Our brains recognize brands before we even get to the text … but what happens when that second of the process process yields the reverse of what we expect?
In this series of experimental logo swaps by Graham Smith, our expectations are subverted right at the point of recognition – Coke replaces Pepsi, UPS becomes FedEx and so forth in realms ranging from fast food to digital technology.
The result is a kind of temporary cognitive dissonance, and poignant reminder of just how much we rely on visual cues – from shape and layout to color and typography – to interpret input and apprehend iconic designs.
Some of the trades work relatively seamlessly – a surprise number actually work visually – you could almost believer that Twitter, Facebook and Google could simply have gone a different direction with their designs.
But given our own familiarity biases when viewing them, it is hard to say in some cases, too. Either way, it is clear that our experience and associations play a major part in the power of branding.