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Hidden Messages in Logos

When we say that logos can talk, we really do mean it. However, not everyone may be able to hear exactly what they have to say. This is because most logos come with hidden meanings, very much like the Starbucks logo for example.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the hidden messages in famous logos. So, let’s get started.

#1 Beats by Dre

Beats, which is now one of the most popular names in the world of audio products, deserves to be on the list for its unique logo. Now a subsidiary of Apple, the company has a very simple logo.

It appears plain with a ‘B’ in the middle but if you look carefully you will realize that the logo has more to offer. 

Did you know that the red circle is supposed to be a substitute for a human head and that the B letter, which we think stands for Beats, is actually a symbol of  a headphone that a human is wearing?

Interesting, isn’t it?

#2 Amazon

Designed by Turner Duckworth, the Amazon logo is among the most widely recognized logos out there in the market. 

Now a billion dollar company, Amazon have once struggled to find their ideal logo. Eventually, they have settled on this simple logo where the curved yellow arrow underneath the brand name actually represents a smile.

Moreover, when observing the logo on a larger scope, there are more secret hidden messages that you will find.

Notice the placement of the arrow – it goes from A to Z which indicates that customers will be able to find everything they are looking for within the platform. 

This design element is one that not everyone notices, but it is definitely one that is extremely clever. 

#3 Hershey’s Kisses

 

Our favorite chocolate brand’s logo has a unique story to tell. 

Developed by Hershey Global Design, this logo has kisses hidden in them. Although the images of the first two Hershey kisses chocolate may be easy to identify by many, most people still struggle to find the third Hershey kiss embedded in the logo design.

To help you out, take a look at the spaces in between the letters K and I. You will find the third kiss squeezed in there. Tilt your head a little to the left and you will notice the hidden image of a rotated Hershey kisses chocolate.  

 

This is a prime example of how logo designers can sneakily incorporate the images of the brand’s products into the design. 

#4 FedEx

FedEx is among the most famous multinational courier delivery services there are today. Its purple and orange logo can easily be identified by almost anyone.

However, according to its designer, Lindon Leader, this logo is comprised of more than just the lettering of the company’s name. It has a very specific element added to it. 

If you notice the negative space between the orange letters E and X, you will see that it makes up the shape of a right-facing arrow. 

The designer believes that the arrow can mean different things to different people. It can be a symbol of speed, precision, or direction which helps explain what FedEx does as a company very well.

In your opinion, what do you think the arrow indicates?

 

#5 Baskin-Robbins

If you love ice cream then you must have tasted Baskin-Robbins’ at least once. But have you ever taken a closer look at the company’s iconic logo? It has a number hidden somewhere. Give it a try!

Have you found it? Nope?

Zoom in and look at the letters in the center of the logo, B and R. The clever use of pink color that pops out from the blue is there to highlight the number 31, which is the total number of flavors they offer.

The company has introduced many new flavors over the years and since then has not upgraded their logo according. Now, the number 31 stands for the 31 flavors that you can have 31 days of the month.

Baskin-Robbins wants their logo to communicate a key message to their customers, which is that you will never run out of new flavors! 

#5 Gillette

The Gillette logo has gone through several redesigns over the years, with the most popular version being the one designed by Anspach Grossman Enterprise.

Known for its razor products, the company highlighted their main product line within their logo in a very smart yet subtle manner. The tip of the letters G, I, and E have been cut into a slant, as if they had been cut by an actual razor.

#6 Jack in the Box

Say whatever you may want to say about their burgers, but Jack in the Box definitely scores a point when it comes to their unique logo.

This is a company that has also redesigned its logo several times over the years. Yet, until today, their first logo still remains quite popular in the public eye due to its hidden message.

Notice that the letters O and X are attached to one another. Together, the letters form an image of a fish.

Nobody knows why the company decided to place a fish in the logo, especially when fish is not in any of their main dishes. Some were even convinced that the owners of Jack in the Box originally wanted to sell and promote fish products but have later changed their mind.

Hopefully, we’ll find out the truth one day.

#7 Toblerone

From Kisses to Toblerone, chocolates are everywhere. This Swiss-based company exports its products all around the world but takes great pride in where it was born.

If you look at the logo carefully, you will notice a mountain in the middle, which is actually the Matterhorn Mountain in the Swiss Alps. Nonetheless, that’s not where the real secret lies.

Bern, the city where the company was founded, is also known as the City of Bears. To pay tribute to the city, the makers have hidden the image of a walking bear within the negative space of the mountain. 

Rather than just the mountain alone, the bear now becomes a huge part of the logo. This is an incredible way for Toblerone to communicate its brand origin and heritage to its international audiences. 

