3 Shapes of Logos

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Logos, logos, logos

Logos are everywhere. We can’t get dressed, watch TV or get on the internet without seeing logos. As soon as we wake up in the morning we are bombarded by logos. We see, on average 15,000 ads, logos or labels everyday. Some are abstract. Some are circular in shape. A few may be just a word. Regardless, logos are an important part of a brand and deciding on the right type is important because people purchase products based on their perceived value versus their actual value. But what types of logos are there? And what do the shapes and styles convey? Here are the different types of logos, what emotions they inspire, what industries they are used in and what associations they have.

Simple Logo Shapes

Circle and Oval Logos

The circle is used in one out of five popular logos and symbolizes community, friendship, stability, and unity. People consider brands with a circle-shaped identity as comfortable, and with an angular one – as durable.

The circle is so versatile that it is used as a symbol of various companies including non-profit organizations, retailers, restaurants, finance companies, and many others. 

The most iconic circle logo, the Olympic rings. 

Triangle Logos

Triangular structures are considered the most stable and safe. However, due to variations in the combination of angles and position of the figure in space, this form can be perceived differently.

For example, angles directed upwards symbolize stability and balance. Angles directed right symbolize direction, energy and progress. Downward angles represent creativity and a sense of individualism..

Triangles are used by innovative, courageous, energetic companies focused on the youth audience.

Square Logos
Square logos are usually perceived as symbols of order, confidence, and structure. The reason is that quadrilateral shapes with straight lines and corners are reminiscent of structures related to safety and security (houses, safes, bricks, and fences). This design is suitable for brands that need to look serious and professional, such as banks, insurance companies, or law firms.
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Line Style Logo Shapes

Lines as well as rectangles convey the idea of reliability and professionalism. They can symbolize movement and dynamics. However, depending on the direction, these elements convey the brand’s character in different ways. In addition, the shape that lines form, such as a circle or an abstraction, is also important.

Vertical Line Logos

Vertical lines are associated with strength and sophistication as in the Allianz Insurance logo where the lines symbolize their three key business areas: life, property and asset management.

The Allianz logo has evolved over time from an eagle emblem to a stylized vertical logo.

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Horizontal Line Logos
hour23design north myrtle beach website design 3 types of logos

Horizontal lines create a feeling of balance, speed and protection. For example, the logo of IBM, is made of eight blue stripes that signifies the 8-bit system. The line themselves represent speed and dynamics. 

Angled / Intersecting Line Logos

Angled and intersecting lines are a less common variation. The symbolize energy, dynamics and movement. On the Adidas mountain logo, the angled line trio was arranged into a mountain shape to represent an obstacle to overcome.

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Curved Line Logos
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Curved lines are a great way to renew your logo by adding dynamics to it. This type of graphics can be embodied in abstractions and recognizable symbols.

Curves allow you to effectively convey the uniqueness of the company. Take the Nike logo for example. In Greek Mythology, Nike is the Winged Goddess of Victory. The logo is derived from the goddess’ wing “swoosh”, which symbolizes the sound of speed, movement and power.

Complex Logo Shapes

Pictorial Logos

Pictorial logos represent an object from the real world. They create a sense of comfort, creativity and openness. 

The legendary Paramount logo displaying a mountain surrounded by 22 stars has a debated theory on the meaning.  The mountain represents a mountain in Utah in which Paramount’s founder saw while traveling. 

The iconic star halo represents the original 22 actors that were contracted to work for the studio in 1916.

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Abstract Logos
hour23design north myrtle beach website design 3 types of logos

Abstract logos are oftentimes a combination of multiple shapes and/or symbols. They convey a sense of mystery, creativity and spontaneity.  

Take the Mitsubishi logo for example. The name “Mitsubishi” is a combination of the words ‘mitsu’ and ‘hishi’. Mitsu means three and hishi means water chestnut. The logo is suggestive of the three-leaf crest of an Ancient Japanese clan.

Mascot Logos

A mascot logo is one that bears an image of an identifiable brand ambassador, often in the form of a cartoon. Mascot logos are designed to be relatable, giving an audience an easy way to connect with and understand the company.

Even the Pringles man logo has an Easter egg hidden inside. The shape of Mr. Pringles head repeats the shape of the famous potato chip brand. The yellow color lettering was to represent the color of the snack chip.

hour23design north myrtle beach website design 3 types of logos
Emblem Logos
hour23design north myrtle beach website design 3 types of logos

Emblem logos represent legacy, class, power and tradition. Associations with an emblem logo include crests, placards and shields.

The classic Ferrari shield is a great example of an emblem logo. The Cavallino Rampante symbolizes fierce passion, courage, and command.

The canary yellow background was inspired by the color of Enzo Ferrari’s hometown, Modena, and the colors of the Italian flag have appeared on every Maserati logo since that time.


Ultimately, there’s no common logo suited to every brand. There are numerous great logo options out there, and the right one for you will depend on the kind of business you want to build.

Remember, getting your logo right first time around will save you a lot of time and headaches in the long-term, as well as cash associated with rebranding.

Contact us today for help building the perfect logo from the start.

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