Phantom Logos

Have you ever had a condition that you were afraid to talk to anyone about? Good, I’m glad I’m not the only one. Some (my wife) might say that I’m a hypochondriac, which I know is a very serious (that’s right I said very serious) condition that will eventually lead to my end. I’m too afraid to even look it and its symptoms up online.

She says this because I once thought I had rabies. I still stand by my thoughts, which seemed to be a perfectly rational conclusion after being bitten by a raccoon. I would say I wish I did have rabies, just to prove it to her, but I don’t want to jinx myself. Did I say I was bitten by a raccoon?!

Back to my current condition, I’ve been thinking I was losing my mind. At times I felt things that were unnatural. I better bring this home before it really gets weird.

I have phantom vibration syndrome. I call it PVS. I have a work phone and a personal phone. Both are very busy. I primarily keep them on vibrate and one in each of my front pockets. There are times I hear one of my phones vibrating. I reach in my pocket, and my phone is elsewhere. I don’t even have to hear it. Sometimes my thigh simply vibrates. (Insert you own joke here.) It happens on a very regular basis, even after my diagnosis. It wasn’t until I heard about this on NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and I looked it up online that I felt I could tell someone else about it, including you. Now I feel normal again. Paul, you are on your own.

According to a USA Today article, “Phantom cell phone vibrations can be explained by neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to form new connections in response to changes in the environment. When cell phone users regularly experience sensations, such as vibrating, their brains become wired to those sensations.” I like this because it also proves to my wife that I have a brain. I may have not had rabies, but at least I now have proof that I do have a brain. The sad part is that there are no treatments available at this time for PVS, but I plan on persevering.

The cool part about PVS is that the brain draws connections to something that may be absent. This can come into play in interpretation and design as well. We ask visitors to make their own conclusions and fill in their own blanks all the time. In fact, we encourage it. Storytelling and personal interpretation are great at exercising the brain.

We know graphic design is capable of this. A few logos that I have recently seen do this as well.

A Kolner Zoo in Germany well know for its elephants capitalized on that in there counter-form logo (I would normally say negative space but Paul constantly warns me not to be unnecessarily pessimistic).

Lands originally owned by the royal family for hunting, the Royal Parks have a modern identity that represents the natural and cultural side. They even have a cool winter version of the the logo currently on their website.

My Fonts is a website that we have discussed here on IBD, used ourselves, and shared in many presentations. I love the hidden counter form here. It is so friendly.

This is the second elephantesque logo in this post. I like this one as well. Elefont is software tool that aides in the creation of fonts.

Hold on. I’ve gotta run, my leg just vibrated.