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10 Famous Logos That Have A Hidden Meaning

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Nowadays there are so many companies with instantly recognizable logos, but few people actually know the meaning behind these corporate symbols. Here are 10 modern day examples of company logos and the meanings behind them:

1. Amazon

amazon logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

The arrow which looks like a smiling face in Amazon’s logo has another meaning behind it. It is a representation of the wide range of items available for retail by Amazon, from A to Z.

2. Apple

apple logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

The Apple logo is derived from the story of Adam and Eve in the Bible. The bitten apple represents the fruit from the “Tree of Knowledge”.

3. IBM

ibm logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

IBM’s logo has a hidden message for the whole world hidden in the Big Blue logo that represents it’s company. The white lines passing through give the appearance of the equal sign in the lower right corner, representing equality.

4. Mobil

mobil logo meaning1 Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

Mobil’s logo itself does not represent anything, but the colors do. The red represents strength while the blue in the logo represents faithfulness and security.

5. FedEx

fedex logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

The FedEx logo looks simple and it’s hard to see what could be hidden within it. But looking closely at the space between the ‘E’ and ‘X’ in the orange Ex shows an arrow pointing forward. This arrow represents moving forward toward to the future.

6. Audi

audi logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

Many have wondered what the four circles in this automaker’s logo mean. Well the four circles represent the 4 companies that were a part of the Auto-Union Consortium in 1932, namely, DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.

7. BMW

bmw logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

BMW’s logo is a tribute to the company’s history in aviation. The logo shows a propeller in motion with the blue part representing the sky. This is due to the company’s role of building aircraft engines for the German military during World War II.

8. Mercedes-Benz

mecerdes benz logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

Mercedes’ tri-star represents the companies dominance over land, sea and air.

9. Toyota

toyota logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

There are three ellipses visible in the company’s logo. Each ellipse represents the heart of the customer, the heart of the product and the heart of technological progress.

10. Volkswagen

volkswagen logo meaning Top 10 Famous Logos, Which Have A Hidden Meaning

The Volkswagen logo simply shows the letter of the company’s initials. The word “Volks” is German for people, while “Wagen” is German for car.

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93 Comments to 10 Famous Logos That Have A Hidden Meaning

  1. This is non-sense. Most of the logos have no hidden meaning. They’re just logos.

    For example:

    Amazon’s logo was created way back when the retailer was only selling books, so that BS about carrying everything from A to Z is, well, BS.

    Apple’s logo was a result of Woz’s love for apples. His favorite variety is the Macintosh.

    BMW’s logo is no propeller. It’s the flag of the German state of Bavaria, where BMW’s historical headquarters are located.

    Most of the rest are urban legends.

  2. In mercedes logo, each line represents gas, oil, and water, and the circle represents the world. Meaning put gas, water, and oil then travel all around the world!

  3. Wow. Really added something new to my knowledge. I use cars but never thought about their logos could have some hidden meaning. :)

  4. I have no idea where the ellipses are in the Toyota logo, I was under the assumption that an ellipses was three dots.

    However, if you look at the image, you’ll see a cowboy head. Not sure why it’s there.

  5. Rakesh Maharaj

    The logo was inspired by the Beatles record logo and the apple orchard where Steve worked when he was up North.

  6. Nitin Balodi

    Hi,

    The reasoning behind the logo of Apple is connected with physics and its laws of motion. Newton discovered his laws of motion when he saw a fallen apple. Thus apple was the fruit that provoked Newton to discover gravity. This was an inspiration for Steve Jobs and hence he chose an apple as a trademark for his company. An apple is a source of inspiration for Apple Inc. It inspires the employees of Apple to perform seamless invention and development.

    I don’t think it is related with tree of knowledge. Let me know if I’m wrong.

    -Nitin Balodi

  7. Hello,

    amazing, what is beyond these logos. Unfortunately, your interpretation of BMW’s logo is wrong. For many decades, the myth was, that the logo is adapted from aviation. But a few years ago, the company itself revealed, that the blue-white-part inside the circle represents the colors of Bavaria. The company’s name is “Bayerische Motorenwerke”. Only Bavarian companies, sports teams like Bayern Munich and so on, can use this blue/white pattern.

