Symbolism in Logos

Symbolism in Logos

2011, Conspiracy  -   119 Comments
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Ratings: 6.47/10 from 92 users.

Symbolism in LogosDuring the 20th century, urban environments got taken over by corporate logos. Studies have reported that an average person is exposed to about a hundreds of logos a day.

Few people however ponder on the symbolic meaning of these marketing tools and their occult origins.

Think about where you encounter logos on an average day: they are on household items, on cars, on clothes, in tv ads, on billboards, on insignia, and all over sporting events.

Logos are one of the results of extensive studies (funded by the Rockefeller's "Chicago School") in cognitive sciences, psychology and biology.

Those studies constitute the core of "marketing", a heavily funded field which keeps its findings totally secret from the general public. Why are the findings secret?

The show begins with discussing the symbolism of two major corporations, Starbucks and Apple. What is really being said in logos?

This documentary was filmed in Bath and Bristol, England featuring special guests such as Michael Tsarion, Neil Hague, Ralph Ellis, Leo Rutherford, Neil Kramer, Dan Tatman and Peter Taylor. The crew also interviews a priest, university students, teachers and of course a couple random pub interviews.

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DustUp
DustUp
6 years ago

@Geoffrey Grekin has the clearest observation of the docu, thank you. As for those indoctrinated individuals who have been brainwashed into dismissing anything that is one-sided. Many things which you lavish praise upon as being a balanced viewpoint, isn't at all. It is a pretense to fool those who have such indoctrination. Often the propagandist brings up an opposing viewpoint then readily dismisses it with very limited or no information, to make it seem like the opposition has been covered and dispensed with legitimately, when it hasn't at all. When a commenter does so it can be for the same reason ...or because they don't have all day to cover and explain every last side and detail. Same for the person making a documentary.

Maybe I missed it but was surprised not to see more on the "XX" logo. Such as in Exxon and all the others companies with a double XX in it. I once heard a bit about how certain logos or symbols indicate common ownership or origins and agreements.

If the symbols mean nothing at all, then why do some movie stars brand themselves with certain similar tattoos showing allegiance to the triangle and eye? Why does Shaquille Oneill the former basketball star proudly display his huge free mason ring? Then get several commercials not so long after joining, when not heard from for quite some time, seems like years, before joining?

Personally the biggest impact I find upon myself of corporate logos is to stay away from them as much as possible. To me their products are either over priced or crap to pay for all the advertising they do. Case in point would be one of the most famous sports shoe makers. Early on they had fairly good products. Many years ago I stopped buying them because they changed significantly. No longer put in true arch support, used a narrower foot form, cheapo glue that would give way over time, cheap thread, i.e. quality went down the tubes and price went up because kids wanted them, apparently due to all the slick marketing with athletic "heroes".

Why the bite out of the Apple logo if strictly Newtonian or an Apple Crate beginning? Just because the owner or president of a company tells you something ...does that mean it is true ...or just partially true? Clearly there is no symbolic allegiance to certain other corporate groups. And the symbol wouldn't mean anything to a kid who never heard of the story of adam and eve. However, it is much more memorable than an apple with no bite out of it... or a tree, which several companies use. Whatever the case, it seems like a clever marketing decision.

I never realized it until seeing or listening to a years ago bit about sales psychology. It mentioned perfumes, colognes, etc. for males often have a phallic shape. I chuckled until I noticed the one in my cabinet. Seems silly really since had nothing to do with my purchase since after smelling several it was the only one I actually liked.

The old adage, "sex sells" seems to be the modus operandi of many a marketer, even if it is wasted effort. I doubt Apple would admit that, especially to a class of students. "Well, this marketing guy told us sex sells so if you make the apple like the story of adam and eve, you may subconsciously attract more people to your product... and it will be more recognizable." I'm waiting for the time when they use sequentially flashing rainbow of colors to highlight their apple logo.

