, environmental companies, schools and educational companies, and companies catering to women and children to choose circles. Variations on circles, such as ovals and semi-circles, send a similar emotional message.
Squares convey discipline, strength, and courage. They may sometimes be seen as a bit boring, but customers who want strength without fear may respond very well to a square or rectangular shape. Financial institutions often choose squares, as do construction companies who want customers to feel safe and secure.
Of course, many logos combine the emotional impact of shapes. If you want to convey both inclusion and solidity, you might choose a circular shape enclosed in a square.
Internal vs. External Shapes
It’s important to think about the internal shapes in your logo as well as the overall shape when considering the emotional impact of your logo. Some logos use a combination of shapes. For example, a financial services company might use an overall square shape, but combine it with a circle if they want to appeal to families.
Likewise, a company that chooses an energetic shape like a triangle might want to temper it with a softer shape to offset the sense of danger that a triangular logo might create. There’s no hard and fast rule, but you should be thinking about the shapes you choose from various angles before you make a final decision.
Examples of Logos that Use Shapes Effectively
To finish, let’s look at a couple of logos that use shapes effectively, taking into consideration all that we’ve discussed.
This first logo is one we designed for an educational company. You may notice that the overall shape of the logo is a rectangle. As mentioned earlier, the rectangle conveys strength, solidity, and reliability.
However, this logo also uses an internal shape, a circular image of the globe that both echoes the company’s name and softens the impact of the rectangle.
The combined effect is one that represents strength and community. It sends the message that this company has a sense of tradition, but also understands that education brings people together. It’s a powerful message.
Now let’s look at another logo. This is a logo we designed for a company in the aviation industry:
This logo is interesting because it combines both masculine and feminine elements. The overall shape is a circle. Remember, that’s a feminine shape that sends a message of inclusion and warmth.
However, inside the circle is a shape that’s distinctly and even aggressively masculine. The rocket, which our designer captured blasting off, represents strength, innovation, excitement, and danger.
What is the message here? Overall, this logo highlights something that might be seen as dangerous – space flight – but combines it with the comforting circle shape. The logo demonstrates that this is a company that:
- Embraces innovation
- Takes chances
- Acts fearlessly
- Understands safety concerns
- Embraces a sense of inclusion
That’s a lot to get across in one logo, but you can see how the shapes – which might seem to be at odds with one another – work together to accurately represent this company’s brand and message.
As you consider your logo and make decisions about which shapes to include, keep these examples in mind. If one shape doesn’t completely suit you, ask if combining it with a second shape might be effective. And of course, you can bring other shapes into the mix as well.
Some of the more specific shapes that our designers use include:
- Shields, which represent safety and reliability
- Books, which represent knowledge and learning
- Clouds, which can represent the environment and also cloud storage
- Leaves and trees, which represent the environment and nature, as well as agriculture
This is just a small sampling, but it should help give you an idea of some of the choices that are available to you.
When you choose a logo for your company, you must be aware of the powerful impact of the shapes you choose to include. Just as the colors and fonts that make up your logo can help attract new customers, the shapes you pick can too. Working with our designers insures that you’ll end up with the best possible logo to represent your brand.