Saturday, May 16, 2009

Designing intelligent logos with subliminal messages

I remember enjoying my marketing classes in MBA school, and how much fun it was to learn how important the shape and color are for corporate logos.

Check out this page, intelligent logo designs, mighty interesting . . .

When my friend learned that I was in graduate school, they would chide me “So, say something intelligent”, and I would always respond with “Ontology recapitulates phylogeny” or my all-time favorite, “tachistoscopic episcotisters enable subliminal perception”.

It’s pronounced “tack-ist-oh-scop-ic e-piss-ca-tist-er”.

Try saying “tachistoscopic episcotister” real fast, three times, it’s great fun!

Actually, a tachistoscopic episcotister is quite real.

It’s a super-fast shutter that flashes images very fast, right at the edge of perception, and a tachistoscopic episcotister is used in important psychological research on human perception.

Remember the Psychology studies that led to the legend of widespread subliminal perception, like inserting a “Coca Cola” ad every 10th frame in a movie, and witnessing thirsty customers buying Cokes at the snack bar?

The reality is a bit more subtle. Just as bored GI’s noticed the naked lady in the Camel cigarette logo, people strive to place hidden messages in logos. But as Sigmund Fraud one said, “Sometimes a train is just a train”, and horny guys will always invent sexual images inside ambiguous logos:

Consider this one, with a hidden arrow inside:

Upon close inspection, do you see the “arrow” that is formed between the X and the E?
Also, this one is cleaver, showing the outline of Australia:

Does this type of subliminal message in a logo really work?

Well, here we are, talking about it!