Whether you realise it or not, a brand’s logo speaks to its viewer on many levels.
There’s the initial recognizability factor—if a logo is too complex or unrelated to its brand, it risks being glanced over without communicating its brand’s message. For that reason, modern logos tend to err on the side of boldness and simplicity.
But a closer look at many logos reveals more subtle marketing tactics.
You may have noticed the subliminal features of some of these designs in the past. But have you looked hard enough to see them all?
FedEx — The FedEx logo hides an arrow in its negative space. Even a glance subliminally inspires thoughts of efficiency and forward motion.
Vaio — This cool logo for Sony's computers represents the brand's integration of analogue and digital technology. The 'VA' is designed as an analogue waveform, the 'IO' is binary code.
Baskin Robbins — This logo, introduced in 2005, cleverly uses the company's initials to advertise its number of ice cream flavours (31).
Tour de France — Slightly more abstract than the other examples, the Tour de France logo contains a well-integrated biker.
Toblerone — See the dancing bear in the mountain? The design is a tribute to the Swiss town where the chocolate was developed.
Milwaukee Brewers — It's easy to miss the second meaning of this throwback logo from the baseball team.
Amazon — The cleverness of this logo is twofold. The arrow points from a to z, referring to all that is available on Amazon.com, and it doubles as a satisfied smile (with dimple).
Tostitos — The not-so-hidden design within this logo conjures up feelings of togetherness and friendship over chips and salsa.
Eighty20 — This market data research company incorporated the binary code spelling of their name. Using blue squares as ones and grey squares as zeros, 1010000 (20) is the top line, while 0010100 (80) is the bottom.
Sun Microsystems — Before it was bought by Oracle, Sun was a major computer manufacturer. Its logo is a perfect ambigram; it can be read from any direction. (Note also that the graphic doesn't actually include an S, merely artfully arranged u's and n's.)
Presbyterian Church — This church's logo is brimming with symbolism; there are 8 different symbols buried in the main image.
LG — Some think the LG logo is a Pac-Man reference (requires a bit of imagination). The smiling, winking face is more apparent (but only slightly).
Coca-Cola — The soda brand's latest campaign in Denmark points out something you may have missed; the Danish flag (with a bulge) embedded in the white script.
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