But can you draw a chicken from memory?
Most people cannot draw anything that looks anything like a chicken, but is it because branding is not quality, our memories are poor, or we lose something between brains and fingers? What about something simpler and in the daily lives of Apple users more than chickens like the Apple logo? Can they draw it from memory? Probably not, as it turns out.
A new study in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology found that out of 85 UCLA undergraduate students, 84 could not reproduce the Apple logo when asked to draw it on a blank sheet of paper. Fewer than half the students correctly identified the actual logo at all when they were shown it among a number of similar logos with slightly altered features.
Among the participants were 52 Apple users, 10 PC users and 23 students who used both Apple and PC products -- but the findings did not differ between Apple and PC users.
Which one is the real Apple logo? Let us know in a comment. Credit: Adam Blake, Meenely Nazarian, Alan Castel/UCLA Psychology
How can this be, given that logos are designed to be simple, memorable and visually distinctive, and Apple's logo is among the world's most recognizable?
"People had trouble picking out the correct logo even when it was right in front of them," said Alan Castel, an associate professor of psychology at UCLA and senior author of the study.
Castel previously found that most people did not know the location of a bright red fire extinguisher near their office, even though they had walked by it hundreds or thousands of times. An explanation may be that our brains have learned it is not important to remember specific details. An efficient memory system does not need to store the details of a corporate logo, except perhaps to distinguish counterfeit products.
Earlier studies have shown that most people have a poor memory for other items they encounter daily or almost daily, including computer keyboards (even skilled typists have difficulty describing a standard keyboard), pennies and road signs.
In the new study, participants were asked how well they would be able to draw the Apple logo before being asked to draw it.
"There was a striking discrepancy between participants' confidence prior to drawing the logo and how well they performed on the task," Castel said. "People's memory, even for extremely common objects, is much poorer than they believe it to be."
Can you recognize the correct logo? See how you do.