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Ivan's picture

Logos with a meaning

I am not sure how many of you have noticed a hidden symbol in the Federal Express logo. Yeah, I am talking about the 'arrow' that you can see between the E and the x in this logo. The arrow was introduced to underscore speed and precision, which are part of the positioning of the company.

The SUN Microsystems logo is a wonderful example of symmetry and order. It was a brilliant observation that the letters u and n while arranged adjacent to each other look a lot like the letter S in a perpendicular direction. Spectacular.

The above logo is for an editing studio. I like the way the logo attempts to convey what they do.

The above are two magazines from the Readers Digest stable. Again, the attempt to communicate what it is about quite figuratively through the logo
catches my attention.

I liked this logo of a hair stylist for the cheeky humour it brings to the (dressing) table.

This was a logo created for a puzzle game called Cluenatic. This game involves unravelling four clues. The logo has the letters C, L, U and E arranged as a maze. and from a distance, the logo looks like a key.

This logo is too good. For the name Eight, they have used a font in which each letter is a minor adaptation of the number 8.

Eighty-20 is a small consulting company which does sophisticated financial modeling, as well as some solid database work. All their work is highly quantitative and relies on some serious computational power, and the logo is
meant to convey it.

People first guess that 20% of the squares are darkened, but that turns out to be false after counting them. The trick is to view the dark squares as 1's and the light squares as 0's. Then the top line reads 1010000 and the bottom line reads 0010100, which represent 80 and 20 in binary.

Kinda like the surreal green screen of The Matrix, they want us to read stuff in binary.

This was a logo designed in-house for some internal event at IBM. I like that they are quite relaxed about the logo, unlike certain other companies who do not like the logo to be tampered with in any way even for internal promotions.

You might think the arrow does nothing here. But it says that has
everything from a to z and it also represents the smile brought to the customer's face. Wow, that is quite deep.

I didn't write this, but got it through a friend in email and though I should share.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

archmedia's picture
587 pencils

Love the amazon one, i'd always seen the arrow as a smile from happy customers, but NEVER saw it as an A to Z.. that's awesome!

and that's also some great work on the EIGHT logo.. as for the FedEx one, i find it funny that it seems it's always in the first ones to be mentioned when it comes to dissecting logo's and they're second meaning.

great post, got links to more of these?

Architectural Technician - Multimedia Designer

Tice's picture
44 pencils

Is from travel company TUI. It implements a smile out of the three letters:

Julian BH's picture
1 pencil

I'm not quite sure if this one is intentional, but the negative space in the E in the Pfizer logo looks like a two-color pill.

This might be the only non-spam comment about Pfizer ever posted, by the way.

- Julian Bennett Holmes

Flub-Dub's picture

eight is too good

always outnumbered, never outgunned

adurdin's picture
1 pencil

The JetStar logo also has a hidden arrow:

But other than that the airline is pretty poor.

r0sss's picture
35 pencils

The U's and N's also spell out the word 'sun' in the sun microsystems logo- never noticed that - I like to freak out my non designer friends and point out the arrow in the fedex logo. lol

stapel's picture
40 pencils

Wow, I didn't understand what is the conception in this logo. It's perfect.

Josef Stapel

geoff's picture
118 pencils

It's sad today that many designers and students don't get that this is what logos are supposed to do - convey a message. Now it's all about reflections, glossy finishes and swooshes.

phatcactus's picture
109 pencils

Actually, I think it's pretty sad that clients are often not interested in messages, but specifically request reflections, glossy finishes, and swooshes.

Little has depressed me more than coming out of design school into my first "real" job and bevelling, gradienting, and drop-shadowing everything in sight.

onegirlcreative's picture
1090 pencils


"I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint." ~ Frida Kahlo

g_estran's picture
4 pencils

loved this blog man, this is what excites me about logos, only done a few logos in my day (noobie) and never really hidden a 'subliminal' image in em, true craftmanship!
Loved the fed ex one, never noticed it. reminds me of a logo back home that I grew up with but only realised what it was sitting in my moms car one day, was just staring at it and then suddenly I realised what it was.

The funny thing is it wasn't hidden or anything, for some reason I just used to see the negative space and then suddenly after all those years their it was! A flag! Wierd!! Told a friend of mine about it a few months later and he had the exact same story about this logo! this is the logo:

The Logoman

archmedia's picture
587 pencils

so other then a negative space, what did it look like to you before that? lol...
i actually saw the logo before reading your post and saw the flag immediately..

just curious :D

Architectural Technician - Multimedia Designer

g_estran's picture
4 pencils

I could never really figure out what it was, it always puzzled me, it just seemed like some strange shape, and I used to think 'what the hell is that!'
Doesn't say much for my hopes in a career of design, does it!

The Logoman

Hanif's picture
1 pencil

I like that logo.

logangreer's picture
4 pencils

Eight, 8, we think you're greight.

logangreer's picture
4 pencils

I don't know if anyone here has ever noticed, and I am not sure if this fits into what we are talking about, but the restaurant "Arby's" name could be rewritten "R.B.'s".

And what do the sell at "Arby's"? That's right -- Roast Beef sandwiches. R for Roast, B for Beef. Arby's. How I figured that out one day, I will never remember. I guess this cleverness is in the name, not necessarily the logo.

Sheke's picture
1 pencil

Wow, some really great logos there. I'm a big fan of the Readers Digest word marks.
they're bold, well laid out and convey the message in a meaningful way.

Quick note...
The IBM logo was actually created by Paul Rand in 1981. I believe he did that for an annual report cover. Could be wrong about the annual report part.

pokie's picture
1217 pencils

This post is outstanding.

THIS is what logo design is all about.

Anonymous's picture

This site rules!

Ivan's picture

You're so kind! :)

ngb's picture
1 pencil

Granted this is a little old, which makes it even more surprising that no one corrected you on the Eye Bee M logo but I thought you should know...

That was HARDLY an in-house design whipped up by the guy in the corner, but rather a work of art conceived and created by Paul Rand.

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