Visual Communication: Symbolism in Graphic Design

There are instances that words are not used to deliver a message. In this case, the symbols and colors used should effectively get the intended message or meaning across. In design, symbols always stand for something; and there are times that they give more depth and meaning, and communicate more effectively than words – especially in logos, emblems, or icons, or even the overall theme of a graphic design project. Each design element should be used wisely and for a reason. You don’t just choose and apply a particular color and character just because you want to or just because they look good. Each of them must be well-thought-out and suits the message and overall design.

 

In addition to the design elements being aesthetically harmonious, designers also make sure that the symbols used appropriately represent the brand. For instance, when designing a logo and marketing collaterals for a spa or salon business, it might be best to use curves and thin lines as they stand for softness, gracefulness, and elegance, rather than using thick lines and edges.

 

To help designers with their future projects, here is a guide to symbolism provided by Zillion Designs that can help us use symbols the way they are supposed to be used.

 

Animals

animals_symbolism

 

 

Elements

elements_symbolism

 

 

Lines and Arrows

lines and arrows_symbolism

 

 

Shapes

shapes_symbolism

 

 

Mythological

mythological_symbolism
Infographic courtesy of Zillion Designs

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