    By the way, after World War II, the company’s part in East Germany was reconstructed as EMW (Erfurter Motorenwerke) with red instead of blue in the logo.

    Regards.
    Matthias

  8. I think you were thinking of Mitsubishi with the propellers. It is well-known that Mitsu made Japanese plane engines in WWII.

  9. About the BMW logo: It first came up im 1918, when no company was allowed to use a national emblem in their logos. Bavarias flag is official white-blue, so BMW claimed that their logo is blue-white… :)

    The propeller story is a myth, it came up about 10 years later with an advertisement for some aircraft engine.

    • BMW’s first products were aircraft engines during WWI, the original logo (as used on aircraft engine nameplates) actually showed a propeller with a blue and white background from the Bavarian coat of arms but this vanished just after the war. The corporate logo never showed the propeller.

  10. Yep, Marky is right about BMW, comes from the Bavarian flag and coat of arms an represents the alps, not propellers spinning – the latter was made up by Americans when it was noticed that a 2 litre BMW could out-run 250 cu in of v8 ‘muscle’ in every possible measure (and slagging ‘em off as the non-sensical commy-nazi evil encouraged buying Chevs)…
    Apple too has some more interesting implications, as Jed noted, read enough rants by the two Steves, (look at some early logos! or even early project and product names!) Newton comes up a lot more often than the big-made-up-guy-in-the-sky… Consider too Alan Turing – inventor of the computer and father of computing – was obsessed with (amongst other things) Snow White… he killed himself… go on, guess how? – Both Woz and Jobs have made the connection in iterviews…
    I suspect their Apple may more layered than most people’s onions.

  11. You guys got the BMW logo wrong. It’s blue and white because of the emblem of the state of Bavaria, which uses these colors because esp. in the alpine region, you often can observe a very white and blue sky with somehow nicely-shaped clouds, that result from a local meteorologic phenomenon called ‘Föhn’.

    • Your explanation of the BMW logo is way off base. If you take a circular section from the Bavarian flag you will have the iconic BMW “roundel” emblem. This was expand to me on my first day of employment with BMW manufacturing. Don’t feel bad though, quite a BMW associates still believe the propeller theory.

  12. The apple logo didn’t came from the adam and eve story. It’s from the apple story of Sir Isaac Newton. And Apple’s very first logo is Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree. And they put a bite on the Apple logo because someone (I can’t remember his name) said to Steve Jobs that the logo looked like a cherry. So they decided to put a bite for scale.

    • Rayhizon

      Yes, the apple is to associate isaac newton, and if I remember it right, the bite is with reference to byte. That this company, is a tech company.

    • I believe the Apple is actually a reference to Alan Turing, one of the fathers of computing. He was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, and after being subjected to estrogen treatments as an alternative to prison, was found dead from a cyanide overdose in 1954 with a half-eaten apple next to him (which wasn’t tested, but is suspected of being the source of the poison).
      One of the early Apple logos is in rainbow colours, similar to the homosexual flag.

  13. For the Apple logo: where is the Bible is mentioned that the Adam and Eve have been eating an APPLE?????? It is mentioned that they eat a FRUIT from the forbidden tree…but not an apple.

    • The common assumption is that the apple tree represented the tree of knowledge. Of course, there’s no confirming that. I suppose Issac Newton may have a thing to say about the apple tree and knowledge.

    • It just says that ‘the bitten apple REPRESENTS the fruit from “the Tree of Knowledge”‘. It just represents the fruit as a whole as it is the most widely known fruit.

      • Apple is not a religious company, I highly doubt there is any relation to the Adam/Eve story. Western ideology thinks the fruit was an apple (thanks to king james), Jewish faith argues for pomegranates, and I believe muslim religions believe it was a banana.

