PART 2: Sequence of Cognition
When designing a logo it’s important to consider how it will be received by people.
Studies have been done into how people’s minds interpret visual design. We can use the information from those studies to design the most effective logos possible.
When looking at a logo a person’s brain breaks down the information in a very consistent and orderly way. Starting with shape, then color and lastly form.
Shape provides the brain with the fastest and easiest information to digest. The more distinct the shape the faster and stronger impression it will make on memory.
Color is the second in the sequence, and can be a powerful way to quickly evoke an emotional response. It improves brand recognition and adds personality. Combine this with a well-chosen and distinct shape and you have a quickly recognizable image that makes people feel something.
Language and text take the longest for our brains to process, but in turn provide us with the most information. It comes in after the shape and color have attracted the attention of the consumer and provides the more specific information.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
A study published in 2004 gave a blind taste test of Coca-Cola and Pepsi to a group of people while scanning their brains. Half of the subjects chose the taste of Pepsi over Coke because it tended to produce a stronger response in the brain’s reward center (ventromedial prefrontal cortex.)
A repeat taste test was done and this time the subjects knew which soda they were drinking. Three-quarters said that Coke tasted better. The brain activity also changed this time showing the lateral prefrontal cortex (an area related to high-level cognitive powers), and the hippocampus, (an area related to memory) were being activated.
This showed that the memories and emotional ties people had with Coke’s brand were actually overpowering their preference for the taste of Pepsi and making them instead prefer Coke.
Better branding can be more important than a better product.
Designing with the sequence of cognition in mind will help you create logos that are easily and instantly recognizable and hold up best across all mediums.