02 Oct What Shapes Mean in Financial Logo Design
Shapes form an important part of financial logos, as they are crucial in setting the tone for your financial services business. If you are considering a logo design, therefore, you need to think about this aspect of the final visual presentation carefully in partnership with your logo designer.
Several studies have now shown that certain shapes hold particular associations in the minds of your target audience. As a result, they need to be used carefully within the overall logo design. Used correctly, they can greatly amplify your brand message and values. Used incorrectly, however, they can dramatically undermine them.
So, adding a rectangle instead of a circle to your logo not only changes its presentation. It will affect how mind brains understand and perceive it.
Yet it is also important to bear in mind that things are not completely clear-cut here. Shapes do not typically sit in isolation within a financial logo design. They are typically paired with colours, imagery and fonts which can cause the shape to be perceived differently.
Will that all said, let’s look at some of the general ways shapes impact audiences when used in a logo:
Square & Rectangle Financial Logos
Broadly speaking, squares and rectangles provide a sense of security to the mind. They encourage feels of balance and stability, which therefore makes them popular with financial advisers, who understandably often wish to stress those two brand values to current and potential clients.
Due to the sharp edges of these shapes, squares and rectangles are often considered “stronger” or “bolder” than shapes with softer/no edges. They can communicate a sense of brand strength, high standards and working efficiency.
That all said, the prevalence of these shapes does mean that often, they are overlooked or unnoticed by audiences when they look at a financial logo. So, if you’re going to use them in your logo design, think carefully about how you can prevent the shapes from losing their potential impact.
Spiral / Organic Financial Logos
These kinds of shapes are hard to classify together, as there’s often so much variation! However, their common feature is that they tend to have a hand-drawn feel to them.
As a result, these financial logos often catch people’s attention through the use of surprise. Often, these shapes have a more rounded or even circular look to them, as well.
All of these features together make this kind of shape rarer amongst financial advisers’ logos. The shapes can often be seen as a bit riskier to adopt. The element of surprise, after all, can be a good thing or a negative thing. Yet when used correctly, organic financial logos can communicate a high sense of brand originality, making it more memorable.
These shapes can also bring out values which are also important to financial advisers, such as a human touch, care, close relationships and a sense of nurture.
Triangle Financial Logos
Triangles are an interesting shape within the discussion about financial logo design, as their orientation greatly affects how the shape is perceived by your target audience.
For instance, using a triangle in your logo which faces downwards is usually – but not always – a bad idea. This is because the shape looks like it’s going to topple over. This sense of instability is not usually the kind of message that a financial adviser wants to convey to current and potential clients!
That said, these triangles can work well when placed in an appropriate context – such as between two triangle which sit on their base. Both types can also be used as letter substitutes (i.e. “A” and “V”).
The latter type of triangle is an interesting choice for financial firms. Triangles in general tend to evoke feelings of aggression in people, as well as a sense of tension, speed, motion, conflict and flux.
Sometimes these values can be appropriate for a financial firm. For instance, some IFAs wish to highlight their ability to adapt to different financial market conditions, delivering results and good financial stewardship for their clients regardless of what storms may come.
In general, however, triangles need to be used carefully within the financial adviser world. In general, we have found that IFA’s clients want to feel looked after, cared for, secure and stable. These values are difficult to bring out through isolated use of triangles. Although, when used in combination with other design features in the logo, they can be used effectively to create something quite unique.
Circular Financial Logos
Circles offer a very distinct approach to a financial services logo design.
Due to their lack of edges, they are generally perceived by people as a “softer” shape. This generally causes people to regard circles as more “feminine” in character, whilst triangles are broadly seen as a more “masculine” shape.
Circles tend to convey a sense of protection and completeness. Due to the never-ending line involved with a circle, the shape also creates a sense of endurance and security.
Placing multiple circles next to one another can be a powerful way of communicating a feeling of community and togetherness through your logo (think of the Olympics logo).
All in all, it’s hardly surprising that circles are a popular shape in financial advisers’ logos. They convey a lot of qualities which IFAs tend to want to broadcast.
Yet circles are not for everyone. Your financial brand may not sit comfortably with circles, for instance, if your wider visual identity is quite “sharp” and “masculine”. Circles are also often overlooked by your audience – similar to squares and rectangles – due to their prevalence.
You therefore need to carefully consider how to bring out the character of your circle shapes in your logo, so they don’t get lost within the design. At the same time, you generally don’t want one feature of your logo – e.g. the shapes – to over dominate the other aesthetic features. Working with an experienced, qualified graphic designer who specialises in financial services can be a huge help here.
If you’re interested in speaking with us about a logo design for your financial service firm, please get in touch via phone or our online form. We’d love to hear about your project!