Symbolism in Branding and Logos

Symbolism is the process of utilizing common or well-known symbols that conveys an image deeper than of the image’s natural aesthetic. More often than not, people all over the world rely on symbolism for a hidden, deeper, and more intricate meaning when it comes to communication. Our world is riddled with a visual representation that makes it hard to decipher the real and authentic sense of the message conveyed. With more than half of the world’s population as visual learners, advertisers, marketers, and business owners learned to incorporate the value of symbolism in advertising catalogs and images.

Since the message is indirect and needs proper understanding, it is easy to misinterpret its portrayal. For example, a snake can be represented as health and wellness, especially if you notice most pharmacy, hospitals, and health facilities bearing snakes in their logos. However, to some, snakes are signs of bad luck and betrayal.

No matter how direct or indirect the message relayed in symbolism even when applied to the marketing industry, it has been one of the most strategic graphic design and layout in the biz. In this article, we’ll discover the way various advertisers have used symbolism. Graphic designers create these symbols for brand marking and recognition. Let us look at the world-famous examples of these logos and how symbolism made it remarkable.

The Arrow in the FedEx Logo

Arrows are known to be associated with a direction, looking forward, or moving ahead. If you look at the white spaces between the letter E and X, you’ll see an arrow pointing to the right. This can only mean that FedEx aims to deliver right, moving forward and looking straight ahead in the future. After all, most people now rely on shipping and freight services for essential commodities.

The Smiley A-Z of the Amazon Logo

We all know how Amazon sells products from A-Z. Thus, the arrow pointing from the letter A to Z. The connotation derived from A-Z means that anything you’re looking for can be found here. At the same time, a smiley forms across the logo, and it mirrors Amazon’s commitment to customer satisfaction.

Number 31 in Baskin Robbins’ Logo

Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a myriad of tasty and sweet ice cream? This proud American chain of Ice Cream and Short Cakes pride themselves in the 31 exciting flavors they offer. Thus, the number 31 in the logo. Amazingly, they are the only American chain who can offer so many flavors making the number 31, kind of their trademark.

The Tour de France Logo

This exciting athletic feat of strength and persistence is televised all around the world and has become one of the most anticipated sporting events. If you see the logo for the Tour De France, you’ll discover the cyclist located on the letter “R”. It is situated on the big orange circle that is resonated to be a tire.

 The Bronx Zoo

This idyllic and people-busy zoo has been the home of so many animals under its care. At first, you’ll see two giraffes and birds of the logo. However, on the negative spaces, you’ll see the concrete jungles to where New York is popularly known for.

The Cropped Smile in Goodwill’s Logo

Upon closer inspection on the letter “g” of Goodwill’s logo, you’ll discover a smiling face. Clever use of white space and defining black lines to accentuate the goodness in those that drop their items to any of Goodwill’s shops.

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

Another example of a well-thought utilization of negative spaces is reflected in the logo of The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. The negative spaces create the illusion of a gorilla and a lion facing each other. Under this iconic sign, fishes can be seen splashing out of the water.


Tortilla chips have been taking the world by storm since it’s been made and widely distributed. The good thing about this comfort food is that its logo contains fun stuff that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. On the middle “Ts” you will see two individuals holding a tortilla chip over a bowl of red sauce that is represented by a red mark on the letter “i.” Talk about serious branding.

The Roxy Logo

Roxy is an all-girl clothing line for women that loves snowboarding and surfing. It has been producing top of the line garments for sporty women that people have come to love. Since Quicksilver owns it, they combined two Quicksilver logos, thus, forming a cute and girly heart.

The Eighty Twenty Logo

Probably one of the most impressive and nerdiest logo designs out there that embodies symbolism. What’s even more fascinating is the mere fact that the squares plastered strategically is a binary for the numbers, 80 and 20. How cool does it have to be to make a logo like this?