I think it is safe to say that most people will agree with me when I say that brand recognition is essential to a successful business. People must be reminded of a company as often as possible, so that when they need a particular service or product, that is the name that springs to mind.
For this reason, a lot of research goes into making sure that logos are instantly recognisable. At the same time, they often have special significance for the founders of a corporation, layers of hidden meaning or even subconscious messages to entice customers.
Just as Renaissance paintings used everyday objects to convey important themes, or the symbols on flags and coats of arms gave you details about countries and families, modern-day logos can tell you a lot.
This is brilliantly done in some of the world’s most famous brands, as well as many that are not as well known. To get the idea, take a look at some instantly recognisable examples.
The only company in the world where you can purchase live cockroaches, an inflatable snowman, a sex toy and bacon flavoured dental floss all at the same time, Amazon takes pride in offering its customers everything they could possibly need – and a lot of things they probably never imagined, but all of a sudden need RIGHT NOW.
The yellow arrow reflects this, pointing as it does from the first “a” in the name to the “z”. You can buy everything, from A to Z. Your purchases will also be delivered to wherever you are, successfully getting from Point A to anywhere else, including Point Z.
In the negative space between the “E” and the “x” of “Ex”, an arrow is formed. Considering this company is built on delivering packages around the United States, it’s a subtle indication of the service that is provided.
The Hyundai insignia looks like a slightly fanciful H, which is fitting since that is the letter that the automaker’s name begins with. But look closer and you’ll see that it’s actually a stylised image of two people shaking hands. They are meant to represent a Hyundai client and representative, closing a sale.
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Like all hardware manufacturers, Sony works on integrating analogue and digital technology together. As the industry giant develops, it moves away from analogue and further towards digital, relying on the latter more and more.
All of this is perfectly reflected in the logo for Vaio, which Sony owned until it was sold to Japan Industrial Partners in 2014. The simple and sophisticated design has two elements, the “VA” and the IO. The first symbolises an analogue waveform; the second the 1 and 0 that are part of a binary-code digital signal.
The fact that the analogue portion comes before the digital one, when you read it from left to right, further represents the progression from an analogue-filled past to a future that is focused on digital developments.
Over the years, this ice cream maker has created more than 1000 delicious – and some downright weird- flavours, but to begin with there were 31. The idea was that you could eat their concoctions every day for an entire month, without tasting the same thing twice. The brand’s emblem shows this in a very clever way.
The “BR” is coloured in both pink and blue. For the “B”, the straight part of the letter is blue and the curved part is pink, while in the “R” it is the other way around. This means that the two pink sections of the letters are next to each other, and clearly form the number 31.
Bern, where Toblerone is based, has been known as The City of Bears since it was founded. The capital of Switzerland is proud of its connection to these creatures, and they can be seen on buildings, fountains and flags.
Real bears can even be visited in BearPark, so it makes sense that Toblerone’s insignia, if you look closely, includes the silhouette of a dancing bear. Being that happy, he must have just eaten some of the delicious triangles!