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Bespoke Web Design – Part 2

The use of shapes in design

Bespoke Web Design – Part 2

Choosing colours and shapes that reflect your brand

In the last article we looked at colour selection and the use of colour wheels to help choose colours that complement each other. If you haven’t read it yet then you can do so by clicking here. In this article we’re going to talk a bit about shapes and how they can be used with colour to strengthen your brands message.

Let’s start with a cliché, a picture speaks a thousand words, now what that means in this context is that using the right shapes can reinforce the message you’re trying to suggest. The right shape combined with the right colours will have real visual impact on visitors to your website, get it right and they will understand what you’re trying to say and they’re more likely to buy.

How do you decide which is the right shape for you?

Well that really depends on what you’re offering and what you’re trying to say, so to help below are some shapes and their meanings. There is an endless number and variety of shapes, so for the purpose of this article I’m going to stick to the basic two dimensional shapes to keep things simple.

Essentially there are three types of basic shapes:

Geometric Shapes – These are the most familiar shapes to us. Shapes like squares, circles, rectangles, triangles etc.

Geometric shapes suggest order, efficiency, stability, security and honesty. On their own they can seem quite mundane, but add colour and an angled position and these shapes have energy, power and strength. These shapes are perhaps more suited to a modern progressive tech type company than an older institution.

Natural Shapes – These shapes tend to be found in nature, for example clouds, leaves and pebble shapes, perhaps best described as freeform shapes.

They are comforting and pleasing to look at, generally have more curves and are irregular in nature. For web pages and logos, designers tend to manipulate images and photographs for an organic feel. This technique is ideal for businesses that promote growth and transformation.

Abstract Shapes – These shapes are generally recognisable but clearly not “real” shapes. Quite often they are stylised organic shapes, like a stick man which is an abstract version of a real person.

More commonly used to represent an idea, many have become universally recognised like some of the social media icons. The use of abstract shapes is common in logo design or when space is an issue an abstract icon is the perfect solution.

In the last article in this series I’m going to tell you what meaning there is behind the most common colours and demonstrate how they, combined with the right choice of shape, truly do speak a thousand words.

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Paul Brooks
  • Lovetta
    Posted at 19:57h, 04 December Reply

    Your post, Bespoke web design – part 2 | Media Identity, is really well written and insightful. Glad I found your website, warm regards from Lovetta!

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