Logos with hidden meanings

Have you ever wondered about your favourite brand’s logo – why does it look like that, what does it mean, is there a secret message?! Well, yes, many of them do have hidden meanings. Want to know some of those which do? Of course you do…


Picture: (Wikipedia)


No it’s not the death star under construction. According to Wikipedia itself, the incomplete nature of the logo represents the unfinished nature of the project. In addition to articles it also refers to the languages yet to be rendered, as the existing ‘glyphs’ on the jig saw pieces are the first letter of ‘Wikipedia’ in the languages Wikipedia in which articles are already available.


Picture: (Gillette)


Gillette’s razors are so sharp they even chopped the logo a bit. The ‘G’ and the ‘i’ in Gillette are each sliced at an angle, like when you accidentally cut your finger tips attaching the thing.


Picture: (Beats)


The headphone are themselves wearing headphones. Just look!

Facebook Places

Picture: (Facebook Places)


On the map of the Facebook Place logo is both a square and a number four, bringing to mind Facebook’s competitor FourSquare. Perhaps this is a playful dig, rather than an odd reference to a competitor.

Baskin Robbins

Picture: (Baskin Robbins)

The popular ice cream company boasts 31 flavours, and so a ‘3’ and a ‘1’ have been incorporated into the logo as a ‘B’ and an ‘R’ respectively.


Picture: (Mcdonalds)


M is just an M and was designed to be an M, but according to the BBC, design consultant Louis Cheskin warned McDonald’s not to change its logo when it considered it in the 1960s. Cheskin allegedly cautioned them against the change because he believed that, subliminally, customers saw the golden arches as a pair of nurturing breasts (strange!). Whether or not we do, the McDonald’s people believed Cheskin and left the M intact.


Picture: (Toyota)


There’s a bull/taurus head and an O ring in both the wording and in the logo. This casts doubt on an old joke that the car markers chose ‘Toyota’ rather than ‘Toyoda’ because they thought the former sounded classier, without realising Americans would pronounce the ‘T’ as a ‘D’. With a letter ‘d’ the clever logo would not work.


Picture: (Adidas)


This is another logo with a redesign and retrofitted meaning. In the 1990s the three Adidas stripes were rotated ever so slightly. The new slant was to resemble a mountain. This isn’t to suggest they’re mountaineering footwear, but it’s meant to represent the obstacles a person can overcome.


Picture: (Apple)


It’s the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. And that worked out great for Adam and Eve. So an odd choice, especially as a snake isn’t the most positive allegory for the product provider. According to a series of articles by Jens Hofman Hansen the logo is Biblical but also much more. The original Apple logo in 1976 designed by Jobs and Ronald Wayne featured Sir Isaac Newton. The redesign to the rainbow coloured Apple that was well known in the 1980s represented Newton’s discovery of the visible light spectrum, and ‘Macintosh’ is a type of Apple. The tree of knowledge plays a part, but it’s just one of many meanings. Others have found the golden ratio in the logo.

Hope for African Children Initiative

Picture: (Hope for African Children Initiative)


As well as showing you the continent of Africa, this logo shows a child on the left looking up to an adult on the right.

London Symphony Orchestra

Picture: (London Symphony Orchestra)


As well as spelling out LSO, the image resmbles a conductor at work.


Picture: (Hyundai)


Not just an H, the car badge also represents two people having a handshake.


Picture: (Domino’s Pizza)


The domino on the Domino’s logo is obvious. But the number of dots represents the first ever Domino’s restaurant (then called DomiNick’s) in 1960,  and then the two franchises which were opened in 1965.


Picture: (Paramount Pictures)


The original 24 stars that surround the image of a mountain, represented the 24 film stars were officially attached to the studio when the logo was designed in 1917.

NHS Organ Donor card

Picture: (NHS Donor Card)


The card is both an image of a heart, and two arrorws passing one another, representing exchange.


Picture: (Häagen-Dazs)


This is more of an honorable mention, but it still has a startling revelation. Hagan-Dazs is not something in another language, nor is it a person’s name. It means nothing.

Your ice cream is nothing.

There you have it, a little bit of subliminal messaging in some. A lot of obvious giveaways in others. But they’re all equally clever and thought out, top Marketing! If you want to learn more about marketing subtleties then you can’t go wrong with one of our Marketing courses here at the college. Click here for more…


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