See the hidden meanings inside 21 tech company logos

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Decoding Company Logos



amazon com logoAmazon

Everyone recognizes Amazon's famous logo. But did you know there are three different symbolic messages tucked within it?

We picked 21 tech company logos that have hidden, subtle, or otherwise clever messages inside their famous brand marques. They include a Facebook logo that secretly indicates another company it hoped to kill, a message you won't get unless you understand Morse, and an actual cryptogram.

LG's logo has three meanings: It contains the letters LG, a smiley face, and it looks like the symbol for an on/off button. And its elements can be rearranged into a Pac Man logo ...

A simple but brilliant use of white space: The old Flight Finder logo is two F's that describe a plane between them.

Flight Finder

The squares in data analytics company Eighty20's logo represent binary code: The top line, 1010000, represents 80. The bottom line, 0010100, represents 20.

EIGHTY 20

The apocryphal story of the slanted "E" in the Dell logo is that founder Michael Dell wanted it to represent his desire to turn the world on its ear. Some also say it emulates a floppy disk.

Dell

Sony designed the original Vaio logo, with the letters V and A represent an analog waveform and the I and O represent a binary code.

Sony

You've probably noticed that Amazon's logo contains a yellow arrow that doubles as a smile, but did you also notice that it points from A to Z?

Amazon

Facebook Places was Facebook's now defunct response to the check-in app Foursquare. Note that the red arrow is pointing at a number four ... an indicator of its intended target.

Facebook

We love the Skitch logo because it looks like the feathers on an arrow, but those fletchings double as an S and its reflection.

Skitch

Cisco's logo represents a digital signal that happens to take the form of the Golden Gate bridge, which is in San Francisco, the city after which the company is named.

Cisco

Nintendo's Gamecube logo is famously clever: It's not just a cube within a cube, it also shows the letter G enclosing a C in negative space.

Nintendo

The U.S. Cyber Command incorporated a 32-character code inside the gold inner rim of its seal. The link at the bottom of this image reveals its meaning.

U.S. Cyber Command

See what the U.S. Cyber Command's code means.


Document maker Quip's logo is obviously a Q, but it's also a pen poised to write on a piece of paper.

Quip

Microsoft XNA is a developer tool for games. The logo contains a mashup of the Morse code for XNA."— · · —" means X, "— ·" means N, and "· —" means A.

Microsoft XNA

The Ubuntu operating system logo actually represents three people holding hands and looking upward.

Ubuntu

Google's "Picasa" name is a play on the concept of a home for your pictures. Casa is Spanish for house, and there is a house inside the colored camera shutter leaves in the logo.

Google

Sun Microsystems was acquired by Oracle in 2010 but its simple logo was deceptively clever. It consists only of "u" shapes arranged to form a box of "S's" that also spell the word "Sun" when divided down the middle.

Sun

OK, so Claimair's logo is obviously a paper airplane. But it's a brilliant visual pun: This company helps you with the paperwork when you have to bring a complaint against an airline.

Claimair

Rdio's logo uses the negative space inside the "d" and the "o" to show a semibreve and a crotchet, two common musical note symbols. (Rdio went bankrupt in 2015.)

Rdio

Hotel Tonight's logo is either a bed or a lower-case "h," depending on how you look at it.

Hotel Tonight

Just In Case's clever logo consists entirely of negative space representing a bundle of documents tied up in legal ribbon.

Just In Case

Sure, the logo for Twitter cofounder Biz Stone's Q&A app Jelly looks like a jellyfish. But it's also a brain.

Jelly

RELATED: 10 popular company logos now and then

21 PHOTOS
10 popular logos then and now
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10 popular logos then and now
Then (1997): Apple
Now: Apple
Then (1978): Nike
Now: Nike
Then (1975): Microsoft
Now: Microsoft
Then (1900): Shell
Now: Shell
Then (1900): Lego
Now: Lego
Then (1971): Starbucks
Now: Starbucks
Then (1953): McDonald's
Now: McDonald's
Then (1962): Target
Now: Target
Then (1957): Burger King
Now: Burger King
Then (1969): Wendy's
Now: Wendy's
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