        I think the Apple logo is connected to Alan Turing, the father of modern computing. He was a gay war hero who helped crack the enigma machine in WWII, but the British government was so embarrassed about him being gay that they forced hormone treatments on him. He fell into deep depression and committed suicide by dipping an apple in cyanide and taking a single bite.

        • I may be wrong but I believe in the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson it is said that the apple logo had no real meaning. Steve Jobs spent a lot of time on a friends apple orchard where he ate mostly apples. It is well known that Steve Jobs ate an extremely strict diet. When it came time to make a logo they just picked something random which happened to be an apple.

  14. KingBrit

    The apple logo had nothing to do with the bible. It is homage to Alan Turing. Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

    Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, when such acts were still criminalised in the UK. He accepted treatment with estrogen injections (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning. An apple is believed by many to be the vehicle for which he consumed the poison…

    Hence the apple with a bite taken as the logo.

  15. BMW
    The BMW logo IS a section of the dimond patern and colours of the bavarian flag from were the company was founded, this information was revealed by the ceo of BMW on a national geographic documentary.

  16. What about Mitsubishi? It’s logo is designed by the propeller from the WW2 zeros they manufactured

  17. Yasir Hasan

    I have heard a couple of more stories about Apple.
    1. It is a tribute to Alan Turing, as he committed suicide by eating a cyanide filled Apple. As cyanide is very lethal, so he was only able to take a bite. That explains the missing chunk on Apple logo.
    2. Other story is about the whole Newton and Apple story.
    May be Dan Brown has some more explanations of this logo :)

  18. you should have included VAIO’s (laptops) symbol’s meaning too
    it contains a sign wave (analog signal, VA in the logo) and the IO mean 1,0(digital signal). It signifies analog and digital.

  19. Mike Christie

    And there was me thinking that Apple had just restyled the Apple recording studio logo, leading to years of legal battles with the Beatles’ lawyers.

  20. 1. Apple Logo:
    ->Universal Robot is right! The apple Logo is inspired by the falling apple and the discover of gravitation as a dedication to Isaac Newton. Somebody asked Steve Jobs about it and he said something like “he wished he had thought about that one” (Adam + Eve, the offer of the forbidden fruit of the tree of wisdom) Just google the Apple Logo history and7or read the biography of Steve Jobs.

    2. BMW Logo
    As some people said before: The BMW Logo is inspired a fast moving airscrew. The colours refer to the origin bavaria.
    There was BMW subsidiary in Eisenach. The company “VEB Automobilwerk Eisenach” also known as EMW (Eisenacher Motorenwerke) and yes the had a similiar logo with red/white colours. BMW had it´s roots in the aircraft industry. After war the germans were not allowed to produce planes, uboots and so on…

    For those who like to know more:
    That´s why the companies BMW, Mercedes (and it´s Subs) worked on new products that could
    a) be legally produced,
    b) raise founds and
    c) offer transport for people in order to enable the “Wirtschaftswunder” (The “Wirtschaftswunder is a big topic itself and NO I don´t believe that this alone could ever had such an impact)

    By the way the same regulations were applied to JAPAN. Japan and Germany had in common that they build motorbikes. And later cars. The initially focussed on motorbikes. They could be produced in larger numbers then cars and would need as much ressources. Therefore motorbikes could be produced cheaper and could be sold cheaper.
    German and Japanese motorbikes therefore dominated for a long time.
    Italians used a airplane starting engine and asked Dell Ort to create a carburetor in order to control the revs of the little starter enhgine. The engine was put into a frame that could deal with the rough streets. The concept was called scooter and the productname is probably the most famous scooter ever: VESPA.

    Hope I was of any help ;-)

  21. To @Will and @G – you fools, these were German companies, in Germany, building machinery for their country – what do you two m0r0ns expect them to have done!?!

    Also, since WWII, you Americans have killed more foreigners than any other country!

  22. Bayrische Motorenwerke Werke (Bavarian Engine Factory) was foundet in 1916 but built only engines mainly for aircraft. Since the first car to bear the BMW logo was the 1928 built Dixi, it has nothing to do with WW II. But of course it shows the bavarian colours: white an blue, representing an aircraft propeller.

