What Logo Shapes Mean, Part 2: the Square

A square is the complete opposite of a circle. It’s made completely of straight lines and right angles.

Squares suggest sturdiness and organization. Think of building foundations and blocks/areas of land.

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foundation

 

While circular shapes are mostly found in nature, squares are mostly found in manmade structures.

Squares are building blocks in architecture and in education. You developed a connection to squares as a child if you played with blocks of wood, or hopscotch. Squares helped you learn your ABC’s, colors, geometry and more.

child-with-blocks

hopskotch

Because squares and rectangles are such a familiar shape, you trust it.  More than likely, you rely on a share-shaped piece of furniture to support your belongings and your body weight on a daily basis.

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Companies that want to inspire trust, stability and strength often have square-shaped logos. This is common among banks and other financial institutions.

Let’s take a look at popular square/rectangle-shaped logos and the messages they communicate.


 

1. Trust

hr-block-inc-logo

 

The H&R Block Logo has been a bright green square since 1999. Founded by Henry and Richard Bloch in 1955, the company has delivered over 600 million tax returns and has added additional financial services.

According to H&R Block associate Neil Getzlow, the logo is “fresh. It’s different. It’s unexpected from Block.”

Financial institutions do not typically use fresh bright colors in their logo. H&R Block did the opposite, setting them apart instantly with a fresh spring green color. The logo’s color, along with its square shape, suggests forward thinking.

If the H&R Block logo could talk, it would say “trust our reputation and our modern approach to handling your finances.” 

 

2. Planning and Structure

 

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The Home Depot empowers and supplies customers with the tools they need to take charge of their own home improvement projects at an affordable cost. Its orange color is meant to inspire enthusiasm, activity and suggests affordability. The logo itself has remained untouched for over 30 years. Squares and the color orange are highly associated with construction.

If the Home Depot logo could talk, it would say “You can take care of your home and we can help you do it with confidence, skill and the right materials.” 

 

3. Elemental

 

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Microsoft unveiled this version of their logo in 2012 and has kept it ever since. Before this changed, it had not been updated for 25 years.

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The Microsoft symbol – four squares in various colors – was made primarily with digital motion in mind. The different colors represent the company’s wide range of products (Windows Operating System, Microsoft Office, and XBox) as demonstrated in this video.

If Microsoft’s logo could talk, what it would say? Let’s take general manager of brand strategy Jeff Hansen’s word for it: “…the new Microsoft logo takes its inspiration from our product design principles while drawing upon the heritage of our brand values, fonts and colors.” 

 

Now that we’ve explained what square shapes mean, do you gather new meaning from the iconic logos displayed below?


goodwill-logo


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gap-logo


GM Logo.


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Do you think that a square-shaped logo is right for you?
When you combine the square shape with other shapes, fonts, and certain colors, you can intensity its meaning.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO ADD?

Sound off in the comments section below!

About the Author

Dana James Mwangi

From full-time corporate employee to full-time entrepreneur, Dana James Mwangi's career has evolved from being an in-house print designer to agency founder, brand & website builder, creative director and speaker. After undergrad, Dana landed jobs where she designed for SunTrust and Wells Fargo, and package design for items on the shelves of Walmart and Target. With her love for clean design and belief that everyone has a story to tell, Dana founded Cheers Creative, a brand and web design agency in Memphis, TN. Since the opening of Cheers in 2012, Dana has been featured in dozens of business and design podcasts, blog articles and online design showcases, all while being a wife and stay-at-home mom. Dana received a BFA with a concentration in Graphic Design from the University of Memphis. When she’s not working or contributing to the Memphis arts scene, she is spending time with her husband, 11-year old son and three year old twin girls.

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