Use shapes to tell your story
Shapes have different meanings. It is very important to understand their meaning in order to portray the right message in each visual communication.
The use of geometric shapes is generally preferred in logos’ creation. Indeed, they will do better than what we can do as humans. To perform logos or designs, it is therefore advised to use strength lines and basic shapes and then to use shape builder tools to remove extra traits.
But knowing shapes’ meanings is not only helpful for graphic design, but also in any kind of visual marketing like with photography or videography. In a photography or videography setting, shapes can be used through the objects forms or through the poses of the models and actors. Moreover, keeping in mind and playing with various scales gives also additional meaning.
1. Basic Shapes
Let’s now dive into the basic shapes’ meanings. They are usually so common in our life, and from such a young age, that we do take them for granted and we even may not notice them and the messages they convey. However, the message is still there and we interpret it without realizing it.
Rectangles and Squares
Safety, Stability, Assurance
Completion and Wholeness, Powerful in the way it can represent a lots of different objects when simplified
Triangles pointing up
Stability and Power
Triangles pointing down
More about Triangles
Combinations of triangles can also create other shapes, including all the basic ones in this part.
2. Other symbols
Polygons (pentagons, hexagons, octagons), shapes symbols (e.g. stars, validation marks, crosses, flags), arrows and other symbols, icons or emojis are other ways to communicate and pass a message. They wear a big symbolism as well. Nonetheless, these symbols do take a big part of your attention and can easily make us feel like the page is over-crowded. Therefore, this has to be taken into consideration when adding them in the picture.
Simple traits also are used to add structure to an image or redirect attention, as the lines of perspective in a photo for example. In that matter, bold traits tend to show strength and thin ones tend to be more playful.
3. A bigger picture
Some other shapes are a non dispensable tool to know your compositions. In fact, knowing these tools exist will allow you either to follow them and do great compositions, or not to do it and also excel, but you will understand why you did not do it. The shapes described here are not about shapes you add visually in your picture, but more shapes defining “rules” of compositions. The rule of third is well known, giving some information to where the eyes of a person will look more specifically. This is also given by the “Z” or “F” shapes. Finally, we can also cite the Fibonacci sequence that is based on the golden ratio and is known to give captivating pictures. This sequence is used in all kinds of artistic work, from hairdressers, to painters, graphic designers and photographers.
4. A last word?
The last word of this blog would be to use shapes to balance your visual communication.
Yes, there is a whole section “only” for this. This sentence above is actually describing what needs to be said. Sometimes more is less. You need to find the right balance for your communication.