Genius Logos and Why They Rock

by Melinda Martin

In my previous blog post, I mentioned my passion for all things design. I really enjoy a logo that is clearly thought out; the ones where you can tell the Designer spent some time and used their brain to create a mark that leaves an impression. If you think about it, a logo with double meaning is a visual pun. Something that makes you say, “Wow! I wish I would have thought of that.”

Here are some logos that have a hidden or double meaning and strengthen the brand they represent. You will kick yourself for missing the mark—see what I did there?

FedEx

FedEx logo

Let’s start off with a logo you’ve seen a million times. Did you see the arrow pointing to the right in the negative space between the E and x? The arrow is intended to symbolize FedEx’s accuracy and speed. This logo is touted in the design community for its use of negative space. It won countless design awards and was ranked as one of the eight best logos in the last 35 years in the 35th Anniversary American Icon issue of Rolling Stone magazine.

Baskin Robbins

Baskin Robins logo

Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors (one flavor for each day of the month) and they cleverly highlight that fact in their logo design. See how the middle of the B and R also reads as 31? The pink color in the logo is the same as their tasting spoons to remind you to taste all 31 flavors.

Goodwill

Goodwill logo

The Goodwill logo features half a smiling face. Or is it the letter g? You get to view it twice to make sure. And what better way to communicate good will than a smiling face?

Amazon

Amazon logo

You can get all things from a to z – punctuated by an arrow that also creates a smiley face representative of happy customers.

Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo logo

This logo takes advantage of negative space. You can see the Manhattan skyline in the white spaces between the legs of the giraffes.

NBC

NBC Logo

This message is subtle. The colorful peacock was chosen to promote NBC’s foray into color broadcasting and was first introduced in 1956. Today’s version of the peacock looking forward supports the company’s motto to look forward and not back.

Tour De France

Tour De France logo

The brush script font lends well to the sketch of the cyclist that can be seen in the word “Tour”. The yellow represents the famous maillot jaune awarded to the winner of each stage. It is fitting also that the brush script shows movement for this event.

Hershey’s Kisses

Hershey’s Kisses logo

You have to really be observant to catch this one. If you studied the negative space, you might have noticed the shape of a Hershey’s kiss between the K and I. Pretty sweet!

London Symphony Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra logo

At first glance, this looks like stylized letters L,S and O. Upon further inspection, one can see a conductor in motion. Wait. Now I can only see the conductor. Clever.

Spartan Golf Club

Spartan Golf Club logo

I love this one. The artist took some time to craft this logomark. It is both a golfer in mid-swing AND a Spartan in full regalia. Maybe it’s just me, but I can also see a G shape for Golf.

Yoga Australia

Yoga Australia Logo

I’ll close with Yoga Australia. It took me a while to get this one. This logo is a figure in a yoga pose. Big deal, right? Remember to take in the negative space. Get it? The shape of the Australian continent is there! Genius.

A smart, successful logo is memorable. The examples I have discussed entertain the viewer with a visual puzzle; something to figure out. They are more than just aesthetically pleasing marks on the paper.

References:

http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/logos-hidden-meaning/

http://digitalsynopsis.com/design/50-clever-hidden-meaning-logo-designs/

https://www.logaster.com/blog/fedex-logo/

https://www.fastcodesign.com/1671067/the-story-behind-the-famous-fedex-logo-and-why-it-works

http://nunoricardodasilva.com/20-clever-logos-with-hidden-symbolism/

http://www.famouslogos.us/baskin-robbins-logo/

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/40-brand-logos-hidden-messages-starting-most-famous-one-160798

http://www.etiziano.com/I_love_logo_design/history_of_the_nbc_logo.html

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2012/10/the-hidden-meaning-behind-really-good-logos/

http://www.boredpanda.com/clever-logos-with-hidden-symbolism/