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Logo Drawdown

A fun(ny) project by Monochrom — a Viena-based art-technology-philosophy group of basket weaving enthusiasts and theory do-it-yourselfers. Far from a scientific-scale research, they asked 25 Austrians to each draw, from memory, twelve different brands.

Here are the results. Does this prove anything besides the point that many people can’t draw? Or is there some deeper meaning to it? Do notice that some people drew old versions of a logo (like BP and Philips).

Link spotted originally at Typographica.

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ARCHIVE ID 1712 FILED UNDER Branding and Identity
PUBLISHED ON Jan.07.2004 BY Armin
jonsel’s comment is:

It's a nice test of the visual equities in these brands. I don't know when this was done, but the variety of BP logos suggests they haven't been as successful in drilling in their new identity as they'd like.

And I'm only slightly upset that I can't draw much better than these examples...

On Jan.07.2004 at 12:17 PM
marian’s comment is:

Ha ha ha ha ha ... Oh god, thanks for the laugh Armin. I just ... can't stop ... laughing ...

I think what it proves is that

1) animals make great logos (both Lacost and Peugot have scored pretty well on the memory front, if not the reproducability front, which may also be a good thing -- although someone confused Peugot with Agip);

2) that there's a lot to be said for keeping your damned logo for eternity (Coca Cola -- success! BP needen't have changed theirs);

3) and that I'm not the only one who can't tell the difference between all those ovoid car logos.

On Jan.07.2004 at 12:59 PM
debbie millman’s comment is:

Armin, Armin...a topic SO close to my heart.

About the drawings...there is no better way to get the subconscious, subliminal aspects of understanding how a consumer relates to a brand than to get them to draw the brand, unaided from memory. We do this quite a lot at Sterling, and have archives and archives of drawings of just about every U.S. brand you can think of. Two years ago we did a national qualitative and quantitative survey asking consumers to draw the “experience” they have with some of their favorite brands and this is one of my favorite drawings:

Interesting though, if you flip the exercise, and show consumers products or packages or logos with the names “greeked,” they can often (if not always) “see” the actual logo. Eye tracking studies (perfected at Perception Research) (www.prsresearch.com) have shown that you can show consumers logos in one second increments with a different name in the logo, and they will actually think they are seeing the real name. Scary stuff. This is an example:

Lastly...as far as consumers drawing older logos or icons...not surprising. Consumers draw what resonates with them the closest. The newer the logo, the less likely it will be remembered. When we ask consumers to draw packages, we will often get packages that haven’t been on the market in years. The only time we ever got nearly perfect drawings was for the Hershey bar, and that is likely because Hershey hadn’t changed the package in over 60 years. But that is another story.

; )

Oh, one more thing...lest our readers get concerned about (another) branding discussion, please check this out. Be sure to scroll down to the “branding” word.

On Jan.07.2004 at 01:05 PM
damien’s comment is:

We do this quite a lot at Sterling, and have archives and archives of drawings of just about every U.S. brand you can think of.

I was going to add this myself, saying that this was a common exercise to do with brand strategy - but Debbie, I've never seen such an excellent result. I must remember to do this research with illustration students in the future.

On Jan.07.2004 at 02:00 PM
Sarah B.’s comment is:

I wouldnt think drawing an apple is as hard as it seems... but it is.... It is just amazing that some of the Coca-Cola drawings were much better (in my opinion) - do you all think that it is because it is letters, and that since we write everyday (most of us do) could be the reason they turned out closer to the original??

Also, does it state anywhere what demographics took this survey?

On Jan.07.2004 at 02:59 PM
marian’s comment is:

I was surprised by the ineptness of the Apple drawings as well. As for Coca Cola, I think people's ability to represent it is based on how well they know it. Is it not the world's most recognized logo?

On Jan.07.2004 at 03:23 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Is it just me, or does that cup of coffee look really good?

On Jan.07.2004 at 04:54 PM
Rick’s comment is:

Uh, Armin, do you want to know why it's steaming?

On Jan.07.2004 at 06:38 PM
koan’s comment is:


IMO it's strange that 99% of the drawers remind of the Adidas logo as if the stripes are mirror-oriented...

Maybe into Adidas they must discuss about perception... :)

On Jan.08.2004 at 06:19 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Anybody want to try a little drawdown ourselves? We would have to use the honor system so we would assume that you didn't cheat. Let's try five brands, put them all in a piece of paper, scan it, and upload it. Let's see…

1. Gateway

2. Prudential

3. Saturn (Cars)

4. Fuji

5. John Deere

On Jan.08.2004 at 10:36 AM
marian’s comment is:

Sorry, Armin, I don't mean to ignore your drawdown ... it's just the only one I even have a clue over is John Deere ... and maybe Gateway.

BUT, in the spirit of drawdowns and related to Debbie's thread on "Unseen Things" I came across this very amusing thread, which would test the perceptiveness, memory, and world knowledge of the best of us. A visual treasure hunt, if you will. From the above link, click on "image" after reading languagehat's intro, and if you become obsessed, I'd encourage you to contribute there, rather than here, to add to the cumulative knowledge.

On Jan.08.2004 at 06:56 PM
G. I.’s comment is:

I can draw the Mercedes star anytime.

On Jan.14.2004 at 07:19 AM
Mark’s comment is:

This was a very good test of people's memory of identitfying brands with their logos. Now people recognize companies with logos they recognize from memory, now some people associate the old logos with the brands if they haven't been exposed to the media of television that much.

For example if I asked you the sketch the Weather Channel logo possibly most of you would sketch the rounded rectangle with capital letters because its the most recognized logo in the world even if its so-called "outdated"

If I asked you to sketch the AT&T logo majority of you would sketch the famous Rand blue globe because again its one of the most recognized logo in the world.

Now the "old" BP sheild logo is one of the most recognized logo in the world to associate with BP yet so many people can't really associate the flower with British/Beyond Petroleum because its so new.

Like Debbie Millman said on here " The newer the logo the less likely it will be remembered."

I wonder if we poll people to draw the UPS logo would the majority draw the old package one?

and if we poll them on the Kmart logo would the majority draw the old Kmart logo?

On Aug.24.2005 at 01:59 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

famous Rand blue globe

Before DesignMaven strings you up by your mouse cord...AT&T is by Saul Bass, not Rand.

On Aug.24.2005 at 02:29 PM
Mark’s comment is:

Sorry I guess I confused Saul Bass with Rands design.

However AT&Ts logo is recognizable and I can find no reason to change it.

On Aug.25.2005 at 07:16 PM
Mr.Frankie L’s comment is:

Now that AT&T is bought by Cingular...that globe

is going to be displaced anyways...

On Aug.26.2005 at 09:45 AM
Ron H’s comment is:

Only the cellular division of AT&T was bought by Cingular. The globe will still be a part of the rest of the AT&T company.

On Aug.26.2005 at 04:22 PM