Hidden messages in 5 famous logos

Design By Josanne Griffin-Mason, 8th September 2014

Once you’ve spotted these logos’ concealed meanings, you’ll never look at them in the same way again.

Lyle’s Golden Syrup

Lyle's Golden Syrup

Erm, bit awkward, but who else has noticed the rotting dead lion being swarmed by bees on their tin of golden syrup?

The image is a biblical reference to the Old Testament in which Samson kills a lion and bees form a honeycomb in the animal’s carcass. His apt words ‘out of the strong came forth sweetness’ also feature in the design.

The Guinness World Records has named Lyle’s as the ‘oldest brand’1, noting that the packaging and branding has not changed since it first hit shelves in 1884. People aren’t losing their appetite over this logo then.


Pepsi logo redesign

Pepsi paid $1 million2 (that’s over £600,000) for a logo redesign in 2009 and subsequently had to fork out millions more to have all their merchandise rebranded.

According to Arnell (the agency Pepsi hired to do this), the new version is pretty much the Da Vinci Code of logo design. It incorporates Feng Shui, the Renaissance, Earth’s geodynamics, plus a ton of other really technical stuff, all outlined in the group’s 27-page document on the matter.

Or maybe the graphic designer just fancied using the warp tool on the original.

Fed Ex

FedEx aeroplane

At first glance you may think the FedEx logo is a simple text design but take a closer look between the ‘e’ and the ‘x’.

Yep, that white space forms a nifty little arrow, designed to communicate the company’s forward-thinking courier service.



Museum of London

Museum of London logo

This artistic logo is, in fact, a geography lesson.

Each colourful layer maps the shape of London over time, depicting the ever-changing make-up of the city and its people.




Amazon logo

Whilst most of us acknowledge that the arrow is shaped like a smile, we don’t pay that much attention to where it’s pointing.

It may be slightly cheesy but it’s nice to know that Amazon literally sell everything from ‘a’ to ‘z’.



1 Guinness World Records, 2014. Oldest Brand. [Online] Available at: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/4000/oldest-branding-(packaging).
2 CBS News, 2009. Pepsi’s Nonsensical Logo Redesign Document: $1 Million for This?. [Online] Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pepsis-nonsensical-logo-redesign-document-1-million-for-this/.

All information sources accessed on the 8th September 2014.