Sunday, August 28, 2011

Famous Logos With Hidden Messages

You’ve seen these famous logos countless times, but have you seen the hidden images and messages within them? There’s more to brand designs for Toblerone, FedEx, Tostitos, and other companies than meets the eye.

Check out the white space between the E and x in “Ex.” Can you spot the arrow? Now you’ll never be able to look at a FedEx truck or box without seeing it.

Famous for its thirty-one ice-cream flavors (though the company’s expanded beyond that original number at this point), Baskin-Robbins unveiled this new logo in 2006 to commemorate its sixtieth anniversary.

Though I’ve carried Tostitos bags into many parties and barbecues, I’d never noticed the celebration going on in the logo itself. The second and third t’s are sharing a chip over an i that is dotted with a salsa bowl. Yum!

Big Ten
Penn State became the eleventh member of this university athletic conference, hence the embedded “11” in its logo. However, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will become number twelve in a couple of years, meaning another logo change is probably in the works.

Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium
The tree stands out almost immediately, but if you give the image more than a cursory glance, the designer’s remarkable use of white space becomes clear. There’s a lot of life in this logo, which makes it perfect for a zoo-aquarium combination.

Northwest Airlines
Before merging with Delta, Northwest’s logo was one of the best in the industry. The N and w within the circle are fairly obvious, but did you know the circle also serves as a compass? And guess which direction the arrow in the upper-left-hand corner (or the beginning of the w) is pointing?

What looks like half of a happy face is also a bigger version of the G in Goodwill’s name. It gives the logo an entirely different feel when you think about it that way.

Le Tour de France
It’s funny how often you see a design without picking up on its most interesting aspect. I didn’t see the person riding a bicycle until a friend pointed it out. (The yellow circle is the front wheel and the r is the body, if that helps.)

There’s a slightly obscured bear within the Matterhorn Mountain if you look closely. That’s because the candy bar hails from Bern, Switzerland, a city supposedly named for a bear.

The name of this French international retail chain translates to “crossroads,” or “intersection” in English. The two arrows pointing in opposite directions indicate this, but there’s also a big C hidden in the white space.

London Symphony Orchestra
The seemingly simple design is both an acronym for the London Symphony Orchestra and a conductor conducting with a baton in his right hand. Neat, huh?

Milwaukee Brewers
This was the Brewers’ emblem from 1978 until 1993. An art history student designed the baseball glove composed of an m and a b for a 1977 logo contest. Now it’s one of the most famous logos in baseball.

Washington State University
Washington State University’s mascot is a cougar, but putting a picture of an actual cougar in the logo would be so boring. Instead, the cougar is created with creative exaggerations of the letters W, S, and U.

Hershey's Kisses
The Kisses logo doesn’t have much to it, but if you look at it sideways, you might see a chocolate kiss formed between the K and the I. Subliminal marketing, perhaps?
I never thought about the reason for the arrow under Amazon until I noticed where the arrow begins and ends: a and z. Because Amazon offers everything from A to Z! It’s possible I’m the last person on Earth to figure this out.

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