If you’re not a graphic designer (and possibly even if you ARE), you may be unaware of the quirky little details that are “hiding” within a few of the familiar logos and visual elements that surround us.

For example:

1 — The Baskin-Robbins chain of ice cream parlors became well-known for offering “31 flavors,” often incorporating the number “31” into promotional campaigns. But did you know that the number is part of the company’s current logo, as well? 

2 — When the Federal Express logo was retooled in 1994, designer Lindon Leader inserted a subtle arrow between the E and the x “as a symbol for speed and precision.”

3 — Here’s a similar hidden image, which I learned about in grade school. A friend of mine was lying on his side in our nature camp dormitory when he suddenly spotted the unmistakable shape of an iconic house in the EXIT sign. (Is this common knowledge? I’ve never known.)

4 — The logo for Walgreens, the largest drugstore chain in the U.S., includes a hidden tribute to legendary gospel and soul singer Al Green. (OK, so it’s an entirely unintentional tribute. But it’s there. And now, you’ll never forget that it’s there.)

5 — Goodwill Industries, a non-profit organization known for its large network of thrift stores, uses a boldly graphic lowercase “g” as a stand-alone logo AND as the first letter of the charity’s name. When paired with a mirror-image version of itself, the lowercase “g” is revealed to be part of a cleverly concealed “smiley face.”  

6 — In 1981, when The Police released their fourth album, Ghost in the Machine, many fans failed to notice that the cover’s bright red digital display actually served as a simplified portrait of the three band members (Andy Summers, Sting and Stewart Copeland). 

7 — Despite its seemingly abstract nature, the logo for the Saturn Corporation can be viewed as a closely-cropped segment of a stylized depiction of the ringed planet.

8 — The corporate logo for xpedx, a distributor of papers and graphic supplies, was designed to work as an ambigram — a typographical design that is readable in more than one direction. In this configuration (known as a rotational ambigram), the logo appears exactly the same when rotated 180 degrees.

9 — And, finally: When you turn this version of the Dodge Viper logo upside-down, it looks like Daffy Duck.


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