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The Meaning Behind Some of the Most Famous Company Logos

These days we are exposed to ads wherever we are and no matter where we are. Each year, we are exposed to ten thousand ads in average. They try to sell us their product by using beautiful art, videos, images or slogans that are catchy. Many of those companies are well established in their industry fields and they are recognizable by their respective logos. The most prolific companies have highly popular logos that can be recognized by almost everybody. For example, there is a vast majority of people who can easily recognize the Apple logo or the Coca-Cola or many car companies. For those of you who have seen the movie ''Finding Forrester'', with Sean Connery, there is that scene where Jamal walks up to some guy with a BMW and asks him what does the car logo mean. The man did not know the answer and since that day, whenever I see a famous company logo I try to find the meaning of it. Below, you can find some of the most famous logos you can find.

The Adidas logo

The Adidas logo


The Adidas company logo is quite simple, yet very attractive and its meaning is simple. It was originally created by Adi Dassler in 1967, meaning the company name comes from the founder's name. The logo simply represents a mountain pointing out towards the challenges that await us and that can be achieved. There is an old logo shaped like a flower but it also has the same meaning that the one on the right.

The Audi logo

The Audi logo


This business logo is very popular and it's one of the competitors of BMW. The four rings could be interpreted as many things like four elements or four nations but the truth is elsewhere. In the 1930s, four different car manufacturing existed and they were respectively called: Audi, DKW, Horch and the last one is Wanderer. They decided to get together and create one company; Audi. The logo company was not used right away. It took 30 years to see the four rings for the first time.

The BMW logo

The BMW logo


BMW was founded in Germany in 1916. The business logo of this company is easily recognizable by anyone and most people know the prestige related to their manufactured cars. Nevertheless, the true meaning is a bit controversial. One side of the story tells us that it represents a rotating propeller from an airplane because BMW used to manufacture airplanes in Munich. The other version explains us that the blue and white triangles are taken from the Bavarian flag, which is the place where they were manufactured. It's your choice to pick your best version of the story! (I personally believe it's the second version)

Ferrari logo

Ferrari logo


Many think the horse on the Ferrari logo represents the horsepower of the cars they manufacture. The story behind it is far more interesting. During World War I, an aviator, Count Francesco Barraca, painted the stallion on his airplane to bring him luck. He had it on his plane because it was the logo of his squadron, the Cavalry Regiment. His mother then convinced Enzo Ferrari to put the logo on his racing cars in the early 1930s to bring good luck to the drivers. The logo then stayed the same ever since. The yellow on the background represents the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari, Modena

The Mercedes Benz logo

The Mercedes Benz logo

Mercedes Benz

The history of Mercedes goes way back in time. From a fusion with Daimler Chrysler in 1928 to naming the company after a daughter, they have overcome many obstacles through time. The logo company of this car manufacturer consists of a three pointed star. It represents the domination of the company over the land, the sea and the air. The name Mercedes comes from Maybach, when he decided to name the company after his daughter I believe, who was called Mercedes.

The Porsche logo

The Porsche logo


The meaning of the Porsche logo is quite simple. The cars are manufactured in Stuttgart, Germany, and that is why it has the Stuttgart coat of arms in the middle. Also, the city was built next to a horse farm. The antlers on each side are represented on the arms of the Wruttenberg Kingdom. As for the red and black striped, they are the two colors on the flag of the Wruttenberg Kingdom. This is one of my favorite car logos because of the prestige it represents but also to its colors. The gold mixed with the red and black make a perfect match.

Starbucks Coffee logo

Starbucks Coffee logo


It all started in 1971, in Seattle, for Starbucks. What was at the time a small coffee shop is now one of the biggest coffee and tea companies in the world. The siren represented on the logo is now known by any coffee drinker. But where does that siren come from and why did Starbucks initially put it in their logo?

The mermaid is a mythological sea creature with the look of a female, the only difference being they have a tail of a fish. But no need to tell you what a mermaid is since most of us have seen Walt Disney's ''The Little Mermaid''. The reason why Starbucks incorporated one in their company logo is because it was believed mermaids used to sing to sailors in order to make them walk away from their ship or to ground their ships. In the era of 1500, spices, tea and coffee was a popular merchandise to trade. So the mermaid in the logo of Starbucks is the one that ''brings'' coffee and tea to the stores.

Starting a business is quite a challenge these days and only a few make it past the first years. Every company needs a logo with a unique design and sometimes, the meaning of them might not be so easy to guess.

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Elena on March 07, 2020:

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The way I go get to go get my hair done and go to do the stuff and stuff I will have to go home and

The Reminder (author) from Canada on July 21, 2013:

Thanks Marie-Renee for sharing it. I'm glad I helped!

