Its discovery kindles the magic of the logo

It isn’t what’s there, it’s what’s not there, argues Matthew May in The Laws of Subtraction.

Even though the immediately obvious catches the eye, it’s the less obvious, that secret individual discovery that gets our juices flowing.


The following is an excerpt from The Laws of Subtraction by Matthew May (McGraw-Hill) via CoDesign :

“My ten-year-old daughter points out the logo on a FedEx truck every time she sees one. She’s done that without fail ever since she learned to sound out letters. But she doesn’t do that with any other logo. What’s special about the FedEx logo isn’t the vibrant colors or the bold lettering. It’s the white arrow between the E and the x.”

“There’s the white arrow that no one on my gymnastics team knows about,” she’ll say.


We are concerned with our discoveries as we are concerned with our properties.

A brand increases its popularity with the amount of individual discoveries made at any given touch point.

There you have your viral marketing.