This is an archive of drawings of 9 logos/signs by 150 people (and counting). These people drew these famous logos/signs as they remember them, without looking at an instance.

6 logos/signs are endemic to Turkey, and 3 of them are global (Windows, Apple, Twitter). The participants also note their familiarity with every institution/corporation/entity on the form before drawing their logos.

You can filter and sort the archive by the age/sex/profession of the participants, by their familiarity with the subjects and by the 9 different logos/signs. You can choose multiple filters to see, for instance, the Twitter drawings of 20–24 years-old men in engineering who are not familiar with Twitter. Believe me it's fun.

You can also compare the drawings with the original logos if you click on a drawing in the listings and go to its own page.

Each participant has a Person ID number assigned. If you'd like to list all the 9 drawings by a specific participant (plus the reference box included to have an idea about the drawing capabilities of that person), you can click the Person IDs below the images or write the ID number in the search bar within the Sorting menu in the Filter page.

The survey is conducted in person through these printed forms below. There isn't a time limit for the participants; they are only forbidden to look at instances of the logos before-during the survey and talk to others to get help.



This is a personal research project and I did it because I was curious about the results. Since I started in January 2013, I've seen or heard of similar endeavours (example 1, date unknown; example 2, 2015) but I haven't been able to find one that collects information about the participants and displays the archive in a systematic structure, like I tried to do. I had a hunch that this archive could generate some insights about the visual/graphic/semantic capabilities of both the logos (for being correctly perceived and remembered) and the people (in general, and subgroups of them like "25–29 years-old people in design") but my main motivation for this project still is the fact that the drawings are just so fun to flick through. I mean, look at this...

Obviously, the question I'm interested in is not whether they can draw it beautifully or not – people have varying drawing skills and a purely visual resemblance to the real logos shouldn't be a measure for the success of the participants nor the logos. (Logos, with very few exceptions, aren't designed to be drawn by people. The Turkish Lira sign however is not a logo and how accurately it's drawn by people is a measure of its success as a sign in everyday life.) The ugliness/clumsiness of the drawings is the part that creates the fun here, and it doesn't point to any meaningful conclusions.

But there is another serious way to look at the results with other types of questions: Which structures/parts/details are perceived and remembered by more people – even if they're drawn in horrible style? Which graphical plays are not understood on a semantic level? (The Kanal D logo being drawn as mirrored shows that many people do not perceive it as the letter 'D'.) What left-right mistakes do people tend to do in asymmetrical structures? Which logo do people remember the most amongst the many that a brand has used over the years? Is there anything special about the logos which people don't remember at all and leave blank? And are there any demographic patterns in the answers to all of these questions?

I decided which logos were going to be there after much deliberation and many trials. I chose to include 6 logos/signs that are endemic to Turkey for various reasons. First, I live in İstanbul and the participants are people around me, and people around them; I can't make this an online survey because I have to be sure that the participants are not cheating. (This also explains the heterogeneity of the profiles in terms of age, sex, and profession, as much as I tried to balance them.) Second, I am interested in different types of logos with different life spans and usages such as 100 years-old football club logos, a 20 years-old TV network, etc. and this requires a geographic focus. And the hard-to-draw football club logos/emblems are there because they comprise a more specific case for the effects of familiarity/fandom. (Football is the dominant sport in Turkey and even those who are not interested in it – including me – are exposed to these logos in their everyday lives.)

Contrary to the opinions of some participants, the fact that some companies (Turkcell, Windows, Twitter) have had many different logos/combinations that one can remember from the last years/decades is something that makes it all the more interesting from the perspective of this survey: Which one pops up in their minds when they hear the brand's name? And why? (When people ask "Which one do you want me to draw?", I answer "The one you remember, or remember the most".)



I know that my sample size is not yet enough to arrive at demographic conclusions, but even with this many participants you can have some general insights.

When you order the subjects according to the number of participants who are "very familiar" with them, the list goes (in decreasing order): Apple, Windows, Turkcell, Turkish Lira, Kanal D, Twitter, Galatasaray FC, Beşiktaş and Fenerbahçe FCs.

The frequent changes in the Windows logo is reflected in people's memories; everybody seems to remember another version of it.

1 in 4 people draws the Kanal D logo as mirrored; this shows that many people do not perceive it as the letter 'D' (11). I am inclined to think that this is a problem for a logo. (Maybe some of them are confused by the fact that the lowercase 'd' and the uppercase 'D' look at different directions, though the logo is obviously based on the uppercase 'D'.)

The Turkish Lira sign usually lacks its sharp corner at the bottom (854). It is sometimes confused with the Yen sign (75, 210). 

Some people draw the mascots instead of the logos (132, 8141245).

The intertwining of the letters 'G' and 'S' in the Galatasaray logo is a simple and memorable play; even participants who don't remember the football club logos or plainly write 'FB', 'BJK', 'GS' for them remember and try to replicate that trick for 'GS' (Person 120).

Fenerbahçe has the least memorable logo. 33% of the participants left it blank. (25% for Beşiktaş; 13% for Galatasaray.)

For Turkcell, many people remember the logotype instead of the icon (745). 1 in 3 people writes the name of the brand or even tries to replicate the bold type, with or without the other graphic elements (the mascot, the antennas, etc.). This is an interesting display of the power of consistent typography over a long timespan.

Even when people don't exactly remember the logos, they have a rough idea about the overall shape, sometimes using other figures as dummies. Nice examples are Galatasaray being drawn as an ampersand (338) or the treble clef (96).



There hasn't been any changes/revamps in these logos during the period of collecting surveys. All participants were on par – though the later ones could be at an advantage compared to the first participants (January 2013) since they had longer exposure to the recent changes in Windows (February 2012) and Twitter (June 2012).

I thank Eser Aygün for speeding things up by writing me a custom program that automatically crops the 10 images from the scanned A4s; Emre Parlak for joining me in designing the website; Kayhan Yalınkılıç and Gökmen Kurtoğlu for the programming of the website; and everybody who participated and got other people participate in this.

This website was first published on June 14, 2017.

I created the amazing "Graphic Survey" logotype with my left hand.

(Türkçe açıklamalar için şu yazıya bakabilirsiniz.)

— Deniz Cem Önduygu