24 Hidden Messages in Famous Symbols You Had No Idea About
Every large company strives to ensure that its logo is not just recognizable, but conveys a message to the consumer. Naturally, logo designers do their best to fit as much meaning into as small an amount of space as possible.
Today, Bright Side invites you to take a fresh look at some popular symbols logos and discover the witty and diverse meanings they conceal!
24. Hope for African Children Initiative
This logo is used by a public organization involved in helping children of Africa. If you look at it closely, you can see an outline of the African continent, as well as images of a child and an adult (the latter symbolizing support).
In the tenth century AD, Denmark was ruled by King Harald Blåtand, a historical figure famous for uniting Danish tribes into a single kingdom. Harald was often called “Bluetooth“ since he was a known lover of blueberries, and at least one of his teeth had a permanent blue tint.
Bluetooth technology is designed for uniting multiple devices into a single network. The symbol representing this technology is a combination of two Scandinavian runes: ”Hagall“ (or “Hagalaz”) which is the analogue of the Latin ”H,“ and ”Bjarkan“ — a rune that equals the Latin letter “B.” These two runes form the initials of Harald Blåtand’s name. By the way, a first generation Bluetooth device was colored blue and — yes, you’ve guessed it — resembled a tooth.
At first glance, the Amazon logo doesn’t appear to hide anything special. However, it’s still been designed to help us understand the philosophy of the brand. The yellow arrow resembles a smile, because Amazon.com want their customers to be happy. Also, the arrow connects the letters ’A’ and ’Z’, hinting at the fact that this online store has absolutely everything.
21. Yoga Australia
Another neat little gimmick is used in the Australian yoga enthusiasts’ club logo. The space between the girl’s hand and leg forms the outline of Australia.
20. Sony Vaio
The first two letters of the Sony Vaio logo constitute a wave, symbolizing an analog signal, while the last two resemble 1 and 0 — a symbolic representation of a digital signal.
Unilever produces a huge number of diverse products, and this is reflected in their logo. Each segment of the logo has its own meaning. For example, the heart signifies love, care and well-being, while the bird symbolizes freedom, liberation from everyday chores, and enjoyment of life.
18. Formula 1
If you look closely at the empty space between the ’F’ and the red stripes, you’ll see it transform into a ’1′. The logo is designed to convey a sense of speed.
17. ’Power On’
The “power“ (or ”power on") symbol can be found on practically any device, but few people know about its origins. As early as the 1940s, engineers used a binary system for representing specific switches, where 1 meant on and 0 meant off. In the following decades, it has transformed into a sign that features a circle (zero) and a vertical line (one).
The company started out as an aircraft producer, and the BMW logo remains true to these roots. Nevertheless, contrary to the popular belief that the center of the logo depicts the rotating propeller blades, it actually alludes to the Bavarian flag, which has a checkered pattern.
Rob Janoff, the man who designed the famous Apple logo, says: ’I bought a whole bag of apples, put them in a bowl and made sketches of them for a week, trying to simplify the details. At some point during my artistic experiments, I took a bite from one of the apples. Later that day, to my surprise, I found out that ’bite’ sounds very similar to ’byte’ - a computing term’.
At one stage in Apple’s existence, its logo used to feature vibrant, multi-colored stripes — to emphasize the fact that the company produced computers with color monitors. In 1998, following the return of Steve Jobs and the advent of a new generation of computers, Apple switched to the monochrome version of the logo.
14. Sun Microsystems
The Sun Microsystems logo is one of the world’s most famous ambigrams. The word ’Sun’ forms the basis of a square and can be read from each of its corners. The logo was created by a Stanford professor, Vaughan Pratt.
Continental is an automotive manufacturing company specializing in tires. One of those tyres is clearly present in the company’s logo — created by the combination of the first two letters.
12. Big Ten
The Big Ten is an academic association founded in 1896. Until 1990, this union consisted of 10 universities. Then, in June 1990, it was joined by Pennsylvania State University. The association decided not to change its name and simply added ’11′ to its logo.
The Mercedes-Benz’s logo symbolizes the company’s confidence in its own perfection. The three-pointed star represents superiority in every environment — on land, water and in the air.
In the early 1950s, NBC was owned by RCA, the company that pioneered the production of color TVs. The bright-feathered peacock’s tail featured in NBC’s logo was meant to show the people who still watched black-and-white what they were missing out on.
9. Eighty 20
Eighty 20 is a small consulting firm. Many believe that the firm’s logo has no connection whatsoever with its name. But, if we imagine that the dark squares are ones, and the light squares are zeros, then, in binary code, the top line would read as 1010000 and the bottom line as 0010100. Translated to ordinary numbers, this stands for 80 and 20.
Toblerone is a company that produces chocolate, based in the Swiss city of Bern, which is also called ’the city of bears’. This is why the company has incorporated a silhouette of a bear into its logo.
7. Baskin Robbins
If you look closely, you’ll find that the pink-colored segments of the letters ’B’ and ’R’ form the number 31. This alludes to the number of flavors that Baskin Robbins ice cream historically comes in.
Carrefour is one of the biggest European retailers, with its headquarters in France. That’s why its logo, which symbolizes the ongoing expansion of the company, is made in the colors of the French flag. In addition, the logo incorporates the first letter of the company’s name.
5. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers is a professional baseball team from Wisconsin. Their logo is made of the letters ’M’ and ’B’ and resembles a baseball glove.
The crown of the tree in this logo represents a brain. This both emphasizes the great intellectual potential of Greenlabs’ employees and provides a graphic representation of the company’s name.
The most well-known of all logos that contain a hidden meaning. If you look closely, you can see an arrow, which is formed by the empty space between the letters ’E’ and ’X’. This arrow symbolizes speed and accuracy — the two guiding principles of the company. Interestingly, having noticed this arrow once, people begin to see it first and foremost each time they look at the FedEx logo.
This caricature is pretty self-explanatory. What other app can glue our eyes to the screen like that?
Yes, the M stands for McDonald’s, but the rounded M also represents a pair of nourishing breasts, according to the design consultant and psychologist Louis Cheskin. In the 1960’s, McDonald’s was prepared to abandon this logo, but Cheskin successfully urged the company to maintain this branding with its Freudian symbolism.
Although the logo also reminds us of the movie Coneheads. Isn’t it a perfect match?