What's in a Logo?
Updated: Dec 2, 2022
You’ve seen these famous logos countless times over your life, as they represent many well-known brands around the world. But how well do you know their secrets? With the purpose of a logo to be a single visual element that brings familiarity to the brand’s product, companies go through a carefully selected creation process for them. This could be to influence the psychology of consumers, represent their core values, or some other mysterious meaning. Although you see these popular logos and rarely think about why they look the way they do, there is a deep-rooted meaning behind each of them.
Therefore, this article is the perfect read if you’re looking for some logo inspiration or just browsing out of pure curiosity. Dive into these 15 famous logos and discover their hidden meanings:
You don’t have to look deeply into the symbolism behind the world-renowned logo of Amazon to notice the orange arrow. However, were you aware that is has two clever meanings? First, the arrow starts at the letter “A” and ends at the letter ”Z” to show that the company sells nearly every product you can name in the entire alphabet. This arrow also represents a smile with a little dimple on the side, to evoke the happiness of customers that shop their products.
The leading brand among children has always left a personal touch with its audience. What better way to represent such connection then portraying their logo as a representation of Mr. Disney’s very own signature? Although this “handwriting” is, in fact, nothing like the founder’s, it still embodies his vision in the magical way that Disney has always done a wonderful job of capturing.
Here’s a popular logo that needs no introduction. This iconic symbol is recognized worldwide, even without the company’s name attached to it anymore. Commonly known as the ‘swoosh,’ this logo has a much deeper meaning (and it’s not a checkmark, as commonly guessed by many). Nike is actually a Greek goddess that personifies victory. When logo designer, Carolyn Davidson, created this design in 1971, she thought to represent the goddess’ wing as an indication of movement and speed. It’s worth adding: she was paid a mere $35.
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the second largest fast food chain in the world? Look no further than Burger King’s logo. This brand placed their name as the meat between two bun halves to ensure that they remain the king when it comes to their famously known product: Hamburgers. Encompassed in a blue circle, these lively colors are meant to attract people of all ages to their fast food chains.
There is a great conspiracy behind this timeless logo known to even those outside of the fashion world. Could the interlocking C’s represent Coco Chanel’s business (and life) partner, Arthur “Boy” Capel, the primary inspiration for her collection? Or how about the original logo of the Château de Crémat, a famous vineyard in Nice, France where the designer, Coco Chanel, spent some time? Or maybe the symbol on the stain-glass doorways of the Aubazine Chapel in France where she lived as an orphan during her childhood? It could just be the first letters of her name. No one is quite certain, yet it’s clear that this logo has stood the test of time since its unchanged creation in 1925.
This Spanish lollipop company’s logo is especially unique as it was designed by the famous surrealist, Salvador Dalí in 1969. He chose to create a bright colored daisy design to not only draw attention but also because it fits perfectly on the top of a round lollipop when centered on the wrapper in the candy’s packaging. This is also what Mr. Dali suggested would be the best placement for it so that the logo is always prominent.
Fun fact: The company’s name comes from the Spanish verb “chupar,” which translated to English means “to lick.”
This brand has kept a similar version of its original logo design since nearly the beginning of the company’s existence. The font represented classic handwriting of the time in 1886 when the first version of this was created. Although slightly altered since, even with new design trends rising, Coca-Cola has stayed true to its classic style. In fact, this logo is so distinguished, that when translated across languages, consumers can still recognize it worldwide. And get this, it was actually designed by the founder’s bookkeeper, Frank Mason Robinson.
Google’s logo is quite simple for being one of the most well-known brands in the entire world. In reality, so well known its name has become a verb almost as common as actually saying the word “search.” The one thing that can be investigated here is the choice of colors used by logo designer, Ruth Kedar – it’s the primary color pallet plus a random green “L.” This is because Google wanted to express a message that the company doesn’t play by the rules, rather they prefer to break them and have fun.
Instagram has not been around for a very long, and therefore many of us can remember the brand’s logo from 2010. It was a camera which encompassed plain, tan and brown colors to cater to their audience of mainly photographers. However, in 2016 Instagram decided to have a facelift when they realized how much their audience had diversified over the years. Users weren’t just photographers anymore, they were Millennials, Generation Z, and powerful brands. The bright and vibrant colors of the new logo are meant to reflect the spirit of this evolving and vastly diverse audience. Not to mention ombre colors continue to be a hot topic among web design trends.
It’s obvious that the shape of the symbol reflects the bird associated with Dove’s brand. A company that stands for peace, gentleness, and purity through their variety of classic toiletries. The color’s here are meant to signify this. The dark blue used in the word “Dove” symbolizes reliability and excellence, while the yellowish-gold color of the bird evokes joy and prosperity. These are all common visions to think about for a company that was a pioneer in using ‘real women’ in their ads.
This simple logo for a men’s grooming brand has more meaning behind it then you’d imagine. First, the boldness of the letters evokes a sense of threat, while the italicization of the word represents speed – two stereotypes that arguably customers who want to take on the “manly” character aspire to embody. More deeply embedded in this logo is a hidden representation of their well-known product, razors, shown through the diagonal cut in the “G” and the “i.”
Even as kids, logo association begins to form in our tiny brains. So Lego, as a brand that targets a very young audience, decided to make their logo bold and colorful in order to be highly visible to all of their viewers. Furthermore, the bubbled letters of the brick shaped word “Lego,” symbolizes two things: the product itself and how simple it is for kids to play with.
You might have always wondered: why is there a random bright yellow rectangle on this brand’s logo? Well, this American subscription channel started out as a just a magazine, and that rectangle is meant to represent the shape of it and build on the brands original identity. The yellow color that was chosen represents the sun, which shines everywhere around the world, like this channel’s global reach.
Just as the brand is a product of two motor companies merging together in 1926, so is their logo. First, Mercedes’ founder, Gottlieb Daimler, chose a three-point star to represent the three things that he envisioned for the world of motorization; land, water, and air. The circle comes from Benz, which was originally a laurel wreath, then further simplified in 2009 to the logo we know now.
Tour de France
This annual, famous bicycle race creatively enclosed their purpose into their logo. Looking at the “R,” combined with the yellow circle and dot, you can spot a cyclist. This yellow circle has another meaning too. It also represents the sun, showing that the events of the race take place during daytime hours only.
Jessica Grajeda Designs, a Hudson, WI based Wix Web Designer, creates stunning yet affordable websites for individuals, small businesses and mid-sized corporations worldwide.
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