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Fantastic logos with a hidden meaning

admin Mon, 08/01/2011 - 10:04

This logo was made by Stylo Design, a design agency from Covent Garden, London. The entire logo is created with only one number; the number 8. By omitting certain parts of this number, they were able to create the brand name.

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At first all you see is modern typography, but there is actually a hidden meaning of Sony's VAIO logo. The first two letters represent an analog signal and the last two are the 1 and 0 of the digital world.

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Here of course an arrow is hidden between the letters E and X. Lindon Leader designed this famous logo in 1994, as Senior Design Director at Landor Associates, San Francisco. It was a result of a work where more than 200 logos were designed before the designer arrived to this solution. It won over forty logo awards worldwide.

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Eighty-20 is a small consulting firm. The squares actually a binary code for the name. Top line: 1010000 and on the bottom: 0010100.

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Toblerone chocolate company from Bern, Switzerland, which is known for high mountains. Bern is also called "The City Of Bears". Find the hidden silhouette of a bear in the mountain illustration.

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Baskin Robbins offers 31 flavorous of ice-cream. The number 31 is hidden in the logo within the letters of B and R.

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The Northwest Airlines logo has two hidden meanings. For one it has the letters N and W in positive and negative spaces. And there is another less apparent idea in there. The red triangle points to north-west within the circle as if it was a compass.

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That yellow arrow is not just a smiley. It also suggests that you can buy everything A to Z on Amazon.

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The SUN Microsystems logo is a wonderful example of symmetry and order. It was a brilliant observation that the letters u and n while arranged adjacent to each other look a lot like the letter S in a perpendicular direction.

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The Tostitos logo has a not so hidden message. The letters TIT are two actually people enjoying mexican food at a table.

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The Formula 1 logo has a hidden number 1 between the letter F and the speed lines.

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Elefont is another logo with a hidden meaning in the negative space. Find the trunk in the lowercase letter e.

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The feathers of this peacock represent the 6 different divisions of NBC. The head is visible suggesting the peacock is looking toward the viewer.

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It is one of the biggest European retailers, and in French, it means "Crossroads". The logo symbolizes this word via two opposite arrows. They also added the first letter of the name, because if you look closely you’ll see the letter "C" in the negative space between the two arrows.

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The C and O letters at the beginning of the word shape a tyre, which Continental produces.

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Unilever produces literally thousands of different products, thus the letter U is made up of symbols representing all these products and what they mean to their consumers.

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This was a logo created for a puzzle game called Cluenatic. This game involves unravelling four clues. The logo has the letters C, L, U and E arranged as a maze. and from a distance, the logo looks like a key.

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Families is a Readers Digest magazine. The letter "ili" are transformed to show a simplified and stylised family of three.


Goodwill is a nonprofit organization that helps disadvantaged people in North America. The letter G in the logo is a smiling face, conveying the notion that Goodwill provides happiness and relief to those in need.


At first glance, this logo looks like a map of Africa, but if you take a closer look, you will see two people facing each other.


Conceptual logo that shows a golfer taking a swing and the head of a spartan warrior in helmet at the same time.


The Bronx Zoo logo shows the animals within a city with tall building. Smart play with positive and negative spaces.


Snooty Peacock is a jewellery store. Notice the hidden peacock in the face.


The Hartford Whalers logo shows 3 concepts at the same time. A whale's tail, letter “W” in green and the white space forming an “H” for Hartford.


The designer of ED Logo – “Elettro Domestici -Home Appliances” in English, changed the concept of traditional logo designing through this logo. The designer has amazingly used the negative space to demonstrate the letter “E” and “D” making the logo look like an electric plug.


In this Yoga Australia logo you can discover the shape of Australia in the negative space formed between the woman's raised leg and back.


Notice the palm of a hand in this MyFonts logo made out of the letters M and y.


Finally here is a logo designed in-house for some internal event at IBM.

46 Comments

mijlee's picture

Nice article with a couple of things I hadn’t seen before. But please correct the last caption. Far from being designed in-house for some event, it was actually designed for IBM as poster by Paul Rand no less, one of the finest logo crafters of all time.

admin's picture

Thanks for the correction. I think I'll leave it as is with your comment. Thanks

dogged1's picture

Why would you leave an inaccurate caption and rely on the readers going through the comments to find the correction? That comes across as lazy and half-unwilling to admit the mistake. How hard is it to verify the information, update the caption, and give mijlee credit for finding the mistake?

soundman's picture

One place this logo was prominently and publicly featured was at the IBM corporate exhibit at the Epcot Center at Disney World, in an exhibit that opened in 2000 in the "Innoventions" section of the park.

cinnygrau88's picture

For the Goodwill logo...I don't see the G in the smiley face...or vise versa...well I see the smiley face but I don't understand how it akes the G....

