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Top 10 hidden meanings in company logos

It may be difficult to believe, but thousands of logos and other graphic images that bombard us on a daily basis – from the flat screen monitors at your local grocery store or Best Buy to the annoying flashy ads that appear on the sides of many of the Web sites you visit – are filled with hidden meaning, and sometimes literally. Maybe you’ve noticed some of these before and maybe not. Either way, the following 10 logos and accompanying explanations will prove just how powerful the “voice” of an ingeniously designed logo can be.

1. Body Wisdom

This graphic image features two outwardly pointing hands joined together at the wrists. Between the ends of the palms comes a point, outlining a nose-like shape and the two white circles in the center make the shape of eyes with black pupils. Body Wisdom is a high-end day spa. The hidden meaning is between the hands, so to speak, signifying a relaxation message through the owl-like eyes, which also convey wisdom.


2. Forkwire

This one was designed for an online food delivery company. The genius behind this is in the swirled fork handle, which conveniently forms the “@” symbol. This makes the Web site, the company’s main source of business traffic, easy to remember.

3. The Big Ten

The Big Ten collegiate conference actually hosts 11 schools, but the logo features a purple button with the words “The Big Ten Conference,” or so it seems. When taking a closer look, you will notice that a hidden “11” hugs the “T” in “Ten” and is cradled by the “G” in “Big” and “E” in “Ten.” Is this a lazy way of getting out of changing the logo? Maybe.

4. Amazon.com

Surprised to see Amazon on this list? Though at first glance it appears simple and clean, just amazon.com in black with an orange arrow stretching a wide u-shape under the first half, it is much more. The arrow actually stretches from the “a” to the “z,” conveying that the site should have everything you need from A to Z. The arrow’s second meaning symbolizes the curving smile of a satisfied customer.

5. Toblerone Bar

Even one of the sweetest chocolate treats on the planet has something to hide. At the left corner of the front of a box, you’ll notice what appears to be a simple drawing of the Swiss Alps. What a shocker, there’s actually a deeper meaning in the craggy peaks. Toblerone originated in Bern, Switzerland, the name of which translates roughly to “The City of Bears.” Indeed, if you take harder look, you can make out the hidden picture of a bear in the mountain.

6. FedEx

One of the most well known logos on the planet: the FedEx logo; also one of the more difficult to find the tricky hidden meaning. It might take you a second glance or three, but notice the arrow between the “E” and the “X.” This is supposed to convey speed, direction and reliability of the big-time courier service.

7. Northwest Airlines

This original logo integrated a unique way of using both the letter “N” and “W,” a creative charm lost in the redesign. The “N” sits at the top right edge of a circle with a triangle pointing outward to its left. The triangle not only forms the outline of a partial “W” shape, but it points westward, conveying the “west” in “Northwest.”

8. Horror Films

This logo’s simple enough…eerily simple, that is. It features was appears to be a simple white film reel within a black box with the words “Horror Films” underneath; however, the film reel is meant to resemble a creepy ghost for a production house. Reely scary!

9. Fuga

A logo for the Architecture Center of Budapest, it looks more like a maze at first, but if you follow the white lines between the alternating brown and orange boxed shapes, you can make out the letters of the company “Fuga.”

10. Yoga Australia

At first, this logo looks like a simply silhouette of a girl performing a yoga exercise, but if you look carefully, the shape created between her outstretched arm gripping the heel of her foot is an outline of Australia itself. That’s one way of putting a meaning down under.

So what’s the lesson to take away from this? Hidden meanings – especially hidden meaning in logos – can be anywhere, even right in front of our faces. These are but 10 examples. How many more are out there, and perhaps with less than interesting or less harmful meanings…we can only look and wonder.

2 comments so far

I always noticed the Big Ten logo, but I’m suprised I didn’t notice Amazon’s tricky logo. That’s actually very clever. Also, Northwest Airlines’ logo is pretty interesting. I mean I know that they aren’t going to be around much longer, but it was still pretty neat.

Kameron,

Indeed it is rather interesting. Something else, however, that isn’t so interesting or neat to me when thinking about this is that hidden meanings don’t always have to be fun or nice. It is possible for the meanings to be more devious and even more tricky, which might not be a good thing. Really, I think of…what else are they hiding from me as a consumer? These all seem to be harmless, but what about others? I wonder.

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