History and mystery behind logos of iconic brands

Anyone would recognise an Apple product in a glimpse. Apart from its obvious logo, same can be said for Google, Pepsi, Toyota and many others. Find out what makes these logos stand out.

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Published: Sun 10 Jan 2016, 11:42 AM

Last updated: Fri 16 Sep 2022, 11:43 AM

While the popularity of a certain product cannot be ignored, we take a look at the thought that went behind some of the most iconic logos we know today.

A combination of psychology, marketing and branding, the letters and strokes in each of the logos have more meaning than we assume. "Hidden persuaders" have been working on the psychology of marketing has evolving since the 1920s.


The Google logo has always had a simple style. The company wanted to retain these qualities by combining the geometric forms with the childlike schoolbook letter printing.

The new logotype is set in a custom, geometric sans-serif typeface and maintains the multi-colored playfulness and rotated 'e' of the previous mark-a reminder that Google will always be a bit unconventional.

According to The Guardian, Google's logo has changed several times in the past. The colours have changed, 3D letters have been flattened, and an exclamation point came and went in 1999.


The famous Pepsi logo is made up of circle where the top half is red, the bottom half is blue, and a white wavy line runs through the centre. The colours represent the American flag.

Going by the leaked a 27-page memo Peter Arnell of the Arnell Group wrote for PepsiCo, the new design represents the earth's magnetic field, Pythagoras geodynamics, feng shui, the theory of relativity, and the golden ratio.


You see it everywhere. Next time you spot a FedEx logo, stop and look closely. You will see an arrow between the letter 'E' and 'X', which represents the company's forward thinking ways. How creative?!


Just a few hoops intertwined seems to have been a simple feat for the logo creator. But each of the hoops represents the four founding companies of the Auto-Union Consortium that goes back in time to 1932: DKW, Horch, Wanderer and Audi.


Taking a Biblical approach, the Apple logo represents the forbidden fruit from the "Tree of Knowledge" with reference to Adam and Eve.

The logo has changed since it was introduced in 1977 but they are mere interpretations of the same basic design, with some colour variances that come and go.


The arrow was never meant to look like a smiley face - even though it may come off as one. Amazon's arrow points from the letter a to the z. It was meant to represent the company's large variety of items for sale, from A to Z.


Toyata put some heart into their logo. The three ellipses in the logo represent three hearts: the heart of the customer, the heart of the product, and the heart of progress in the field of technology.


The M stands for McDonald's, that's true. So what's the big deal? According the design consultant and psychologist Louis Cheskin, the rounded M represents mammaries, a BBC report stated.

Back in the 1960's McDonald's was prepared let go of the logo, but Cheskin explained the branding with its Freudian symbolism, and successfully urged the company to stick with it.

It might sound funny, but industrial psychologists and consultants are paid millions to find new ways to capture the audience.

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