A logo is the symbolic representation of a company. It aims to communicate not only the company name but also the mission, purpose, strengths, and feeling the company hopes to provide to its customers.
This list gives you the best examples of logos with more than one message. Some are hard to decipher at first, but you will wonder how you missed it once you see them. These 41 logos all have hidden messages, and some may blow your mind.
Logos You Thought You Knew
While some companies choose to have direct, straightforward logos – such as UPS – many companies opt for a combination of words and pictures that convey more than one meaning. Designers work hard to embed the secondary meanings within the logo, so you might not notice them at first (or even second or third) glance.
Logos use white space, playful fonts, symbolism, and more to “hide” their multiple messages. You have probably seen most or all of these logos hundreds, potentially thousands, of times in your life. But, have you seen all of their hidden messages? Read on and learn how these messages have been hiding from you for all this time.
Unintentional Hidden Messages
The hidden messages in these first two logos are unique in that inquisitive fans discovered them. Still, when asked directly, the designers for these iconic logos claim the hidden meaning was unintentional. These are two of the most recognizable logos in the world, so it is a wonder that the messages were hidden even to the designers themselves.
This hidden message is one for all the true Enigmatologists out there. Hidden within the ruffles of Wendy’s collar, investigative fans have found the word “mom.” The logo was famously designed after the daughter of the owner of the fast-food chain, so sneaking “mom” into the logo continues the family theme of the logo.
However, after speculation and theories began to spread online, the company came out and said the hidden message was unintentional. What do you think?
Apple is known for being at the forefront of user-friendly design and changed the trajectory of computer usage for the rest of the time. So, it is almost unbelievable that the designer of the iconic bitten apple logo says he had no specific message in mind when designing the logo.
This hasn’t stopped fans from creating their own meanings behind the logo. The most popular being that the bitten apple is symbolic of the bite Eve took from the fruit growing on the Tree of Knowledge in the biblical story of Genesis. Thus, the Apple logo represents knowledge and the sacrifices made to gain that knowledge.
Message Hidden in White Space or Negative Space
Similar to the Magic Picture books that may have caused you to nearly go cross-eyed as a kid, many logos use white or negative space to hide meanings. To see the hidden messages in these logos, it is all about perspective. Once you adjust your eyes and focus on the negative space, you will never be able to unsee the hidden message again.
FedEx is one of the most popular hidden message logos, probably because you might not expect a shipping company to have a hidden meaning in their logo. Hidden in the negative space between the letters of “E” and “x” in the Ex portion of the logo, there is an arrow pointing to the right hidden.
The exact meaning of the hidden arrow has not been divulged, but if you consider the mission of FedEx, you can assume it has something to do with moving your package with precision or advancing it forward.
As the oldest major broadcast network in the United States, you have likely seen the NBC logo thousands of times in your life. But, you may not have noticed the array of colors coalesce around white space that is meant to represent a peacock.
If you are thinking, what do a broadcasting company and a peacock have to do with each other? NBC says the peacock is meant to show how proud they are of the shows and programs they broadcast. Now that NBC has named its new streaming service, Peacock, the connection to the logo is even stronger.
The iconic airport treat has an animal hidden in the negative space of the logo’s prominent mountain. Do you know what animal? If you answered, Bear, congratulations! You know your chocolate.
Why a bear? The company was founded in Bern, Switzerland, also known as the City of Bears.
Pittsburg Zoo and PPG Aquarium
Continuing with our animal theme, zoo logos tend to prominently feature animals, as you might expect. The Pittsburg Zoo and PPG Aquarium logo designers wanted to be a little different. They chose to hide their animals in the negative space of their logo, on either side of a central tree.
If you focus your eyes on the negative space, you can make out a gorilla on one side and a lion on the other. The logo mimics what it might be like finding these animals in the wild, having to focus and look closely in the trees or savanna to find these well-hidden animals.
Hope for African Children Initiative
You may not have seen this logo before, but its interesting use of negative space makes it worthy of this list. This logo represents both the people they aim to help, children and families, and the geographical location they serve, Africa. This logo is a beautiful piece of art, which is also reflective of the beautiful work they hope to accomplish.
Did you know there are actually THREE Hershey’s Kisses in this logo? Two of them are fairly obvious to anyone glancing at the logo, but the third is cleverly hidden using negative space. Do you know where?
If you answered between the letters K and I in the word “kiss,” then you know your kisses.
The Bronx Zoo
Another zoo on the list, but this time it is not the animals that are hidden. Using the negative space around the animals featured in the logo, the Bronx Zoo logo features the iconic New York City skyline. By rendering the zoo’s location in the logo, you are reminded that it is truly amazing to be able to see these wild animals in the heart of a major city.
At first glance, the GameCube logo looks like a drawn version of the game console itself. That would make sense for a logo, so you may have never taken the time to look a little deeper. Hidden within the negative space of the geometrical shape are the letters G and C, representing GameCube.
This may not be the most creative use of negative space, putting the name of the console on the representative image of the console, but once you see it, you will have a hard time NOT seeing the letters again.
