Thursday, February 02, 2012

Logos, Subliminal

After writing a post yesterday about the 5-year old girl and her identifying of brands, I thought of my own interactions with logos. As I mentioned yesterday, I was impressed with the girl because she was able to figure out that the CBS logo was an eye, and I did not even realize that until my teens. Then I got to thinking what other things I was not noticing about logos. I recalled reading an article somewhere (online most likely...Update: Here it is!) about things that are in logos that are not immediately obvious to the casual observer. While the blogger in the previous link gave 25 examples of this, there were four main ones that now seem so obvious to me, that I never realized were there.

The first one was FedEx:
Having worked in the legal world, I would see the FedEx logo pretty much daily. The logo is everywhere to the point that it is ubiquitous. But I never noticed the arrow formed by the E and x.

Another one was what was then the Big 10 logo:



Being a college sports fan, this logo too was ubiquitous to me, to the point where I never noticed the 11, hidden in the "T".

The third logo was NorthWest. I'd flown this airline a ton when it was still around, but I never noticed the logo's brilliance:

Not only does that little triangle point north west, it also makes the "N" into a "W". Well played Northwest, but I win because you no longer exist.

Finally, the Amazon logo:

I'd always noticed the orange smiley, but I never noticed that it's also an arrow starting with the "a" and ending with the "z", denoting that they sell everything from "a to z." Also brilliant.

These are but four examples out of a plethora of logos. There are a bunch more if you do a search on google. The Milwaukee Brewers logo is another one that I never noticed. I never really paid much attention to the design and creation of logos, but when I see these brilliant logos, I have a much greater appreciation for graphic design, and the time and effort and genius it took to come up with some of these seemingly simple, but memorable logos. Some of them are quite subtle and barely noticeable, but once I do notice it, I cannot stop noticing it. It also adds another dimension for the companies represented as well. I cannot help but think (and wrongly at that--e.g.northwest) that the cleverness involved in designing a logo also translates to cleverness in running the business.

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