The Fundamentals of Shapes in Graphic Design [A Comprehensive Guide]

The Fundamentals of Shapes in Graphic Design A Comprehensive Guide

Visual communication is key in capturing the audience’s attention through content. The picture tells the whole story and keeps the viewer excited and hooked.


One of those crucial elements of graphic design that holds the key to capturing attention is shapes. Different kinds of shapes portray different meanings. 


This post will help you understand how shapes can make your graphic design stand out. 


Types of Shapes

Shapes are one of the most important parts of any graphic design. You can use them to create logos, icons, illustrations, and infographics. Shapes are basically used to evoke emotions, create visual interest, convey a message or meaning, or even organize content. 


Let’s look at different types of shapes and see how we can use them effectively in the following section:

A. Geometric Shapes

These are the shapes that you can create using a ruler and compass. They are mostly accurate and in order and can bring a sense of stability and strength within you. Squares, rectangles, triangles, ovals, and circles are some of the common geometric shapes.


B. Organic Shapes

Organic shapes are something that is not regular and free-flowing. These are usually found in nature and can create a sense of motion, energy, and growth. Some examples of organic shapes are clouds, trees, mountains, and flowers.

How to Use Shapes Effectively in Graphic Design

Below are a few important factors that you need to consider when using shapes in graphic design:

1. Purpose

What are you trying to achieve with the shape? Are you trying to convey some message through that? Or do you want to create something that’s visually appealing? 


Once you know and figure out the purpose, it becomes easy for you to choose the right shapes. The best way to understand the right usage of shapes in graphic design is by opting for top online courses. With the right online graphic design course, you can easily learn to design top-quality graphics without any issues. 


2. Audience

Whom are you designing for? What kind of style do they like or prefer? What sort of cultural ties do they have with different shapes? For example, the color red symbolizes love and passion in Western cultures and anger and danger in some Eastern cultures. 


Here are some tips on how to use shapes in graphic design:


  • Use shapes to organize and streamline your thoughts. For example, use bold and large shapes to draw focus to a particular feature in your design.
  • You can create contrasting and visually appealing shapes. The contrasting colors or textures make your shapes stand out.
  • Shapes can be used to convey certain emotions and messages. Let us consider that if you want to convey something that’s close to solidity and strength, then you can use geometric shapes. Similarly, if you want to express something that’s lively and energetic, then you can opt for organic shapes. 
  • You can also use shapes to organize the content and make it easy to read and understand. For example, you can use a certain shape as an infographic where you’ll find lots of important information organized and easy to read.

The Psychology of Shapes

As discussed earlier, different shapes evoke different emotions in a viewer. In this section, we will look at all the most used shapes in graphic design and see which shape evokes what kind of emotion.


  • Squares: Strength, stability, order, reliability
  • Rectangles: Efficiency, organization, professionalism
  • Triangles: Movement, dynamism, excitement
  • Circles: Unity, harmony, wholeness
  • Ovals: Femininity, sweetness, grace
  • Clouds: Softness, lightness, dreaminess
  • Mountains: Strength, stability, grandeur
  • Trees: Growth, life, nature
  • Flowers: Beauty, femininity, fragility


If you are designing a logo for a tech company, you would ideally want to design a logo using geometric shapes like squares and rectangles. The reason for that is these two symbols showcase stability and how reliable the company is. 


Similarly, if you are designing for a toy company, you would ideally want to use organic shapes. Shapes like circles and ovals convey a sense of excitement and happiness.


The Bottom Line

The choice of shapes in graphic design depends completely on the individual’s choice. There has to be a purpose behind the choice and you need to be aware of the kind of audience you are targeting. 


The more you have clarity on what you want to achieve through the shapes, the better you can utilize it in the best possible way. All in all, make sure to understand the need of the hour and the psychology of your target audience before making a choice!


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The Fundamentals of Shapes in Graphic Design Guide

If you found this post useful you might like to read these post about Graphic Design Inspiration.


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