Waiter! There’s an X(xx) in my logo

It happens every time. You finally get a brand identity approved then someone comes back, pale as sheet and says "Well we just showed the new logo to [ anything from CEO to wife to janitor], and s/he said ‘don’t you think it looks a little like an X’"?

Some points regarding the concern that people may have irrelevant (obscene or other) associations for the new mark:

1. Graphical marks always appear in context. There is no situation in which the mark appears totally alone and without any context. When the mark is given in context the chances of such associations prevailing are practically none-existent.
Any graphic brand in the world, when taken out of context can be read in some negative way.

2. The human brain is always happy to give significance, even when there isn’t any context. When abstract shapes are seen, people will always find imagery in them. They will do that even if these are random: ink blots, cracks in paint or mould stains on the ceiling. The difference is that some people are aware of doing that, and others can see only their own interpretation. In reality – it doesn’t happen thanks to context. And even if a couple of times it does, it doesn’t "stick".

3. The only acceptable type of design research is a "disaster check", you present it to people of different age groups and backgrounds who are asked to free associate about it, unless the same negative connotation keeps coming time and time again – you’re safe. The question is not "Is it possible for a person to see THAT in the mark?" but "WILL people likely see THAT?".

The answer is usually – They absolutely will not.

(Oh, and people will make parodies on the net anyway…)

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