It may seem shocking that companies will spend thousands designing a logo, but it has been proven that a clever logo can go a long way. Pepsi was even said to have spent $1 million when they redesigned their logo in 2008. For most of us, we don’t even look twice at logos, but with a second glance, you can see the artistry of the marketing moguls behind them.
But whether or not the logo was made by a team of professionals, or drawn up on the back of a napkin, there is no denying that these logos might just blow your mind. Check out these logos and see if you can figure out their hidden messages.
Spartan Golf Club
At first glance, this golf club logo appears to be a side angle of a historical spartan fighter, helmet and all. But look again, and the face becomes a golfer swinging a club, and the helmet becomes the golf ball’s trajectory.
This logo utilizes dual symbolism at its finest, but it isn’t even a real company. The graphic designer behind this logo made it up entirely and has even offered to sell it. It just goes to show what can be done when a marketing master has no restrictions.
Almost anyone who has shopped second-hand or donated can recognize the smiling half-face of the Goodwill logo. But how many of us have simply moved on without noticing the real hidden symbolism hiding in here? It’s not in the picture, but rather the “G” is “Goodwill” is the same face as the logo, but it goes unseen with a different color background.
Goodwill’s hidden logo shows that the message isn’t always in the image, but hiding somewhere else.
The logo for the Pittsburgh Zoo appears pretty obvious at the start. A tree with birds flying overhead, very outdoorsy and a great symbol for a zoo, right? But looking closer at the negative space around the tree, you’ll see a gorilla and lion face staring at each other.
If you saw the two animal faces right away, good job. But did you also spot the three fish jumping out of ‘water’ at the base of the tree? This is the logo that keeps on giving. Check out how one of the most recognized brands in the world evolved their clever logo over time.
The Tour de France
On the surface, the logo for Le Tour de France, the famous 3-week cycling race that takes place each year in France, seems like modern, abstract script. But when you focus in on the word “tour” the image turns from simple script to an ingenious logo.
The yellow circle is meant to reflect the iconic yellow jerseys worn by the winner of each stage in the race, but it doubles as the front wheel of a bicycle. The “O” in “tour” makes the back wheel, with the “R” transforming into the rider. The logo was introduced in 2003 for the 100th anniversary of the race and was so powerful that it has remained ever since.
Yet another example of a great logo that can happen when there are no restrictions. Graphic designer Rob Smith created this masterful logo that utilizes negative space once again. Can you see it? The negative space in the arm and leg of the yogi creates the shape of Australia.
Even though the logo isn’t even for a real company, it’s still had some considerable backlash, with Australian’s pointing out that Tasmania isn’t represented. Despite the negative reaction, the logo has been praised online and often shown in many graphic design 101 courses.
As Amazon has grown into a billion-dollar company, it’s logo has been so effective that it has stayed relatively the same. Everyone loves Amazon because it basically sells everything you can think of, which is why their logo that shows an arrow going from A to Z, is genius.
The logo was not always this clever. The first rendering of the Amazon logo that appeared in 1994 when Jeff Bezos founded the company and sold primarily books, would be unrecognizable to most. In 1998, they redesigned the logo to be closer to what we know today and expanded to books, music, and more. But finally, in 2000, they began to expand their products and introduced the logo with today’s hidden message. Car logos are some of the most recognizable, but this next one has two competing theories behind its message.
The logo for the famous ice cream chain envokes a bit of childhood creativity. The fun colors and font seem like a child could have scribbled it on a napkin and that’s why many love it. But no child could have snuck this hidden message in so easily.
The color-blocking adds to the childish style, but look closely and you’ll see the pink is meant to emphasize a “31” for the original 31 flavors that Baskin-Robbins opened with in 1948. It makes sense why, to this day, they still want to emphasize the 31 flavors. They were the first ice cream parlor to introduce sampling before buying, and I think we are all very thankful for that.
The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based out of Houston, Texas, and their logo is a clever use of symbolism and text. The “R” is actually meant to symbolize a rocket taking off. But not only that, the rocket is taking off through a stylized basketball hoop. Even better, the hoop crossing over the “R” rocket forms a hidden “H”.
The Houston Rockets were originally the San Diego Rockets back in 1976, named after the missile and rocket program being developed at the time. When the team moved to Houston, they kept the name. Even though not many of us would associate rockets with Houston, Texas, their logo does a good job of making us think twice.
Toyota’s logo has been up for much debate, but everyone can agree there’s something more to it than meets the eye. Officially, the three ellipses “symbolize the unification of the hearts of our customers and the heart of Toyota products. The background space represents Toyota’s technological advancement and the boundless opportunities ahead.”
But unofficially, many have speculated that they look suspiciously like a thread passing through an eye of a needle, paying homage to Toyota’s start in the textile industry. People are usually too preoccupied eating this next delicious product to see the hidden image in its logo.
Nintendo Game Cube
On the surface, it appears to simply be a stylized cube, which would make sense given the console’s name. But take a step back, squint if you need, and you’ll see the cube actually forms a letter “G” and the negative space within outlines a “C”, standing for Game Cube.
If you were into video games in the early 2000’s, you were probably too busy playing on this groundbreaking game system to appreciate the incredible logo design. Once again, using that negative space can be the most creative way to hide your brand in the logo.
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FedEx, much like Amazon, is basically everywhere now. Their logo is recognizable and holds a hidden symbolic message which embodies their brand perfectly. Between the negative space of the “E” and the “x”, an arrow is formed which points right, the direction most would associate with pointing forward.
Similar to Amazon, when the company was founded in 1971, the clever logo didn’t exist yet. It wasn’t until 1994 that they rebranded and the clever logo was created. The arrow is said to symbolize “speed and accuracy.”
Most of us don’t look twice at the logo for Tostitos because we’re too busy eating whats inside the bag. But if you take time away from dipping your chips in their salsa, you’ll notice you have two other guests with chips and salsa. The Tostitos logo shows two people sharing a tortilla chip over a bowl of salsa.
This logo was introduced in 2003 to expand on the original logo, which included the red dot over the “I” but no hidden message. The brand’s choice to redesign the logo served them well, as this hidden message is a commonplace cocktail party fact. The negative space in this logo is a clever nod to the founder’s history.
Formula One, or F1, is a top auto racing competition with a top-notch logo to match. The logo uses negative space and symbolism to communicate the race’s core elements. Between the white “F” and red stripes, a “1” can be seen. The red stripes top off the logo and give off an idea of speed and power.
Formula One has always put time and care into their logos. Before this logo appeared in 1994, their logo utilized negative space in a different way by having a racecar cut out of their text. They definitely know how to use a logo to their advantage.
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Hiding images in letters of a logo are common, but hiding letters in the image of your mascot is absolutely genius. Once you find the letters in this University’s mascot logo you won’t be able to unsee it. The University’s acronym is UAPB — the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff — and those letters make up the mane of their lion mascot.
Whoever designed this logo at UAPB was smart, as it sets a relatively average University apart from their counterparts.
Swiss chocolate bar Toblerone’s logo has layers of hidden messages in it. At first, it seems like a simple use of negative space. On the mountain on the logo, the white space which at first appears to be snow, actually forms the shape of a bear.
What sets this logo apart is that the bear has great symbolism for Toblerone. The chocolate bar was created in Bern, Switzerland, which according to legend owes its name to bears. In fact, there are numerous bears throughout the city in sanctuaries that can be seen by tourists. Even BMW doesn’t know which hidden message theory behind their logo is true.
Hershey’s is another iconic chocolate brand, and while their brand logo is nothing special, they must have figured they should pull out some hidden images in their product logos. For their popular Hershey’s Kisses candy, the “K” and the “I” meet to form the shape of one of their chocolate Kisses in between.
SImilar to the negative space of the FedEx logo, the presence of this kiss goes unnoticed by most, but can’t be unseen once it’s discovered. While the logo is relatively recent, the shape of a Hershey’s kiss hasn’t changed since 1907, so it looks like this logo may be timeless.
The Bronx Zoo
The Bronx Zoo’s logo may appear basic at first, with two giraffes and three birds flying around them (one in negative space) but it’s much more clever than that. The negative space doesn’t stop at the third bird — if you take a step back and look at the giraffe’s legs, the outline of the Manhattan skyline appears.
Even if you don’t know where the Bronx is, the iconic skyline makes it clear that if you are traveling to The Bronx Zoo, you’ll be in New York. Overall, this logo succeeds at marketing 101.
The BMW logo has been controversial with two competing theories on what it truly means. The longstanding idea is that the blue and white are representative of a propeller since the company originated as an engine manufacturer after WW1.
The other competing theory is that the blue and white are a homage to the flag of Bavaria, where the company began and the products are manufactured. Whatever the reason is, this logo makes the consumer think, which just adds to brand recognition. You’d never guess how clever this logo is without knowing who their parent company is.
George Washington University Colonials
Sports and hidden logos seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly. The George Washington University Colonials might have had a hard time hiding a colonial soldier in their initials, so they opted for a much more simple and clever hidden image. If you look closely in the negative space of the “W” an image of the Washington Monument is formed.
This hidden image connects the University with their roots, as it was founded in 1821 on the wishes of the first President. A hidden image like this one is an easy way to make a subtle but unforgettable statement.
The amazing hidden message in the Roxy logo would go unnoticed if you weren’t aware that Roxy is the female clothing line of another, larger brand, Quiksilver. Quiksilver’s logo depicts a large wave and a mountain, representing the outdoor emphasis on the line.
The Roxy logo is a simple yet effective take on Quiksilver. By flipping and rotating the logo, it forms a heart that no one would guess was comprised of waves or mountains. The Roxy logo is an example of how clever reworking one image can make a completely different image.
There’s a lot more going on in this logo than meets the eye. So I didn’t even realize that at a quick glance, this kind of looks like a winky face. Now it’s all I can see.
However, in that face you can clearly see that the nose makes an ‘L’ and the outline of the face is a ‘G’. Also, if you have that L fill in the missing space just above, you’d get the Pacman logo.
Gillette is known for its razor sharp… razors… but they made sure to emphasize that in their logo. They mado sure to make the ‘G’ and the ‘i’ look as sharp as possible to make sure that everyone knew that it was ‘the best a man can get.’
If the letters didn’t look sharp enough, the negative space made by them look just enough like razors. I’m sold.
Beats By Dre
Sure, this might just look like the letter ‘b’ is sitting on a circle to stand for the word ‘beats,’ but there’s even more to take in. The iconic logo actually makes it look like a someone wearing a pair of headphones.
It’s just those little extras that really make it easy for people to look towards the brand that made Dr. Dre a billionaire.
This is just too adorable to ignore. Elefont is all about the fonts, so it’s no surprise that the pressure was on when it came to designing their logo, and they came through with flying colors.
The ‘e’ in the logo is created by the use of a simple elephant trunk, and I can’t get enough of it. It’s very simple, yet it sticks with you, which is exactly what you’re hoping for in a logo.
This one slipped by me at first, but once I saw it, I couldn’t see anything else. The ‘C’s in both words are perfectly shaped to look like a pair of cat eyes, and with all the black surrounding the logo, they really stand out.
Just think of the thought process when you’re trying to remember this company. “It was all black, and there was a pair of eyes looking at me. Almost cat-like.” There’s really no excuse to not remember their name.
This isn’t so much of a hidden logo. It’s more of clever use of the Greek alphabet. The little triangle next to the word ‘Delta’ is, in fact, the Delta symbol, which is also the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet.
The sports world is filled with plenty of interesting team logos, and quite a few have some hidden bits history inside of them.
You might not think that there’s a whole lot you can hide in a giant letter ‘O,’ but the Ducks found a way. Oregon is known as a track school, and as you can see, this ‘O’ isn’t perfectly circular, and for good reason.
It’s made to resemble Oregon’s Hayward Field, and the outside of the ‘O’ is supposed to represent Autzen Stadium, where the Ducks play football.
This logo might have put a bit more fear into the opposition before the team blew a 28-3 lead againt the Patriots in the Super Bowl, but it’s still a pretty intimidating logo.
Not only that, but it’s also shaped to look like the letter ‘F’ for, you guessed it, Falcons. I never really noticed just how obvious the ‘F’ outline was until I found this out.
New York Islanders
You might look at this and think that everything that might be ‘hidden’ is actually pretty obvious. So I’m not here to tell you that the ‘Y’ is in the shape of a hockey stick (really?) or that Long Island is sitting there in the background (oh that’s what that is).
What’s actually interesting about this logo is that the ‘I’ in ‘Islanders’ points to the exact place the Islanders play on Long Island. It’s pretty amazing.
This one looks like there could actually be a tone of things going on behind the curtains. I’ve seen this logo a bunch of times and can never really tell if the horse is just one, two-faced horse or two horses resting their heads against each other.
But what’s really hidden is the fact that the letter ‘M’ is sitting on the top of the horses head. It probably stands for ‘Mavericks’ but they are owned by Mark Cuban… so who knows?
A lot of you old-time baseball fans probably haven’t seen this logo in a while. The Expos ended up moving to Washington to become the Nationals, but before that, they were Canada’s second-favorite baseball franchise.
I’m not going to draw you in as if there’s so super hidden message behind their logo. It’s just an ‘M,’ plain and simple. However, it really looks like it has more of a connection to the French population of Montreal than just the French colors.
St. Louis Blues
This isn’t so much a hidden message, but more of a history lesson. The blue music note resembles a 64th note, and for a good reason. St. Louis was founded in 1764.
Also, the St. Louis Blues is an homage to the genre of music, and is also the title of an album by Nat King Cole.
When most people think about the Brewers, they think about beer. However, that’s not the most family-friendly way to sell a night at the ballpark, so they went in a different direction.
At first glance, this looks like a ball being caught in a glove, but if you look really close, you can see that the top of the glove forms an ‘M,’ and the lower part is the ‘b’.
New York Mets
While blue and orange are the official colors of New York state, there’s an even deeper reasoning behind the choice scheme. New York has a rich history when it comes to baseball, so the colors od Dodger Blue and Giant Orange were chosen after both teams jumped to California.
What’s even more amazing is that they used the real New York skyline, with the Empire State Building, the Woolworth, and the United Nations building all making appearances.
So I’m not exactly the world’s leading expert when it comes to bald eagles, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have this kind of color scheme. Nevermind that though. This eagle is clearly using his wings to form a giant ‘W,’ which we’ve come to expect with thises logos.
What’s really interesting is that at the bottom of the bald eagle, you can see the outline of the dome of the United States Capitol building.
So, the Harford Whalers haven’t been an NHL team in forever, and I can’t say their logo did them any favors. Yes, there is a fin sitting out of the top to make everyone very aware that they’re named after the whale, but all I can see is the Little Mermaid.
What’s that actual hidden part is the ‘H’ that’s sitting smack dab in the middle of the logo.
The internet has kind of ruined this for me. So, I can clearly see that the right side forms a ‘d’ and the right side is a ‘b,’ and together, they probably stand for ‘Diamondbacks.’ Ok, I get it. That makes sense.
But all I can see is that ‘ok’ hand thing all the kids are doing, when I should be seeing a snakehead staring back at me. I think I like it, but I’ll need to stare at it a bit longer.
If you wanted to represent the entire Minnesota wilderness in one logo, this is the one for you. There’s just so much going on here, and it’s all encapsulated in the head of a. panther.
The mouth is a stream, the eye is a shooting star, the trees make up the markings of the panther, and the ear is the moon. This really has it all.
The Twins took to a little subliminal messaging when it came to branding their baseball team. They made sure everyone knew that the plan for their team was to win, so they underlined it. That’s just smart marketing.
However, they also underlined ‘innesot,’ which I’m pretty sure has no subliminal messaging. Maybe I’m missing something.
I’ll be the first one to admit that if. you don’t see what’s going on here, you probably have other things to worry about than hidden messages in logos.
So, this wizard clearly has some skills with a basketball, but his beard cuts a perfect ‘W’ into his torso. This is how you make basketball exciting in the nations capital!