Take one glance at any of these logos and you instantly recognize the brand, but did you know there’s sometimes a hidden message buried in them? Whether you’re cruising down the aisles of the grocery store, or speeding down through, you’re guaranteed to come across a few famous logos. It’s surprising, but true.
Here are 10 famous logos that have hidden messages.
McDonald’s one of you favorite fast food chain. Yes, it really means “M” for McDonald’s and there really isn’t any other meaning McDonald’s had intended. Instead, it came to mean something unintentionally by customers, at least according to design consultant and psychologist Louis Cheskin. In the ’60s, McDonald’s wanted to change their logo but Cheskin insisted on leaving the golden arches. He said it’s because customers unconsciously recognize the logo as “symbolism of a pair of nourishing breasts” (via BBC). Whether we unconsciously believe this or not, Cheskin convinced them and now the logo is one of the most recognizable in the world.
Ever notice how the Google logo has four primary colors in a row then it’s broken by a secondary color? This was entirely intentional. Google wanted to show that they don’t play by the rules and are also playful without making the symbol bulky. To do that, they just used simple letters and colors.
Look closer haven’t you notice anything?
Unilever produces so many different products that sometimes it’s hard to keep track of everything they do. Lucky for us, there’s symbols for literally everything they make right in their logo.
5. Coca Cola
Look closely at the “o.” Do you notice anything? No? Don’t worry because most people wouldn’t notice it. It’s actually the Denmark flag. This wasn’t always the original intention. Coca Cola discovered that part of its logo looks like the Danish flag, which has been named the happiest country on earth. Once they discovered that, they set up a media stunt in Denmark’s biggest airport, where they welcome people with flags. Still can’t see the flag? Here you go:
No, the Pac-Man reference is not confirmed, but it’s cool to look at anyways. There is hidden meaning in the LG logo, though. Everyone knows the face, but its position, as well as the “L” and “G,” inside the circle that matters. According to LG, this centers humanity above all else. The circle itself symbolizes the world, future, youth, humanity, and technology while the red represents friendliness. (Hint: a lot of companies use red for this very reason, as it seems to attract consumers a lot.)
Ever notice that Adidas’ symbol looks like a mountain? Well, that’s exactly what it’s supposed to mean. The three stripes, which was part of the original logo in 1967, never really meant anything. It was just supposed to be unique. In the ’90s, though, they slanted the stripes so that it would represent a mountain, which stands for the obstacles people need to overcome.
This is actually one of the only things on this list without a hidden meaning, but I had to add it simply for the fact that it blew my mind when I found out. Ever wonder what Häagen-Dazs means? It means nothing. Creator Reuben Mattus invented the word to make it sound “Danish-sounding,” essentially in homage. This takes their slogan, “made like no other,” to a whole new level.
Four hoops…plain and simple, right? Well, wrong. In fact, each of these hoops represent the 4 founding companies of the Auto-Union Consortium way back in 1932: like DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.
As long as I can remember, the BMW logo has been associated with a blue sky and a propeller spinning, going back to its aircraft-building days. But what if I told you that wasn’t the original intention? According to NYTimes, the trademark was registered in 1917, but the propeller association wasn’t created until a 1929 advertisement where the logo was featured alongside an aircraft. What does it mean then? The colors are blue and white to represent the Bavarian Free State colors. The reason it looks how it does is because using a national symbol in a commercial trademark was illegal, so the colors were arranged in an opposing order. There you have it.
(Source: New York Times.)