Shapes are an essential element of web design along with the messages they convey.
When properly mixed, matched, and combine together in the right manner can be used to invoke emotion, depth, lead the eye, emphasize a message, and attract attention and much more.
Apart from shape, additional components of web design each with its own use and purpose includes: line, colour, texture, value (the appearance of an light or dark area), space and size.
Understandings of what the shapes are, the meaning of common shapes, and the type of shapes will help provide a firm grasp in relation of its usage in web design.
The 3 basic types of shapes are as follows:
When people think about shapes, the geometric shapes are the ones that usually come to mind. Geometric shapes such as: circles, diamonds, hexagons, trapeziums, rectangles, etc. contain a consistent structure.
Free forming shapes inspired by nature and our surroundings such as rocks, clouds, people, trees, the sun, the moon, the stars etc. often lack structure or appear random.
Important parts of modern web design, Abstract shapes are a mixture of other shapes, sizes, and colours to form new shape designs such as icons, graphic and representations.
As with colour scheme choice to represent emotion in web design among different industry brands, the same psychological science can be applied to shapes. Lets focus on geometrical type shapes, as they are the most commonly used components in web design.
- Circles have no start and end and are perceived by as strong by many cultural associations, which encompasses concepts such as eternity, unity, and harmony. This shape is typically received as warm and comforting. Circles in your web design work best when communicating about community, connections, or even love.
- Squares and rectangles represent certainty. If you want to communicate a sense of equality, to be trusted and of course about things bonding with each other or being in order, squares and rectangles may be the best choice.
- Triangles, due to being both symmetrical and non-symmetrical, are often used to perceive things as dynamic. This shape is the best fit for communicating a sense of having direction, action, energy, and masculinity.
What are the perceptions when its comes to the meaning of natural and abstract shapes?
Natural shapes typically come off as pleasing and comforting. Architects tend to find the close relation to nature a popular choice. Natural shapes also communicate an impromptu feeling. Concurrently, abstract shapes typically communicate a sense of universal, neutral message.
Likewise when designing always keep your web design simple. Avoid clutter and distracting backgrounds and use clean lines when you are using shape(s), don’t combine too many shapes in one web design, and don’t overdue it when it comes to effects as you might end up losing the message that you are looking to convey to your audience in the process.
Do you use shape(s) in your web design? Remember, shapes can be either positive or negative. Have you got any web design tips or tricks to share with other graphic designers out there?