Renee on July 21, 2013:

Great hub on logos...these are really popular logos but never knew the story behind. Thanks for taking the time to share it with us. Shared and pinned.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on March 07, 2013:

@Vector design: I am glad I managed to help a fellow hubber!

Saim from California on March 07, 2013:

Nice share. i don't know these meaning behind these famous logos. Really knowledgeable hub for me. thanks buddy.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on January 16, 2013:

puella: Interesting story! I have never heard of the perfume arpege but I will google it as I do want to see that bottle of the mom and daughter!

Thanks for reading!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on January 16, 2013:

Brandon Tart: Apparently, ads have more effect on people who pretend they are NOT affected by them meaning that there is some psychological work behind logos and signs we are not aware about.

Thanks for reading!

puella on January 16, 2013:

i agreethat marketing to increase the market share can be not so ethical...if i had to do that kind of job i'd feel bad if i did it...however, some logos can be really uplifting; in the fragrance workd, there is a logo that i love as much as i love and use the perfume....i am talking about 'arpege' made by Lanvin in 1927; the story goes that the name was idea of the perfume creator, andre fraysse as she was a musician, and arpege derived from 'arpeggio' a music jargon. Later, the design was a woman embracing her daughter which represented Jane Lanvin and daughter Margaret...and nothing more arpegical and harmonious than a mom and baby daughter :)...well most of the times

Brandon Heath Tart from North Carolina Sculptor on January 16, 2013:

LOGO/s: I love this word -- logos. Logic, from which we all reason. Without logic, we'd all be unable to reason one way or another. When it comes to brand imagery, I feel that we are suckered into a product by its logo.

I wonder how many of us actually have a reason of our own, by our own guided logic to buy a product one way or another. This is an important Hub, but I would like to see more research on the matter.

As an artist myself, once a graphic designer, I know well about what goes into marketing a brand. It is dog eat dog!! How do you suppose logos influence our decisions where a plain vestment would do nothing but allow people to taste the coffee, wear the shoes and jump as high as they can without product enforcement?

I have a logo for my business that tells the customer to enter if they will...coercion aside.

Love the hub!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on January 16, 2013:

Zsuzsi: Thank you for the kind comment!

Zsuzsi from London on January 16, 2013:

I like that there are real stories behind the logos and often represent the community they started the business in. Nice article!

idigwebsites from United States on January 16, 2013:

Wow, the true meaning of the Starbucks' logo is quite far-out! Thanks for putting my wonders to an as to why there is a sort of a mythological female being in the its logo. Great hub, a really fun and interesting read. :)

Up, interesting and a following.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on January 15, 2013:

@ Better Yourself: Thanks for reading! Starbucks hides a fascinating story I gotta admit it!

Better Yourself from North Carolina on January 15, 2013:

Very interesting! I like the story about the Starbucks logo and mermaid. Thanks for doing the research and sharing!

johannesablon on January 08, 2013:

Great Hub.

Maybe you can also create a hub on popular logos with hidden symbols or images like the Fedex logo (between the letters E and X is an arrow) or Toblerone (an image of a bear appears on the mountain).


The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 11, 2012:

I'm glad you liked it! Thanks for reading!

Missy from London on December 10, 2012:

Really awesome hub! It's so interesting to know the backstory of these logos.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 09, 2012:

Thanks for the kind comment!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 09, 2012:

Thank you wabash annie!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 09, 2012:

Thank you jravity1

Hezekiah from Japan on December 09, 2012:

Interesting, didn't know many of them. Although I know that Adidas starting out him the two Dassler Brothers. The other brother went on to start the Puma business.

luvhammers on December 09, 2012:

Hey. Great hub, Some really interesting stuff.

wabash annie from Colorado Front Range on December 08, 2012:

What an informative and interesting hub! Thanks for sharing.

jravity1 from bellevue, MI on December 08, 2012:

I usually only take time to see the subliminal messages. This was a nice change for me. I didn't know any of this. Good work

puella on December 07, 2012:

I wonder where some currency 'logos' came from

The 'peso" is similar to dollar's but with only one vertical line across the S; the sterling pound is just a nice L (in romance language the british currency is called 'libra esterlina' but, at the same time, 'libra' is a unit measure of wigth for 453 grams in the decimal system which in the English systems is called pound...therefore we have the logo for "libra esterlina" (sterling pound) as a curious L...

The Euro is a straigth forward glyph or.. logo

But the peso, the dollar symbols do not correspond to any spelling of the spoken name of the currency, like 'f' for francs or Y for yens. See you guys around

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 07, 2012:

It's true! And I saw it at least fifteen times!! Thanks for reading!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 07, 2012:

Yes indeed those could be qualified as brand ''sounds''.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 07, 2012:

Maybe if you give it Red Bull! Thanks for reading!

