Our eyes are our primary source of sensory information about the world around us—visual perception allows us to absorb and process our surroundings so that we can make sense of what we see.
It is said that visuals are processed in the brain at 60,000 times the speed of text. Although it all happens in a fraction of a second, the brain acknowledges and remembers shapes first because simple visual images can be remembered and recognised directly—it doesn’t require reading to identify shapes. Reading, instead, is a longer process than identifying shapes, because the brain needs to identify letterforms and decode words into meaning.
Cognitive science, which studies the mind and its processes, examines how the human brain recognises and interprets sensory stimuli. Alina Wheeler explains the ‘sequence of cognition’ in her book Designing Brand Identity. This concept tells us how the human brain gathers, processes, and interprets what's around us starting with shapes, the simplest type of information, and then moves on to increasingly more complex data, such as colour and text at last.
Since a distinctive shape makes a faster imprint on memory, brand marks can be very powerful because they create instant brand recognition.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Munch Studio is a boutique design agency that specialises in corporate identity design, logo animation and other brand expressions.
Have a project in mind? We'd love to help!