Hidden images in branding, advertising and everyday things.

Non intentional illusion in livery design

Recently on a trip to Portsea I came across some site-specific livery design. In fact, it was so specific it almost blended into its background, as though it was not there. However unintentional this effect was, it made me think of more deliberate and successful illusions created in branding and design. The visual tricks that designers create to make people take a second look.

One example of optical trickery involves an existing object for instance a bus, bag or even a patch of peeling paint on a wall. The object, whatever it may be, is represented with an additional layer of meaning that changes our perception of its form.

Paint patch represented

Heart Fence

Specsavers and Weightwatchers

A bag that skips

The duality of image and meaning also features in a number of brandmarks. In this case, negative space has been used to create a mark that can be interpreted in at lease two different ways.

Egg and Spoon and Yoga Australia


Truce branding


edex brand mark and the hidden arrow

Digital technology also lets us explore how an illusion could be created in real time. In the recent Jung Von Matt campaign for Mercedes Bens F-Cell, the vehicle is rendered invisible to illustrate its non-existent environmental impact. This effect has been created by covering one side of the entire car with LED mats that screen live video from the camera positioned on the opposite side so that passersby don’t see the car, only what’s behind it.

The ability to change people’s perception through a hidden image is a very powerful process and has endless potential. If you’d like to ‘bend time and space’, or simply want your brand to be noticed, give us a call.

Julia Dowe
Design Creative


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