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Every logo should have a subliminal message, a subtle association, something that would explain what the business is about. But how many hidden meanings could be in a logotype? My friend, graphic designer, told me that two hidden meanings are enough as it will get too complicated and the audience won't get it.

For example, Unilever logo is very complicated.

Unilever logo

But this logo clearly states that business is about diamonds and has only one association - shape of a diamond. Therefore it's easy to understand it.

Full design project is here: https://www.behance.net/gallery/16581451/ADAMAS

enter image description here

Here is another example where designer shows the meaning of his logo. Here I'm particularly questioning his decision to use circle as a representation of: 1) love towards football and 2) love towards design.

Shouldn't that circle be representing only one thing?

Here is the full project for the reference: https://www.behance.net/gallery/40840727/Personal-Branding-Logo

logo explanation

closed as primarily opinion-based by Zach Saucier, Cai, Westside, Manly, Vincent Jan 13 '17 at 10:54

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Ok. Then this will easier to swallow. This question is utterly subjective, and completely up to the designer, and the client's desires and intentions in visual communication. There's no right or wrong. Read this: gawker.com/5070093/… – Confused Jan 8 '17 at 11:58
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    @Confused , for example in UI design icon should express only one thing so the user will know what he is clicking and what happens next (because uncertainty and double meaning confuse users and may lead to results unexpected for them). I thought that would be logical with logo design as well. – Peter Jan 8 '17 at 12:19
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    Further, I'm not sure where you're getting this rule from: " every logo should have a subliminal message, a subtle association, something that would explain what the business is about". Relax this rule, and work to the innate nature of the brand and its intentions, desires, objectives, realities and practicalities, and you'll inherently find what can and can't be said in symbolism and iconography both representative and communicative, and "cool". – Confused Jan 8 '17 at 12:29
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    The Nike Swoosh was famously created for about $35, I think. And just picked as "good enough", without any thought about its profundity, subliminal content, or otherwise. Coca-Cola's name and logo was drawn as is, in that cursive script, because the two cc's were thought to look good together, by an ACCOUNTANT! – Confused Jan 8 '17 at 12:34
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    I feel like the answer to this question ought to be 42. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Jan 8 '17 at 14:02
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Often times the best logos contain a metaphor for the purpose of a company. Think yelps pie piece or FedEx's arrow. It's very challenging for a designer to come up with a visual metaphor and incorporate it into a logo. Logos have several other important requirements that must also be met: look, feel, legibility concise, small etc.

Finding and incorporating symbols that work metaphorically is an important goal in logo design, but not a necessary one. The majority of logos, brands, icons, monograms and letter types used to identify a product or company do not contain any symbolic meaning. But the best ones do.

I'm not sure any of the metaphors were meant to be subliminal. They're just incorporated subtly. A far as the super subtle meaning taken from common elements, like the person that drew three meanings from a circle outline, we get those for free by using such elements.

I read an analysis of the Firefox logo where they explained the feeling and emotion the different textures and shapes are supposed to evoke, so there is a rich world of meaning that can be communicated with shape, texture and color, but that's a little over my head.

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