The Crazy Science On How Your Brain “Sees” A Logo

Before you scroll down to the infographic below, spend a few seconds listening to what I have to say.

I don't share this content to merely inspire you about logos. No. Understanding logo creation, and the science behind it, is one of the most essential skills to know as an entrepreneur.

If you don't get logos, you won't get far.

In my experience, a logo to a company is like a face to a person. And like many of us, while we struggle to remember names, we almost never forget a face.

In fact, recognizable logos can actually trigger responses in the same part of the brain that controls relational emotions. So, if you love your iPhone, seeing the Apple logo can actually ignite the happiness and warmth that running into an old friend stimulates.

But the infographic below is deep. It's an article in itself. If your dream is to start a business or blog or movement, take the time to read it thoroughly and you can check off an important step in “startup school.”


Inforgraphic Provided by LogoMaker.com

What was the most fascinating take away from this? What do you feel makes a good logo? Let me know in the comments below.

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18 Responses

  1. Wow, I didn’t think there was a science behind how we view logos, but this is fascinating.

  2. OK. The science behind it you’ve explained…..is there a sequel telling us the magic secrets of what we’re supposed to do to create the next ‘Coca Cola’-type epic-ness in logos?!! [am off to find the research about the ‘Apple’ logo sparking more creativity and the research, in general, about this….yep, you guessed it, I need a logo and want to harness the power of this stuff!!]

  3. I took away from read about logos on how your brain reacts when you go across difference logos. Plus! I was surprise how logos can change our behavior..

      1. Okay!!! Really enjoying… Now maybe I want have to go back to school for digital marketing and web developer… 🙂

  4. This is a very interesting graphic. I am a psychology teacher. My class is actually learning about sensation and perception, which includes subliminal messaging. Some studies have found no correlation between subliminal messages and our behaviors, while other studies have found there is some link. I guess it depends just how subtle is the message. Anyway, great information. I will be sharing this with my high school students. I found the most fascinating part to be the connection between seeing a familiar logo we like and cranial regions responsible for relationships.

  5. I was just having this conversation with a client about the importance of logo design. Now I have something to back up all of the similar statement I made. THANK YOU!

  6. This is great. Of course designers like me are left asking what makes a good logo that will elicit these responses. Unfortunately and as expected in a creative field there is no black and white answer. There are however best practices such as simplicity which increases recognition and is easy on the eyes, appropriateness, and originality. The reason the Apple logo provoked enhanced creativity is because we associate the Apple brand with high creativity. It is the user experience with that brand itself that creates those kinds of results. The logo simple reminds/triggers those feelings nearly instantly. That is the beauty and purpose of a logo. Instant recognition and correlation to the overall brand. A great logo doesn’t equal a great company. However it can communicate some attributes and characteristics of the company through shape, color, etc. Therefore, your logo first acts as a visually appealing foot in the door, then as a reminder. If you want to have the same effect that Apple has, you must first create the brand (not visual brand, rather the essence of the company) then create a logo that fits around that. If your brand is a good one and your logo is appropriate and visually appealing, you have a good start. It is remarkably surprising how much of design is psychology. Even the amount of negative space that is in your website has a huge psychological effect on the user. We should offer design psychology courses in our university design programs. I believe that would have a huge impact on the success of a designer.

  7. Interesting, but as Jordan pointed out, this indicates that the actual design of the logo isn’t as important as what it signifies to the individual in terms of their relationship to the brand. Good design might help the viewer more quickly attribute the logo with the brand, but it’s still not clear whether a bad logo design creates negative associations with the brand or vice versa. I would be interested to see a similarly scientific MRI-based study on how people’s brains reacted to different logo treatments for the same company.

  8. Thanks, this completely explains why we are messed up as a society. Even 100 yrs ago, the Logo’s the Human brain would have Lineage recognized would have been plants, animals and insects for sustaining Life. No wonder our minds are a mess emotionally!!

  9. Steps 1., 2., and 3. are tangentially responsible for the reasoning behind “make the logo bigger” and “don’t crowd the logo.” If the viewer can’t see the logo, or differentiate it from a lot of background noise, they can’t respond emotionally to the brand.

  10. Fascinating! However, we are dealing mostly with “cause and effect” here… Things are mostly “after-the-fact”… Brand’s identity affects our perception of their logo, period… However, as creatives, we mostly have to deal with those “new/unknown” ones, which apparently are not perceived quite favorably, no matter what you do… So, in a nutshell, the message is still the same – keep it clean, make sure it works in black and white, and hope that the company would, someday, trigger a warm and fuzzy feeling in majority of the consumers’ hearts 🙂

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