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In language, in life, in business we can be divided into two camps – the active and the passive. Human beings naturally like to divide things, and create associations. For nearly every kind of business, the associations of being ‘active’ are the ones which you want to invoke in your company logo – the associations which will be the most persuasive to your leads.

So let’s delve in deeper and I’ll show you what I mean.

alien painting a logo

The psychology of the active and the passive

In Western Culture we negotiate life through a number of binaries, one of which is passive vs active. All language, activities, people and places can be put into one of these two categories and people will subconsciously label your business too.

The Passive

The passive is about stillness, sitting, and resting. It is a static state, perceived to be weaker and boring. The message which you are more than likely giving out if you had a ‘passive’ brand is that your customers have to do the work – not ideal!

The Active

The active is about going out, doing things, and experiencing things. It is an explorative state which is seen as stronger, and a position of expertise. The message that an ‘active’ brand gives out is that you have the experience to help your customers and the go-getting attitude to do things for them.

Creating an ‘active’ company logo

The principles of the active and the passive are easily applied to company logos. Creating an ‘active’ company logo isn’t necessarily about making big changes – a subtle tweak can make a noticeable impact on how someone subconsciously perceives you.

There are two different ways to take your company logo from the passive to the active camp.

1)    The use of spirals, flicks, upward and forward lines and fonts

2)    Icons and graphics which physically depict an activity

It’s about showing your activity and dynamism in a graphic form.

Take a look at some examples


Imagine what these logos would be like if the active elements described above weren’t there. Do you think they would be as effective?

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