Why Triangles Are Cool

Personally, I don’t like to use too many geometric shapes in my design work but recently I’ve had an epiphany: triangles are cool. Other shapes like rectangles are everywhere but, think about it… when was the last time you opened a triangle-shaped box? Triangles are familiar enough to be recognizable and foreign enough to be, well, whatever you need them to be.

Arranged in a sequence, or alone, triangles create an interesting look to a design. When their sides touch they create more complex shapes and tessellations that sprawl across spreads and create more and more patterns for viewers to discover. In apparel, print or web design the geometric shape has proven to be very effective.
Beyond the visual appeal triangles they can be used to imply many ideas beyond just looking pretty.

MOVEMENT
From an arrow to the play icon, triangles have been historically used to show direction and movement. Originally seen on record players way back when, the play icon hasn’t changed at all despite the media playback of today need the a disk to spin or move in any way.

STRENGTH
Triangles are often used in architecture because they don’t shift. Where rectangles allow the structure to sway triangles can take a heavy load and last. Who wouldn’t want to use that as a metaphor for their brand identity?¬†Many old structures that operate upon the sturdiness of the triangle are still useable today including the Eiffel Tower and various Roman aqueducts which still function.

FUTURISM
What does the B2 bomber, the Atlantis space shuttle and Expo domes have in common? They all make effective use of triangles. Triangles are the perfect sturdy and streamlined shape to guide humanity into the future when partnered with technology.

SYMBOLISM
Three in one is a motif common in many religions including, but not limited to, Catholicism and other Christian faiths. The shape of a pyramid is also associated with wisdom and mystery as we continue to learn more about the ancient structures. The number three, besides being lucky, has much significance in superstition/mysticism/various religions which only serves to add to the eye-catching nature of the triangle.

Besides deep supernatural stuff, the triangle is often used in math. As a Fibonacci number it is proven to be visually pleasing (3 points, 3 sides). It is the sum of the first 2 prime numbers as well as the first odd prime number. (I looked it up, 1 doesn’t count.) The triangle also requires a little more TLC then a rectangle does when you’re designing on the computer due to the all of the angles having to add up to 180 degrees.

With so much going for them it’s no wonder why triangles are cool.

‘Till next time,
Frank Flitton

About the author

I'm a second year student at conestoga college. I'm using this site to catalogue my experience as a design student as well as show off my work.

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