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Famous logos drawn from memory

September 27, 2017

In the words of the late Massimo Vignelli, “A logo gradually becomes part of our collective culture, in its modest way becomes part of all of us.” took 156 Americans between the ages of 20 and 70, and gave them half an hour to draw 10 well-known logos from memory, uncovering how accurately we can remember the features and colours of the symbols we’re surrounded by.

Adidas logo from memory
Adidas logo drawn from memory
Dominos logo from memory
Dominos logo drawn from memory
Target logo from memory
Target logo drawn from memory
Burger King logo from memory
Burger King logo drawn from memory
Starbucks logo from memory
Starbucks logo drawn from memory

The remainder are on Branded in Memory, from

Aside from the fact that there surely must’ve been a few graphic designers among the 156 participants, you’ll hardly be surprised that the logos with the most accurate recreations across the board, i.e., from top left to bottom right, are those with the simplest appearance (Target rather than Starbucks).

What’s obvious from the results is that most people are excellent at recalling brand colours — around 80 percent selected the correct palettes for their drawings, while shapes proved harder to recall. This highlights how beneficial it can be to assign logos with colours that are clearly different from competitors. Of course, it’s much easier to reach consensus on an unusual colour when working on a new design rather than something with existing brand equity (sometimes it’s more important to stick with what’s already in place).

While the study conducted was small, it kind of highlights the logo design challenge — to create a mark that can be easily remembered, while distinctive enough to stand out from the competition.

Via Debbie Millman.

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