Hidden Images in Logos That Prove Companies Are Actually Pretty Clever | 22 Words

We know that companies try to trick us all of the time, whether it’s with “new and improved” claims or just bright, shiny packaging. But there are also more subliminal — and clever — ways that they go about hoping to win your brand loyalty.

Some of the world's biggest companies pay big money to designers, advertisers, and psychologists to dream up creative logos that convey an image you might not initially see.

How many of these “hidden” images revealed in plain sight did you initially miss?

FedEx

This is one of the best-known logo images, but just in case you’ve missed it, look between the “E" and the “x." In the white space, there's an arrow that subliminally represents speed and precision.

FedEx (in Arabic)

Interestingly enough, FedEx made sure to include the arrow in the logo used in Arabic-speaking countries, too. You probably noticed that this arrow appears to point backward. That's because Arabic is read from right to left.

Wendy's

This Wendy's logo appears to say the word "Mom" in Wendy's collar, suggesting that their cooking is like Mom's home-cooked meals. You know, if mom made square hamburgers and served ketchup in small paper cups.

Pittsburgh Zoo

The white space in this logo pops out and reveals a gorilla and a lion staring each other down. While the ape is quite a beast, my money would still be on the lion. He is king of the jungle, after all.

Chick-fil-A

The Chick-fil-A logo incorporates a chicken into the "C." Although this isn’t very hidden, it is still pretty clever, more so than their attempts to have people believe that their meals are nutritious.

NBC

Considering they’re often referred to as “the Peacock Network," among other things, this one is rather obvious. But the symbolism of the colored feathers represent each division of NBC (from when the logo was first designed, as there are more now) and the head of the peacock is looking right, meant to symbolize looking forward (to a show that can compete with “Mad Men" and “Modern Family.")

Amazon

Not only is the Amazon logo smiling, but there’s also an arrow starting at the “a" and ending on the “z" to indicate that Amazon has everything from A to Z that you don’t need but will buy so you spent enough to qualify for free shipping.

Baskin Robbins

Here's the scoop: Famously known for its 31 flavors (supposedly so that a customer could have a new flavor every day of the month) Baskin-Robbins makes it known in their logo.

Cisco

Hidden within the waveforms in the Cisco logo, you'll find a subtle little representation of the Golden Gate bridge — a clever nod to the communication company's San Fransisco roots.

Nintendo Gamecube

Maybe this one isn't necessarily hidden per se, but man if Nintendo's wonderful little console the Gamecube didn't have a clever logo. It's a "G" that is also a cube! That was, like, the Gamecube's whole deal — that it was a cube!

Hope for African Children Initiative

Not only does the logo for this Africa-focused charity show the continent it's looking to help, it also shows a silhouette of a grown-up and a child. As the Hope for African Children Initiative is working to help children orphaned by AIDS, this imagery is a quiet nod to the group's motivation.

Adidas

We've all wither worn or seen someone wearing Adidas shoes in our lives, but it's very possible you never took in the hidden meaning of the three stripes the athletics company uses as its logo. Well, those stripes are arranged to look like a mountain — the kid of obstacle its customers will be able to overcome, so long as they buy Adidas shoes.

Google

Google's original logo breaks a pretty important design rule — never use more color than you have to. Indeed, there is one green letter in the word that could very well feel off, since there's no green anywhere else to compliment it. But that was Google's plan all along — the "L" is green because Google wanted everyone to know they weren't afraid to break the rules.

Subway

In the Subway logo, there's an arrow going one way and another arrow going the other way. And you know what else goes one way and also another way? Actual subways.

Minnesota Wild

I'm from Minnesota and saw this logo for the state's hockey team, oh, I dunno, 800 times before I realized it wasn't just a collection of trees at night — it was in the shape of a mountain lion-esque beast. Now that's wild.

Toyota

The Toyota logo is doing a lot of work conveying multiple meanings. Not only do these two rings form a "T" — like "Toyota" — they also hint at the interconnectedness of Toyota's products.

Museum of London

This one's for the map-lovers — the logo for the Museum of London has color splotches behind it, but those color splotched tell a story. Each shape is a different outline of London from different points in its long history.

Levi's

The Levi's logo is secretly shaped like a pair of Levi's jeans' pockets. Did you ever notice that? I didn't, and I wear a lot of Levi's jeans. (They're great for painting.)

Spartan golf club

If you try to see a golfer in this logo, you will, and easily. If you try to see a spartan warrior in this logo, you will, similarly easily. But you can't see both at once. Go ahead, try it. See? Can't be done.

Sony Ericsson

There is both a hidden "s" and a hidden "e" in this logo — just check out the gray space that the orb is making. Almost makes you want to buy a mid-2000s phone, doesn't it?

