I Bet You Didn't Know The Hidden Meanings Behind Some Of The Most Well-known Logos

May 8, 2014

The key to designing a logo is finding the perfect balance between simple and effective. It has to be memorable, so you can always recognize it in its simplest form.

And the BEST logos have hidden meanings in the design...

1. Amazon

Your initial thought when looking at the Amazon logo might be that the arrow looks like a smiley face, meaning Amazon is there to make its customers happy. Well, notice that the arrow is pointing from the "A" to the "Z"; representing the fact that Amazon provides a variety of items for sale... items from A to Z.

logo hidden meanings

2. McDonald's

Yes, it really means "M" for McDonald's and there really isn't any other meaning McDonald's had intended. Instead, it came to mean something unintentionally by customers, at least according to design consultant and psychologist Louis Cheskin. In the '60s, McDonald's wanted to change their logo but Cheskin insisted on leaving the golden arches. He said it's because customers unconsciously recognize the logo as "symbolism of a pair of nourishing breasts" (via BBC). Whether we unconsciously believe this or not, Cheskin convinced them and now the logo is one of the most recognizable in the world. 

logo hidden meanings

3. Apple

If you guessed that the Apple logo has to do with the creation story of Adam and Eve, then you guessed correctly. It represents the forbidden fruit from the "Tree of Knowledge"

logo hidden meanings

4. Adidas

Ever notice that Adidas' symbol looks like a mountain? Well, that's exactly what it's supposed to mean. The three stripes, which was part of the original logo in 1967, never really meant anything. It was just supposed to be unique. In the '90s, though, they slanted the stripes so that it would represent a mountain, which stands for the obstacles people need to overcome.

logo hidden meanings

 

5. Audi

Four hoops...plain and simple, right? Wrong! In fact, each of these hoops represent the 4 founding companies of the Auto-Union Consortium way back in 1932: like DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.

logo hidden meanings

 

6. FedEx

The FedEx logo is a creative one, and you might actually know this! At first glance all you can really notice are the two different colors, but if you look closely you can see an arrow is created between the spaces of the letter "E" and "X", representing the company's forward-thinking ways and outlook towards the future.

logo hidden meanings

7. BMW

It isn't general knowledge that BMW has a history in aviation and that its logo actually stays true to its roots. The blue and white represent a propeller in motion with the sky peeking through. In fact, BMW had a role in World War II as a creator of aircraft engines for the German military.

logo hidden meanings

8. IBM

IBM’s logo has a hidden message for the whole world hidden in the Big Blue logo that represents it’s company. The white lines passing through give the appearance of the equal sign in the lower right corner, representing equality.

logo hidden meanings

9. Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz logo is the most confident one out of the bunch. The tri-star is representative of the company's dominance in quality and style over all things land, sea and air.

logo hidden meanings

10. NBC

"I'm a peacock, you gotta let me fly on this one!" ~ The Other Guys

Yeah, it's a peacock, but did you ever wonder why it has so many colors? That's because, during the '50s, NBC's owner was RCA and they had just begun to manufacture color televisions. Since RCA wanted people still watching on black-and-white TV to know what they were missing, NBC created a colorful logo to adapt to the new technology.

logo hidden meanings

11. Volkswagen

The Volkswagen keeps its logo very simple but heartwarming as well. The "V" and the "W" can easily be seen. "Volks", in German, means people, while "Wagen" means car. It's the car for the people!

 

logo hidden meanings

12. Mobil

The importance of this logo lies in its colors. The red is said to represent strength and the blue represents faithfulness and security that the company provides.

logo hidden meanings

13. Google

Ever notice how the Google logo has four primary colors in a row then it's broken by a secondary color? This was entirely intentional. Google wanted to show that they don't play by the rules and are also playful without making the symbol bulky. To do that, they just used simple letters and colors.

logo hidden meanings

Via Diply

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