THE HIDDEN MEANINGS OF OUR MOST WELL-KNOWN LOGOS

IT’S one of the most familiar sights in Australia — a yellow diamond, with a black chunk sliced out in one corner.

You’ve probably seen it on TV or online several times today and it hangs from hundreds — if not thousands — of branches.

The Commonwealth Bank logo is so recognisable, these days the bank doesn’t even use its full name in its advertising confident Australians will know the company by its logo alone.

But the CommBank logo has more to it than meets the eye. At least, initially.

Squirrelled away in that diamond is the Southern Cross constellation.

It’s one of many logos — in Australia and abroad — that offer more than they are immediately letting on. Those geometric symbols and aerodynamic swooshes are more than just skin deep.

The co-ordinator of graphic design courses at the SAE Creative Design Institute in Melbourne, Adrian Bruch, told news.com.au one of the most well-known logos with a hidden meaning is the deceptively simple FedEx delivery symbol.

Hidden within it, in what is known as the ‘negative space’ between the letters, is an arrow denoting speed and direction.

The FedEx logo, is simple yet includes a secret message hidden within. Picture: FP PHOTO / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JUSTIN SULLIVAN

“Graphic designers embed cryptic references for several reasons,” he says. “One is because it adds a story to the brand another because you want people to spend more time with your brand and have that idea that they are an insider if can understand the hidden message.”

It’s not just logos with hidden shapes; sometimes brands will have meanings or stories within them that are deliberately vague or lost in time, urging you to delve deeper to solve the riddle.

“You want to have something people will look at again and again if you have something hidden they will do that,” Mr Bruch said.

So what are the hidden shapes and meanings in some of Australia’s — and the world’s — most well-known brands?

Can you find the arrow?

Jetstar

A classic of the hidden shape oeuvre, Qantas’ low cost subsidiary first took off in 2003.

Sure, its logo cleverly does away with the need to spell out the word ‘star’ by simply incorporating an actual star.

But, look closer — between the ‘Jet’ and the star is a forward pointing arrow.

It’s undoubtedly a nod to FedEx’s groundbreaking logo secret arrow, introduced almost a decade earlier.

Sadly, for hidden logo fans everywhere, Jetstar later redesigned its logo and axed the arrow.

Not one, but two references to San Francisco.

Cisco

The world’s largest networking company has a suitably techy logo, perhaps some data flashing across a screen?

But no, it’s actually an abstract rendition of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

According to John Morgridge, Cisco’s former CEO, the founders hit on the name and logo while driving across the bridge to Sacramento to register the company.

That’s not the only clue to the company’s home town. ‘Cisco’ is San Francisco, without the ‘San Fran’.

A logo graphic designers low. Comm Bank’s brand has been voted the fourth best Australian logo. Picture: Hollie Adams

Commonwealth Bank

A surprisingly young logo only introduced in 1991. The shape is based on the formation of the Southern Cross constellation — each corner represents one of the five stars. The black wedge completes the diamond shape.

The CommBank diamond is based on the Southern Cross. .

The CommBank logo has another surprise for the eagle eyed. Look closely at the double ‘m’ in ‘Commonwealth’ and you’ll see both letters are joined at the hip and share a central stalk. They have something in common harking back to the ‘Commonwealth’ name.

Baskin Robbins logo reveals how many varieties of ice cream the company sells.

Baskin Robbins

Mr Bruch’s favourite hidden meaning logo. Within its shape is the number of original varieties of confection the ice creamery sold.

“I love the Baskin Robbins 31 logo. If you didn’t know they had 31 flavours it just looks like a modern B and R.”

The mountain is more than it seems.

Toblerone

One for the sweet toothed, the Toblerone mountain has a secret. Lurking in the peak is a reverse silhouette of a bear.

It harks back the chocolate bar’s founding in the Swiss city of Bern, the symbol of which is a bear.

A French icon hiding in the logo.

