15 Logos With Hidden Messages

By / Aug 24, 2010 / Inspiration
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Designing logos can be very difficult. When designing a logo you want it to stand out from the crowd yet still be really simple. Sometimes the designer is really clever and makes the logo very simple yet includes a hidden message within the logo that has deeper meaning. In this article we have 15 logos with hidden messages, some of which you will have heard of before and some maybe new to you but hopefully you will enjoy them all.

Amazon

amazon

The Amazon logo is an extremely simple logo and while the arrow may just look like a smile it actually points from a to z. This represents that Amazon sell everything from a to z and the smile on the customers face when they bought a product.

Baskin Robbins

baskin_robbins

The Baskin Robbins logo may look like it includes a simple BR above the name but if you take another look you will that it includes a pink number 31. This is a reference to the original 31 flavors.

Chick-fil-a

chick_fil_a

The Chick-fil-a logo incorporates a chicken into the C. Although this isn’t very hidden, it is still very clever.

Eighty20

eighty20

The eighty20 logo is a bit of a geeky one to figure out, the two lines of squares represent a binary sequence with the blue squares being 1′s and the grey squares being 0′s. Which makes 1010000 which represents eighty and 0010100 which represents 20.

F1

f1

The F1 logo is a fairly simple one to figure out. The negative space in the middle creates the 1.

Facebook Places

facebook_places

If you didn’t already know Facebook Places, is Facebooks new geolocational product. Which is in direct competition with the current leader in that area Foursquare. Now if you take another look at Facebook Places logo you will notice it is a 4 in a square now is this a coincidence or a dig at Foursquare?

Fedex

fedex

The FedEx logo look like a plain text based logo but if you take a second look between the E and the x you will see an arrows which represents the speed and accuracy of the companies deliveries.

Milwaukee Brewers

milwaukee_brewers

The old Milwaukee Brewers logo may look like a simple catchers mitt holding a ball, but if you take a second you will see the team’s initials M and B.

Museum of London

museum_of_london

The Museum of London logo may look like a modern logo design but it actually represents the geographic area of london as it as grew over time.

NBC

nbc

The NBC logo has a hidden peacock above the above text which is looking to the right, this represents the companies motto to look forward and not back, and also that they are proud of the programs they broadcast.

Northwest Airlines

northwest_airlines

The old Northwest Airlines logo may look like a simple logo but if you take a closer look the symbol on the left actually represent both N and W and because it is enclosed within the circle it also represents a compass pointing northwest.

Piano Forest

piano_forest

The Piano Forest logo may look like a simple text logo with trees above it, but if you take another look you will see that the trees actually represent keys on a piano.

Toblerone

toblerone

The Toblerone logo contains the image of a bear hidden in the Matterhorn mountain, which is where Toblerone originally came from.

Tostitos

tostitos

The Tostitos logo includes two people sharing a chip and a bowl of salsa, this conveys an idea of people connecting with each other over a bowl of chips.

Treacy Shoes

treacy_shoes

The Treacy Shoes logo is very cute logo with a shoe hidden between the t and s.

About the Author

Thomas Hardy is a freelance web designer from Newcastle upon Tyne (UK), here is his portfolio. He founded Design-Heaven and Work-Killer, where he regularly blogs. You will also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

64 Comments

  1. Yorrany Braga
    August 24, 2010

    Genial, great insight.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  2. Matthew
    August 24, 2010

    Thanks for sharing mate, this was such an interesting read.

    Thouroughly enjoyed this article. Cheers!

    Reply
  3. Rozi
    August 24, 2010

    What could I say? Creative! This is how logo should be. Simple, beatiful and meaningful.

    Reply
  4. Lovely
    August 24, 2010

    Superb, aside from the obvious “popular topic” shoehorning in of the Facebook Places logo. If that’s how you draw the number 4, you need to go back to school. It just isn’t there.

    Reply
    • Bret Juliano
      August 24, 2010

      There’s a rough version without the map indicator on it (Some colors have been changed for visibility)
      http://tinypic.com/r/16kyk44/4

      Reply
  5. Jakob Birgersson
    August 24, 2010

    Designers with brains. I like that!

    Reply
    • 2experts
      August 25, 2010

      me too :)

      Reply
  6. Erjon Mehmeti
    August 24, 2010

    These guys should go bowling with Leonardo Da Vinci :)))

    Thanks for the article, I will never view the logos the same anymore.

