One of the most read posts on my blog, is about subconscious meaning in logo design. In the past twenty years or so, dynamic brand identity has largely been favored over static logo design. Everything moves now, from fluid responsive website designs to animated brand identity. Subtle meaning or visual presence is no longer limited to the shapes in a static form. How, I wondered, might subliminal or subconscious imagery be used in the era of motion branding?
Here, as an experiment, I inserted the logo of a famous rock star into the wonderful BFI identity by Johnson Banks. Can you spot it? What is the effect of seeing a mark for a fraction of a second – does it make a subtle impression on the mind, even if you don’t consciously acknowledge it? No copyright infringement is intended here; it’s an experiment created out of curiosity.
The idea of subliminal branding is insidious. No one wants Coca Cola brainwashing them. But ever since I learned about William Friedkin’s use of subliminal messages (through the use of very brief images in a moving picture) in The Exorcist and Cruising, I have been fascinated by these techniques. What do you think?