Famous logos with hidden designs – can you spot them?

There is a hidden arrow on the FedEx logo. (If you’ve never noticed before, go and get ready to fly.)

The clever use of the negative space between the last two letters has won the logo several rewards and has made it one of the most influential ever created. Design guru Stephen Bayley does this 20 designs that define the modern world“One of the happiest accidents in the history of graphic design,” he described.

It was actually an accident. “The most remote of our minds was an idea of ​​an arrow,” Lindon Leader, who designed the logo in 1994, said in an e-mail interview. “But in an intrinsic criticism amidst the discovery of the logo, I was interested in a design with very tight letters.”

Leader and his team Landor PartnersFedEx’s consulting firm tasked with reinventing its brand identity developed more than 400 versions of the logo before realizing that combining a large letter “E” and a small letter “X” creates an arrow suggestion.

“After a few days, I thought that if a real arrow could be entered on the letter forms, I would clearly suggest to reach from point A to point B reliably, with speed and precision,” Leader said. Said.


Still can’t see the arrow? Swipe right to reveal.

Credit: FedEx. FedEx

The leader thinks that the arrow’s power is simply a hidden bonus and does not reduce the effect of the logo, so as not to see it. But how many people see it without being told where it is?

“The dominant opinion – I heard – maybe fewer than five people find the secret arrow unhelpful. But I can’t ask how many people have fun with others and tell them how much fun they have, identify something in the logo,” said the Leader.

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More than an arrow

The same company that designed the FedEx logo created another company that brightly used the negative space (the NorthWest Airlines logo (merged with Delta in Northwest 2008)) used from 1989 to 2003. The circle and arrow form a compass suitable for the northwest. However, the arrow creates a “W” along with “N”, where part of the left leg is removed.

“The application of hiding items is common not only for logos, but for all visual communication. It is as old as the implementation of the design of the logos, but probably reached its peak in the 1970s when supposedly humorous visual and verbal analogies became the center.” London Communication Paul McNeil, a typographic designer and lecturer at the College, said in an email. The optical illusion principles used in these designs are based on visual psychology and Gestalt theoryit explores the brain’s ability to create whole forms from lines, shapes, and curves.

Sometimes the hidden element blends so well into a logo design that they can be seen only when the sign is marked, like the bear hidden in the Toblerone logo.

Do you see the moon in the mountain? Credit: Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images North America / Getty Images for NYCWFF

So is this an effective strategy for logo design? “On the one hand, yes, because these logos are trying to identify a branded product or service very economically and quickly, using humor to give a positive response,” McNeil said. Said. But today, he said, there is a flatter and more direct design trend, as can be seen from the logos of many major companies such as Facebook and Google.

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McNeil’s favorite logo is Gianni Bortolotti’s design for the Italian company ED – Elettro Domestici (Italian “electrical appliances”). Using only the letters “ED” and the negative space, it elegantly forms the shape of an electric plug.

“This is a restriction model without unnecessary elements,” McNeil said. Said.

The ED logo doubles as an electrical plug. Credit: from logolog.co

IBM logo of Paul Rand At the same time, it is quite remarkable – the change of positive and negative forms is incredibly sophisticated and reminding. But I must say that ancient Yin Yang symbol it will always go far beyond any other such visual signs. “

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About the Author: Abbott Hopkins

Analyst. Amateur problem solver. Wannabe internet expert. Coffee geek. Tv guru. Award-winning communicator. Food nerd.

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