Peter Prevos
Peter Prevos
7 years ago

This documentary is very one-sided. Why did they not consult any marketing textbooks or interview marketing scholars? In none of the literature of marketing and logo design is there any mention of the symbolism discussed here. Indeed corporations try to sell as much stuff as possible, but associating this with some conspiracy to use archaic symbolism is ludicrous.

PH
PH
8 years ago

Sorry, I know the comment section says 'be cool' but this entire 'documentary' is nothing more than marginally informed, badly edited babbling.

a_no_n
a_no_n
8 years ago

Say it with me people...Pareidolia.

13-XIII
13-XIII
10 years ago

to get a better understanding on this subject take a look at all the products in your home. take inventory of all the logos your attracted to.
you might have a collections of all those mentioned above or of all the same.

Ivy
Ivy
10 years ago

Overall, very good. BUT there are some things that are incorrect. The bible NEVER tells the "forbidden" fruit is an apple. It only tells is a fruit. People like to assume so much.

Ramome
Ramome
10 years ago

I love a good conspiracy story. Inevitably we stop learning at some point during the investigation and become true believers or pessimistic skeptics . Darwinism come to mind in this instance. Those who believe hold an almost cult like fervency regardless of any new information which may come their way. Even with evidence from a science like quantum physics, they hold tightly to their belief and develop visceral hatred for dissenting views. And visa versa those who believe in an intelligent design.
These young people seem bound to find correlations with what they already hypothesize. This documentary is a perfect example of why civilizations are so slow to move forward into a more cohesive social structure. We want to believe in something, so we set about constructing faux evidence to make it so. Throughout history we have had to secretly produce a renaissance in order to bring us back from the brink of societal extinction. Given our technological pace, I believe it is about time for another one.

Tim Caffery
Tim Caffery
10 years ago

I found this very insightful. And according to Jobs, the 'apple', remember its not an apple just a symbol, was derived from his time working at an apple orchard. Imply, youthful determination, work ethic, blah, blah, blah. I believe that's the story put forward in his autobiography. And as for the 666, I use 666 in passwords and such, as I know it is a sense of taboo to Westerns. In Hinduism & Buddhism 6 means perfect and complete, too. So, to me, 666 is a symbol created to divert humans from pursuing perfection in their 3 fold lives. Perhaps the makers of this, in their attempt to break through symbolism, ultimately just show, they are just as trapped as they supposed we are. But good luck.

awful_truth
awful_truth
10 years ago

While I do believe that it is true that people identify with certain symbols, (yin/yang, cross, etc) the idea that corporations incorporate symbols to help sell products is ludicrous. In my opinion, symbols are used soley for product recognition. If you are driving down the street, and you want a big mac, you will start scanning for the golden arch. Thus, the symbol does not sell the product, it only identifies a brand of a product that sold itself.
What is true is that the origin and meaning of most symbols has been lost in translation over time. A swastika does not mean a nazi skinhead, or a fascist ideology, yet since it's use by the 3rd reich, no one dare use it now for fear of retribution, or having the wrong label attached. (misunderstanding) This not only diminishes the value of what a symbol was meant to represent, but exposes the ignorance of human simple mindedness!

Alvin R Lenford Sr.
Alvin R Lenford Sr.
11 years ago

With so many billions of people who occupy this planet, why is it so difficult for one to believe that some of these notions, if not all can be true. These symbols in a sense are no different than the tatoos that people put on their bodies. If it's a swastika, it has an origin based on someones belief, and if it is plastered to my body, I must entertain that same belief. If it is a tattoo of the Cross, that symbol has origin and meaning, therefore it is something that I believe in and I wear proudly. I don't know the minds of those who stand behind any of the symbolism depicted in this documentary, and there are those who choose to believe in things at whim just because somebody said to them that something was true, then run the course of their lives believing a lie and finding out later in life what a fool they were when the truth hits them in the face. I think that those who uphold these symbols, whatever they may be, are intelligent men and (or) women and have investigated the meanings behind them, whether true or false. I would rather investigate than follow something that is not beneficial for me to believe in. There is no harm in doing so. With all that being said, I don't think that what is being iterated is all that far fetched.