Anonymous on December 06, 2012:

Mercedes as a girl's name was probably popularized by the Count of Monte Cristo, in which Mercedes is the lead female character.

puella on December 06, 2012:

Also, there are sort of 'sound" logos (if that does not break the definition of logo) that identify certain the Macintosh start up sound or Windows start up...

puella on December 06, 2012:

I read somewhere that he word 'mazda' means 'wings' in Greek (I believe) I own a mazda car and it carries as emblem a pair of "encircled wings" but.. I wonder...a car and wings?? hmm

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 06, 2012:


MYWIKISTEP on December 06, 2012:


The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 05, 2012:

You're welcome alifeofdesign!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 05, 2012:

Thank you!

Graham Gifford from New Hamphire on December 05, 2012:

I enjoy the back-stories very much-Thanks for sharing.

safiq ali patel from United States Of America on December 05, 2012:

Interesting hub.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 03, 2012:

I'm glad I managed to draw you only with the title! Thanks you!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 03, 2012:

Thanks for the vote up!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 03, 2012:

I'm glad I clarified you! What is your favorite car?

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 03, 2012:

Thanks Visionary Realist!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 03, 2012:

Thank you Jenn-Anne!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on December 03, 2012:


pinkhawk from Pearl of the Orient on December 02, 2012:

Great hub! After reading the title, my curiosity told me to click and read it... ^_^!

maheshpatwal from MUMBAI on December 01, 2012:

Very interesting and knowledge enriching hub you have written. Kudos. Voting up and sharing.

Frank Slovenec from San Francisco, CA on December 01, 2012:

Very informative Hub thank I know what my favorite car's logo means..good job!

David S. from USA on December 01, 2012:

Great Hub!

Jenn-Anne on December 01, 2012:

An enjoyable hub with interesting information - thanks for sharing!

Abdul Wahab from Yanbu Al-Bahar, Al Madinah, Saudi Arabia on December 01, 2012:

Such and informative article. I think you should write on Cadillac's logo, i think it has a different story.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on November 30, 2012:

CZCZCZ: Thanks!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on November 30, 2012:

Trish89: Thanks for the comment! I am glad you learned something new today.

Trish89 on November 30, 2012:

That is really interesting, I learned something new today!

CZCZCZ from Oregon on November 30, 2012:

This is a great hub of company logo history. Was fun reading through the various companies and learning about how the logos came to be and what they mean to the company.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on November 29, 2012:

RichusFridum: Glad I helped a fellow hubber!

RichusFridum from Atlanta, Georgia on November 29, 2012:

Great hub homie!

Just solved a ton of mystery with this one!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on November 28, 2012:

Kimberly Vaughn: Thank you!

Kimberly Vaughn from Midwest on November 28, 2012:

Great hub! I never thought about what logos meant before. Voted up!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on November 28, 2012:

peppermintee: Thanks for reading! Actually I did myself a favor by doing this hub because I was curious to find out too.

peppermintee from Here on November 28, 2012:

Super hub! It's great to get a bit of the backstory behind these world famous brands. You have done a nice job researching, thanks for the info!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on November 27, 2012:

tipstoretireearly: Thanks!

tipstoretireearly from New York on November 27, 2012:

Fascinating look at these symbols that we see every day but never truly understand. Great hub!

answers-questions on October 25, 2012:

I love these logos,

Best regards, Atyq

The Reminder (author) from Canada on September 28, 2012:

Joanna Kim: Thanks!

Joanna Kim from Shanghai, China on September 28, 2012:

Great hub, now we know much of the logo and interesting stories about these brands.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on September 27, 2012:

primozkrsevan: I am tempted to believe the second is the right one also but I did so many research and it's 50-50. So if you say the factory says so that must be it! Thanks!!

Primoz from Nova Gorica, Slovenia on September 27, 2012:

Nice hub! Btw for BMW the second explanation is the right a least this is what the official factory explanation say:)

The Reminder (author) from Canada on September 27, 2012:

iluvdj0612: thank you for the kind comment!

Matthew Dawson from United States on September 27, 2012:

Wow some of this information I would have never known!!! Good research on your information to place in your Hub!! I really enjoyed the read!

