10 Famous Logos That Have Hidden Meanings
Every logo is designed to have meaning. A logo is a representation of what the brand is meant to stand for or seeks to communicate. Thus one would come across symbols, shapes, colours, etc used to denote a meaning, which when seen holistically, communicates an overall meaning.
Very often, logos are designed to communicate a desired meaning but incorporate a hidden meaning not easily visible or decipherable to the common eye. Such hidden meanings are intentionally infused, but sometimes they just happen by chance.
Interestingly, there are many world famous logos that have a hidden meaning. But for the purpose of the discussion here, we have chosen 10 logos which will prove the case in point.
1. Sony Vaio
The Sony Vaio logo has been smartly designed. A simple logo to the common man but a discerning eye would notice the clever play of design wherein the first 2 letters “V and A” symbolize the analog, whereas the next letters “I and O” are designed to represent the binary 1 and 0. Together, the 4 letters communicate a techie look and feel.
2. Baskin Robbins
To discover the hidden meaning in the baskin robbins logo, one would need to know that this brand offers 31 flavours of ice-creams. Now look at how the B and R has cleverly used 3 and 1 in pink to communicate the number of flavours. Well one could argue that this was intentionally done because it is backed by a fact.
The Coca Cola logo is recognized across the world and hasn’t undergone any change except for the variation ‘Coke’. If one looks closely at the ‘o’ in Cola and magnifies it, one would notice it resembles the Danish flag. But this is clearly an example of this happening by chance and not intention.
A clean and elegant logo, with 2 vibrant colours – that’s what hits you when you first look at it. On closer inspection though, one cannot help discovering that all the letters are touching each other. This has been purposely done, to create an arrow symbol between the letters E and x. Intentionally done to connote the meaning of a forward looking brand.
A clever and meaningful logo. Focus on the yellow curved arrow stretching from a to z, resembling a smiley of sorts. A nice way to say, we have everything under the sun that you may need and that we provide customer delight (smiley) in our service.
The old and the new (right). Pepsi changed its logo sometime in 2008. The meaning of the new logo, wherein the central white band has been shaped differently, is not apparent. However, a document leak from the design house that executed the new logo stated that the new logo was inspired by FengShui, the Relativity theory, etc, implying that the Pepsi logo is perhaps the key to the universe.
The graphic symbol in the Toyota logo is made up of 3 ellipses which are meant to signify 3 hearts: the heart of the product; the heart of the customer and the heart of progress in technology. On looking closer at the symbol however, one would realize that the letters of the word T O Y O T A can be derived from it
Earlier the 3 stripes were vertically straight. Somewhere in the 1990’s the 3 stripes were made slanting to give the appearance of a hill or mountain. The significance of the mountain is to connote that consumers need to overcome obstacles and that the brand was there to help them do it.
The NBC logo is a colourful peacock in all its glory. The rationale for a logo with 6 vibrant colours was a business one. In the 1950’s, RCA which owned NBC, had just launched Colour TVs and so to let people who still watched programs on B&W TVs, know what they were missing, the logo was made multi-colour.
10. Sun Microsystems
The Sun Microsystems logo in imbued with meaning. The graphic symbol resembling a diamond shape, has the letters u and n placed neatly together to make up the word sun. What’s more, the word ‘sun’ can be read from every direction. This gives it a very universal meaning, as the sun is everywhere.
In conclusion, one may argue that often times, brands resort to logo gimmicks that over time become legends. But the fact that they indeed become legends like the brands themselves is something to think about. Are the designers listening?