VampieOreo
VampieOreo
11 years ago

This film is ridiculous it borders comedy. Unfortunately, it just misses it. I love how they say that these symbols are "sub"conscious (a word neither Freud or Jung used) and tied deeply to people without them even knowing it. But somehow, certain people know about it and use it against everyone else. Isn't it possible, that if what they say is true, and the logos really are collective "sub"conscious images, that regular people like graphic designers might use them because they feel equally tied to them like everyone else.

"Well they could make up new logos" Sure, but why bother when they have an image that speaks to their soul. Or whatever pseudo-psychology they spew about auras and energy. The people supposedly creating this logos are just people, humans like the rest of us, not mass evil doers.

Whether or not you believe in all the crap they're selling about hijacking consciousness or whatever is up to you. But don't try to pass it off as legitimate journalism or science.

This documentary was just a handful of already biased people discussing a topic they obviously believed fervently in. It has no objective evidence, or even a real analysis of anything. The logos are shown briefly and together in clumps for only a few seconds so you hardly have time to see them all. The rest of it, is hippies in a bar talking about the evil establishment. In conclusion, this is NOT a documentary.

Eamonn
Eamonn
11 years ago

pub conversation is farcical. those guys put 2 + 2 together and got 666. utter rubbish

apples321
apples321
11 years ago

Interesting idea, but the documentary itself could have been more interesting.

Aj Haggerty
Aj Haggerty
11 years ago

i have a starbucks mug i stole from their shop and tbh untill it came on the screen i would have had no idea it had some chick all i could have told you is a green circle with starbucks coffee printed in plain text

onlaugh
onlaugh
11 years ago

This documentary was really, really boring. The people who made this documentary called up Starbucks and Apple and asked questions about their respective logo. Wow! these doc makers are so daring.
I remember sitting on a 7 hour flight to New York, and having to listen to a very boring Swedish man in the seat next to me. Unfortunately, the poor man thought that what he had to say was interesting. It most definitely wasn't. This documentary was on the same level.

Cassie Lewis
Cassie Lewis
11 years ago

is it possible that mermaids are just cool? or an apple with a bite out of it is just more memorable than a whole one?

Colomboi714
Colomboi714
11 years ago

So what does the Dodge logo mean?

Shane Henrik Lamminparras
Shane Henrik Lamminparras
11 years ago

BOM BOM BOM!!!

Consumers didn't realize there was an evil mermaid on Starucks logo!

BOM BOM BOMMM!!!

The Apple workers dont know where the logo derived from!!!

OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoOOoOoooOoOOooO!

nick
nick
11 years ago

Why are the marketing findings kept secret?

Maybe because that if the public new the methods of complex marketing techniques that they would fall apart and stop working along with stop producing profits for the companies that have invested serious money to learn these secrets...

And no they're not hidden from the general public but rather harder to find because, who in the public field could even care about complex marketing strategies.

And why would you give these ingenious billion dollar marketing trade secrets free to the general public that would never even put the methods to good use... Instead of selling the findings to the multi-million dollar a year businesses that are willing to pay tons of money for the strategies

And to show you a couple examples...

Everyone knows that grocery stores spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year learning the what makes people buy the things they buy. And a lot of people know that these stores place certain items in certain places.

This is one of the supposed "Secret" marketing strategies.

Another big trade for these hidden marketing strategies come into play... Casino's which everyone knows that use marketing strategies in order to get you to drop as much money as possible.

It's not that they're secret in any way which anybody with a marketing degree would agree on, it's just not popular subject matter.

CrayRail
CrayRail
11 years ago

This doc moves from a faux analysis about a few logos to a bull***t session with a bunch of people who believe in magic. (ck?) This doc is not even trying to use intellectual tools for understanding symbolism: logic, reasoning, marxist anaylsis or even something called "semiotics" which is the "study of symbols." They don't even get it right when they talk about the work of Freud and Jung, which anyone who has written a term paper in a psychology class would have been able to do. This doc gets a D-

fnbdnb fgn
fnbdnb fgn
11 years ago

omg we're all gonna die! They've learned to use logo's to make us into mindless robots!! And she's obviously learned how to use sounds to seduce our unnatural desires... ahhh!!!

