There’s More to a Great Logo than Initially Meets the Eye

The best logos will make you look twice, then three times or even four. Many use hidden designs to provoke discussion and make us look closer.

What makes a good logo? Marketers will tell you lots about the need to have something that is on-brand, relevant, memorable, easily reproduced and so on. But perhaps the most important factor of all is that it stands out from the crowd, meaning your business will do the same in these cut-throat competitive times.

We believe that one of the best ways of ensuring your logo design meets all these criteria is by making it something that people will talk about. After all, as Oscar Wilde wrote in The Picture of Dorian Gray, there is only one thing worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.

So how can you make your logo something that will set tongues wagging? A clever strategy that some brands have followed is to create logos that are more than they initially seem. How closely have you looked at the following logos, and were you aware of their hidden designs?


Now at Polar, if there are three things we love, they are a great logo, some delicious chocolate, and a cute bear. Did you know that Toblerone manages to combine all three? Look again at the famous mountain logo on the wrapper, and you will clearly see the bear’s outline. Once you’ve seen it once, you can’t miss it.


Everyone knows the FedEx logo, but it is so simple – a blue Fed and an orange Ex that surely there’s nowhere to hide a hidden extra. Look again at the Ex – you will see that the space between them cleverly presents an arrow.


Another of those logos that we see every day, but had you noticed anything about that ornate P at the beginning of Pinterest? It is designed to look exactly like a pin. Interestingly, the designer initially avoided the idea, thinking it would be a little too obvious and unsubtle. Ultimately, however, it was too good an opportunity to turn down and another design classic was born.


The F1 brand is one that has gone through plenty of change over the past year or so since Bernie Ecclestone relaxed his grip after 40 years at the top. But the logo itself, comprising a black F and a “1” made up of red racing stripes has an
additional dimension. The space between the two characters is also in the shape of a 1.


Finally, perhaps the most clever hidden message of them all, and one that takes some work to spot. Toyota’s logo of three overlapping ovals is one that is recognised the world over. The company’s official position is that the logo “symbolize the unification of the hearts of our customers and the heart of Toyota products. The background space represents Toyota’s technological advancement and the boundless opportunities ahead.” That’s well and good, but the really clever bit is that when you look closely, you will see that the ovals actually spell out the word “Toyota.”

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