In college, I remember hearing about a “correspondence art” project by Bruce Helander in which he sent a series of letters, each decorated with pasted pictures of the “Mona Lisa” to a friend on the west coast.
Mailed on a regular basis from the east coast, the first letters were fully addressed, but in gradual stages he began abbreviating and omitting crucial bits of address information, until eventually a letter with nothing more than a picture of the Mona Lisa was actually delivered to his friend by the post office.
I’m guessing this must have been before widespread use of optical character recognition at the US postal service—when it was still possible (through dogged repetition and persistence) to train a series of unknown postal workers to associate a picture of the Mona Lisa with a specific destination.
The recent recent changes in Gatorade’s labeling, reminds me of Helander’s project. First the brand’s logotype is front and center and locked up with a lightning bolt. Then it gets a bit smaller, steps aside and lets the lightning bolt take center stage.
Are consumers like postal employees? If Gatorade takes the next logical step and removes the logo altogether, will consumers still recognize the brand? Could shoppers be trained to understand that a bottle, addressed only with a lightning bolt, meant Gatorade?
(Compare with old Gatorade logo lockup, after the jump…)
Beach Packaging Design