15 Logos With Hidden Messages

By / Aug 24, 2010 / Inspiration

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.

  • http://klipz.com.br Yorrany Braga

    Genial, great insight.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.matthewhartman.com.au Matthew

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

    Thouroughly enjoyed this article. Cheers!

  • http://www.morzproject.com Rozi

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

  • Lovely

    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.

    • http://www.julianowebpages.com Bret Juliano

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

  • http://www.trevlig.se Jakob Birgersson

    Designers with brains. I like that!

    • http://2experts.net 2experts

      me too :)

  • http://www.jumbo-designs.com Erjon Mehmeti

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

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

  • http://www.crearedesign.co.uk Warren Jerzyszek

    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.

  • http://willans.net Simon Willans

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

    • http://www.vmdoh.com Brian Altenhofel

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

  • Webrunner

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

    • Ben

      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.

  • http://www.kropped.com kropped

    Cool collection

  • http://www.digitalstyle.com.au Nico Kunz

    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.

    • Moz

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

  • http://www.thomasrost.no/blog Thomas Røst Stenerud

    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!

    • Mark

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

  • http://www.helloeverything.co.uk web designer leicester

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

  • http://www.vmdoh.com Brian Altenhofel

    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.

  • http://robdysonpr.wordpress.com/ Rob Dyson

    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 😉

  • http://creativelara.com Lara

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

  • http://commingsoon Ivan Tsankov

    Simply brilliant!What could I say? 😀

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

  • Brad Morse

    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/

  • http://www.austinpickett.com Austin Pickett

    Now I want a toblerone…!

    • http://www.scottcarmichael.co.uk Scott

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

  • http://smartpress.com Online Printing Services

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

  • http://www.speedstrip.com Johnny Deeze

    Abuse of the word “hidden”.

  • http://ibrandstudio.com Eko

    Amazing, very creative logo design…
    Thanks…

  • Dave

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

  • http://www.silme.pl Grzegorz

    Great article. That’s amazing pice of art!

  • http://www.securityking.com Craig

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

  • Dawid Deja

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

    Cheers for this article.

  • Jeff

    Creative, yes. Hidden, no.

  • http://www.92pixels.com Arslan

    Nice Collection

  • http://www.eclipsedesign.eu Kartlos Tchavelachvili

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

    TH4NK5 : )

  • http://twitter.com/nopersonalive Mauricio González

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

  • http://mimwow.info/portfolio mimwow

    good article, thank u.

    guys who made those logos are pure genies.

  • Hey

    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.

  • Hey

    whether*

  • http://sebastianostman.com thesebb

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

  • http://www.craigfordham.net Lisa Thomason

    Amazing, very original logo designs. LT

  • http://www.cardsoftware.net Amanda Smit

    Brilliant, and loved the explanations too!

  • http://www.winnipegreflections.com rickwebz

    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.

  • http://inspirationfeed.com inspirationfeed

    Fedex logo is classic!

  • Azim Khatri

    Brillian job…quite interesting

  • http://www.bestcardprinter.com Jeff

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

  • http://bestdesignwebgallery.com blogwebdesigner

    Very interesting article! I really like Fedex.

  • Fabian Lujan

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

  • skaizun

    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!

  • Rett

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

  • http://alldesignandprint.co.uk Simon Hall

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

  • Jason Bones

    This Facebook Groups thing…turned sideways represents an f.

  • http://fspina.com Felipe Spina

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

  • Miguel

    Fantastic article.

    Thanks

  • http://www.tafel-ambiente.de Achim

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

  • http://www.buzz-website.co.uk web design hull

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

  • http://www.jenteichert.com Jen Teichert

    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. :)

  • http://www.carinsurancehub.com John

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

  • Arvind

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

  • http://www.lonocreative.com lono

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

  • http://www.supiri.com Amazing news

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

  • Tony

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

  • Clay

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