Emmanuel Dada
Emmanuel Dada
11 years ago

Interesting doc and funny at times. These "sinister Logos" are made by people called graphic designers, I am one of them. They doc creators should have interviewed a few logo creators to hear what they think about all this, would have been far more enlightening and definitely more mundane (probably why they didn't). I definitely agree there is indeed symbolism we are exposed to with not all together positive motives but the situation is a far cry from what is depicted here.

Seriously entertaining and funny from a graphic designer's perspective and overly misleading for anyone who knows nothing about the identity and branding world.

Advertising is a completely different matter I will admit.

guerkan hantal
guerkan hantal
11 years ago

sorry, but this so called "docu" is a waste of time. there's no proof in what the makers claim. it's just their opinion and i don't agree at all.

Mikey Jones
Mikey Jones
11 years ago

The narrator's whistling "S" sounds are super distracting and annoying.

Maddestmax
Maddestmax
11 years ago

My previous comment was way too dismissive of a fairly interesting doc, it does point out that large organisations pilfer symbols; but what don't they do in order to maximise identity/profit.
Sadly they ignored the megasymbol of the west. The one that stood for the way, the light, the truth, "the" book. Long before mass literacy the church used the cross very persuasively. In fact so persuasive it held back the development of humanity for centuries.

Maddestmax
Maddestmax
11 years ago

While dissecting the bleeding obvious I discovered the heart isn't heart shaped, gutted.

GravyWagon
GravyWagon
11 years ago

what garbage

Hesusa
Hesusa
11 years ago

All this back and forth about logos without any understanding of logo design. Makers of this film have some interesting obsevations and some mental diarea but here are my two cents

Good logo is

1. instantly recognisable even when scaled to the size of a penny
2. uses familiar shapes and/or relates to an idea/legend/symbol that prefereby has a positive association

First rule is obligatory, second is optional but it makes sense as you get a head start on marketing making you easier to memorise.

As for conspiracy look no further than advertising - it is not based on your needs but desires and fears manipulating you in to consumerism forever poisoning our planet with cr*p.

For an in depth understanding I refer you to an excellent docu here

A century of the self

and a novel by Frederic Beigbeder called 99 francs

PaulGloor
PaulGloor
11 years ago

They are getting really fast at pulling stuff these days....

Chris Baker
Chris Baker
11 years ago

one word about this doc, DUMB!

Onnad
Onnad
11 years ago

BORING

M28J18H17
M28J18H17
11 years ago

Yawn! I have wasted 64 minutes 23 seconds of my life which I will never get back. Do not make the same mistake. A totally absurd and in some respects bizarre attempt at connecting corporations with the occult/esoteric. This “documentary” is appropriate for the feeble minded. Those who can make extremely abstract connections between the mundane and the weird. And for those who have the imagination to see an all empowering agenda hidden behind a veil of capitalist corporation greed.

Roger Gordon
Roger Gordon
11 years ago

OK so again Mr. Michael Tsarion master of the Half truths and he is PEDOPHILE so beware of this mind twisters.

About apple it is clear that they meant Newton as we live in Newtonian society. Starbucks is just a Siren so what! Yes they are evil but what else it is just about marine.

Symbols do influence the people but not as much as you think.

As someone mention it here before the first half is fun to watch and the rest is just bla bla bla. I can make so many conclusions and hypothesis about any picture/logo as you want.

Harry Nutzack
Harry Nutzack
11 years ago

when you debate with the obviously irrational, the best you can hope for is a headache and irritated digestion. food for thought

Patrick Jones
Patrick Jones
11 years ago

Wow these hippies suck!

