Our Brains are Hard-Wired to Love Great Design

As humans, our brains are wired to find patterns and make connections. Thanks to our Homo Erectus ancestry where a crashing in the jungle either meant an approaching saber-toothed beast or disgruntled in-law (or both), we are actually so good at sussing out patterns in the world around us, that there are entire scientific fields dedicated to this research.

How, you ask, does this relate to design? Allow me to delve in with a little personal experience.

In another life, I had an extended commute every day for work. This commute happened along a major interstate, sharing the road with thousands of other drivers every day, twice a day. In my hours moving (and well, sitting) in traffic, I couldn’t help but begin to notice the various logos, taglines, and branding elements displayed on the semis and work vehicles all around me. Moving companies, plumbers, concrete constructors, food services, long-distance haulers… Some I’d see often, some only once or twice; some utilizing great design, and some still caught in the bangin’ 80s. Even now, when I think back to the multitude of branding I witnessed on those long drives, it’s the brands with well-designed aesthetics -- however in-frequently I might have seen their fleet -- that are still memorable. I know for a fact I witnessed hundreds of semi-trucks operating with a particular distribution company, bearing the same dry, sparse logo that failed to transition into the last decade (or three). And each time it was a different size, a different color, a different slightly mangled font. I can’t for the life of me iterate what the name, tagline, or particular industry happened to be.

I can, however, recall the branding of a moving company I happened to witness only a handful of times. Bright, inviting colors and consistent logo display and placement were key in every instance. I actually at one point went home and researched them, so I’d have their information on hand if I ever would need it.

Good, memorable design goes a long way. You see it once, and the information hides away, cataloged somewhere in the back of the mind. Twice, and it advances forward. A collection of encounters later, and the name, information, and identity have started a pattern of recollection and placed itself on a comfortable shelf somewhere near the front of your memory.

And as hinted earlier, it’s not just good aesthetics, but consistency in those aesthetics that aids in the string of connections our brains put together. As a brand, it’s vital that you strive in your image to be as recognizable as possible! The more memorable you are, the more likely a potential customer will think of yours as the first stop on their list.