Phunkmonster's picture

Some fantastic examples here. It's amazing, we see most of these designs all the time, and never give them a second thought. It just goes to show that good design is not about being flashy or technical, but delivering good ideas really effectively and efficiently without any unnecessary baggage :)

mauriziomazzanti's picture

great list but you missed THE BEST :)

Wii logo is great not only for the logo but starting from naming: a new game consolle to play together and called as WE with two guys standing up in the logo !

Avalikmom's picture

Pretty cool. I had never noticed the arrow in the Fedex logo before.

neradi's picture

To be honest, I never see in all this logos that "negative space". Great information for some future logo works.
Thanks Ivan.

rsl designs's picture

Spartan Golf is one of my favs. Yoga Australia... excellent. Never seen that one before.

Fidel's picture

If you look at the old Camel cigarettes logo. In the camel left foot there is also a hidden creature, ilke in the toblerone logo.

It is the emblem of the city of Brussels.

Go find it.

rsl designs's picture

I'd seen on the net that it was suppose to be a naked man with an erection.

Fidel's picture

It is a statue of a boy and it is a fountain. He is called 'Manneken Pis' in Dutch, translated it means "The peeing Boy". If you go to Brussels you can see him at, Rue de L'Etuve

admin's picture

I think it's just a coincidence. And the image is not clear at all.
http://www.snopes.com/business/hidden/camel.asp

john77002's picture

Here's a logo for a business involved in ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION: http://bit.ly/bhsM8C

john77002's picture

A cool logo for a locksmith: http://bit.ly/9XyaCi

DJIO's picture

I totally agree!
Spartan is my favorite on this collection!

grupo_graphics's picture

Son de las cosas que te ayudan a inspirarte y darte cuenta que también uno mismo puede lograr grandes cosas con un poco de imaginación y algo se sencillas

Alley10's picture

Love the logos. But is there a misspelled word in the description of Continental? Should begging be beginning?
Just curious.

vyara's picture

Thank you for showing some great classics, under a new light.
Are there built-in cognitive triggers that stimulate a favorable brand perception? Or is it a case of smart business design, that fathered great logos?

Phiip's picture

I did discover the Carrefour one... And the "C" !
Of course, now it seems obvious...

Avalikmom's picture

Ok, it's only a simple logo, the it has a hidden vacuum head in the negative space of the C (for cleaning service logo):

http://stocklogos.com/logo/combatcleaning

Timmaximus's picture

The FedEx logo is pure brilliance, it's so subtle but works so well. I also like the Spartan one but my favorite has to be the Bronx Zoo logo, a perfect example of using negative space smartly.

newblackolive's picture

Here is a clever logo for a mortgage company. Notice the center of the C forms a key, perfect to represent buying a home! http://www.cmcloans.com/

SiestaBear's picture

Would have been more interesting of the key interacts with the letters C and E somehow.

Plus, whoever decided to use Arial must be shot.

SiestaBear's picture

My least favorite is The Bronx Zoo logo and I am shocked many people like it. There are reasons why the logo is not working:

1) The use of only one animal (giraffe) in order to make the idea of the negative space be buildings gives a feeling of being too forced, like they had to make the idea work.

2) Where are the giraffe hooves? I am not into images of people or animals missing body parts.

3) I am not really into how the word "ZOO" is so big when "The Bronx" is what makes the name of the zoo so memorable and should be equal in size in the logo since from a distance all you see is "zoo" and is too broad.

dogged1's picture

1) How many animals can be used to elicit the shapes of skyscrapers? I understand the problem, but I also understand the solution.

2) Where are the giraffes' eyes? And where is the smaller giraffe's tail? And what about their coloring and spots? It's a stylistic image, as all of these logos are.

3) If "THE BRONX" was the same height as "ZOO", it would be too wide and there would be no contrast in letterforms. If "ZOO" was made smaller, then you are emphasizing the name of an entire borough and de-emphasizing the exact type of location they are advertising.

Just Sayin''s picture

The old school logo for the Milwaukee Brewers is a favorite of mine. The lower case letters M and B form a baseball mitt. Most viewers see the M and B taken from the name of the ball club while many don't see the actual mitt at first glance.

http://www.blogcdn.com/www.dailyfinance.com/media/2013/05/milwaukee-brewers-900cs051313.jpg

Bibishi's picture

Love it. Love them. superb design.ing. THank you for this new information :) I`ve enjoyed discovering the hidden meaning and letters. Very stategic Logos. Best

FleaFungus's picture

"The Hartford Whalers logo shows 3 concepts at the same time. A whale's tail, letter “W” in green and the white space forming an “H” for Hartford."

You kinda missed the obviousness of the whale's tail also being the letter 'T'.
From top to bottom being THW. (The Hartford Whalers)