Galleries Lafayette

While we’re in Europe let’s hop over to France and luxury department store Galeries Lafayette — a must stop one stop indulgent shop in the heart of Paris.

It’s no mistake that the two ‘T’s in “Lafayette” come together to form the Eiffel Tower.

A cyclist, head down, concentrating ion the road. Picture: AFP

Le Tour de France

Lingering for a while in the beautiful French countryside, take a peek at the logo of the massive cycling race.

In the middle of logo, invisible on first glance, is a cyclist powering through the course. The ‘O’ of ‘Tour’ is a wheel and the ‘R’ is a rider head down and bum up.

Not just a smile face.

Amazon

Australia is abuzz awaiting the arrival of one of the biggest names in online retailing.

Previously Amazon had a fairly bland logo, but in recent years it’s been refreshed with a friendly smile. It’s more than a smile though — it’s an arrow getting your product, literally, from A to Z.

There is a lot happening in the Unilever logo

Unilever

If you’ve not seen this one, don’t kick yourself, it’s a logo that lurks in the supermarket shadows.

It’s probably on more products than any other in the store but you’d have to turn the pack over to see it. Unilever is the Anglo-Dutch giant which produces everything from Omo washing powder to Lipton and Bushell’s teas and Continental sauces.

It has a less a hidden logo and more an extremely complex one with lots of icons with no meaning. Yet every symbol has a role to play according to the company. “Each icon has a rich meaning at its core, and represents some aspect of our effort to make sustainable living commonplace,” the company says.

To name but two: an ice cream cone because it makes Streets ice cream and lips due to “openness and transparency” — apparently.

Not every icon has stood the test of time — a fish icon remains despite Unilever selling it’s Birds Eye frozen fish unit in 2012.

Look below the surface.

New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute

One from across the ditch. On first glance it’s a pleasing geometric shape. Not unlike the Commonwealth Bank. White too, as befits an institute with an eye on the South Pole. But it’s much more fun than that. It’s actually an abstract ice berg with just the tip above the ocean waves.

Find all the hidden elements of this logo. A good drinking game.

Jacob’s Creek wine

If you can’t see a wine glass, the leaves of the vineyard and the creek itself, you’re not trying hard enough.

The ABC logo would likely never have been produced today as it harks back to an old technology.

ABC

An iconic Australian TV for sure, but what does that squiggle actually mean? It was designed by Bill Kennard in 1965 and was known as the ‘Lissajous’ after the French physicist Jules Lissajous who studied vibrations using tuning forks. The vibration shows up as a wavelength which became the logo.

An oscilloscope with a Lissajous style pattern plating across it. Picture: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

“The three arms of the logo reflected the way broadcast engineers used Lissajous patterns to help tune equipment,” the ABC says.

“The three arms today can be seen to represent radio, television and online.”

Article originally appeared on dailytelegraph.com.au by Benedict Brook, news.com.au

Find Free Wi-Fi Nearby Using Facebook

Late last year, Facebook tested out an interesting feature called “Find Wi-Fi” on the iOS Facebook app. After nearly half a year’s worth of testing, the said feature is now making its way to the public, with the Android Facebook app being part of the rollout.

If the feature has gone live on your Facebook app, you’ll be able to see the Find Wi-Fi selection in the “APPS” section then ‘view all’ and look for the FIND WI FI app. Upon activating it, Facebook will bring you to a map that displays all Wi-Fi hotspots that are nearest to you, alongside information of the business that is providing said Wi-Fi.

So how does Facebook populate its map with hotspots? Well, the system requires businesses to opt-in to the feature. Businesses will be given the option to add their Wi-Fi details to their Facebook page via the “Edit Page Info”.

Once the Wi-Fi details have been provided, Facebook would use said information to populate the map. Simply put, the usefulness of Facebook’s Find Wi-Fi feature depends on how much businesses in your area rely on the social network service.

