Psychology of Shapes: Study on the influence of shapes


Did you get confused after seeing the title? Of course, that is normal. Because, here you can see how the shapes and designs are connected with the psychology. Or may be the psychology behind the shapes in designs.

To design user-friendly interfaces, an understanding of psychology would be helpful. Let us examine the significance of various forms and how they affect design concepts.

Any composition that uses images must consider how viewers will react to it, if it needs to be successful. A wide range of elements affects human perception. But psychology plays a vital role. We have already covered the usage of psychological concepts in design in one of our articles and explored how they might be helpful in the process of user comprehension.

The psychology of shapes is the topic that we are going to explore. See what this field of research entails and how it may assist designers in their work.

The psychology behind different shapes

Every visual item may be examined based on its form. For instance, the sun is frequently shown as a circle with lines surrounding it, whereas the typical house may be interpreted as a rectangle with a triangle on top. Even if people may not always be aware of the forms and figures around them, they won’t have a significant influence on our consciousness and conduct. The psychology of forms is a branch of research that examines how shapes affect humans.

According to the study, each form has a unique significance and has a varied effect on how our minds and bodies respond. Psychological exams are widely employed in order to describe a person’s personality and forms can be used to explain mental states too. For instance, a person’s favorite figure can reveal aspects of their personality and a rapidly selected form can reveal what’s on their mind.

Meaning of geometric forms

When most people hear the term “shape,” they immediately think of geometrical shapes. People see several geometric forms daily, such as squares, circles, and rectangles. But what do they mean? Let us check what it is.

Rectangles and Squares

Rectangle and Square are believed to be the most often utilized forms. This is as we encounter them again every day. Many commonplace objects, including furniture, books, monitors, cameras, cell phones, and many more objects, have square or rectangular forms. These two forms of straight lines and right angles convey dependability and security. Squares and Rectangles are frequently associated with structures. It is due to the trust and authority they evoke.

Typical meanings of Rectangles and Squares are that:

  • Regulation or Discipline
  • Strength
  • Courage
  • Security
  • Reliability


Triangles have a strong connection to motion and direction since they are active and dynamic shapes. Our eyes naturally travel to the top of a triangle or in the direction it is located because of the placement of the lines. Triangles may signify a variety of things. An upright triangle inspires thoughts of balance and stability, but an inverted triangle is perilous and appears to be about to fall, making people feel anxious.

Common descriptions:

  • Excitement
  • Risk
  • Danger
  • Balance
  • Stability

Ovals, Ellipses, and Circles 

Due to its eternal nature and lack of beginning or finish, this form has an emphasis on eternity. The sun, earth, and other celestial bodies have long been associated with the circle and the cosmos as a whole is represented by the ellipse. Spherical forms evokes the impression of enchantment and mystery. Circles also lack angles, making them softer and gentler than the previous forms, which is another difference.

Common meanings these shapes convey are:

  • Eternity
  • Female
  • Universe
  • Magic
  • Mystery


Various flowers and shells are frequently connected to the cycle of life and development. Because, they are frequently found in nature. Spirals may also stand for information or wisdom in various civilizations. In contemporary culture, they are seen as an indication of inventiveness and a new mindset.

Usually conveyed meanings are:

  • Growth
  • Creativity
  • Calmness
  • Intelligence

Naturally Occurring Shapes 

Mother Nature’s creations are all distinct in their shapes. Artists and designers get inspiration from a variety of flora and wildlife, including leaves, flowers, trees, animals, and many more. Natural forms have distinct symbolic significance for the plants and animals they represent. They frequently produce a sense of renewal and kinship with the natural world. Additionally, both plants and animals can have unique traits and symbols. For instance, a rose represents love and passion, but a lion represents pride and bravery, but this is another subject altogether.

Typical meanings of such shapes are:

  • Originality
  • Organic
  • Balance
  • Refreshment

Meaning of abstract forms 

Typically, they have reduced approximations of natural forms or abstract notions represented visually. Because they are stylized and only minor elements provide a clue as to what they are. Certain abstract forms might be too challenging to identify. Frequently, one abstract form can have literal and metaphorical interpretations. In graphic design, it is frequently employed, particularly for logos and icons. Without language, abstract forms are a quick and efficient method to communicate.

Some common definitions are:

  • Both sides of a meaning
  • Uniqueness
  • Elaborate
  • Refreshment

How Forms Are Psychologically Used by Designers 

In all design directions, shapes are crucial components. Furthermore, they may act as both a means of content organization that classifies or unites design elements into groups as well as aspects of a visual composition. While creating advanced designs, the significance of forms and their effect on users’ minds must be taken into account by designers.

Small yet significant components like logos and symbols are frequently the focus of graphic designers. The proper message, which would act as the brand voice, must be conveyed via a strong logo. If a logo’s forms are properly chosen, they can help to express the desired mood without the use of extra words. For instance, when designing a financial company’s logo, one strategy may be to use geometric forms, such as squares or triangles, that evoke a sense of stability and confidence.

User Interfaces

User interfaces for digital products frequently have different forms. Along with arranging the material on the layout, the different forms can be utilized as buttons or icons. For example, text blocks are frequently grouped in a rectangle or square form. This allows users to scan copies rapidly. 

A product’s information architecture can be effectively created by designers and this is made possible using a variety of forms. This is done in order to make it simple for users to locate important information.

The layout’s components may be organized in a certain way. People’s attention will naturally go toward the peak. For instance, if the information is arranged into a triangle shape with the important element at the tip.


Typography heavily draws on the psychology of forms. There are many different fonts and each one has a unique effect on how something is perceived visually. In contrast to those with straight lines and sharp angles, which are more formal and occasionally confrontational, certain types use round forms as dominating elements and thus appear more feminine and benign. To prevent a conflict between the context and visual presentation, it is crucial to pay attention to which forms dominate a chosen typeface.

To sum up, the study of psychology aids in preparing designers and providing them with a fundamental understanding of how the brain functions. Designers can produce effective logos and user interfaces for online and mobile products by understanding the psychology of forms.