A study of preference of form in logos between Generation X and the Cultural Revolution Generation in China's big cities

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Che, Haiqiong
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Lisa Fontaine
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Art and Design

This study compares the preference of different kinds of form in logos between Generation X and the Cultural Revolution Generation in China's big cities. China is the world's second-largest economy and has the biggest population in the world. It is already a significant market to international brands that want to enlarge their business. Since China is still in an economic reform era, there are still many issues to explore for marketers. Since the logo is a key component of brand identity and provides instant recognition for the brand, it may be of great interest to corporations, desiring to reach the Chinese market, to explore logo preferences of different consumer groups in China.

In the case of Chinese consumers, the gap between the "Cultural Revolution Generation"--born between 1945 and 1960, and the "Generation X"--born between 1977 and 1989, is the most obvious and interesting gap to explore. How the generation gap formed and how the "Cultural Revolution Generation" behaves as consumers is not easily understood by those outside of China, given that no nation outside China has experienced the chaos and totalitarian socialist planning economy that occurred during the Cultural Revolution, in which the competition for products and services cannot be found.

For this comparative study, 24 logos were selected or designed to form an online survey. Based on existing literature, the author developed a hypothesis that the extremely different cultures and backgrounds of these two generations will cause them to prefer different kinds of logos. There were three pairs of logos shown in the survey, each representing three different graphic styles. The first test aimed to determine if the Cultural Revolution Generation prefers symmetric style to asymmetric graphic style compared to Generation X. The second test aimed to determine if the Cultural Revolution Generation is more likely to prefer naturalistic style to simplified graphic style than Generation X. The third test aimed to determine if both generations prefer freehand style to mechanical style. The participants were from each generational segment and were located in Beijing and Shanghai, China. This methodology clearly and obviously offered insights about the tendency of form preferences in logos between the two generations.

The results of this study showed differences do existing in the form preferences of some styles, while others showed little or no difference. These results, while limited in terms of breadth, can still be useful to the marketers and designers to consider the consumers' preferences when designing logos.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2011