Have you ever looked at the logos of Big Brands and wondered what their meanings were or what inspired the designer? Here are Top 20 logos that you see almost every day and what they represent.
BMW has a history in aviation and its logo stays true to its roots. The blue and white represent a propeller in motion with the sky peeking through. In fact, BMW had a role in World War II as a creator of aircraft engines for the German military.
The giant online store aptly takes on the name Amazon to convey its wide store directory. This is further hinted by the arrow linking the ‘A’ to ‘Z’ to say that they have everything from ‘A’ to ‘Z’. Which should be able to satisfy you, hence the dual meaning of the arrow being a smile.
3.Facebook Check in Places Logo
Anyone remembered the defunct Facebook Places? Considered to be a direct competitor of Foursquare, all you have to do is take a closer look at the design. Especially the rectangle meant to represent a map. Now is it just me or does the lines form a number 4?
4.FedEx – The buried arrow
On the surface, there’s not much going on with FedEx’s iconic logo—it’s just the name of the company in two different colors. But if you look at the gap formed between the letters “E” and “X,” you’ll see a hidden arrow in the negative space. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it; the arrow signifies that the company is always moving forward.
5.Toblerone – The Bear on the Mountain
The Swiss chocolatiers at Toblerone are known for their unique triangle-shaped chocolate bars and their logo featuring a picture of the Matterhorn, symbolizing the product’s country of origin.
But there’s something hidden in that Matterhorn peak for the viewer with a keen eye. If you look at the white space in the mountaintop, you’ll see the image of a bear. Why a bear? Because Toblerone is made in Berne, Switzerland and the bear is the symbol for Berne. Even the word Toblerone itself is hiding all the letters to spell out the word “Berne.”
Plain and simple, right? Well, no. Each of these hoops represent the 4 founding companies of the Auto-Union Consortium way back in 1932: like DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.
Everybody knows the Domino’s Pizza logo is based on a domino playing piece—it’s right there in the name, after all. But what you might not know is that there’s a lesson to be learned from the Domino’s Pizza domino—and that lesson is not “Avoid the Noid.” The three dots in the corporate logo represent the original Domino’s Pizza restaurant and the first two franchise locations that were opened after.
The Adidas logo looks like a mountain to represent the obstacles that people need to overcome. Originally the logo was just three stripes and didn’t stand for anything. So they kept the three stripes and just made them slanted to resemble a mountain.
9. Pepsi – The Smiling Globe
The Pepsi logo (officially known as the “Pepsi Globe”) was originally created in the 1940s during World War II. The patriotic red, white and blue colors were chosen to show support to the troops overseas and were only printed on the bottle caps, while the bottles themselves still had a classic script logo. By 1945, the Pepsi Globe became the official logo, due in part to the widely successful appeal they had with consumers.
Most of us go through life thinking that the McDonald’s logo is supposed to be the letter “M” for McDonald’s. But the original golden arches were actually a part of the building design for the restaurant chain. The arches connected to an overhang that kept the rain off of customers when they were ordering outside. The company discovered that those golden arches were easily seen from the freeway, which drove people to the restaurant. This is partially why the golden arches are still used as a symbol of the brand today.
The ‘V’ stands for “volks” which means people in German and and the ‘W’ stands for “wagen” which means car. It’s the car for the people.
The Mitsubishi logo goes back to 1870’s Japan when the Tosa clan acquired the Tsukumo Shokai shipping company from the Iwasaki family. The Iwasaki family crest was a set of three stacked rhombuses, which are referred to as chestnuts in Japan. The Tosa family crest was represented by a three-leafed oak symbol.
These two family crests were combined into the three diamond shape we see today. The Tsukumo Shokai company was soon rebranded as Mitsubishi, which is a combination of the Japanese words mitsu (which means three), and hishi (which means water chestnut and describes the diamond shape). Thus, Mitsubishi essentially means “three diamonds,” a literal description of the brand’s corporate logo and a link to its storied past.
Ever wonder why the peacock has so many colors? It’s because during the 50’s, NBC’s owner was RCA and they had just begun to manufacture color televisions. RCA wanted people who were watching black-and-white televisions to know what they were missing, so they created a colorful logo.
The Google logo might seem pretty basic on the surface—after all, it’s just the company’s name in a clean, colorful font. But when you start adding up the colors, you might notice something is a little off balance. The Google logo uses the three primary colors, red, yellow and blue—and then there’s that green “L” near the end that throws the whole primary color scheme out the window.
The green color was added as a way to show the audience that Google is a little different, a little more unique than other companies. The four-color scheme signifies Google’s ambition to be an innovator, not a brand that does what’s expected. Today, that same color scheme is used in the logos for other Google products, such as the Chrome web browser.
The Mercedes-Benz logo is the most confident of all. The tri-star represents the company’s dominance in quality and style over all things land, sea and air.
The designer of the Swoosh, Carolyn Davis, was actually a design student when she created the logo for the company and was only paid $35 for her contribution. This might seem like a cautionary tale for young designers, but at least it has a happy ending—later on, when the business grew, Davis was retroactively compensated for the design with a diamond ring in the Swoosh design and 500 shares of Nike stock. The logo itself was created as a response to the simplicity of the Adidas logo. The Swoosh shape was designed to convey a sense of motion, but it had to be simple enough to compete with Adidas and look good printed on the side of a shoe.
IBM’s logo has a hidden message for the whole world. The white lines passing through give the appearance of the equal sign in the lower right corner, representing equality.
Even though the original logo for Apple featured an image of Sir Issac Newton, the father of gravity is not actually the reason why the fruit was picked to represent the computer company. The name Apple all comes down to a simple explanation—Steve Jobs liked the sound of it.
A lot of urban myths surround the Apple logo, one being that the bite mark represents the apple of knowledge from the Garden of Eden. But the logo has an equally simple explanation as the company’s name. The logo is in the shape of an apple because the company is named Apple and the bite mark is only there to give the logo scale—otherwise, people might confuse it for a cherry.
Cisco Systems is known for their telecommunication equipment, so it makes total sense that they’d choose a symbol that represents electromagnets for their logo. However, what many people don’t realize is that the electromagnetic waves are in the shape of the Golden Gate Bridge. Why? Because Cisco is extremely proud of their birthplace.
The company was founded in 1984 in San Francisco, so the Golden Gate Bridge shape is an homage to the company’s roots. The name “Cisco” itself is even taken from “San Francisco” (which is why it’s not capitalized in the logo).
The popular French hypermarket’s name Carrefour translates to mean crossroads. Hence the red and blue arrows pointing at different directions. If you squint hard enough, you’ll be able to make out the letter ‘C’ which was cleverly incorporated through the use of negative space.