To honor the upcoming International Cat Day (August 8), we’ve decided to compile a brief designer’s guide to shapes using everyone’s favorite (or second-favorite) animal – cats.
Let’s start with an acknowledgement of the well-known fact that cats are, in fact, liquid. There’s plenty of irrefutable evidence on the internet, but we’ve picked this compelling demonstration by a viral sensation Waffles Cat:
Who are we to argue with that? Known for their ability to occasionally convert to semi solids, cats can also take a plentitude of shapes, so let’s see how we can learn the use of shapes in design with a little help from our furry goofers.
Squares: I fits I sits
Meet Maru. This cute Scottish Fold loves boxes so much, he’s open to sitting in them seemingly without any regard for comfort:
Squares are a crucial shape in design – you will find them framing the focal elements of many pieces. Here’s how Crello designers used it in one of our free templates for Instagram posts:
Circle is another popular geometric shape often used in design. Cats and circles have a fabled connection – circles, they say, can trap cats. Once in its perimeter, the cat can’t escape. Watch the magic happen for yourself:
The binding nature of a circle is known to designers as well. The shape symbolizes totality, infinity and wholeness. Here’s how Crello designers reflected the dynamic in this free Facebook post template:
A cat standing still in a vertical line is literally a standout:
Same goes for a line in design. A straight vertical line is a staple – it is used to highlight the most important part of the text or separate pieces of the design into categories. Lines bring structure and stability to an image, as you can see in this slide in one of Crello’s free presentation templates:
One shape cats hate is an prolate spheroid that is a cucumber. There are many compilations of cats scared of cucumbers online, but just so that you don’t have to search, here’s one:
While spheroids can be a relatively useful shape for 3D design, they haven’t garnered much traction otherwise – I don’t even have a Crello template to illustrate! Looks like designers and cats’ views on the shape are very well aligned.
Catch the Wave
Hamilton The Hipster Cat, aka Mustache Cat, has been making waves on the Internets since August of 2014. The cute feline boasts an unusual pattern on its coat that makes it look like the dark cat has a white mustache:
Just like the Mustache Cat, designers like to draw attention to details using wavy thrills and decorations in their designs. All the bells and whistles help soften and embellish the look. Here’s how Crello designers used waves in this free Twitter post template:
Sometimes a cat just goes with the flow and takes the shape that’s most suitable for its environment:
Irregular and uneven shapes belong to the organic category in design. These free natural forms are lifted straight from the wild. They are associated with comfort and relaxation, prompting designers to utilize them when they search for a spontaneous yet cozy feel. Here’s how Crello designers used organic shapes in this garden party flyer invite:
Grumpy cat’s disdain for everything in his immediate surroundings is so marked he’s almost a stylized version of himself:
Grumpy’s so expressive, he’s basically a living breathing emoji. But, seriously, there are literal Official Grumpy Cat emojis available in App Store. We’re guessing this is the type of image that practically designs itself:
This, my friends, is what abstract shapes are – a simplified version of an organic shape that is designed to prompt recognition yet be just a representative placeholder for the real thing. Abstract shapes are used in icons, symbols and, of course, emojis. Here’s an abstract interpretation from the Crello team designed for this free blog title template:
Geometric, organic or abstract, forms are vital devices in every designer’s toolbox. Take a few pointers from the whiskered world on the versatility of shapes, and you will be able to accentuate your designs with shapes and connect them to the meaning behind your piece in no time. Study and observe your purring buddies who are oh-so-fluent in shape to make harmonic illustrations for any purpose!
Need more design tips? Crello got you! Take our typography crash course and figure out the basics in just one article, check out our 6 basic design tips for non-designers or learn more about font pairing in this informative post.
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