Unsure what hidden messages in logos are? Consider this – have you ever noticed the word “MOM” in the collar fringe of Wendy’s logo? How about the peacock in the NBC logo? Well, they are there.
Most major corporations spend millions of dollars hiring large advertising agencies to create the ideal logo for their company. They need something that will not only catch the consumer’s eye but also display the essence of the company’s mission statement.
For you, we have found some of the coolest and most interesting hidden messages in logos from around the world. So, here are 25 hidden messages in corporate logos!
One of the biggest online networking companies in the world, Cisco has a couple of things hidden within its logo. The company was formed in San Francisco and the headquarters are still located in the city. That’s where the name of the company actually comes from – San FranCISCO. Get it?!
Also, the lines above the word not only represent an electromagnetic wave. If you look closely you’ll also see the icon of the city; the Golden Gate Bridge!
The FedEx logo is known around the world. People everywhere recognize it. If you look closely, you can see an arrow hidden within the negative space between the E and the X.
This arrow represents the idea that FedEx is always moving forward. Which is what you really want from a company delivering your packages.
In 1998, when Sony wanted to create a more affordable option for personal computers, they decided on the name Vaio. Vaio in English means “Video Audio Integrated Operation”. For the 10th anniversary of the brand, it was altered to mean “Visual Audio Intelligent Organiser”, which sums up a computer pretty well.
The logo is pretty ingenious as it incorporates the essence of computing; the integration of analog and digital forms. The V and I are the analog parts, with the V designed like an analog wave length, and the I and O represent the 1s and 0s that make up the digital code.
London Symphony Orchestra
The London Symphony Orchestra is one of the premier orchestras in the world. They needed a logo that would demonstrate elegance and high culture. The scripted LSR used in the logo conveys that very well.
But they also need to come across as fun and relatable. To accomplish this, they added a fun little hidden element. If you look at the LRS script, they form a minimalist Orchestra Conductor leading his musicians.
The hidden image in the Tostitos logo is pretty easy to spot. The two Ts in the center are made to appear as two people enjoying Tostitos chips. The only thing between them is a bowl of salsa (which Tostitos also makes). It conveys fun and fellowship to the consumer.
Most people know about this one though, because a few years ago, during football season, they showed commercials with the two Ts high fiving. But from this day forward, you will never be able to unsee that the featured part of the logo spells “tit”. Just sayin’.
BMW used to be a leading aeronautics company, designing specially built engines for various models of airplanes. That ended after World War I. With the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was forbidden from producing aircraft or the parts used to build them.
This changed the way BMW had to do business. The company transitioned to other industries, the largest of which was auto production. The BMW logo pays tribute to their past. The white quarters represent the look of propellers in flight while the blue areas represent the sky.
(Note: It was pointed out by some viewers that the blue and white center circle represents the Bavarian flag. Which is also true. It works on many levels.)
Amazon. The company that will probably soon rule the world has a very nice detail hidden in their logo. What do you see under the name of the company? Is it a smile? Is it an arrow?
It’s actually both. Amazon wanted the smile to represent the happiness that comes from receiving your package on time and in perfect condition. And it is also an arrow that stretches from the A to the Z. The meaning behind this was to say “we have everything from a to z”.
Pretty sneaky, Amazon.
Sports teams put a lot of thought into their logos. Their logo needs to make a statement about the team and convey a message. Everyone knows about the Milwaukee Brewers logo with the letters M and B forming a baseball glove, but what about the other team in Milwaukee?
The Milwaukee Bucks basketball team logo is pretty cool too. There is a rather scary-looking, fully grown buck staring into your soul! But look more closely. Do you see the M for “Minnesota” that forms part of the buck’s body? It’s there.
And that isn’t the only thing hidden in this logo. Look at the white space between the smaller and larger sets of antlers… Yep, it’s a basketball!
Baskin-Robbins is known for its 31 flavors of ice cream available at each of their locations. It is the concept the ice cream shop was built on. If you look at their logo, you will see the 3 incorporated into the B and the 1 in the F.
Baskin-Robbins wants you to always remember the variety you can choose from when you enter their stores.
Hope for African Children Initiative
The Hope for African Children Initiative is an organization that strives to give children who have had their lives affected by AIDS a better, more stable life. The AIDS epidemic continues to ravage many African nations. The Initiative works mainly with kids who have been orphaned by AIDS or who have AIDS themselves, as well as the communities in which they live.
The logo is the shape of the African continent on a sea of orange and yellow, bringing to mind the beauty of Africa. On closer inspection, you’ll see that surrounding the continent are the silhouettes of a child and an adult.
You would be correct if you thought the Golden Arches were representative of the M at the beginning of the name. It is recognizable around the world. But why is it shaped exactly the way that it is? The arches used to actually be two separate arches, which were often worked into early restaurant designs.
They were changed so that they would touch and be slightly elongated. They wanted the arches to subliminally bring to mind a woman‘s breasts. It wasn’t about selling sexuality in fast food (well, not just that anyway). The actual intent was to trigger the idea of a mother’s care for her family to make McDonald’s seem like a wholesome, healthy place that you can trust.
Toyota’s logo has a lot going on. It looks simple enough with three interconnected ovals. The large oval, which contains the other two, represents the world we live in. At the center, one of the ovals is the heart of the company, and the other is the heart of the consumer, coming together for mutual benefit.
The other thing hidden in the logo is the word Toyota. By highlighting different pieces of the logo, you can see each letter used to spell the company name.
Logos can be difficult to understand. If you look at the Apple logo, you will see the bite out of the apple. This is obviously a reference to the story of the Garden of Eden from the Bible. But no. It’s not.