   

Despite the minor drawbacks, the Find Wi-Fi feature will prove useful to those who are frequently out and about on their smartphones. For those who’ve yet to find this feature available on their Facebook app, rest assured that it will be available to you soon.

Article originally appeared on hongkiat.com 

Have the website…. now help it grow.

I came across some interesting research last week while searching for some info around Search Engine Optimisation.

Google’s users (and your potential customers) are constantly searching for local businesses. Google knows this and gives a higher ranking to businesses that can indicate to Google they are both relevant and local. Google’s algorithm changes have really emphasised this, so search results that were once very similar Australia wide, are now quite varied in different locations (ie Melbourne vs Canberra).

Whilst there are many strategies to drive more targeted visitors to your website, and they are all important, but one of the biggest local search boosts comes from local Australian business directory listings. Australian business directories are not just for driving search traffic, they can also provide referral traffic from people clicking through from your listing.  But dont just go to any business directory and register your business.

You’ll come across directory lists or submission services offering 50, 100 or even 250 Australian business directory websites. The best they will do is waste your time or worse, damage your Google ranking. Here’s why.

  • They are often scraped from old outdated lists
  • They contain directories requiring payment, or a reciprocal link
  • They haven’t actually been tested so many directories have broken forms or are abandoned
  • The websites are just rubbish with no back-link value

What is Alexa Ranking?

Alexa is a website that ranks the top visited websites worldwide. They also provide an estimate of a websites popularity in a specific country (using a combination of average daily visitors and pageviews). After filtering the list of business directories according to Australian Alexa Ranking, and removing any not in the top 25,000 Australian websites, we have our list!

The Top 20 Australian Business Directories

Business Directory

Alexa Traffic Ranking

www.yellowpages.com.au   124
www.truelocal.com.au   175
www.yelp.com.au   320
www.hotfrog.com.au   802
www.startlocal.com.au   897
www.womo.com.au   1035
www.aussieweb.com.au   1549
dlook.com.au   1947
www.localstore.com.au   2724
www.localbusinessguide.com.au   3504
www.yalwa.com.au   4380
www.localbd.com.au   6262
www.superpages.com.au   8108
www.businesslistings.net.au   8325
www.comeonaussie.com   10062
www.local.com.au   11389
www.yellowbook.com.au   14466
www.raveaboutit.com.au   18720
www.shopseek.com.au   20479
www.companylist.com.au   24902

Prepare your business listing information.

Directory submissions involve entering the same information repeatedly so it’s best to be prepared to avoid wasting a lot of time. Gather the following information into one document:

  • 2-3 Business listing titles
  • Submission email address
  • Business contact email address
  • Business phone number
  • Social media links
  • 2-3 unique business descriptions (Typically 200 words max)
  • Square logo image (300px is best viewed on most websites)
  • 5 business related images
  • Business ABN

Having this data on hand to copy information will make the process much faster.

Directory Submission Tips

Here’s a few bonus tips for getting the most from your Australian directory submissions.

  • Search each directory for the business name and url to ensure no duplicate listings are created.
  • Use consistent login details for easy followup.
  • Make listings as complete as possible to maximize value.
  • Vary titles and descriptions to create a unique listing.
  • Use a dedicated email to separate confirmation & marketing emails from personal email.
  • Expect a few phone calls from directories upselling premium listings.
  • Check for confirmation emails immediately and after 5 days.

Lastly don’t forget to ask your clients to give a review of your product or service on the directories to boost your profile, referral traffic and backlink value! If you find more Australian business directories that pass the tests above let me know in the comments.

So the key here is, use reputable business directories and don’t use Directory Submission Tools, It might take you a little longer in the short term to apply your business to these listing but it will be worthwhile in the end. I often describe having a website as like opening a shop in the back of a plaza with no signage. Every business needs promoting, having a website isn’t going to mean that you are going to grow your business immediately, you need to help to attract traffic to your website.

Main article courtesy of www.seocopilot.com.au (Chris Finnigan)