There’s a reason why corporations can spend millions developing a new logo: it takes research, thought, and design development — time, that is — to get it exactly right. There are some great logos out there, and then there are those logos that go the extra mile to include symbolism that the viewer may not even (consciously) notice! Here are six great examples of how a logo design can be pushed to subtly include additional visual information that takes it from good to brilliant.

FedEx

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Did you notice the arrow in the negative space between the E and x? It’s subliminally transmitting thoughts to us of expediency and direction. Now that you’ve seen it, you can’t stop looking at it, right?

Baskin Robbins

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Remember 31 flavors? It’s a key aspect to their brand, and there it is in pink at the top of their logo. I always wondered: what if they decide to add more flavors?

Milwaukee Brewers

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This one is wicked subtle, but the shape of the mitt consists of an “m” and a “b.”

Amazon

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This has always been one of my favorite big-brand logos. I have always appreciated the hidden dimple in the arrow that smiles (like when you get your package!), but I just now got the A to Z message representing the expanse of their offering. Brilliant!

NBC

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A lovely classic (since 1986!) with the peacock mascot hidden by negative space in the rainbow. And a vast improvement on previous iterations.

Sun

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I admit to never really studying at the Sun logo mark, but now that I just have, I think it’s totally brilliant. The Us and Ns within it spell SUN! And it’s readable in any direction (that’s called an ambigram).

Cool or what? I’m inspired!

Thanks to DesignTaxi for the idea for this post!