You’ve probably heard of the phrase ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’. I’ve always found it interesting as to whether this claim holds true for logo designs as they can effectively be either a picture (icon/symbol), a word (wordmark/logotype) or even a combination of both (crests/enclosures). Most marks are instantly recognisable as they are often used in the absence of type as a standalone icon, and obviously wordmarks contain the name of the brand they represent. Crests and enclosures are more interesting as they mostly combine both pictorial and typographical elements, which poses a different scenario in terms of brand recognition effectiveness.
So, in the absence of type in logos that utilise simple shapes and enclosures is it possible to still recognise them or do they rely upon the assistance of a logotype? Colour obviously plays a massive part in making a connection with a brand identity and so for this study I have discounted it completely and focused upon form alone, in the same way that I do in the early stages of my own design process. I think that over exposure of certain logos through the saturation of advertising helps to ingrain the image of a brand’s symbol or even a logo’s outline into the subconscious. Take a look at some of the stripped down logos below and I think you will be surprised at how many you can identify: