When you want to use familiar products, you know to look for certain logos while you’re out shopping. You may recognize colors and iconic fonts at a glance, but chances are you’ve missed a few clever little hidden images, even in products you use every day.
Brand logos are designed to be easy to spot, but they’re also meant to subtly persuade us to choose company A over company B, even subliminally. Don’t believe it? Take a look through these well-known brands and see for yourself – number 17 is so clever!
#1 – Hershey’s Kisses
A sweet treat familiar to any chocolate lover, Hershey’s revamped their familiar block-lettered logo to highlight one of their most popular products: the drop-shaped chocolate kiss. By shifting the “K” and the “I” close together and filling in the void space with the iconic chocolate hue, a little sideways kiss peeks out to greet shoppers and chocoholics alike.
#2 – Toblerone
Speaking of chocolate, Toblerone, that fancy triangular-shaped chocolate-and-nougat confection, has a secret of its own. While the crisp silhouette of an Alpine mountain might bring to mind quality foreign chocolate, you probably didn’t catch the happy hitchhiker striking a pose on the left side of the mountain. That dancing bear is a nod to the brands home city of Bern, Switzerland: also known as the “City of Bears.”
#3 – Baskin Robbins
Not all “hidden” logo secrets are subtle – the in-your-face font and contrasting colors used by the famous ice cream company here makes this one difficult to miss! The “31” in pink represents the 31 flavors this brand is known for, emphasizing the delicious choices that await visitors when they decide to grab a scoop or two.
#4 – Tostitos
You’ve probably crunched a few of this brand’s popular tortilla chips at a party or gathering, but did you know that you were following the lead of their logo? It’s true! The second and third “Ts” in the Tostitos logo are sharing a bowl of delicious salsa, perched as the dot on the top of the “i”. Now it’s time to work off some of these calorie-laden companies with the next set of athletic-inspired hidden meaning logos…
#5 – Tour De France
Get some mental exercise finding the hidden meaning in the Tour de France logo, a fun jumble of funky font and what looks to be the bright summer sun in France. Peer a little more closely, however, and you’ll see it’s actually the front wheel of a bicycle, with the first “R” pushing hard for that yellow jersey at the finish line.
#6 – Formula 1 Racing
The need for speed is clear to see in this well-known car racing logo – if you know where to look, that is. This clever image doesn’t actually contain the number “1” – your mind fills it in using the borders of the white space beside the F. An accent of red trailing lines along the right side of the logo make the entire picture look like it’s taking off out of the pit, ready to rule the racetrack.
#7 – Roxy
If you are or know a lady who loves to catch some waves, chances are you already know this beachy sportswear style logo. Look a little more closely at those hands forming a heart, however, and you’ll see that each half of the heart is actually the logo of the brand’s parent company, Quiksilver. Speaking of waves, rumor has it that Australia’s got some pretty awesome ones – along with some intriguing logos, like…
#8 – Yoga Australia
…this one! A simple silhouette is made a little more interesting by forming the white space into a map of Australia. Clean lines, a simple “trick” and a compelling pose remind viewers of exactly of what this company’s about, even at a casual glance. The best logos aren’t just clever, they stay true to a brand’s message. The next slide is a perfect example!
#9 – Shooting Australia
While the initials of a company don’t always lend themselves to clever artistry, Shooting Australia is a charming exception. The “S” and “A” form the body of a competitive shooter, leaning forward on one leg to aim his gun as he sights down the barrel. If you’d rather be shooting animals with a camera, rather than a gun, check out the next logos!
#10 – Kölner Zoo
Found in Cologne, Germany, the logo for this animal park is as adorable and irresistible as the furry, feathered and scaled residents it contains. Negative spaces in the elephant’s profile form a giraffe, rhino and even an outline of the famous Cologne cathedral near its rear legs. Three hidden shapes in a single logo!
#11 – Bronx Zoo
Taking a page from Cologne’s design book, the Bronx Zoo’s logo combines some of their most famous animals – the skycraper-like giraffes – with an outline of the actual skyscrapers of the city line tucked between their lanky legs.
#12 – San Diego Zoo
Not all hidden image logos need to be over-the-top with detail, a fact admirably displayed by the San Diego Zoo logo. The letters in “Z-O-O” suggest a paw print without coming out and showing one directly. This is a perfect example of how the right font can easily capture the “feel” of an entertainment center like a zoo.
