Sometimes, brands become so big and familiar that we no longer notice the nuances hidden within their logos. Large, established companies are often thought of as somehow less clever and creative than smaller, edgier startups. But, if you take a look at some of these old, familiar logos, you might discover some symbolism, tricks, and twists that you’ve been overlooking for years. Let’s have a look at twenty logos – ranging from simply “big” brands to ubiquitous companies – that have some hidden cleverness for the observant eye.
The Tostitos logo is certainly familiar enough, but have you noticed the pair of partygoers snacking on salsa?
FedEx is found within almost every country in the world. See if you can find the right-facing arrow on their logo.
Amazon.com claims to offer every product imaginable from “A” to “Z”. Can you see the same promise illustrated in their logo?
The Atlanta Falcons logo is primarily based on the bird, but can you see the reiteration of the letter “F” as well? (Hint: step as far away from your screen as the room allows.)
Baskin Robbins claims 31 unique flavors of ice cream, and they’ve made this claim a part of their branding as well.
Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference of US collegiate teams ran into quite the branding problem. They briefly had eleven teams. (Actually, they have twelve now after Nebraska joined in 2011, and they’ve apparently abandoned any hope of reconciling their total team tally with their brand name.) Negative space provides the opportunity to include all 11 teams.
The “Goodwill” logo strikes a balance between a typographic and an illustrative logo. The “G” forms a friendly smile. Well, half of one at least.
London Symphony Orchestra
This brilliant logo combines the suggestion of a symphony conductor (complete with a baton in his right hand) with the “LSO” acronym.
The Milwaukee Brewers combines a traditional baseball glove with the letters “M” and “B”.
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Sun Microsystems’ logo seems to spell the word “Sun” in endless circular (clockwise) sequences.
Through clever use of negative space, Elettro Domestici spells out “ED” while simultaneously showing an electric plug.
My Font not only employs an interesting font to represent what they’re all about, they also included a swiping hand, as if to reiterate the possessive nature (Mine!) of their chosen brand.
Hidden Cork’s logo forms a wine glass with the letters “H” and “C”. And, they hid their own cork through use of negative space.
The Installers used their own installation of double doors (and a well-lit room behind them) to form a capital “I” through negative space.
“Families” included a family of their own with an interesting take on typography in the middle of their family-friendly logo.
In the tradition of M. C. Escher, Snooty Peacock conflates two completely different images together to form their logo.
Unilever has 24 different facets to their business, and each of them is represented withing the greater “U” of their brand.
Sony Vaio’s logo represents the evolution of analog to digital. The “V” and “A” from a typical analog “wave,” and the “I” and “O” form the essential binary code that forms any digital information.
Elefont not only chose a remarkable font for their logo, they also found room for a lowercase “e” and an elephant’s trunk.
Hope For African Children Initiative
The Hope for African Children Initiative’s brand clearly contains the continent of Africa, but it also includes a child and an adult facing each other within the negative space.
Did you discover some new tricks within seemingly-familiar logos? Do you think large organizations still have room for cleverness within their branding, or does it detract from their hard-earned authority and size?
Isabelle is a design writer based out of Australia.
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