15 famous logos that have hidden meanings

Evan Bartlett@ev_bartlett
Thursday 06 August 2015 14:00
Viral

The key to a good logo is making it "distinctive, memorable, and recognizable", according to designer Lo Min Ming, who's worked for the likes of Google, DropBox and Microsoft.

But some of the most famous logos in the world, and others a little less well known, have hidden meanings which make them that little bit extra special.

1. FedEx

One of the most famous design "secrets" in the world, the FedEx logo has won over 40 awards over the years. In the negative space between the "E" and the "X" there's an arrow pointing from left to right representing the logistics company's "direction, speed, and precision".

2. Sony Vaio

Via Diez.md

The squiggly "V" and "A" represent an analogue signal and the binary "I" and "O" represent a digital one. Combined, the letters not only spell out Vaio, but also represent the "history and evolution of technology from analogue to digital".

3. Amazon

Not only does the arrow underneath represent a smile, that their presumably happy customers will feel after using their service, but it also points from A to Z - to show that if there's anything you need, you can buy it on Amazon.

4. Spartan golf

As well as showing a Spartan soldier wearing a helmet, this logo shows a golfer swinging his club.

5. Toblerone

While the chocolate company's logo shows the summit of Matterhorn - representing its Swiss heritage - there is also a bear hidden on the mountainside.

The bear can be found on the coat of arms of Toblerone's home city Bern.

6. Elefont

The design company's logo looks like a simple "e", but just take a look at the negative space.

7. Eighty20

Extra bonus points if you worked this one out. The dark squares in the data strategy company's logo represent 1s in binary while the blank ones are 0s. The top line - 1010000 - represents 80 in binary, while the bottom line - 0010100 - is 20.

8. Toyota

Ever wondered what those three circles showed..?

Via Car Type

9. London Symphony Orchestra

This logo spells out the initials LSO, but also looks like a conductor directing his musicians.

10. Picasa

The colourful segments on the outside of the logo symbolises a camera shutter while the negative space inside shows the outline of a house (or a "casa" in Spanish). Picasa is a software package where you where you can keep all your photos - a home for your PICtures.

11. Tour de France

The "R" is a man riding a bicycle in this logo for the world's most famous bike race.

12. Wikipedia

As the website explains itself: "Each piece bears a glyph (a letter or other character), or glyphs, symbolizing the multilingualism of Wikipedia. As with the Latin letter 'W', these glyphs are in most cases the first glyph or glyphs of the name “Wikipedia” rendered in that language. The empty space at the top represents the incomplete nature of the project, the articles and languages yet to be added."

13. Continental

The "C" and "O" make a tyre - the very product the company makes.

14. Cisco

Although it looks like a digital signal related to the company's technology-focused services, the dashed lines actually represent the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco which was a source of inspiration for its founders as they drove down into the city to register the company.

15. Museum of London

Each vivid colour represents the changing borders of London throughout its history.

More: Ten of the worst logos ever designed

Trending