Imightberiding
Imightberiding
11 years ago

@TDF &TDFilms
I just reread my previous comment & although I was posting in a sarcastic frame of mind, I was sincere as to my thanks for another film to watch. I am afraid my thanks came across as sarcastic as well.

That was furthest from my intention. I very much enjoy this site & eagerly anticipate your new offerings, so I offer my thanks sincerely. I did not want the closing of my earlier comment to be confused as entirely tongue in cheek like the rest of my opinion about logos etal.

Imightberiding
Imightberiding
11 years ago

So add agencies are part of some great sinister conspiracy now? Hire someone to develop a corporate logo for your company & you better make sure they aren't intent on swallowing your mind/soul (if you have one) first! My goodness people, is there nothing more important than spending countless hours & money making a self satisfied film/doc about non existent issues? I have hired graphic artists & add agencies to design logos for business concerns of mine & always the first thing that I ask: "Is my new logo based on a conspiracy of ancient ideals & symbols that will brainwash the masses that I conduct business with?" Really?..

Someone's point of view on reality so I guess that makes this valid some how. With that said; thank you TDFilms for another tidbit of entertainment & some thing to fill my night with.

Cheers all & beware the nefarious logos!

Russell Smith
Russell Smith
11 years ago

what a load! The APPLE name and stuff came to be because they made the first one using an old apple crate. Jobs and Wozmiac told us face to face at a college class.

tara68
tara68
11 years ago

This film is utterly ridiculous.

bob
bob
11 years ago

I couldn't stand to watch another min of this stupid film... The fleeting bits of real information were pleasing, but then these people have to push the issue and create their own desired meaning behind the symbols to fit every conspiracy out there. How is it so hard to believe that adam and eve weren't an influence, and why MUST a mermaid mean that starbucks is trying to manipulate you. Its all masons and illumaniti!! Hell im a disinfo agent for saying otherwise right!?! omg i'm illumaniti agent subconsciously affected by everything around me! I will agree the fascist symbol used within u.s.a govt buildings is odd though. As for tsarion... he goes with that ancient aliens guy on the "history" channel.... *faceplam*

Jack1952
Jack1952
11 years ago

Starbucks is not a very big deal in Canada. If you want a coffee you go to "Tim Horton". They're everywhere. It was founded by Tim Horton who was a professional hockey player and a personal hero when I was a boy. Their logo is a signature of Tim Horton over what appears to be a plastic coffee cup lid. There's not a person in Canada that doesn't recognize this logo. I wonder how the makers of this doc would use their convoluted logic to connect this coffee chain through this seemingly harmless logo to the mysterious and sinister elite. I tried and got as far as the hockey stick being some kind of phallic symbol. Unfortunately, many younger Canadians never heard of Tim Horton the hockey player so the hockey stick idea may not work on them. I'm not as good at it as they are, I guess.

Besides, as much as I idolized Tim Horton when I was ten years old, I can't stand the coffee. So much for using an appealing logo.

Geoffrey Grekin
Geoffrey Grekin
11 years ago

Interesting, overall not a bad documentary

Alot ofthe comments posted suggest a sad, depressing and weak documentary.
But i beg to differ
For one there is no central thesis, there is a bunch of random ideas and speculation.
This ranges from theories of powerful shamans controlling the minds of consciousness outside the individual, to merely a bunch of corporate elite in the know giving each-other the 'wink-wink, nudge nudge'.
I thought this documentary strongest feature was their versatility to portray many ideas without forcing us in any one direction.

Furthermore, if you skim away much of the fat, and wild theories there is a common motif.
That is that Corporate Logo's, (or many other logo) have a common symbolism that goes beyond mere coincidence. I personally feel they are used to subconsciousness connect to emotional feelings associated with a brand that are embedded within our lower mind.

For example, most people will associate;

Sun = happiness
Eye = Unease (being watched)
intertwined Circles = Unions (connection Sex)
Piscis = Life (birth & Sex) [female]
Column = forceful strength virility [male]
Pyramid = Power and stability
Arches = security
Etc...

