Publication Date

Spring 2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Human Factors/Ergonomics


Sean Laraway


graphic, human factors, trademark, usability

Subject Areas

Cognitive Psychology; Engineering; Design


Trademarks serve as visual representations of a company's name, product, or values. This research sought to determine the effect of the application of human factors principles and graphic design principles on trademark design. A computerized questionnaire was employed to investigate the emotional impact, comprehension, and recall of trademarks based on their type (typographic elements or graphic elements), their subject-content compatibility, and their adherence to human factors and graphic design principles. Trademark type had a significant effect on comprehension of trademarks but no significant effect on emotional impact or recall. Trademarks with high subject-content compatibility and trademarks that use visual metaphor resulted in significantly higher comprehension (as measured by ability to match trademark to company description), indicating that the graphic design community may want to consider utilizing graphics with high subject-content compatibility or visual metaphor if comprehension is determined to be an important focus during the trademark design process.