#8 LG

Designed by Oliver Vasquez, the LG logo is among the most discussed and studied logos mainly because unlike many others, it hasn’t been redesigned very often.

The creators of the logo initially wanted a simple logo, but even the iconic red circle contains a lot of hidden characters in it. The L in the middle draws out a human nose, while the single dot to the left represents an eye.

As there is no dot on the right side of the circle, this is supposed to replicate a wink. The G, on the other hand, makes up the smile of the entire. Together, although not so easily recognized, the shapes spell out LG. 

#9 NBC

NBC has put a lot of effort and thinking into designing its logo. What may appear as a random choice of colors actually took days for it to come to life.

When combined with the white space, these rainbow colors create the shape of a peacock. Each color indicates a specific element and shows the faith that the company has towards its programming.

The first NBC logo was launched in 1926 when the radio network first started its operations. However, the peacock logo was only introduced in 1956 to highlight the network’s transition into color television.

Since then, the logo has been upgraded several times but the company has retained the main elements as part of its logo design. 

#10 Google

It is likely that you look at this logo several times a day. I mean lets face it, we all use Google for everything. But have you ever taken the time to figure out the hidden message behind it? Probably not.

If you are curious, we are hear to reveal it all to you. 

The original logo, designed by Ruth Kedar, has been redesigned several times, but Google has stuck to a similar tone since the logo has now become synonymous with the company. Forgive yourself if you can’t point it out right now because the hidden message in this design can be a bit tricky to identify.

The logo mainly uses primary colors for each of its letter, except for the letter L, which uses a secondary color, green. According to the designer, the idea behind it was to tell the world that Google was out there to break the rules and create new boundaries.

#11 Apple

As surprising as it may sound, Janoff, the man responsible for designing the popular Apple logo, was out of ideas when he sat down to design a logo for the company.

Steve Jobs hired Regis McKenna to design the logo, who later asked his art director to come up with the logo. Unable to think of a unique idea, Janoff decided to take a bite out of the apple symbol so that buyers do not mistake it for a cherry or another fruit.

While Janoff hasn’t spoken about any hidden meaning behind the logo, Apple users believe the logo contains a few hidden messages.

Many people have come up with different interpretations of the logo. Some people believe that the apple indicates knowledge while the bite represents the sharing act of that knowledge.

What do you think? Do you have your own interpretation of the Apple logo?

#12 Adidas

The Adidas logo is quite easy to read, yet many people think the three lines symbolize a shoe. This is wrong because, according to the creators, the stripes actually represent a mountain. Thus, this symbolizes that everyday challenges that us humans face.

Some also think that this is an attempt to highlight their product qualities since the logo gives the impression that Adidas products would make it easier for people to climb the mountain, i.e: face challenges.

#13 Audi

If you are a car lover then you might be aware of the hidden meaning behind this logo.

Contrary to popular belief, the logo has nothing to do with the Olympics logo. In fact, the four rings represent the four companies that make up the Auto-Union Consortium in 1932. 

These companies included Horch, Audi, Wanderer, and DKW, where the first two was actually founded by the same person.

#14 Subway

The arrows in this logo are easy to identify but do you know what they represent? The two arrows on the letters S and Y indicate entrance and exit points. The company is attempting to send a message that at Subway, you can have healthy and delicious food on the go.  

#15 Domino’s

A lot of people think that the three dots in the Domino’s logo indicate pepperoni toppings. While we understand exactly why you may think so, this is far from the truth.

When the pizza house was first launched, the owners did not expect it to get as massive as it is today. The original plan was to add a dot every time they opened up a new branch. However, the fast food restaurant quickly gained its fame, therefore, the logo designers decided to stop at three dots which indicates infinity. 

With stores in 5,701 cities now, we are glad the founders made this decision.

Why Do Companies Have Secret Hidden Messages in Logos?

Logos with hidden messages are known as subliminal logos in the world of marketing.

Most companies opt for logos with unclear or hidden meanings because they want to stir conversations around the logo. They want people to talk about it. The ultimate idea behind it is to also be as unique as possible.

If you are struggling to come up with a creative logo then put your worries aside and let our designers do the job. We have design experts on our team who will be able to help you out.

Feel free to contact us to know more about how we can help you.

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Christiaan

Written by Christiaan

Besides having grown up in the design Industry, Christiaan has advised some of the world's largest companies on their branding & packaging designs. Has been the resident judge for design awards, and has spoken at numerous global design & marketing events. Christiaan founded the London office of the award-winning Cartils agency, and has founded the DesignBro.com platform.

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