Because these elements interact with humans in a very real way often without words and are deeply connected within our evolutionary process making it is easy to bring them to the surface.
For example, We experience these emotions when we feel the rays of the sun (renewal), or feel we are being watch (predatory instinct), or experience sexual desire (copulation).
Therefor symbols can subconsciously associate with these baser instincts and emotions of humans. Corporations and institutions merely recognize this power and ingeniously utilize symbol in order to manipulate the baser emotional attitude of their clientele by embed desired emotional reactions towards a brand or company, etc..

And it works, there is defiantly power in this.

Hawkeyes
Hawkeyes
11 years ago

This is wonderful. You can't go wrong with learning things from Michael Tsarion. He is the best researcher, teacher, writer, and speaker there is. The other guys are pretty good as well.

UXLF
UXLF
11 years ago

hogwash

Paul Flynn
Paul Flynn
11 years ago

The amount of Idiocy is staggering. To make the leap of past information being, somehow, transfered to someone today is beyond all reason. I wouldn't put it past a corp to transfer meaning in a logo, but to attach anything older than 20 years is a waste of time. How an average person today is supposed to "Get" some sort of evil message when your average person barely knows history from 1945 is a leap of pure fantasy.
To prove my point, read some of the comments on youtube. This doc, if you can call it that, is nothing more than a group of people trying to confirm their own cleverness. Problem is they are not clever. They undoubtedly have no idea how ignorant they are.

Harry Nutzack
Harry Nutzack
11 years ago

wow, where to start on this one?? i guess a good place would be the fact i clicked the link because my mind saw "symbolism in legos" and i was hoping for little plastic brick sculptures. i think the folks who produced this effort dont have much of a clue. starbucks mermaid is fairly obviously chosen for its relatively unique image, at least as far as corporate logos go. it also evokes the nautical, which is a huge part of seattle history. the name is the first mate from "moby dick" afterall. as they pointed out themselves, the apple corp first associated their product with newton, and continued the subtle association with the spectrum apple logo. the ad copy showing a price of "$666.66" may seem sinister to those of such a mindset, but i saw "2/3 of a thousand bucks", as even the competing kit computers of the time were a grand. the sun actually evokes "reliability, dependability" (and the "shell" logo is a clamshell, not a rising sun). once we hit the "gramaphone bar" (they were very careful to subtly include THAT logo) it degenerated from hokey to ridiculous. vaginal hats and flowing gowns?? basically, if you want to give up an hour of your life for listening to unconvincing new age/ pop-psych supposition, watch this doc. the mercedes "gunsight/propeller" logo has that inverted "y" to symbolize the 3 areas their motors found popularity, land, sea, and air. those "piscean arches" in the cathedral are called "vaulting", and are more about support of heavy loads by a column, than some vaginal/ zodiacal symbology. i did take note of their avoidance of mentioning the exact same shape is used for minarets in mosques (fear of fatwah?). all in all, lots of supposition and conjecture from folks id expect to see in a drum circle at stonehenge, but no meat at all. some cool skateboard decks in that one coffee shop though

Fabien L'Amour
Fabien L'Amour
11 years ago

Weak documentary. The part about the Apple logo is quite ridiculous.

Frédéric Trudeau
Frédéric Trudeau
11 years ago

Anyone with a minimum of rational thinking would dismiss most, if not all, that is depicted in this weak, sad and laughable documentary.

Timothy
Timothy
11 years ago

interesting in the beginning but then halfway through it's just a group of people talking about subconscious vaginas, mysticism and mind rape at a pub or a coffee shop.

leonardobdas
leonardobdas
11 years ago

wow. ahahaha. amazing! judgmental. dumb. sincerely sad documentary. essentially a stealth pro christianity argument, seeking correlation to determine causation in pretty much all of modern culture, demonizing ancient cultures and niche esoteric thinking in favor of their own. oh my.

honestly: people can't be scientists and are so jealous they believe in this s***.

Brands are simple: the bottom line is what matters, and companies just try to stand out against a crowded market. meaning is elaborated overtime.