How many of us absolutely love the American fantasy drama television series – Game of Thrones? If we’ve been loyal to our episodes then we already know that House Stark, House Targaryen, House Lannister, in fact all Houses great and small alike, has a sigil (a seal or symbol) usually derived from a local animal, to represent their house. In a way, these houses, seen as a whole, could represent a ‘Corporation of Westeros’ and THAT’S the influence of Logos! If you look closely therefore, there are lessons and elements in Game of Thrones that teach us about Branding!
But enough about Branding, which denotes a much larger marketing strategy in the overall scheme of things. Let’s talk about Logos ☺. Logos are… EVERYWHERE. Even where you cannot see them, logos dominate our very lives, appealing to us in a clutter of unobtrusive ways. We don’t even recognize them there and therefore may or may not notice how influential they are in the decisions we make.
Whether you’re driving down the highway, flipping through the pages of a magazine or pushing your cart down the aisles of a grocery store you will come across several Logos. When you look at them you instantly recognize the brand. But how many of us have really scrutinized and studied the Logo. Do we know everything there is to know in the color, shape and design of our favorite Logo or is there something we missed?
The “M” for McDonald’s is obvious and that is directly what it stands for. This Logo may not have a hidden meaning but is one of the most recognizable in the world. When Wendy’s redesigned its logo in 2013, the company insisted the word “MOM” in the collar was unintentional. It’s surprising but true then, when I tell you some Logos were cleverly designed in a way that holds a secret or hidden message that WAS very much intended! Don’t believe me, keep reading.
You probably already know the story behind the famous FedEx logo and its clever use of negative space.
It’s a classic! According to Matthew May in The Laws of Subtraction, “Nearly every design school professor and graphic designer with a blog has at some point focused on the FedEx logo to discuss the use of negative space.”
Time for some Geometry! Ever notice the three ellipses (or what I like to call the ‘Venn Diagram’) in Toyota’s Logo? They represent three hearts: the heart of the customer, the heart of the product, and the heart of progress in the field of technology.
Look! There’s a bear in the mountain! The Toblerone logo contains the image of a bear hidden in the Matterhorn mountain, which is where Toblerone originally came from. There’s also something hidden in the candy’s name: Toblerone is a portmanteau of its creator’s name, Theodor Tobler, and “torrone,” an Italian word for a type of nougat.
Who doesn’t love Ice Cream? In case it comes up, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins were brothers-in-law. But take a look at what’s highlighted in the pink of their Logo. Look familiar? It’s a 31, which is the number of flavors they offer.
Cisco Systems – the famous networking company known to make devices that transfer information across networks – was founded in 1984 in San Francisco. The name Cisco was actually taken from the name of the city ‘San Francisco’ but did you know the name is also hidden in its Logo? The series of blue lines represent an electromagnet, but ALSO symbolizes San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge!
With the Olympics around the corner, what better time to talk about sports! Car Racing in particular (my father-in-law loves racing and recording the matches). Formula 1 is commonly known simply as F1. The F1 logo is a fairly simple one to figure out. Or is it? With the Black F and the Red pattern signifying speed on display – where does the 1 come in? Take a closer look at the white negative space between these 2 elements!
The Sony Vaio logo symbolizes the integration of analog and digital technology. The “VA” forms an analog wave and “IO” represents the binary numbers 1 and 0 – which represents the digital signal.
So the next time you spot a Logo, ask yourself ‘Do I see it all or is there something else?’ It could enhance your knowledge of Brands, give you some Trivia to talk about at your next neighborhood or office party, or it might simply be a fun game when you’re not playing ‘Pokemon Go’, but whatever it is Logos are one of the most exciting inventions since the internet and it’s definitely here to stay! ☺