    Reply
  7. Warren Jerzyszek
    August 24, 2010

    Great list… I have to be totally honest and say that I never noticed the connections and hidden meanings behind the logo designs you’ve shared with us. I really enjoy logo design and also try to include little secrets here and there but like you mentioned the simpler the logo gets the harder it is to incorporate hidden meanings. This was a really good read. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. Simon Willans
    August 24, 2010

    Doesn’t the eighty20 one only work backwards.
    - It should be 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, not the other way around?

    Reply
    • Brian Altenhofel
      August 24, 2010

      The eighty20 logo is correct. Binary is written with the lowest number to the right, just like hexadecimal and decimal notation.

      Reply
  9. Webrunner
    August 24, 2010

    I don’t think Facebook places logo is related to 4square, it’s only Facebook’s F rotated 90°CCW…

    Reply
    • Ben
      August 24, 2010

      Whether or not the 4 / square was intentional is debatable, but I bet whoever designed it, even if they meant for it to appear like the facebook lowercase “f”, must have realized it at some point, smirked, and left it like that on purpose.

      Reply
  10. kropped
    August 24, 2010

    Cool collection

    Reply
  11. Nico Kunz
    August 24, 2010

    To be honest, your post is just a rehash of about a million other blog posts out there that showcase hidden messages in logos. If you had found a new one then that would have been cool.

    Reply
    • Moz
      August 24, 2010

      I agree – disappointing collection, and rather limited observations too, compared with what’s gone before.

      Reply
  12. Thomas Røst Stenerud
    August 24, 2010

    Brilliant post, indeed. Wasn’t a part of the idea behind the NBC Peacock to highlight the vibrant colours of the colour TV set? Can’t remember where I picked that up, though. Nevertheless; thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Mark
      May 8, 2011

      Their slogan at the time was that they were “proud as a peacock” to have their station transmit full color.

      Reply
  13. web designer leicester
    August 24, 2010

    Nice post, i never noticed the amazon logo points from A-Z before…

    Reply
  14. Brian Altenhofel
    August 24, 2010

    The Big Ten Conference logo (American college football) also has a good one. A few years back, they expanded to 11 teams, but Big Eleven doesn’t have the same ring to it. So, they put some 1′s on either side of the T in negative space.

    Reply
  15. Rob Dyson
    August 24, 2010

    Bar the Eighty 20 logo, I don’t think any of these were particularly designed to be ‘hidden’- rather they all represent the ingenuity of good designers (I would have said they were all quite overt). But seeing them altogether is a great celebration of what makes a memorable brand design, so thanks for sharing ;)

    Reply
  16. Lara
    August 24, 2010

    I never noticed the arrow in FEDEX! I feel so ashamed.

    Reply
  17. Ivan Tsankov
    August 24, 2010

    Simply brilliant!What could I say? :D

    The NortWest Airlines,Fedex and Amazon logo are
    created by real,creative designers!
    This is how it should be done!

    Reply
  18. Brad Morse
    August 24, 2010

    Another one I’ve always liked is the Safe Auto logo. There is a rear view mirror in between the “S” and “A” in the logo.
    http://www.safeauto.com/

    Reply
  19. Austin Pickett
    August 24, 2010

    Now I want a toblerone…!

    Reply
    • Scott
      September 5, 2010

      I know it’s an old joke, but it’s near impossible to eat a Toblerone without hurting yourself.

      Reply
  20. Online Printing Services
    August 24, 2010

    Didn’t know that the bear was in the Toblerone logo.

    Reply
  21. Johnny Deeze
    August 24, 2010

    Abuse of the word “hidden”.

    Reply
  22. Eko
    August 25, 2010

    Amazing, very creative logo design…
    Thanks…

    Reply
  23. Dave
    August 25, 2010

    Check out the Big Ten Conference logo.
    The task was to create a logo for a conference that actually has eleven teams. Great.

    Reply
  24. Grzegorz
    August 25, 2010

    Great article. That’s amazing pice of art!

    Reply
  25. Craig
    August 25, 2010

    Creative and well thought out Logos, Thanks for the share.

    Reply
  26. Dawid Deja
    August 25, 2010

    Lots of interesting stuff.
    This was the first time I was looking at most of this logos differently.

    Cheers for this article.

    Reply
  27. Jeff
    August 25, 2010

    Creative, yes. Hidden, no.