At first glance, the logo looks like the letter F sitting at the starting line of a race, which seems pretty perfect for a racing logo. When you look at the space between that letter and the “starting line,” you will see in the negative space the number 1.
Once you see the 1, the red “starting line” looks like it could represent the speed at which the letter F and number 1 are moving—another perfect meaning for some of the world’s fastest races.
If you are not a big hockey fan, you may think that this team’s mascot is the eagles. Instead, the eagle is meant to represent the team’s home city, Washington, D.C. The name of the team is hidden in the white space underneath the bird’s head. Look closely, and you will see the silhouette of the Capitol building. The Washington Capitals are represented in multiple ways in this single logo.
Disguised in the Font
Many logo designers develop unique fonts to represent the company. Fonts can communicate that a company is serious, fun, innovative, and many other emotional or descriptive adjectives. Designers also use fonts to creatively hide messages or secondary pictures in their logos. These next logos are great examples of creative font use to disguise hidden messages.
Milwaukee Brewers (1978 – 1993)
Hats off to the designer of this logo. Using block letter fonts, the lowercase letters m and b are stacked and angled on top of each other to form what, at first glance, looks like a baseball glove. If you are not a big sports fan, the Milwaukee Brewers are a Major League Baseball team.
The font is so perfectly chosen that you may not even notice the letters until taking a second or third look at the logo.
Tostitos are known for being the center of the party. Everyone congregates around the bowls of chips and dip, and the logo depicts this common scene. Hidden in the middle of the company name, Tostitos uses a font with flare to depict the two lowercase ts as people holding chips and use a fancy dot on top of the lowercase i to represent a bowl of salsa.
At first glance, this logo looks like it might be a squiggly line block representative of a microchip that powers Sun Microsystems. When you look closer, those squiggly lines reveal themselves to be a curved font that spells out the word “sun” over and over. Any way you look at the logo, you can read the word “sun.”
Jack in the Box
This hidden message is especially secretive as the connection between the fish symbol that is created with the letters o and x fused together in the word “box,” and the fast-food company is not immediately obvious.
They sell more hamburgers than they do fish burgers. It is thought that originally the owners planned on making their fish sandwiches their focus. It seems customers had different preferences on the menu options.
Gillette chose a font with sharp lines to mimic the sharpness of their razor blades. To further accentuate the sharpness, the tips of the letters g and I are slashed as if done by one of their sharp razor blades.
The smooth edges of the Hyundai font seem to mimic the smooth designs of their cars, but there is another image hidden in the letters. The company says that the shape of the capital letter H of their logo is meant to symbolize two people shaking hands and making a deal, like a customer and a car salesman when a Hyundai car is purchased.
Toyota’s logo uses a rounded font to embed each letter of their company name within the logo itself. At first glance, the logo looks like an oval with smaller ovals swirling within it. But when you look closely, you can make out each letter in Toyota within the ovals. This logo designer must have loved puzzles and codes.
Ray-Ban is known for its famous sunglasses, so you might be disappointed when you first see the logo and think it is only a cursive-like spelling of their company name. If you tilt your head to the left, you will see the B in “Ban” is shaped to resemble their famous shades.
Of course, a font company has to do something creative with the font in their logo! My Fonts uses a connected, cursive-style font to hide the second meaning in their logo. The outlined shape of the word “My” resembles a human hand. The hand then looks like it is selecting or picking up the word “Font.” Just like any customer can select any font of their choice from My Fonts.
A giant letter P as the logo of a company named Pinterest seems fairly obvious and straightforward. The swirly font harks to arts and crafts, which is a central hobby that connects people on the tech company’s platform.
Looking a little closer at the outline of the letter, you can see that it resembles a push pin. A pushpin is the kind of pin that would be used to stick pictures and papers to a classic corkboard, which is what the platform is providing for its users—a virtual corkboard to pin up any great idea you find surfing the internet. Pretty perfect logo, right?
Symbolism is a classic technique used by artists and writers alike to infuse double meanings into their works. In these logos, symbolism is used to convey key features, history, missions, and slogans. Most use pictures, but some use simple colors or shapes to add symbolic hidden messages to their logo.
You have probably noticed the two arrows pointing in either direction in the Subway logo, but do you know what the arrows symbolize? If you have ever ordered a sub from subway, you know the sandwich chain is famous for its layout that allows a customer to start at the top of the counter and work their way down, requesting ingredients for their order as they move along.
The arrows represent this assembly-line feature that is found in all of their restaurants across the country.
The Audi logo is four linked circles, and no, the symbolic meaning has nothing to do with the Olympics. Each circle represents one of the original companies of the 1932 Auto-Union Consortium—DKW, Horch, Wanderer, and Audi. The Audi logo pays homage to this founding group of car manufacturers.
Every time you open your internet browser, you likely encounter the Google logo. At this point, you would recognize those four colors anywhere. A lot of thought went into selecting those colors.
The company selected primary colors—red, yellow, and blue—with a single secondary color—green. The secondary color was included to symbolize the company’s ideology that Google does the unexpected.
The three stripes on top of the word Adidas in the company’s logo represent more than you may think. Resembling a mountain, these stripes represent the challenges that the company and its customers must try to overcome. The logo suggests that the Adidas product you purchase will help you climb your metaphorical mountain and achieve your goals.
