Discover the Psychology of Successful Logo Design with Gestalt Techniques

In the world of logo design, applying Gestalt principles can make all the difference in creating memorable and impactful brand marks. Derived from German psychologists’ work in the 1920s, these principles focus on how humans perceive visual stimuli and group them into a coherent whole.

By understanding Gestalt Theory and its core ideas, beginner designers can elevate their designs to ensure effective branding that resonates with audiences.

In this blog post, we will explore the key principles of gestalt logos, examine famous examples from well-known brands like FedEx and Coca-Cola, and share tips for incorporating these strategies into your own logo design process.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding and applying the key principles of Gestalt Theory, including proximity, similarity, closure, continuity, figure/ground relationship, symmetry and common fate, can greatly enhance a beginner designer’s logo design skills.
  • The importance of Gestalt Theory in logo design cannot be overstated as it helps designers create logos that are visually appealing while conveying a clear message about their business.
  • Incorporating Gestalt principles into your logo designs ensures that your brand mark is memorable and effective in capturing attention and leaving a lasting impression on viewers. Successful examples include the FedEx hidden arrow symbolizing speed or the Coca-Cola script font maintaining its memorability for over 100 years.

Understanding Gestalt Theory

Gestalt Theory is a psychological theory that explains how humans perceive and organize visual information into meaningful patterns.

Principles Of Gestalt Theory

The Gestalt Theory, developed by German psychologists in the 1920s, provides valuable insights into visual perception and can greatly enhance your logo design skills as a beginner designer. Understanding the key principles of Gestalt Theory can help you create more effective and memorable logos. These principles include:

  1. Proximity: Elements that are placed close together in a design are perceived as being related or belonging to the same group.
  2. Similarity: Objects that share similar characteristics, such as shape, color, or size, are perceived as part of the same unit.
  3. Closure: Our minds tend to complete incomplete shapes or forms by filling in the gaps, creating a sense of wholeness.
  4. Figure/Ground: This principle distinguishes between the object (figure) and its surrounding background (ground), helping to create a clear focal point in your design.
  5. Continuity: The eye naturally follows continuous lines or curves rather than abrupt changes in direction.
  6. Common Fate: Elements that move or appear to be moving together are perceived as a single unit.
  7. Symmetry and Order: Balanced designs with symmetrical elements tend to be more visually appealing and easier to understand.

Incorporating these Gestalt principles into your logo designs will not only improve their overall appearance but also strengthen their impact on viewers. As you develop your skills and understanding of these principles, you’ll find new ways to apply them creatively within your work, resulting in unique and captivating logos that stand out from the competition.

Importance Of Gestalt Theory In Logo Design

The importance of Gestalt Theory in logo design cannot be overstated, as it plays a significant role in how people perceive and interact with visual elements.

This psychological theory, developed by German psychologists Kurt Koffka, Wolfgang Kohler, and Max Wertheimer, revolves around the idea that our minds tend to organize visual stimuli into cohesive wholes or groups based on certain principles.

Applying Gestalt Theory to your logo designs ensures that your brand mark is visually appealing while conveying a clear message about your business. A well-designed logo showcases not only the aesthetics but also communicates company values and offerings through clever use of proximity, closure, similarity, continuity, orderliness created using symmetry or asymmetry.

For example: employing negative space within the FedEx logo creates an arrow symbolizing forward motion or progress; the Baskin Robbins logo ingeniously hides ’31’ (number of flavors) between letters ‘B’ & ‘R’.

Key Gestalt Principles In Logo Design

The key Gestalt principles in logo design include proximity, law of closure, principle of similarity, multi-stability, law of continuity and figure/ground. Learn how to apply these principles effectively in your logo design to create a strong visual message that resonates with your audience.


One of the fundamental Gestalt principles in logo design is proximity, which refers to the grouping of visually close elements together. This principle plays a critical role in conveying a cohesive message and creating an organized visual hierarchy within a logo.