Nids from Province of Rizal, Philippines on September 27, 2012:

good job!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on September 26, 2012:

jackiemac: Thanks for reading my hub! Companies invest a lot in their logos and some are very creative

jackiemac from orange county, ca on September 26, 2012:

So interesting- I love hearing the back stories behind things! Since I dated a graphic designer I notice these things around me all the time.... It just makes you more aware how much thought, time, & energy goes into creating these images we take for granted

Marty Andersen from Salina, Utah on September 23, 2012:

I spent some time in the Philippines a few years ago. I ordered "Adidas" from the menu. It was a large order of sauteed chicken feet! It seems the popular food was named after the even more popular shoe.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on September 23, 2012:

Thank you Marko Tell for your kind comment!

mariano trelles from Makassar on September 23, 2012:

Very good article I love

hellow on September 23, 2012:


The Reminder (author) from Canada on September 03, 2012:

@ Jo_Goldsmith11 , Tonipet, CatsPage, jennzie, azharsid, Munin and johnooo:

Thank you all for the kind comments.My hub is only the beginning of the history of logos. This weekend I went to the United States and noticed I have plenty of study to do concerning the meaning of some logos!

John R Wilsdon from Superior, Arizona on September 02, 2012:

I once was involved with a make money enterprise on the Internet and had to come up with a logo for a website. I used to think coming up with such a thing was easy. I finally did it, but after a very long struggle. The story about Audi was interesting to me because I had thought it must have something to do with the Olympics! Now I know the truth. Good hub. Very interesting,

Cassandra McKenzie from Michigan on September 02, 2012:

I've always wondered about the Starbucks logo... and now I know. Thanks!

Azhar Siddiqui from India on September 02, 2012:

Interesting hub friend. Always knew the logos must have meant something but never took the pain of finding out by myself. Thanks to you, now I do have some info. Also I would like to share something on Adidas :- From the sources I had read Adidas stands for "All Day I Dream About Sports". Maybe this can be another side of a story or else someone would have found a deeper meaning in its name

Still a great Hub.......

Jenn from Pennsylvania on September 01, 2012:

Very interesting hub. It's amazing how many times I've seen most of these logos and never gave a thought to what the meaning is behind them. Voted up!

CatsPage on September 01, 2012:

I really enjoyed your hub, Reminder.. Very interesting history on these well known logos.. I will at them very differently, now that I know how they came to be. Thanks for the info..! Catherine

Tonette Fornillos from The City of Generals on September 01, 2012:

Very nice hub. I loved the history of each of them that far back. I really enjoyed reading the stories of how some of the fusions made the logos strong to this day. Loved the history, loved everything. I'm voting up, bookmarking and sharing! Thank you for this.

Jo_Goldsmith11 on September 01, 2012:

I really enjoyed this information. I learned something and it was well written. Thank you for sharing. :) I passed it on , voted up and shared too. Now, I have some ideas on my bussiness logo and how to go about it, in some strange way.

DMVmimay on September 01, 2012:

wew.. so wonderful. i had fun reading the story about the logos and their hiSTORY .. very interesting!

The Reminder (author) from Canada on August 31, 2012:

maniq: Thanks!!

Saad from Toronto on August 31, 2012:

great hub!!!.. cheers.

Roman Yoffe from Miami on August 22, 2012:

This was a great read! So many business logos surround us every day and they are taken for granted. It's interesting to learn about the history and thought that goes into each one. Thanks!

Selena McIntyre from Fitzgerald, Georgia on August 15, 2012:

Great hub! All these stories are very interesting. I'd be curious to see how much these companies paid for their logos.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on August 13, 2012:

Thanks for the kind message! It's great to have the opportunity to get to learn something everyday on aspects of our society.

Jayme Kinsey from Oklahoma on August 13, 2012:

Excellent hub! I love these little tidbits of trivia and the history that goes with them. It is especially fascinating, as an artist, to see how a simple design can become so famous.

Anjo Bacarisas II from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines on August 06, 2012:

This is quite jazzy hub. It inspired me to create a logo, something unique. :)

Brandmantra from Calcutta, India on July 31, 2012:

Excellent Study of History "Reminder".

Some of the information in the article really enriched my knowledge, specially the history behind Starbucks Logo.

keep posting articles like these.

The Reminder (author) from Canada on May 31, 2012:

@Dean: You are more than welcome.

Dean on May 29, 2012:

Thans for the article, I have to create also a perhaps a famous company logo for

Many thanks

The Reminder (author) from Canada on May 26, 2012:

@ gerg: You're more than welcome!

Gregory S Williams from California on May 25, 2012:

Well done, TR ~ thanks for supplying my "learned something new" for the day!


The Reminder (author) from Canada on May 16, 2012:

@Homechef, @STEVEW13, @Julius Vann and @iefox5: Thanks a lot for reading my hub. I am happy to hear that I manage to make someone learn new things with my hubs!

iefox5 on May 16, 2012:

Though I don't like eating burgs, I have to say MacDonald and KFC logos are impressive.

Julius Vann from Baltimore, Maryland on May 16, 2012:

I love history and learning is a great concept.Thanks

Steve Wright from Norwich, England on May 15, 2012:

This is a very interesting hub, learn something new everyday. I knew about the Adidas name but not the others. Great idea!

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