The Logic of Logos and Catchphrases

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By Pam Teel

Some of the most famous logos around the world have hidden messages. Some are pretty noticeable, while others are not that easy unless pointed out. First impressions matter in many things, including branding and logo design. When a customer sees your logo for the first time, they should be able to look away and then draw at least a rough semblance of it from memory. They also should be able to recognize it if they see it again, but they’ll never get to a level of comfort if they have a negative first impression. The bottom line is that your logo must be visually striking, impactful, and memorable from the first time somebody sees it. If you can accomplish those things, you’ll be well on your way to creating a visually effective logo.

Take the QUICKSILVER logo. The logo is actually based on the famous 19th century woodblock print by Hokusai labeled, “The Great Wave of Kanagawa.” The painting hides Mt. Fuji in the background set within the crest of the wave and is exactly the image that quicksilver’s logo simplifies and depicts. The brand logo was designed in 1973 by founders Alan Green and John Law. Quiksilver is a brand of surf-inspired apparel and accessories that was founded in 1969 in Torquay, Australia, but is now based in Huntington Beach, Cal- ifornia. It is one of the world’s largest brands of surfwear and boardsport-related equipment. The company changed its name in March 2017 from Quiksilver, Inc. to Boardriders, Inc., and it is the owner of the brands Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes.

The company also produces a line of apparel for young women, under the Roxy brand. The Roxy logo consists of two copies of the Quicksilver logo, one reflected, forming a heart. Another line of apparel for women is under the brand Quiksilver Women.

WENDY’S – Was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas. The logo depicts a drawing of his daughter Wendy. If you look closely around the collar, you will see the word mom. Thomas wanted to create a homey feeling in the fast food industry. It’s not just fast food but comfort food just like you get at home.

HYUNDAI- This South Korean logo is actually an abstract image of two men shaking hands. It may look like the first letter of the name Hyundai but it was actually meant to symbolize the company and the customer shaking hands.

PINTREST- the logo – the p within the circle resembles a pin.

TOUR DE FRANCE- Hidden within the logo is the image of a person bicycling. Look closely at the letters “our” and the orange dot.

TOYOTA- every letter within the word Toyota is hidden in the logo. The T is center, the o is the outer ring, the y is also made of center rings and the A is right in the middle. A big stretch of the imagination is you ask me.