Every company strives to ensure that its logo is not just recognizable from that of others, but conveys a message to its consumer. Take a look at some of the popular brands’ logos and the interesting meanings they carry.
Rob Janoff, the man who designed the famous Apple logo, says,
I bought a whole bag of apples, put them in a bowl and made sketches of them for a week, trying to simplify the details. At some point during my artistic experiments, I took a bite from one of the apples. Later that day, to my surprise, I found out that ‘bite’ sounds very similar to byte – a computing term.”
It is said that at one stage in Apple’s existence, its logo used to feature vibrant, multi-colored stripes — to emphasize the fact that the company produced computers with color monitors. However, in 1998, following the return of Steve Jobs and the advent of a new generation of computers, Apple switched to the monochrome version of the logo.
The Amazon logo doesn’t appear like it might be hiding anything special. However, it’s been designed to help us understand the philosophy of the brand. The yellow arrow resembles a smile, highlighting the fact that the company wants their customers to be happy. And, the arrow that connects the letters ‘A’ and ‘Z’ hints the fact that this online store has absolutely everything.
It is said that BMW started out as an aircraft producer, and its logo remains true to these roots. However, contrary to the popular belief that the logo portrayed the movement of an aircraft propeller with the white blades cutting through a blue sky, it actually alludes to the Bavarian flag, which has a checkered pattern of blue and white colors.
The Mercedes-Benz logo symbolizes the company’s confidence in its own perfection. It is said that the three-pointed star represents domination in every environment — on land, water and in the air.
If you look closely at the logo, you can see an arrow, which is formed by the empty space between the letters ‘E’ and ‘X’. It is said that this arrow symbolizes speed and accuracy — the two guiding principles of the company.
Yes, the letter ‘M’ stands for McDonald’s, but according to design consultant and psychologist, Louis Cheskin, the rounded ‘M’ also represents a pair of nourishing breasts. It is said that in the 1960s, McDonald’s was prepared to abandon this logo, but Cheskin successfully urged the company to maintain this branding with its Freudian symbolism.
7. Formula 1
If you look closely at the empty space between the ‘F’ and the red stripes, you’ll see it transform into a ‘1′. It is said that the logo is designed to convey a sense of speed.
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was said to have been owned by RCA, the company that pioneered the production of color TVs in the early 1950s. It is said that the bright-feathered peacock’s tail featured in the company’s logo was meant to show the people who still watched black-and-white what they were missing out on.
Unilever produces a huge number of diverse products, and this is reflected in their logo. The company’s logo was designed to include 25 icons, each of which represents something important to the company. For example, the heart signifies love, care and well-being, while the bird symbolizes freedom, liberation from everyday chores, and enjoyment of life.
10. Sony Vaio
The Sony Vaio logo integrates the ideas of analog and digital technology into one. The first two letters, ‘V’ and ‘A’, represent an analog wave, while the last two, ‘I’ and ‘O’, represent binary from the digital world.
In the tenth century AD, Denmark was ruled by King Harald Blåtand, a historical figure famous for uniting Danish tribes into a single kingdom. Harald was often called “Bluetooth” since he was a known lover of blueberries. It is said that at least one of his teeth had a permanent blue tint.
Bluetooth technology is designed for uniting multiple devices into a single network. The symbol representing this technology is a combination of two Scandinavian runes: ‘Hagall’ (or ‘Hagalaz’), which is the analogue of the Latin ‘H’, and ‘Bjarkan’ — a rune that equals the Latin letter ‘B’. Thus, the two runes form the initials of Harald Blåtand’s name. By the way, a first generation Bluetooth device was colored blue and resembled a tooth.
12. Power On
The “power” (or “power on”) symbol can be found on any device, but few people know about its origins. It is said that as early as the 1940s, engineers used a binary system for representing specific switches, where 1 meant on and 0 meant off. In the following decades, it transformed into a sign that features a circle (zero) and a vertical line (one).
Carrefour is a multinational and one of the biggest European retailers headquartered in France. The company’s logo, which symbolizes the ongoing expansion of the company, is made in the colors of the French flag. In addition, the logo also incorporates the first letter of the company’s name.
14. Big Ten
The Big Ten is an academic association founded in 1896. Until 1990, this union consisted of 10 universities. Then, in June 1990, it was joined by Pennsylvania State University. The association decided not to change its name but to signify the adding of a new member, it simply added ’11’ to its logo. It is seen in white color with one 1 before the letter ‘T’ and the other after it.
Continental is a leading German automotive manufacturing company specializing in tyres. One of those tyres is clearly present in the company’s logo — created by the combination of the first two letters.
16. Sun Microsystems
The Sun Microsystems’ logo is one of the world’s most famous ambigrams. The word ‘Sun’ forms the basis of a square and can be read from each of its corners. The logo was said to be created by Stanford professor, Vaughan Pratt.
17. Baskin Robbins
If you look closely, you’ll find that the pink-colored segments of the letters ‘B’ and ‘R’ form the number 31. This alludes to the number of flavors that Baskin Robbins’ ice cream historically comes in.
18. Hope for African Children Initiative
If you look at the logo closely, you can see an outline of the African continent, as well as images of a child and an adult (the latter symbolizing support). This logo is used by a public organisation involved in helping the children of Africa.
19. Yoga Australia
There’s something interesting in the logo of the Australian yoga enthusiasts’ club. The space between the girl’s hand and leg forms the outline of Australia.
Eighty20 is a small consulting company based in South Africa. Many believe that the firm’s logo has no connection whatsoever with its name. But, if we imagine that the dark squares as ones, and the light squares as zeros, then, in binary code, the top line would read 1010000 and the bottom line 0010100. Translated to ordinary numbers, this stands for 80 and 20.
21. Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers is an American professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their logo is made of the letters ‘M’ and ‘B’ and resembles a baseball glove.
The crown of the tree in this logo represents a brain. This both emphasizes the great intellectual potential of Greenlabs’ employees and provides a graphic representation of the company’s name.
Toblerone is a company that produces chocolate, based in the Swiss city of Bern, which is also called ‘the city of bears’. It is said that because of this the company has incorporated a silhouette of a bear into its logo.