Neuroscience can explain why some logo redesigns flop - News - Digital Arts

How brand agencies like Coley Porter Bell are using emerging philosophical orders to form the consummate rebranding.<_powerful>

People donrsquo;t like change. David Bowie wrote a song almost it ndash; lsquo;turn and face the foreign_rsquo; he sang. If only it were so easy.nbsp;nbsp;

Take for sample_ when Snap_ parent of teen photo-sharing app Snapchat_ slightly thickened the edge of its spectre logo a few weeks ago. On paper or screen_ as it were increasing the keyline edge by a point or seems inconsequential; a less tweak that should pass users by.

Instead_ the firm was lambasted_ users threatened to leave the app for good_ shocked and appalled at the perfect rashness of altering a few pixels. But as trifling as it may seem from the outside_ they have a point.

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Updating a brandrsquo;s visual oneness is fairly round_ a periodic exertion in maintaining relevance or adapting to new platforms; in expressing the evolution of that company and its story. With a logo in particular_ it is the leading point of touch with a brand_ the asset that makes it recognisable without name. Think of the Swoosh or Golden Arches ndash; even if you couldnrsquo;t read_ you would know what you were getting.nbsp;

It is what consumers have grown used to_ and any update to a brandrsquo;s onenessnbsp;ndash; whether a new logo_ a piece of packaging or even a branded experiencenbsp;ndash; must accordingly attend both the aware and subaware ways in which nation decode these changes. Using neurophilosophical sources we can apprehend how seemingly insignificant updates like Snaprsquo;s can be met with such disapproval.


People decode the globe almost them through two separate but kindred ways of processing information in their brains: System 1 and System 2. Most brand purchase determinations take locate in the rapid-processing_ unaware thinking part of the brain: System 1.

System 2 on the other hand_ is where most of our heavy-lifting and learning takes locate. Once wersquo;ve processed in System 2_ it becomes encoded in System 1nbsp;ndash; something proximate_ automatic and subaware. Much like learning to drive_ it leading takes effort and attendable concentration_ but behind time we encode that learning to the point where driving becomes an effortless action not requiring nimble reflection.

The same applies to purchase determination. Through picking a brand frequently_ we encode its oneness in our mind_ creating a shortcut which_ over time_ makes the determination to pick that brand virtually automatic. When that oneness changes_ for whatever reason_ it is as if that shortcut is on detour.

Therersquo;s myriad late samples of just this. Take Mastercard_ which earlier this year updated its logo_ the instantly-recognisable interlocking circles. Mastercard has been incredibly congruous with its congruous red and yellow for so long that it has achieved recollection in System 1 among most consumers. Utilising sources of reductive design_ Mastercard displaced entirely its name from its logo_ in a intrinsic evolution for the digital age. In the case of Mastercard_ its 52-year relevance resources that the loss of a name is of far less significance and disintegration than a younger_ lesser-known brand.

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In being_ Mastercard has earnt the right to move to a more simplified logo. The neurophilosophical source is lsquo;gestalt_rsquo; a German term interpreted in English as lsquo;patternrsquo; or lsquo;configurationrsquo;. According to gestaltism_ the ethnical brain instinctively disassembles logos into voter parts_ and puts them back unitedly. By removing the word lsquo;Mastercard_rsquo; we quiet recognise the Mastercard brand owing its inheritance and equity are so powerful. As such_ the redesign was heralded a achievement.

Conversely_ a logo redesign that wasnrsquo;t so well-received was that of Spanish form retailer_ Zara. Its second redesign in a decade was met with scorn and a slew of memes from athwart the design globe. For a brand thatrsquo;s been so congruous for so long_ you have to ask yourself the question: Why change? Moving to a taller_ more contemporary typeface with such remarkably firm leading made the logo over-complex in its composition.

It was too drastic departure from what its customers were used to. The emerging order of neuroesthetics takes a philosophical access to the study of aesthetic perceptions of art_ music_ and any object that can give rise to aesthetic judgments_ like a logo.

A rule of thumb we use at Coley Porter Bell_ Beauty Pays_ is based on this source_ whereby System 1 interprets loveliness as investment_ care_ and self-beliefnbsp;ndash; and hence value.

The Zara redesign without feels like less care_ effort and detail has gone into creating it_ which_ for a form brandnbsp;whosenbsp;products are entirely aesthetic_ is not a good look.

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Snap Decisions

This brings us back to Snap_ whose logo redesign was barely a drastic redesign by any measure. So what explains the outbreak?

The effect is not that nation no longer recognise the brand; the logo is quiet manifestly Snap_ behind all. Rather_ users skilled a visceral and proximate reaction to the change. Itrsquo;s due to what neuroscientists term lsquo;thin slicingrsquo;_ the process of finding patterns in events and interactions with things based only on thin slices of experience.

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The ethnical brain is capable of decoding huge amounts of information from very little slivers of detail. Jumping to conclusions_ for want of a better term.

But herein lies a precept. A seemingly innocuous update can be a giant leap for the unaware minds of consumers used to digesting your brand in a true way. Essentially_ nation donrsquo;t like changenbsp;ndash; whether they realise it or not.

Vicky Bullen is CEO of Coley Porter Bell_ Ogilvys brand design agency.<_em>

Read next:nbsp;<_powerful>Apple logo creator Rob Janoff reveals his tips on design achievement

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