These days, you can find anything and everything you need on Amazon. So, the idea that the company sells everything from A to Z fits the iconic logo connecting the two letters. However, Amazon did not start as a mega-warehouse. Originally, the company focused on selling books, and the connected letters A and z represented bookends.
The smiling line connecting the letters is intended to symbolize Amazon’s central idea that the customer should always leave happy.
Cisco develops and sells various types of technological equipment and offers other services and products. The lines atop their logo represent a digital signal that can meet the needs of all their customers. However, the overall shape of those lines offers a secondary meaning.
The company is headquartered in San Jose, California, and got its start in San Francisco. To pay homage to their home city, the shape of the signal lines make an outline of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Quiksilver’s logo can be found on the bottoms of skateboards and plastered on the sides of skateparks all across the country. The logo is based on the 19th-century print depicting a giant wave in front of a mountain. As an extreme sports company, customers of Quicksilver often find themselves riding waves, both the water and pavement variety.
As a female-oriented company, the heart logo was intended to draw female customers to Roxy’s extreme sports apparel merchandise. The logo is more than just a heart, however. It is also a duplicate logo of the parent company, Quiksilver. If you look closely, you will see that the heart consists of two Quiksilver logos turned on their sides.
The Dell logo looks fairly straightforward. It is the name of the company with the letter E tilted at an angle. You may have thought the tilt was intended to break up the block of the name or to accentuate the Electronic focus of the company.
The tilt is a little more meaningful than that. The founder of the company wanted the work done in Dell to turn the world on its ear. So, the logo designer turned the letter E to mirror this mission statement.
The Wikipedia logo is an example of pure symbolism. Without an explanation, you may not even be aware of what the logo means in the first place. Sure, you recognize it, but what is with all the puzzle pieces and various symbols shaped like a globe?
The logo represents the global community of individuals piecing together various encyclopedic posts in an attempt to capture and define all the parts that make up the world. However, that goal is so lofty, it will forever remain unfinished. Thus, the company’s logo is an unfinished puzzle of the globe.
Many people believe that the BMW logo symbolizes the company’s aviation history as it looks like propeller blades. However, the symbolism in the BMW logo has to do with the colors used. The blue and white represent the Bavarian flag, where the company began. BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke GmbH, which means Bavarian Engine Works Company in English.
Meaning in the Numbers
Numbers depicted within logos is a common strategy used to imbue logos with hidden meanings. Often logos also include a series of symbols that are always found in a certain number or count. These specific counts generally hold a secondary meaning that is special to the company. These next logos use numbers or specific symbol counts to depict hidden messages.
In conjunction with playful fonts, the Baskin Robbins logo offers the most famous use of numbers to represent a secondary logo meaning. As extra credit, the numbers themselves are hidden within the logo.
Using the rounded side of the capital letter B and the straight line of the capital letter R, Baskin Robbins highlights the number 31, which is the number of ice cream flavors they offer.
The stars arching over the Paramount logo are not just aesthetically pleasing; they are also meaningful. When the logo was designed, Paramount 24 actors contracted under their company. These actors would go on to “star” in the movies and films produced by the company.
At some point in the 1970s, Paramount dropped two of the stars from its logo, though the reason is unknown. Perhaps, they wanted to dissociate themselves from two of the founding stars for whatever reason.
If you have not played the game before, you may not even realize that the two squares with dots on top of the Domino’s logo are a domino game piece. Traditionally, the pieces have dots representing any set of numbers from one to six. So, why were the three dots chosen in this logo?
Originally, the founders of Domino’s thought they would add a dot for each new store that they opened. Little did they know their company would outgrow the potential number of dots a single domino piece can hold. Instead, they stuck with the three dots representing their three original locations.
Your brain is wired to find faces, so the hidden messages in these logos may not be very hidden to you. These logos take the idea of putting a face on a brand literally.
The strange spelling of this company may be enough to stop you from seeing the hidden face in Chik-fil-a’s logo. The shapes and swirls making up the capital letter C in the logo create the face of this food chain’s best-seller, chicken.
The face in LG’s logo is pretty apparent, but what you might not notice is of what the features of the face are comprised. The nose is the capital letter L, and the shape of the face and winking eye is the capital letter G.
Because your brain is so wired to see faces, the faces in Goodwill’s logo are likely to jump out at you. What you might not see at first is that it is the use of a well-designed block font that makes the lowercase letter g look like the face. The purpose of this company is to make people’s lives a little better and hopefully put smiles on their faces. This meaning shines through in their logo.
Beats by Dre
The lowercase letter b jumps out, and the logo looks like a simplistic representation of the company name. When you look again, you may notice that the circle encapsulating the b represents a human head, and the b is placed exactly where the company’s headphones would cradle that person’s ear. Pretty sleek, huh?
London Symphony Orchestra
One more because this logo is cool once you see it. At first, you might think the logo is just the abbreviation, LSO, written in a rounded cursive font. The three letters create the outline of the hands and head of an orchestra conductor leading the symphony.
Ready to create your own hidden message logo? Here are some of our favorite logo templates to start with.