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How Observant Are You When You Look at a Logo?

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A friend of mine recently sent me an email that’s been making the rounds lately titled “How Observant Are You?” and in it are some great logos you’ve seen – but may not have really looked at (Thanks David!). I’ll share them below, because these are great examples of the depth and layers of meanings that logos should have.

So often, we see logos hastily put together, or simply a version of glorified clipart. While the company may have subsequently engaged in branding and really honed in on what their brand is, their logo doesn’t tell that story. But I think there is nothing quite so good, clever, or obviously branded as hidden messages in logos, like you’ll see below. These companies have taken a lot of time and energy to add layers and depth to logo — and by extension their brand.

Take a few moments to appreciate the artistic and branding genius in these logos that you’ve probably seen many times — but never really looked at.

Do you see the arrow between the "E" and "x" (in white)?
Do you see the arrow between the “E” and “x” (in white)?

 

The 2nd and 3rd "T's" are two people sharing (or fighting over) a tortilla and a bowl of salsa.
The 2nd and 3rd “T’s” are two people sharing (or fighting over) a tortilla and a bowl of salsa.

 

The world's most famous bike race. The "R" in "Tour" is a cyclist. The yellow circle is the front wheel of a bicycle, the "O" is the back wheel.
The world’s most famous bike race. The “R” in “Tour” is a cyclist. The yellow circle is the front wheel of a bicycle, the “O” is the back wheel.

 

The arrow means Amazon has everything from A to Z.
The arrow means Amazon has everything from A to Z.

 

The gap between the "K" and the "I" is a sideways chocolate kiss.
The gap between the “K” and the “I” is a sideways chocolate kiss.

 

There is a dancing bear above the "BLE". Toblerone chocolate bars originated in Berne , Switzerland , whose symbol is the bear. It features the animal on its flag and coat-of-arms.
There is a dancing bear above the “BLE”. Toblerone chocolate bars originated in Berne , Switzerland , whose symbol is the bear. It features the animal on its flag and coat-of-arms.

 

See the " 31" embedded in the " BR"? Thirty one-derful flavors!
See the ” 31″ embedded in the ” BR”? Thirty one-derful flavors!

 

Northwest Airlines. The circle is a compass. The arrow in the upper left corner is pointing..? North West Of Course !
Northwest Airlines. The circle is a compass. The arrow in the upper left corner is pointing..? North West Of Course !

 

See the gorilla and lioness (in white) facing each other?
See the gorilla and lioness (in white) facing each other?

 

The smiley half face is also a 'g".
The smiley half face is also a ‘g”.

 

The emblem for the Milwaukee Brewers. Baseball glove forms an "M" and a "B".
The emblem for the Milwaukee Brewers. Baseball glove forms an “M” and a “B”.

Update: if you like these, be sure to check out “How Observant Are You When You Look at a Logo? part 2”!


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Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

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