Business Logo Inspiration: The Meaning Behind 7 Of The Best Business Logos

business logo inspiration

There’s really no telling what comes first, the logo or the brand.

What we do know is that a business’ logo should reflect and embody the business’ brand. That’s why you’ll see so many business owners agonize over finding the exact right logo.

Business owners agonize over their logo so much because they know it will act as a trigger for brand recognition for customers. While not every logo will trigger brand recognition on the scale of Nike’s swoosh or McDonalds’ golden arches, each business’ logo can help in some way.

Logos are not only important for creating brand recognition among existing customers. Having an eye-catching logo can entice new customers to check out your website when they’re browsing the web.

A company’s logo can also have hidden meaning or messaging. We’ve picked seven of our favorite hidden-meaning logos to give you some business logo inspiration.

Baskin-Robbins

Most people know of the ice cream shop, Baskin-Robbins. Many have also taken advantage of their Birthday Program for a free scoop of ice cream.

What many people don’t know is the history behind the brand.

In 1945, two brothers-in-law, Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins merged their respective ice cream parlors in California. Both founders stood by the belief that customers should get to taste various flavors before they made a purchase.

When the two parlors merged their name to Baskin-Robbins in 1953, the resulting shop had 31 flavors, or, as Baskin and Robbins put it, a flavor for each day of the month.

Even though Baskin-Robbins had added over 1000 flavors since 1945, that 31 is iconic for the brand.

Until 2005, the company’s logo prominently featured “31′ front and center. After a re-design, the logo took on the appearance we know today, “Baskin BR Robbins.” What many people miss is the pink 31 in the BR.

The pink 31 pays homage to the original 31 flavors Baskin and Robbins. It also conveys playfulness and party with its blue and pink font colors and playful font.

Unilever

Whether you realized it or not, you’ve likely purchased something from Unilever in your lifetime. Unilever has over 400 brands and 2 billion customers globally. Its best-known brands include Dove, Hellmann’s, Lipton, Magnum, and Axe.

Unilever’s brands all fall into the consumer product category, but they cover a wide range of areas. They produce food, beverages, personal care items, and cleaning products.

It’s this diverse set of uses and products that acted as the inspiration for Unilever’s logo.

Unilever’s logo shows several items we know well like a palm tree, fish, and carrot. These items reflect different parts of the business and key values like a commitment to fresh ingredients. All these icons come together to form a U for Unilever.

Unilever’s clever use of icons is great for business logo inspiration.

Pittsburgh Zoo

The Pittsburgh Zoo’s logo is the perfect business logo inspiration if you want to use an optical illusion.

The zoo’s logo can be a bit confusing when you first see it. It just has a tree with some birds flying overhead. It makes enough sense, but doesn’t immediately scream “zoo”!

However, when your eyes adjust to looking at the negative space of the logo, you see the logo in a whole new way. In the negative space, you see the outlines of an ape and a leopard.

It’s then that you realize this makes the perfect zoo logo. You have the full effect of the animals plus the natural elements that make up their habitats in the zoo.

The Pittsburgh Zoo’s logo is a splendid surprise for all visitors.

NBC

You had to be alive in the 1940’s or early 1950’s to remember that NBC used to be called the Peacock Network.

Back in 1956, Peacock Network rebranded to NBC. To honor its roots, the company created a logo depicting a peacock. The peacock head (the white part in the middle) used to be easier to spot when the colored feathers were closer together.

During this rebranding phase, NBC wanted to highlight the increase in color programming and NBC’s prominence in color TV.

As the logo evolved, the feathers started to become more feather-like. Today, there are six colored feathers representing NBC’s six departments.

One more small detail people often overlook is the peacock head. It’s turned toward the right, meaning it’s looking to the future rather than the past.

Museum of London

In 2008, the Museum of London took on a massive rebranding project in preparation for a 20.5 million renovation in 2010. This included changing the museum’s logo.

The logo was previously a red rectangle with “Museum of London” in white Serif font adjusted to the top left of the rectangle. Branding agency Coley Porter Bell completely ditched the stiff logo and created the modern logo we know today.

When you first see the logo, it looks like different colored blobs haphazardly placed on top of each other. Those blobs are really area maps of London.

The designers wanted to show how London had grown over the past centuries. This is fitting for the Museum of London which showcases the history of London from prehistoric times to today.

Tostitos

If your company deals with human connections, take a look at Tostitos for your business logo inspiration.

In Tostitos’ logo, you see the name clearly spelled out over a yellow and red background.

If you look carefully, you’ll notice the two T’s look like people holding a chip between them. You’ll then see they’re about to dunk the chip into a bowl of salsa which stands in place of the I’s dot.

The Tostitos brand wanted to convey a message of sharing and caring. Essentially, they want their customers to care enough about others to share a bag of Tostitos.

Le Tour de France

The Tour de France’s logo is an excellent example of how to hide a secret message in typography.

Upon first look, you might only notice a very small “U” and an odd looking “R.’ If you look closely enough, you’ll see a cyclist hunched over his bicycle as if he’s in a final sprint of the race. The bicycle is made up of the two “O’s” with the yellow one being the front tire.

Some also suggest the yellow tire looks like the sun. This is another hidden message that conveys the event is run during a sunny time of year, the summer.

Find Business Logo Inspiration Everywhere

As you might have noticed, these hidden message logos drew from many smaller aspects of the business. Baskin-Robbins stuck to their 31 flavors, the Museum of London overlaid maps of the city, and NBC paid homage to its predecessor.

This only goes to show you can find business logo inspiration in any aspect of your business. Look to your product, your services, or your values to find the right logo for you.

Check out our DIY logo builder to get started on your design!