white out

Whiting out brands

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If you painted a Sharpie pen completely white, thus covering its logo and identifiable features, could you still tell it is a Sharpie?

Andrew Miller, a graduate student at the School of Visual Arts in New York, started a Tumblr in early March called Brand Spirit where he is painting common brand-name objects (like a Sharpie) completely white to see if you can still identify them.

As part of a school project, Miller is painting 100 pieces, all of which cost less than $10, to see if people can still identify what the objects are with the branding wiped out. He told the Daily Dot he is removing the visual elements to find “simplicity and essence.”

Over the course of the project, he is trying to see if people are truly influenced by branding.

“I have been asking myself questions like: Are some products so iconic in form that they still reference a particular brand?,” said Miller. The blog received 21,000 hits on Thursday, he added.

Some objects Miller posted are easily identifiable, even when they’re drenched in white, like a Kleenex box and Scotch tape. But the shape of a Red Stripe bottle did trick us at first.

Miller buys objects from grocery stores, second hand stores, and friends give him items to paint. He uses a mix of acrylic spray paint and primer to paint the objects and will have a showcase once the project wraps up.

We highlighted some of our favorite ones below.

Image from Brand Spirit