Uniliver

The brand Unilever does a lot of stuff, so instead of deciding what one product they wanted to be defined by, they threw in every damn product they make. Go ahead, try not to buy something from Unilever! I dare you!

Continental

The "C" and the "O" of "Continental" make a tire. Since Continental is a tire retailer, you have to give it u to them for putting their product right there in the logo.

Slack

Hidden within the Slack logo, you'll see not only multiple colors (for the different people theoretically using it) but also speech bubbles and hashtags — the lifeblood of any productivity app!

Patreon

Patreon's hyper-simple logo forms a "P" out of a circle, representing the product being created, and a sturdy, solid line, representing the backers who make the product happen. And wouldn't you know it, that's exactly what Patreon does!

Elefont

It's both an "e" and an elephant trunk! I both love it and am terrified by it. (Whenever an elephant's around, we are all in danger of being stepped on and therefore crushed into people mash.)

Ed's Electric

Such a simple plug and receptor are represented in this logo, and the negative space forms an "E" without having to alter anything about the original design! Pretty incredible.

Circus of Magazines

This logo, which turns an open magazine into a circus tent, has finally pushed me to admit that I am not a smart person and could never think of something like this.

Barcode

Psst! There's a beer hidden in that barcode! Okay, so you knew that. Of course you did. You're smart. And it wasn't particularly well-hidden. But still, it's cool to point out, and this is a super tasty logo.

Nintendo Wii

If Nintendo's Gamecube had a logo that told you what it was, the Wii has a logo that tells you what it wants you to do. The two "i"s represent two people, sitting side-by-side, doing what Nintendo was hoping you'd do with your Wii: playing games together.

Iron Duck Clothing

Not only is this logo understated and lovely, not only is it representative of the service this company is promising to provide, but it's also very very cute. Talk about a triple threat.

Killed Productions

Yo, that "i" fell to the ground, as though it was... murdered. (Would "killed" have been more a more appropriate word to use there? Maybe. But is that really what's important here? A letter was just murdered.)

Pencil

Designed by reghardt, this logo for just, like, the general concept of pencils is so beautiful. I love it. It makes me want to buy 100 pencils.

AirBnB

There is a lot going on in this here AirBnB logo. First of all, that loop in the middle? It functions both as a head (for an AirBnB user) and a map pin (for the location of the place that user will be staying). Going father, that loop is part of a heart (implying users will love their stay), and the whole thing is turned upside down to make it the letter "A" (for AirBnB, natch).

National Geographic

If you've ever spent any time in your school's library, you've paged through a National geographic. But have you ever thought about that little gold rectangle they use as their logo? The idea behind it is that it is a doorway into another world... (A world of learning!)

Galeries Lafayette

Would you look at that — this French company has popped an Eiffel tower into the "T"s in its logo (as all French companies must do, by law).

Eagle Consumerables

While it does make it slightly harder to read, the super-cool use of an eagle's outline as an "E" makes this logo so engaging. It's hard not to look at it!

San Diego Zoo

What is it about zoos and incredible, subtle logos? The San Diego Zoo continues the trend by turning the letters "Z" "O" and "O" into an animal's paw print. These zoo guys are just killing the logo game over here.

Eighty 20

Maybe you don't know binary perfectly (hey, don't feel bad, I didn't either), but if you did, you'd see that the logo here for Eighty 20 actually contains the binary patterns for 1010000 and 0010100... otherwise known as eighty and twenty.

Formula 1

Zoom your eyes over this racing logo and you’ll see the empty space in the middle creates a number “1″ for “Formula 1.″

Tostitos

While you were shoving chips in your face you might have missed that there was an actual fiesta going on in the Tostitos logo. Yes, the two t’s are partying over a bowl of dipping sauce that dots the “i." Olé!

Atlanta Falcos

The NFL team's logo is much more than a really cool looking bird. Rather, it’s a really cool looking bird in the shape of a big letter “F" for Falcons and other four-letter words disgruntled fans might utter throughout the season.

Goodwill

Because giving (and saving) should make you happy, the “G" in “Goodwill" is zoomed in and cropped to form a smiling face.

Sun Microsystems

In this case, look directly at the sun (and only in this case, unless you want to burn your eyes out). Actually, look directly at the diamond and you’ll see it says “Sun" in every direction.

Le Tour de France

There is a cyclist in there, literally, on "Tour." Notice how the “o," “u," and “R" all come together along with the yellow dot to form the image. Immediately after posing for this logo, he was taken in to pee in a cup to be tested for performance-enhancing drugs. Results are pending.

Hershey's Kisses

Want a free Hershey Kiss? Check the front of the bag. OK, it’s a bit disappointing that it’s not actually a piece of chocolate, but if you look between the “K" and the “I" you just might find an extra one, at least visually.

Pinterest

Considering the point of Pinterest is for users to “pin" things like projects and recipes they’ll never create to virtual boards, it makes sense that the logo incorporates a pin into the letter “P."

