Hidden designs in our favorite logos

We see brand logos every day but are we really getting the full picture? Rarely do we spend time to study them, not realizing that designers sometimes add a hidden message for the particularly observant. Below are a few of our favorite examples of hidden messages from well known brands. And DITTO, of course.


Can you see the arrow in the FedEx logo?  According to designer Lindon Leader, one of the reasons that this logo was chosen over several others was because FedEx CEO Fred Smith was the only executive in a room of twelve to spot the arrow between the ‘E’ and ‘x’.
Source:  Evamy, Michael. Logo. 2007.


As you may know, Toblerone is a unique milk chocolate including nougat, almonds and honey with a distinctive triangular shape.  If you look at the mountain on the packaging maybe you see the Swiss alps.  Look a little more closely.  Do you see a relief portrait of the Bernese Bear?
Source:  http://www.toblerone.com/us/


The Nike logo has no hidden meaning but has a remarkable beginning that has become design folklore.  Founder Phil Knight is quoted as telling the designer (about the logo):  "I don't love it, but it will grow on me":

Nike founder Phil Knight bumped into Carolyn Davidson, then a graphics design student at Portland State University, while teaching accounting at the university.  She was working on a drawing assignment and Knight asked her to design a presentation for his fledgling sports shoe business.  Later, he asked her for a shoe stripe that suggested movement. He never felt her designs were right, but, up against a deadline and needing a logo for batch of shoeboxes, he picked the ‘swoosh’.  She submitted her modest bill for $35.  In 1983, Knight presented Davidson with the gift of a gold ‘swoosh’ ring and an undisclosed quantity of Nike stock.
Source:  Evamy, Michael. Logo. 2007.

Lyle's Golden Syrup

The logo on Lyle's Golden Syrup is a bit worrisome at first glance.  Why show a dead lion with honey coming out?  The design comes from the founder, Abram Lyle’s, religious beliefs.  It’s a reference to a story in the Old Testament in which Samson killed a lion then saw that bees had formed a honeycomb in the lion’s carcass. In the bible, Samson describes the scene: "Out of the strong came forth sweetness".  These words are echoed on the Lyle's tin.  The "lion and bees" tin was registered as Lyle’s trademark in 1904 and the logo and design have remained unchanged to this day.
Source: http://www.lylesgoldensyrup.com/


Now that you're clued in to the logo messaging, can you see the hidden messaging in the DITTO logo?

DITTO is all about making a virtual copy of yourself.  Just like the word 'ditto' means 'a duplicate', our logo design also references this replication with the ’D’ throughout the logo.