Research: Can you spot the secret messages in these logos? article in the Daily Mail, January 2017

Sometimes the Daily Mail produces interesting articles including this one at a time I am looking at identity and labels – ok these are commercial labels aimed at luring us to buy and use the company products but nevertheless the logos have interesting design features.

As the article points out colour and shape play a key role in the perception of the brands – McDonalds as a key example is instantly recognisable by the bright yellow and instantly identifiable shape of the letter M or BMW which has a background in aviation and its logo makes reference to that due to the use of the white sections referring to the moving part of a propeller whilst the blue is representative of the sky.  The colour and shape can also be give a fun and modern perception – that yellow M with the rest of the logo is again a good example but others have more subtle messages.

The article points out the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo or the Baskin Robbins logo having the hidden number of flavours they sell incorporated.

The article goes on to state how much colour plays a part in how we perceive a company with reference to the researchers from the University of Missouri-Columbia who tested the emotions people associated with logo colours and there is no doubt our commercial world takes full advantage of these associations.

tesco_expressAs I consider identity and labels I was fascinated in the literally labels and logos of our world and how they affect us on a daily level and the hidden messages in the designs are sometimes very obvious and sometimes very subtle but all seep into our subconscious.  It is now interesting to consider the logos seen on my journey with Tesco’s Express for instance or Domino’s Pizzadominos, which are instantly recognisable, with the blue of the former being proven to invoke feelings of confidence and reliability with the red indicating expertise and self assurance and again the same colours used but in a simple pictorial format for the latter – same colours invoking the same message but in two different formats with word using words and the second using an image.

The words in the logos are used to tell us a direct message but the colours form a strong part of that message and yet the pictoral image works in the same way and with just as strong an impact – this article makes me think of the different ways designers and artists can using differing skills and techniques and genres in their marketing ploys which all start with ideas about identity.


Best, S. January 2017.  Can YOU spot the secret messages in these logos?  Take the test to find out how many you can find [online].  [Date Accessed: 23 January 2017].  Available from:

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