Design & UX
Article
By Isabelle Try

20 Big Brands With Little-Known Cleverness Hidden in Their Logos

By Isabelle Try

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.

Tostitos

The Tostitos logo is certainly familiar enough, but have you noticed the pair of partygoers snacking on salsa?

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FedEx

FedEx is found within almost every country in the world. See if you can find the right-facing arrow on their logo.

Amazon

Amazon.com claims to offer every product imaginable from “A” to “Z”. Can you see the same promise illustrated in their logo?

Atlanta Falcons

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

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.

Goodwill

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.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers combines a traditional baseball glove with the letters “M” and “B”.

Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems’ logo seems to spell the word “Sun” in endless circular (clockwise) sequences.

Elettro Domestici

Through clever use of negative space, Elettro Domestici spells out “ED” while simultaneously showing an electric plug.

My Fonts

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

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

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

“Families” included a family of their own with an interesting take on typography in the middle of their family-friendly logo.

Snooty Peacock

In the tradition of M. C. Escher, Snooty Peacock conflates two completely different images together to form their logo.

Unilever

Unilever has 24 different facets to their business, and each of them is represented withing the greater “U” of their brand.

Sony Vaio

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

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?

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