#13 – Pittsburgh Zoo
Once you see it, it’s hard to “unsee” the beautifully detailed gorilla and lioness locking eyes to either side of the impressively silhouetted tree. These larger-than-life zoo residents are rendered realistically, giving visitors a taste of the treat they’re in for! When it comes time to upload all those beautiful digital zoo photos, you’ll need some technology to make it happen, so look to…
#14 – Vaio
…tech companies like Sony’s Vaio, which uses a very clever logo. While a quick look might only see a stylized, computer-like font, the shapes of the letters actually have hidden meanings. First, the “I” and “O” are formed into the universal symbols for off and on, but the real star is the analog / digital meanings that are translated into each half of the logo.
#15 – Sun Microsystems
Simple but fun, the Sun Microsystems logo spells itself out in a tumbling square of font that resembles the circuit boards and systems that they’re so famous for. The stylized “horseshoes” can be read as every letter in S-U-N, repeating the pattern endlessly and drawing the eye in.
#16 – LG
Reminding consumers that they come first, this tech brand has inserted a person into the middle of their logo. With the “L” forming the nose of the face and the “G” suggesting a friendly wink, it’s a great way to add some personality to a pair of simple letters.
#17 – Beats By Dre
Another simple yet visually powerful hidden logo is found in the brand mark for these wildly popular headphones. The lowercase “b” is positioned against it’s background disk to suggest the very headphones sold by the company. The clean lines of their flagship product are an ideal match for this well-chosen design technique. Need to order some of these brands’ high-tech gear for yourself? Well, you’d better head over to…
#18 – Amazon
…the huge warehouses of the internet’s most popular e-commerce site, Amazon, which is well-represented in their logo. A cartoonish arrow reaches from the front of the logo to the end, but look a little more closely at its connection points. It begins at A and stretches to Z, reminding customers they can get anything “From A to Z” on the brand’s website. When it comes time to ship those new tech toys, you’ll need…
#19 – FedEx
…the speedy carrier FedEx, which tells users right in their logo which way their packages will travel: forward. While this is one of the more visible “hidden” logos, many people that instantly recognize the logo’s font and colors are still surprised to see the arrow in the white space between the E and X.
#20 – Coca-Cola
Some hidden logo meanings are simply a happy accident or clever marketing. When Coca-Cola realized that the timeless “swoops” of their logo font formed a Danish flag, they capitalized on the accidental discovery. As the company’s citizens are known to be some of the happiest in the world, the popular soda brand started using the flag’s appearance to their advantage in country-specific advertising. A perfect example of how hidden meanings are a great way to spread awareness, no matter what your company sells!
#21 – Gillette
Take a close look at the “G” and the “i” in this logo and you might notice they appear to be cut… By an incredibly sharp razor perhaps? This clever effect is supposed to represent the sharpness of Gillette razor blades.
#22 – Cisco
Founded in San Francisco, not only is their brand name pretty self explanatory but you might also notice the blue electromagnet above the logo looks strikingly similar to one of the most popular monuments of the bay area, the Golden Gate Bridge.
#23 – BMW
Did you know that the BMW motor company most recognized for their sleek automobiles and motorcycles got their start in the aviation industry? Their logo still holds true to their origins with the white section representing a propeller and the blue section representing the sky.
#24 – Goodwill
Notice the big smiley face in the Goodwill logo? Take a closer look and you might notice it’s actually just a much larger version of the “G” from the “Goodwill” text below it. Awesome!
#25 – NBC
Have you ever noticed the white space in the NBC logo? The popular television broadcasting company decided to incorporate the silhouette of a peacock into their logo to show how proud they are of what they air.
#26 – Eighty 20
Unless you’re a programmer whose familiar with binary code, you might have some trouble decoding the hidden meaning behind this logo. The gray and blue squares display the binary pattern for 1010000 and 0010100 – more commonly known as “eighty” and “twenty”.
#27 – The Guild of Food Writers
…and finally, you guessed it, the Guild of Food Writers write about food of course! But look a little closer and you’ll notice this clever design not only incorporates the tip of a pen but also squeezes the silhouette of a spoon into the heart of the simple but elegant logo.