VAIO

At first, all you see is modern typography, but there is actually a hidden meaning of Sony’s VAIO logo. The first two letters represent an analog signal and the last two are the 1 and 0 of the digital world.

Hartford Whalers

This former NHL team is no longer in existence, but the logo was so clever that it warrants a mention. The “H" can be spotted in gray and the “W" in green, but did you notice the blue tail of the whale? They shoot, they score!

Toblerone

The Toblerone logo contains the image of a bear hidden in the Matterhorn mountain, which is where Toblerone originated. And because if you live in the mountains with bears, you need good chocolate to survive.

McDonald's

Everyone knows about the Golden Arches and that the “M" stands for “McDonald’s." But what you might not know is that in the 1960s design consultant and psychologist Louis Cheskin said customers unconsciously recognize the logo as “symbolism of a pair of nourishing breasts." I think the dude just needed a date. Pretty clever, if you ask me.

The Bronx Zoo

The negative space in this logo reveals New York’s iconic skyline of tall buildings between the legs of the giraffes which, quite honestly, looks a little painful to me.

Beats by Dre

Here's a logo you've undoubtedly seen all over the place. Can you see the hidden image in it? If not, maybe this will help:
See it now? It's a happy person wearing beats headphones! I can only assume those headphones also have a clever logo, and so on, and so on...

Unilever

Unilever produces about a gazillion products, which makes it hard to keep track of everything they do. Lucky for us, there are symbols for nearly everything they make right in their logo.

Northwest Airlines

This logo is actually brilliant in three different ways: First, there's an "N" that stands for "Northwest." Second, there's a "W" (because NW means "northwest"). Last (and most clever of all), the tiny triangle to the left of the "N" is pointing — you guessed it! Northwest! Here's another logo that makes brilliant use of white space...

Kölner Zoo

The hidden logo with an elephant’s silhouette is defined by a giraffe and rhinoceros; the negative space of the animal’s hind legs are cleverly shaped by the twin spires of Cologne Cathedral. There is no explanation as to why the elephant has a star for an eye, but I suppose it’s a nice touch.

Coca-Cola

This one might take some work since the hidden image is not one most Americans would be familiar with. But hidden in the Coca-Cola logo is actually the flag of Denmark. This wasn't the original intention, but once they discovered the Danish flag, which has been named the happiest country on Earth, they set up a media stunt in Denmark's biggest airport where they welcomed people with flags. Why they didn’t welcome them with Coke is still a mystery.

The Guild of Food Writers

What do you see when you look at this minimalistic logo? A spoon, or the nib of a fountain pen? Trick question! They're both there.

CNN (in Arabid)

Here's another example of a logo that works in Arabic. They seamlessly integrated the CNN logo you recognize into the Arabic version.

Hyundai

Obviously, the Hyundai logo is a stylized letter H, but that's not the only meaning behind the logo. It was designed to resemble two people — the customer and the dealer — shaking hands. And that's not the only vehicular logo with a hidden meaning...

Subaru

Subaru also has a meaning that you might not have realized. "Subaru" is the Japanese name for the Pleiades star cluster, also called "The Seven Sisters." That's why the stars are there. But you might have noticed there are only six stars in the logo. That's because according to tradition, one of the Seven Sisters is always invisible.

Galeries Lafayette

I'm guessing you probably could have spotted this hidden image without the bright red rectangle, but it's included just in case. This logo is for a French department store chain. As you may have guessed, its flagship store is located in Paris.

Gillette

Using your “razor sharp" focus, you will notice that the “G" and “I" have been perfectly cut to represent the sharpness and precision of the razors.

Milwaukee Brewers

This is the logo the Milwaukee Brewers used from 1978 to 1993. At first, you probably see a baseball mitt catching a ball. Look closely, though, and you'll see that the mitt is actually made out of two letters: M and B (for Milwaukee Brewers, obviously). I'm gonna call this logo a home run.

Quiksilver

This is another logo with multiple interesting details. First of all, the Quiksilver logo itself is a stylized version of the famous woodblock print "The Great Wave off Kanagawa." Secondly, here's what happens when you put two Quiksilver logos together...

Roxy

It forms the logo for Roxy (whose parent company is Quiksilver). Also, it's heart. Isn't that nice?

London Symphony Orchestra

I know what you're thinking. It's an L, an S, and O. Stands for London Symphony Orchestra. Nothing too special, right? Not so fast.
It's actually a stylized image of a conductor raising their hands to conduct the orchestra! How do people think of these things?!

LG

Feel like playing Pac-Man? All you have to do is tilt it a little to the right and then shift the “nose" upwards. Life is good.

Elefont

This typeface designer went for a simple yet effective with part of an elephant’s trunk formed in the negative space inside the letter “e."