    Reply
  28. Arslan
    August 25, 2010

    Nice Collection

    Reply
  29. Kartlos Tchavelachvili
    August 25, 2010

    …very interesting stories behind those logo designs, especially Amazon & NBC.

    TH4NK5 : )

    Reply
  30. Mauricio González
    August 25, 2010

    “The xx logo may look like a simple logo but if you take a closer look …”

    Reply
  31. mimwow
    August 26, 2010

    good article, thank u.

    guys who made those logos are pure genies.

    Reply
  32. Hey
    August 29, 2010

    Most of these are pretty obvious. Come on- Baskin Robbins? The “hidden” element is highlighted in pink.

    I feel like the only one that will always truly shine is the FedEx one. That is because it works and reads exactly the same weather you see the negative space or not.

    Reply
  33. Hey
    August 29, 2010

    whether*

    Reply
  34. thesebb
    August 29, 2010

    Very interesting article! I really like Amazon and Fedex. All of them are very good though.

    Reply
  35. Lisa Thomason
    August 31, 2010

    Amazing, very original logo designs. LT

    Reply
  36. Amanda Smit
    September 1, 2010

    Brilliant, and loved the explanations too!

    Reply
  37. rickwebz
    September 1, 2010

    Not sure if I should be amazed or feel shameful. Most of those logos have been in front of me for years and I never saw the hidden elements in them.

    Reply
  38. inspirationfeed
    September 1, 2010

    Fedex logo is classic!

    Reply
  39. Azim Khatri
    September 3, 2010

    Brillian job…quite interesting

    Reply
  40. Jeff
    September 3, 2010

    Interesting information on how some of these logo designs came about, Cheers

    Reply
  41. blogwebdesigner
    September 12, 2010

    Very interesting article! I really like Fedex.

    Reply
  42. Fabian Lujan
    September 14, 2010

    Carrefour logo?
    There’s a “C” in the white neutral space.

    Reply
  43. skaizun
    September 14, 2010

    What might be a coincidence, the blue area of the letter ‘m’ in the baseball Milwaukee Brewers logo appear to be three mugs of beer, and the yellow part could be the foam! Brewers and Beer!

    Reply
  44. Rett
    October 1, 2010

    Nice job choosing the most obvious hidden messages. And I think your the 1000th designer to write about the fed ex arrow.

    Reply
  45. Simon Hall
    October 8, 2010

    Never noticed the bear in the Toblerone logo before. I’ll sleep better for that.

    Reply
  46. Jason Bones
    November 7, 2010

    This Facebook Groups thing…turned sideways represents an f.

    Reply
  47. Felipe Spina
    November 16, 2010

    Maybe you could see the Carrefour supermarket logo, it’s a good example as well :)

    Reply
  48. Miguel
    November 16, 2010

    Fantastic article.

    Thanks

    Reply
  49. Achim
    November 21, 2010

    Wow, that Fedex and Toblerone thing really got me – seeing it for years but never REALLY seeing it. Thanks for sharing and opening eyes. :)

    Reply
  50. web design hull
    December 7, 2010

    Nice collection, there were plenty of hidden elements that I’ve never noticed… I can’t believe I’ve missed the fedex arrow.

    Reply
  51. Jen Teichert
    December 20, 2010

    These are brilliant! I’m from Milwaukee, and never saw the hidden initials in the Brewers logo until you pointed them out! I was here looking for some inspiration, as I have a brain-block right now trying to design a logo for a new company. These were very inspiring and got my brain moving again. :)

    Reply
  52. John
    May 3, 2011

    I like the new Starbucks logo, goes to show how a brand can do away with name and slogan using a good logo.

    Reply
  53. Arvind
    May 9, 2011

    Many of them are not really hidden. Especially the 31 in BR is SO obvious.

    Reply
  54. lono
    May 10, 2011

    Never knew about the Baskin Robins logo and 31 flavors… Fedex is still my favourite! very clever

    Reply
  55. Amazing news
    January 4, 2012

    Museum of London logo & NBC logo are the best in the list.

    Reply
  56. Tony
    January 30, 2012

    You guys forgot to mention that in the NBC logo there is also the hidden acronym for NBC which stands for Nothing But Commercials.

    Reply
  57. Clay
    October 7, 2013

    One of my favorites is the new(ish) Caribou Coffee logo. The body of the caribou is a coffee bean.

    Reply

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