  23. ….and there’s me, I thought the BMW logo was the centre of a battenburg cake viewed through a microscope with computer enhanced colours so everybody would recognise it!

  24. John Barleycorn

    Will wrote :

    ” BMW is responsible for thousands of dead Americans.”

    And so are Lyndon Johnson, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

    While we’re at it, Ford killed a few people with the Pinto, and McDonnell Douglas
    killed hundreds with the DC-10 airliner.

    Bottom line : you, Will, are a cretin and should not be allowed to breed.

  25. I loved the idea in the Amazon logo. A to Z. however it’s not easy to convince the meaning of it by all alone. I learnt it just now and I believe most of the Amazon uses don’t even know about such a thing.

  26. “This is due to the company’s role of building aircraft engines for the German military during World War II”

    You mean for the Nazis. BMW is responsible for thousands of dead Americans.

  27. Apple
    Apple has another hidden meaninig which 99.9% of people have not known…
    It is an eagle with an extracted eye if you rotate the logo slightly clockwise.
    The one eye stands what you could google it…

  28. Someone doesn’t recognize the flag of Bavaria.

    A spinning propeller paying tribute to a history of Aviation is really pushing it.

    Not pushing it as much as “see that IBM logo, there? It looks like an equals sign in the corner, representing how dedicated they are to equality of the world, and their goals to provide…..” yada. I could say the same about a random squiggle in the Coca-Cola logo.

  29. The arrow in the Fed Ex logo was pointed out to me a couple of years ago and I can’t look at a Fed Ex truck now with out having my eyes drawn to that arrow, it also indicates moving in a forward direction to deliver a package.

  30. No the BMW logo is referring to the Bavarian Flag, the company has for a long time also said it was an airplane engine. But in 2005 said it had been the Bavarian flag all along.

  31. I would suggest an addition to the Apple details. The Apple logo with the bite out of it is also a tribute to Alan Turing the among other titles, was a computer scientist and helped invent the computer/machine to break the Enigma code. He killed himself by biting an apple with cyanide in it after he was persecuted for being gay when it was illegal. Being from near Manchester, this is of a great interest to me and the work he did and the recent campaign for he to be pardoned.

  32. The IBM logo was designed in 1972 by Paul Rand to designate “speed and dynamism”. If you’re old enough to remember, the output of IBM’s products at that point were large sheets of computer paper with alternating white and light green stripes to assist the reader on following a line of data across the long page. I don’t think it’s a coincidence: IBM’s data printers were extraordinarily fast, and there was a sense of excitement watching the long rolls of striped paper streaming out of the printer with “your data” on it!

  33. IBM made the first computers, created specifically for counting the victims of the holocaust.mThis is why you see numbers on the survivors arms. Newton’s scene is the first logo… But the first desktop was priced at 666 dollars.

  34. How can anyone look at the Volkswagen “VW” logo and not see the VW? They seriously consider this a “hidden meaning”?

  35. @Adam R
    The truth is in the middle: While the white and blue represent the colors of Bavaria, the shape itself is actually representing a moving propeller, coming from the history of BMW producing airplane engines – not necessarily (only) tied to WW2 timeframe.

  36. this meanings are not “hidden” but clear and were designed to be seen.
    “hidden meaning” in logos exist only for the blind

    • don’t discourage others………..just think, you haven’t done atleast that much as your part…………IDIOT

    • Kamarulzaman

      You are right. Almost all logos have their own meaning. This post dun really describes the title.

  37. Universal Robot

    The Apple’s logo does not come from the bible, it comes from the apple that fell down onto Newton’s head. The original Apple logo shows the whole scene of Newton and the Apple.

  38. The Bmw logo one is a bit controversial, because it also represents the Bavarian flag. And i personally think that is more plausible than the ww2 theory :P

  39. the Toyota logo it´s also created including all the caracters of the brand TOYOTA if you see it contains each inside the others

    • There is also a representation of the three dimensions in the Toyota logo. Three circles, each representing the X, Y & Z axis.

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