There is a story that the apple in the logo represents the one that fell on Sir Isaac Newton’s head, which helped him discover gravity. No, it’s not that either.
There is a beautiful story that the logo design was done to honor Alan Turing, the man who invented what became the modern computer. Turing was a gay man living in a time when being gay was a crime. The authorities discovered his secret and he was arrested for “gross indecency’. His sentence included mandatory estrogen shots meant to suppress his “immoral urges”. Back then, they believed the injections would make him not gay anymore. After years of mental and physical pain, he injected cyanide into an apple and died after taking a bite.
But the reality is much less interesting. According to the logo’s designer, Rob Janoff, while he can’t remember why the company settled on the name “Apple,” the logo was just a sleek, modern design of an apple. The bite was included because it made the small apple on computers look less like a cherry. But he would like it if everyone used the Turing story as the truth.
Some logos are intended to send a subliminal message to consumers. That is especially true for sports teams. The Minnesota Twins’ logo is like that. Initially, you can see nothing more than a blue circle with the words Minnesota Baseball Club surrounding a baseball. The Twins’ script logo is emblazoned front and center. It’s simple and direct.
Did you notice the underline accent below the word Twins? Is it really underlining the Twins? No It specifically underlines the word “win”. This is something your eyes and brain will notice, even if your conscious mind doesn’t. It was done in the hopes that people would always think of the Twins as winners.
Grapevine Kids Dental and Orthodontics
Probably the smallest business on this list, Grapevine Kids Dental and Orthodontics is a dental office in Grapevine, Texas. Their business model is based on being a place where kids can feel secure and relaxed while receiving dental care.
Their logo does this to perfection. At first glance, you will either see a bunch of grapes surrounded by leaves or a cute purple cartoon lion with a green mane. This logo works on both levels. It is a bit playful as well, immediately setting a child at ease.
The logo for Yoga Australia is clean and simple. The name of the company is under the silhouette of a woman in a standing yoga pose. It gets the point across as to what the company offers in a concise way.
But do you see what is hidden within? The negative space in her pose forms the outline of the Australian continent! very cool.
Adidas is one of the biggest athletic shoe and sportswear companies in the world. The logo consists of their name under three simple lines. The lines, however, are staggered, with each one stopping just past the other in ascending order.
The design was created to bring to mind a mountain. It represents the struggle, work, and dedication athletes go through to get to the ‘top of mountain” and achieving their goals.
When Michael S. Dell founded the company that carries his name, he stated he wanted to “turn the technology world on its ear”. He wanted his company to always remain a leader in innovation.
This explains why the capital E in the logo is set at an angle, unaligned with the rest of the word. Not only is the E sort of “on its ear,” but it also says that Dell will not do things the usual way. They will strive to be different.
Lion Bird / Strong Hold
Lion Bird is a gaming group on the Steam platform. It is a pretty small group, but whoever is in charge knows how to create a great logo! When you look at it, what do you see first? Do you notice the cute cartoon bird or the staring lion?
This logo brilliantly combines the two elements into one strong, eye-catching piece of advertising.
According to the company, the Quicksilver logo stands for excellence and authenticity. I’m not exactly sure how a mountain and a wave say that, but that’s not important now.
The logo is inspired by an iconic Japanese woodcut entitled “The Great Wave of Kanawaga”. The painting and the logo both show a tidal wave, which represents the surfing side of their business. The mountain is Mount Fuji, representing the more outdoorsman side of the company.
Roxy is the women‘s brand of Quicksilver products. The design of their logo appears to be two hands forming a heart. But it is actually just a pair of Quicksilver logos placed at 45-degree angles that create a heart. This means it represents the company’s love and respect for their female customers.
The Hyundai logo would seem simple enough. It’s simply a stylized H in an oval. The H stands for Hyundai, and that’s about it. And it’s true. At least partially. The thing is that the style of the H is quite intentional.
The H was designed to resemble two people, a customer and a salesman, shaking hands as they made a deal on a new car! Look closely, just at the H. Do you see it?
Even though I am not a big fan of the Atlanta Falcons, I have no problem admitting that their logo is one of the best in sports. It is a sleek design that really gets across the idea of a fast, dangerous bird of prey. It suggests that they will strike quickly and do it in style.
But did you ever realize that the falcon design is in the shape of an F, for Falcons? Yes, that is intentional!
Eighty20 is a South African marketing and data analysis company. Their business is data and numbers. Their logo is not much different. There are 14 squares above the company’s name. While the word eighty is presented in a lighter grey tone, the twenty stands out in its bold font.
The boxes are presented in much the same way. Of the 14 squares, 4 are bold and 10 are a muted light grey. That means of the 14 blocks, 80% are grey and 20% are bold. It’s pretty clever.
Side note: it’s not exactly an 80/20 split, but it’s a very close approximation. They had to make a good idea work, right?
Touchstone Pictures was formed in 1984 as an arm of Walt Disney Studios. Its purpose was to release movies aimed at more of an adult audience rather than the usual G-rated family films Disney was known for.
Disney wanted to keep some distance from Touchstone as it was reluctant to have the Disney brand associated with PG-13 and R-rated movies. But Disney always wants to put its brand stamp on as many products as possible. So they figured out a way to have their cake and eat it too.
At the beginning of every Touchstone movie, a blue line would move across the bottom of the screen. Suddenly, lightning (or something similar) would flash, leaving a scribbled lightning remnant in the blue area.If you look closely, you will see that it is actually a stretched out hidden Mickey.
Yes. That is Mickey Mouse.
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