You got your picture in my logo
I’ve been noticing logos lately that have replaced letters with pictures. I think it’s fascinating how the brain just fills in the blanks, whether or not the pictures actually resemble the letters they replace. Various studies have shown that we don’t look at the letters which make up words as much as we look at the shapes of the words as a whole. In fact, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit pclae. The brain just takes care of the rest.
Here are examples where the letter isn’t completely gone, but a picture is formed by stylizing and embellishing a letter:
And here are examples where the letter is totally gone, completely replaced by a picture that resembles the missing letter:
It probably helps that the picture in the word is often a representation of the word itself. Something like the Stroop Effect may be going on here (or maybe the opposite of the Stroop Effect, whatever that would be called. The Poorts Effect?). Take this example, for instance:
The strawberry doesn’t look anything like the letter “a” but we know what letter is supposed to go there because we recognize the rest of the word, and after all, it is a picture of a strawberry.
This is one of my favorites:
We know it’s supposed to say “CIGARS” even though the picture neither looks like the letter “C” nor depicts a cigar! Perhaps the association with some tobacco product is enough.
And then there are the movie logos that replace letters with numbers:
And of course movie logos that replace numbers with pictures:
But Google takes the cake. They frequently swap out their traditional logo with one paying to tribute to a holiday or celebrity birthday. Their substitute logos often replace letters with picture, relying on our familiarity with the Google name and logo. They use color to remind us of the original logo, too.
And the granddaddy of all is this Google logo celebrating the Persian New Year. Only one letter remains as a reminder of the original logo: