Mind-Blowing Secret Symbols Hidden in Famous Logos

Photo Courtesy: Daniel Korpai/Unsplash

These days. it’s more or less impossible to escape brand logos. From billboards and signs to the products around your home, you see dozens of them each day. But how closely have you really looked at some of your favorite brands’ logos? You’ll soon discover that there may be more to many of them than first meets the eye. Check out these secrets and stories behind some of the most famous brand logos in the world.

FedEx

FedEx has become one of the most trusted shipping companies in America. The name we know the company by today is actually an abbreviation of its original air division, which was called “Federal Express” until 2000. Little do some people know that there’s a hidden message in the FedEx logo that’s incredibly obvious once you finally spot it.

Photo Courtesy: @FedE6666x/Twitter

Check out the empty space between the “E” and the “x” and you’ll see that it forms a forward-facing arrow. This is meant to signify that when you need a package shipped, you can count on FedEx’s speed and efficiency.

Toblerone

Who doesn’t love the delicious taste of Toblerone chocolate bars? In your chocolate-fueled euphoria, have you ever noticed that there’s a sneaky bear hiding in the company’s logo? Look closely at the white space in the mountain and you’ll see him standing on his hind legs.

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Photo Courtesy: @Toblerone/Twitter

His symbolism goes back to the town of Bern, Switzerland, where the chocolate bar originated. Known as the “City of Bears,” Bern has rocked a bear on its coat of arms since the 13th century. The mountain is a shout-out to the Matterhorn, which is located in the nearby Alps.

Amazon

Since its inception in 1994, Amazon has grown into the largest global marketplace the world has ever known. From clothing to food to video content, Amazon is pretty much a one-stop shop, which is exactly what the company logo is intended to project.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Not only is the arrow under the brand name in the shape of a smiley face, but it’s also positioned under the letters it is for a reason. One end of the arrow starts at the letter “a,” while the other ends at the letter “z.” This signifies that the company offers everything from A to Z.

Hyundai

South Korean motor company Hyundai is a brand that people all over the world have come to trust. While its logo may appear to be nothing more than the first letter of the company’s name, there’s actually a much cooler hidden meaning behind it

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Photo Courtesy: Bright Side/YouTube

The two sides of the “H” are meant to represent two figures, a Hyundai representative and a client, who are shaking hands. Though it’s a little hard to see at first, it totally makes sense with a little imagination. Now try and resist the urge to go stare at your friend’s Santa Fe steering wheel!

Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robbins ice cream shop is still among many kids’ favorite places to celebrate anything from graduations to special accomplishments. The bright blue and pink logo we all know today was introduced in 2005 as part of a marketing update. But have you ever noticed that it has a number hidden inside it?

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Photo Courtesy: @baskinrobbinsph/Twitter

If you focus on the middle, pink parts of the “B” and “R,” you’ll notice that they form the number 31. It’s meant to represent the brand’s famous promise of “31 flavors.” Why 31? So that you can enjoy a new flavor every day of the month.

Vaio

While you’ve probably seen Sony’s Vaio logo on laptops and smartphones, only those who are well-versed in technology are likely to understand the font’s hidden meaning. Rest assured that those squiggly lines aren’t just a matter of design preference.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The letters “V” and “A” actually form the symbol for the analog wave, while the “I” and “O” form the symbol for digital binary code. Together, the two represent the combination of both analog and digital technology. Though it’s not the most obvious logo in the world, it’s pretty cool when you understand it.

Subaru

Popular auto company Subaru’s emblem may just look like a random cluster of stars, but they’re spaced very specifically for a reason. They actually represent six stars that are collectively called “Pleiades” in the constellation Taurus. Greek mythology claimed that the six stars of Pleiades were once the daughters of the Greek titan Atlas.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

In Japanese, Pleiades is called Subaru, which also means “unite.” The largest star represents Subaru, which was formerly known as Fuji Heavy Industries, and the five smaller stars are used to represent the five companies that merged to form it in the mid-20th century.

Domino’s Pizza

If you’re a pizza connoisseur, then you’re likely to have feasted on a slice or two of Domino’s at some point. While it’s pretty obvious that there’s a domino block at the top of the pizza chain’s logo, have you ever wondered why they chose one with three dots?

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

When the logo was created in the 1960s, the three dots were selected to represent the three original Domino’s locations. The original plan was to add additional dots for each new location they managed to open, but the idea was abandoned when the chain grew to include thousands of restaurants.

NBC

Just in case you’ve never noticed, the NBC logo is really a peacock whose beak can be seen pointing right, into the purple feather. The reason that he’s looking right, however, is a bit of symbolism in itself, as it was meant to convey that he’s looking towards the future.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

The six colored feathers in his tail represent each of the six divisions of NBC at the time of the logo’s design. Back in those days, television was just starting to transfer over from black and white to color broadcasting, which is why the peacock’s tail is so brightly colored.

Tostitos

When it comes to snack time, Tostitos has you covered with both tortilla chips and various types of salsa for all your dipping needs. The brand’s logo even found a way to sneak in a suggestion of how great chipping and dipping with your friends can be.

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Photo Courtesy: @Tostitos/Twitter

Look closely at the two Ts right in the middle and you’ll find that they’re shaped like two people. On top of the I you’ll find a bowl of dip, complete with a chip held by the two friends on either side. How’s that for a fun party conversation starter?

United States Cyber Command

You can’t be too careful online these days, and this is especially true when it comes to sensitive information. That’s why the U.S. military developed a special branch called U.S. Cyber Command in 2009. It’s tasked with overseeing cybersecurity for online government and military operations.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

If you look closely, you’ll find a string of what appear to be random numbers inside the inner gold ring that surrounds the eagle. Someone out there eventually cracked its code with the MD5 cryptographic hash and revealed that it was the command unit’s mission statement.

Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz star emblem originated all the way back in 1872. One day, Gottlieb Daimler, the founder of a transportation company called DMG, drew the star on a postcard to his wife. He explained that the star would someday shine over his successful factory. DMG did indeed eventually adopt the star as its logo.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Cut to 1900 when Daimler died and the company was passed along to partners Wilhelm Maybach and Emil Jellinek. They renamed the company Mercédès after Jellinek’s daughter and the star emblem has remained the company’s symbol to this day.

Picasa

Remember Picasa? Before Google discontinued it to focus on Google Photos, Picasa was one of the best picture organizers and editors online. Its logo always seemed pretty straightforward and looked like the shutter on a camera lens.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

But did you ever notice its other hidden symbolism? We’ll give you a hint: Keep in mind that “casa” is Spanish for “house.” If you look closely at the white space in the middle of the colors, you’ll notice it’s shaped like a little house. This was to signify that it was a home for all your photos.

Tour de France

Whether you’re into cycling or not, the odds are that you’ve heard of the Tour de France. The annual men’s cycling race spans over 23 days and consists of 21 different stages, each of which lasts the course of a single day.

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Photo Courtesy: Tour de France/YouTube

If you look closely at the logo, you’ll see that there’s a cleverly hidden cyclist formed from the “R” in “Tour.” The “o” of the same word forms his bicycle’s back wheel, while the large yellow circle forms his front tire. The circle’s yellow color represents summer, which is when the event is traditionally held.

Beats

First designed by Dr. Dre, Beats is a brand of premium headphones, speakers and earphones that came out in 2006. Though later acquired by Apple in 2014, Beats continues to be known as a leading brand in audio equipment that often comes with a steep selling price.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

While the brand’s logo looks like the letter “B,” you might see why it’s written in lowercase if you look closer. Along with the red circle that encloses it, it was designed to look like a headphone. Imagine placing the circle over someone’s ear if you’re having trouble picturing it.

Northwest Airlines

Remember the old Northwest Airlines logo from 1989 to 2003? Though it’s since been retired, it has a hidden meaning that’s too cool not to give the world a second chance to spot. At first glance, it looks sort of like a “W” with a weird line through it, right? Well, that’s so that it can also look like an “N.”

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

So in the end, it’s both the letters “N” and “W” to represent Northwest. But there’s more. If you look closely, you’ll see that the little arrow in the corner is pointing northwest, like it would on a compass. Mind. Blown.

Unilever

Whether you’ve ever heard the name Unilever or not, you’ve almost certainly got a variety of the company’s products in your house. This multinational company owns a huge array of brands, from Hellman’s to Ben & Jerry’s to Axe (of body spray fame).

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Photo Courtesy: @UnileverUSA/Twitter

That’s why it makes sense that the logo consists of 25 small symbols all rolled into one. The brand says that each small symbol has a rich meaning centered around something important to the company. You’ll find everything from a lock of hair, representing its shampoo brands, to a tea leaf in honor of tea brands such as Liptons.

Apple

No matter what brand of smartphone or computer you happen to prefer, the Apple logo has become inescapably recognizable to almost every consumer today. But what does the famous bite out of the Apple mean? Rumors started that it was meant to be a bite taken out of the biblical apple of knowledge.

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Photo Courtesy: Ragdezemog96/Pixabay

The logo’s creator once explained that the original reason for the bite was to make sure that people knew that the fruit was an apple instead of a cherry. He said that his creative director approved of the choice due to the fact that “byte” is also a computer term.

Pinterest

If you’ve yet to discover Pinterest, then you may want to hold off until you have a few hours of your life to spare before checking it out. The online platform is a huge, searchable gallery of cool pictures, art, DIY tips and anything else you can imagine.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

When you find something you love you can “pin” it to one of a series of virtual bulletin boards to save for later. While the site’s logo looks unassuming enough, check out the bottom of the “P.” You’ll notice it’s pointed and that the whole letter is also a thumbtack-like pin.

Museum of London

While it might be easy to assume that the Museum of London’s logo is simply another piece of abstract art, it really holds a much deeper meaning. The various colors that are laid out in different shapes all represent the geography of London on a map at one point in time.

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Photo Courtesy: @MuseumOfLondon/Twitter

By overlapping each geographical shape, the logo represents how both the city of London and its people are ever-changing and expanding. Throughout the museum, you’ll likewise find pieces from various eras in the past and from the present day.

Coca-Cola

Unlike many of the other logo meanings on the list, this one was actually a happy accident. Back in 2013, Coca-Cola discovered that there was an accidental Danish flag “hidden” in the company logo. Considering that Denmark is known as the world’s happiest country, the soda giant decided to run with it.

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Photo Courtesy: Ebiquity Global Insight/YouTube

McCann Copenhagen advertising played on the hidden flag by welcoming travelers to Denmark with flags. As random as that may sound, it’s actually a local Danish tradition to welcome travelers back into the country by presenting them with a sort of welcome home flag.

LG

South Korean company LG is known around the world for its electronic products and telecom services. The letters in the company’s name originally stood for “Lucky Goldstar” but are now marketed as meaning “Life’s Good.” The letters can both be seen inside the circular red logo, but if you look closer, you’ll see something else as well.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

With a little Picasso-like imagination, they’re also arranged in the shape of a face. Some people claim that it’s the face of Pac-Man if you lift the “L” up a little and tilt the circle on its side.

Pepsi

The Pepsi logo is instantly recognizable to soda lovers around the world, but it also has a rich history. It was first designed during World War II, so the patriotic red, white and blue colors were meant to show support for American troops.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Over the years, the colors have remained the same, but the white portion has shifted a bit. In 2009, Pepsi changed its positioning to make it into the shape of a smile. The logo is even slightly different on some products, such as Diet Pepsi, which has a slightly smaller smile than regular Pepsi.

Paramount Pictures

The famous mountain-and-stars logo of Paramount Pictures goes all the way back to the days of old Hollywood. Legend has it that the studio’s founder, William Wadsworth Hodkinson, first sketched the mountain (which is rumored to be Ben Lomond Mountain) on a napkin.

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Photo Courtesy: @Paramountmovies/Twitter

There were originally 24 stars around the peak, which represented the 24 movie stars who were contracted to the studio at the time. The number of stars was eventually reduced to 22, though no one is exactly sure why. Maybe some of the actors got cut due to creative differences?

London Symphony Orchestra

When it comes to the place to go if you’re in the mood for great classical music, then the London Symphony Orchestra is where it’s at. Named as one of the top five orchestras in the world, you can catch over 120 concerts per year at LSO.

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Photo Courtesy: London Symphony Orchestra/Twitter

At first glance, its logo appears to be the letters “LSO” written in artistic, squiggly lettering. But if you look closer, you’ll see that they’re also a conductor holding a baton. The “S” makes up the head, the “O” one hand and the “L” the other hand holding up a baton.

Cisco

If you work in IT, then it’s likely that you’re familiar with Cisco, a technology company that produces everything from Wi-Fi routers to hardware and software. But have you ever wondered what the little bars on the logo mean? The company’s name itself holds a big clue.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

“Cisco” is a popular nickname for San Francisco, where the company was founded. If you look closely at the layout of the bars, you can see that they’re arranged in the shape of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you need a little help, just try connecting the lines along the top.

Shell

Have you ever wondered how Shell gas stations got their name? It all began in the 1830s when the company was owned by a Londoner named Marcus Samuel. Though he originally sold antiques, he decided to expand his business and began selling literal seashells.

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Photo Courtesy: @shell_ontheroad/Twitter

After he died, he passed the business on to his sons, who expanded it to include the sale of oil. Over the years, the company kept the name Shell and has used a seashell as its logo in honor of the company’s actual shell-selling early days.

Toyota

The Toyota emblem as we know it today first debuted around 1990 and was carefully selected for its symbolism. One popular observation that many people point out is that you can actually form every letter of “Toyota” out of the overlapping design.

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Photo Courtesy: @ToyotaUK/Twitter

Toyota itself claims that the three overlapping ovals represent the intersections of the hearts of its customers and their own. The empty spaces behind the ovals are said to represent the future and the boundless opportunities that come with it. Also, it couldn’t hurt that the whole thing looks like a “T” in a circle, right?

Gillette

Ah yes, Gillette is no ordinary razor but “the best a man can get!” The company’s logo doesn’t look much more complicated than a bit of lettering, but even the famed razor company had a trick or two up its sleeve in the design department.

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Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Check out the bottom of the dot on top of the “i.” It’s shaped to look a bit like a razor blade. You can also see this idea played out in the top of the “G.” If you look closely, it looks like it’s been carefully cut into shape by a razor.

Starbucks

Ever wonder what’s up with the gal on the Starbucks logo? Who exactly is she, and what are those striped things on either side of her head? It turns out that she was actually designed after an old drawing of a 16th-century double-tailed mermaid, a.k.a. a siren.

Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

In the earliest designs, her tails were a bit more obvious but have been scaled down slightly over time. The design concept was a nod to the company’s beginning in the seaside town of Seattle, the company’s nautical-themed name (stemming from a “Moby Dick” character) and probably the siren song that lures us all towards a nice strong espresso each morning.

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