It’s no secret that branding is powerful: Fonts, shapes, colors are all part of what we associate with certain brands. Without the words, we can tell the swoosh is part of the Nike franchise, and a yellow M is a straight sign to your local McDonald’s. In fact, if these clues were part of the mobile gaming app Draw Something, that’s probably what you’d scribble down first. But can you recognize these brands and objects if you take the colors and logos away?
That’s the idea behind the project Brand Spirit by Andrew Miller. Every day for 100 days, Miller has taken a random object and paint it completely white to strip it of the branding we’ve come to know like the back of our hands. By removing the visual branding, Miller says this “reduc[es] the object to its purest form.”
“I can purchase each object for less than $10, it can be something I own, something another person gives me, or something I find,” he vows.
While it’s much easier to identify the object, it gets slightly more difficult to associate them with the exact brand. In the example above, it’s clear that the object is a Nintendo controller since no other item bares that same design. But the gummy bear? We assume it’s the infamous Haribo’s snack, but we can’t be too sure. Same goes for the items Miller has painted so far, which includes a disposable razor blade (Gillette), a cassette tape (Maxell), a paper coffee cup (Starbucks), a condom in its packaging (Trojan), and more.
As of today, Miller is exactly three-quarters of the way through his 100-day project. Some of our favorites were, of course, the Moleskin thanks to its tech-related function. Follow Miller on his Brand Spirit Tumblr for the last 25 days and see if you can figure out each object before reading the answers directly beneath the photos. It’s wild how much our brains are embedded with these knowledge thanks to exposure to pop culture and advertising. Can you be tricked?