Date of Award

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Graphic Communications

Committee Member

Nona Woolbright, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Shu Chang

Committee Member

Amanda Bridges

Committee Member

Michelle Fox

Abstract

Color is often the first thing a person will be drawn to in an object. It fills the world and activates people’s imagination. The purpose of this research is to analyze the impact that color has on a person’s ability to recall visual information. Company logos are used as a focus for this due to the importance a logo has in the way companies market themselves. Therefore, a logo should be memorable at a second’s glance.

This thesis attempts to solve the problem of understanding what makes a logo more memorable to a customer in order to assure maximum visual retention of a brand’s visual style. In order to accomplish this, over four hundred human subjects were surveyed. Their task was to visually match a sample logo shown to them with a list of options each varying slightly in color and occasionally shape and typography. This allowed for a comparison to be made between the impact of color on retention to other elements of design.

Results collected from the survey provided data proving that color was the most significant factor in a person’s ability to remember logo design. A majority of all of the survey responses showed that participants remembered a logo based on its color over other variations in elements such as shape and text. This illustrates how important color is for a graphic designer to use to optimize the visual retention of a brand. The goal of graphic design is to communicate a message to a customer. Optimizing the visual retention of this information across media such as motion graphics, infographics, UX graphics, and more is the ultimate goal. The results of this research can be applied to future studies in these areas and more in order to maintain a consistent understanding of color trends and perceptions in the ever-changing worlds of design, communications, business, and marketing.

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