Examples of effective use of proximity in popular logos include IBM and Unilever, where closely spaced letters help suggest unity within their respective brands. In these cases, proper kerning is employed to maintain legibility while still allowing individual words to be discerned.

Law Of Closure

The Law of Closure is a key concept in Gestalt theory that states our brains tend to complete an incomplete shape or object. In logo design, this means that designers can use simple shapes and forms to create powerful and memorable logos.

By presenting an incomplete image, the brain fills in the gaps subconsciously, resulting in a more engaging experience for the viewer. A classic example of this principle is seen in the FedEx logo with its hidden arrow between “E” and “x”.

This subtle inclusion creates a sense of completeness while also conveying movement and direction – crucial components for any successful brand identity.

Principle Of Similarity

The Principle of Similarity is a key concept in logo design related to gestalt logos. It aims to create patterns, repetition or symmetry by incorporating similar shapes, colors or images that the viewers can easily recognize and remember.

It helps designers enhance the visual impact of their logo designs and make them memorable for target audiences. For example, Apple’s logo uses this principle by incorporating simple and uniform shapes such as an apple outline with a single leaf.

To effectively use the Principle of Similarity in your logo design, you should consider repeating one element in different sizes or shapes within the same composition while maintaining visual consistency at all times.


Multi-Stability is a vital concept associated with key Gestalt principles in logo design. It refers to the ability of a logo to be interpreted by viewers in multiple ways.

This allows for continued engagement and interest from the viewer, making it more memorable and effective. A great example of multi-stability is the FedEx logo, which can be seen as both an arrow pointing forward and the letters “E” and “X”.

Incorporating this principle into your logo design can create a distinctive mark that captures attention and increases brand recognition.

Law Of Continuity

The Law of Continuity is an important Gestalt principle used in logo design to create flow and direction. This principle focuses on the smooth transition between different elements, creating a sense of continuity that allows the viewer to easily follow and connect with the design.

Symmetry or organized asymmetry can be used to establish order and relationships between different elements in a logo, making it more visually appealing. A great example of the Law of Continuity in action is Nike’s swoosh logo, which creates a smooth curve that implies movement and speed.

Another example is Amazon’s smile-shaped arrow from “A” to “Z”, guiding customers through their vast product selection.


The figure-ground principle is an important aspect of logo design that explores the relationship between positive and negative space. Positive space refers to the main elements or subjects in a design, while negative space refers to the background or empty spaces around those subjects.

One famous example of utilizing this principle is seen in the Milwaukee Brewers logo, where both the team’s initials “MB” and a baseball mitt are depicted using positive and negative space simultaneously.

The proper use of figure-ground allows for visual hierarchy, making certain aspects of a design stand out more than others.

Famous Gestalt Logos And Their Impact

The FedEx logo is a prime example of the law of closure, utilizing negative space to create a hidden arrow which reflects the company’s reliability and speed. Coca-Cola also employs the continuity principle in their iconic script font, maintaining brand recognition for over 100 years.

Unilever clusters miniature icons with different meanings to form an entire “U” emblem, reflecting its diverse range of products and values. The Adidas logo exemplifies symmetry and simplicity by using three stripes that are easily recognizable as sportswear while representing unity between athletes, marking its iconic image in sports culture.


The FedEx logo is a prime example of how the Gestalt principle of closure can be used in logo design. The negative space within the letters “E” and “X” create an arrow shape pointing to the right, conveying a message of speed and efficiency.

This hidden arrow creates a memorable and impactful impression in the minds of viewers.

Taking inspiration from successful logos like FedEx’s can help you develop your own unique designs that stand out in the crowded world of branding.


The Coca-Cola logo is a prime example of how gestalt theory can be applied to create visual meaning. The design utilizes the continuity principle of gestalt design to suggest movement and encourage the viewer’s gaze to follow along with the flowing script.

By using this principle, Coke’s designers cleverly guide our eyes through the logo and create an overall sense of motion, much like their product promises to provide energy and refreshment on-the-go.


Unilever is a prime example of successful Gestalt logo design. The multinational consumer goods company has a well-known logo that utilizes the proximity principle in its design.

Unilever’s “U” shaped logo is created by combining several small icons, each representing one of the company’s products or values, into a cohesive and recognizable shape.

This showcases how effective Gestalt principles can be when designing logos with multiple elements.


Adidas is a brand that has leveraged the Gestalt Theory to create some of its most iconic logos. Specifically, Adidas’ three diagonal bars use the principle of proximity by grouping them closely together.

As budding logo designers, it’s important to note how famous brands like Adidas have used Gestalt principles to establish themselves as household names. By understanding how logos influence visual perception and using Gestalt principles like proximity or figure-ground relationships effectively, we can create visually interesting designs that resonate with our audience.

Baskin Robbins

The Baskin Robbins logo is a classic example of using Gestalt theory in logo design. The use of the principle of similarity and anomaly in color creates a hidden message that represents the brand’s signature 31 flavors.

The pink color, which represents the number “31,” stands out amongst other colors used in the logo.

The symbolism and design of the Baskin Robbins logo have significant impacts on consumer perceptions and emotions towards their brand. This technique has been beneficial for creating brand recognition and customer loyalty throughout many years of business.

Tips For Applying Gestalt Principles In Your Logo Design

Creating a successful logo using Gestalt principles can be challenging, but by following these tips, beginner designers can create logos that are visually appealing and meaningful:

  1. Use proximity to group related elements together.
  2. Utilize the law of closure to create recognizable shapes.
  3. Incorporate similarity to link different parts of your logo together.
  4. Play with multi – stability to create dynamic and interesting logos.
  5. Experiment with figure/ground relationships to achieve a clear visual hierarchy.

By applying these tips in their logo design, beginner designers can utilize Gestalt principles effectively and create cohesive and successful logos. Remember that each principle has its own purpose in creating order and meaning in visual stimuli, and understanding them will help make informed design choices.


In summary, the Gestalt Theory has been a fundamental principle in logo design for several decades. By understanding the principles of proximity, law of closure, similarity, multi-stability, law of continuity and figure/ground, designers can create logos that are visually appealing and communicate brand messages effectively.

This blog provides valuable insights into how some famous brands have utilized these principles to create iconic logos like Coca-Cola, Unilever and FedEx. As a beginner designer looking to hone your skills in logo design, incorporating these key Gestalt principles will undoubtedly enhance your work and help you stand out from the crowd.


1. What is a gestalt logo?

A gestalt logo is a type of logo design that incorporates principles of Gestalt psychology, which emphasizes how the human brain perceives and organizes visual information. The aim of gestalt logos is to create a cohesive and memorable impression using strategic use of shapes, colors, and negative space.

2. How are gestalt logos different from other types of logos?

Gestalt logos differentiate themselves in their emphasis on the way people perceive information through visual cues like proximity, similarity, closure, continuity & more while disregarding individual elements’ identities as important if they don’t contribute to the overall message being conveyed.

3. What are some examples of successful brands with gestalt logos?

Nike’s iconic “swoosh” symbol is one famous example – using bold dimensions & color contrasts to help create distinction within its target audience’s minds even after so many years since inception!. Additionally FedEx or IBM’s efficient designs incorporate simplicity alongside ideal curves for quick recognition regardless where displayed; these traits often draw comparisons between firms despite industry-specific differences!.

4. Can any business benefit from having a gestalt logo?

Gestalt Logos can be beneficial for businesses looking to enhance brand image/identity; however it may not always be necessary depending upon factors such as core values, nature products sold/services provided etc.. It ultimately depends whether your business needs an update towards refreshing old branding efforts or creating new effective messaging that works well while remaining true-to-self!

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