As this weekend is Halloween, it’s probably a good time to look at demons and monsters that people have seen in scary logos over the years. Like they say, the Devil is always in the details..
Was originally intending to post a follow-up to our copyright, trademark & logos feature as promised, but a few design gigs got in the way of that – Friday is generally a down day for blog traffic to boot – so I’m pushing that off until next week. Instead, and with the Halloween weekend upon us, I figured this would be a fun substitute (we gussied up our home page in a Halloween theme too.) Been working on this off and on for a while as part of our So You Think You Know Logos series, but there’s no time like the present..
Monster Energy Drink logo – bottoms up, and The Devil laughs..
Talk about hiding in plain sight. There’s the name Monster. Satan. Then the three slashes in the logo that look like Hebrew letters for 666. Satan. The energy drink’s slogan “Unleash The Beast!” Obviously Satan. There’s supposedly a cross in the Monster typography, so when you invert the can to drink it, the cross is upside down. Satan. And hidden in Monster’s ad copy is the sentiment “MILFs love it”. Young horny guys. And Satan. This is actually a thing, has been doing the rounds since at least 2009, but got a new lease in 2014 when this video of Christine Weick went viral (8 million views) and a lot of people thought she was onto something.
It gathered so much momentum that Snopes debunked it. The Monster company had to issue a statement in which they tried to deny being in league with the Devil. Which is exactly what you’d expect reps of The Dark Lord to do.
In plain sight? Not so much..
Let’s take a look at Walmart‘s pretty logo.
An asterisk and some plain Jane sans serif typography in blue. Other than the asterisk looking remarkably like a, well you know what it looks like, it’s all pretty innocuous right?
Not so fast.
The Walmart logo contains all sorts of references to the occult, but we’re gonna have to do some heavy-duty deciphering to find it. Remember when Walmart changed their logo from all caps to lower? Apparently there was a reason for that.
Let’s take the logo and turn it backwards..
Woah. But wait! There’s more. Apparently occultists not only make use of things being reversed, but reflections too. Let’s take the logo, reverse it and flip it as well. I’ll be a monkey’s Uncle..
It’s been there all the time. The two asterisks now form an (almost, well not quite) perfect representation of the Qabalistic “Tree of Life”. The inverted W’s now form a shape that’s vaguely reminiscent of an alchemy symbol (that symbol, by the way, represents “still”, so it would appear the hidden message in the Walmart logo is “everybody be chill” which is pretty solid advice if you ask me.) Anyhoo, there’s much more involving maps and Pentagrams – most of which I can’t figure out – so I’ll just drop a link to the source and let you figure it out yourself.
Alfa Romeo logo. A giant serpent eating a baby..
Their badge routinely scores “best in class” and Alfa Romeo make really nice cars, of that, there is no doubt. A lot of car companies have coats of arms for their logos and hood badges, so no big deal there either. But why is Alfa Romeo’s logo a picture of some giant dragon serpenty beast gobbling down some hapless infant? And unlike our previous examples that deal with things that probably aren’t a thing, this one very much is.
Let’s take a look at their current logo:
Yep. Big snake. Eating a baby. Still not seeing it? That’s not surprising, the company has been dialing back the obviousness of the scaly baby-devouring monster in their logo for years. To wit:
So what does it all mean? Let’s get the easy part out of the way. The left side of the badge is a cross dating back to The Crusades, a red one was the flag standard used by Milanese soldiers as they trekked to the Holy Land. FWIW, Alfa Romeos are also from Milan. The white background represents the white undergarments they wore under their armor to protect themselves from the intense heat of the Middle East. But what about the snake eating the baby?!! That is what’s known as the biscione, (left, photo by Giovanni Dall’Orto) also known as the vipera (“viper”), a heraldic charge that shows a serpent in the act of consuming a human; usually a child and sometimes described as a Moor. Yeah, the logo of Alfa Romeo is a serpent eating a baby. Or a Muslim solider. Take your pick. Alfa Romeo downplays the connection,
“At first glance, it looks like the snake is eating the human. Instead, the human is coming out of the snake a “new man,” purified and renewed. The meaning: The snake is a circular animal (a snake can assume a circular position) and is an animal of the changing – able to change his skin regularly and totally renew or rebirth himself.”
Yeah, no. A circular snake is known as a ouroboros and besides, the Alfa serpent ain’t round. It’s a giant snake.
Proctor & Gamble – the granddaddy of ’em all.
No feature on spooktacular Devil logos would be complete with a look at the most famous one of them all. The ‘man in the moon’ logo for Proctor & Gamble which started so innocently back in 1851, when the company adopted the design as their trademark. Back in those days, goods were more commonly marked with visual trademarks than with companies’ names, simply because a lot of people couldn’t read (the same rationale is behind stained glass windows in churches.) The mark featured thirteen stars – a nod to the original thirteen colonies of the USA – and the man in the moon was simply a popular decorative device of the times (later to be used extensively in black and white silent movies.) Anyhoo – here’s what the logo looked like:
But that’s not what people saw. They saw two horns (devil horns natch) and if you flipped the curlicues of the guy’s beard, you could almost make out 666 – the “number of the beast.” Further, when people played connect-the-dots with the stars, they also found three sixes (though it takes a few visual liberties to get all three,) a slam dunk on the mark’s devilishness.
The rumor began sometime in 1980 and still continues with new life on the internet today, even though the logo in question was phased out almost thirty years ago. At its height, P & G were receiving up to 15,000 phone calls a month about the issue, most of them demanding to know of the company’s connection to The Dark Lord. It’s unclear where the rumor began, but over the years Procter & Gamble has launched several lawsuits against distributors of Amway products, receiving one $19 million judgment, when a jury decided in their favor.In 1991, the company revised their Moon Man logo in an attempt to quell the conspiracies. It didn’t. In May of 1995, the company dropped the face completely for a simple italic font treatment.
Probably just as well.
Vodafone is a major European cell phone carrier. In fact, it’s only the second biggest in the World (behind China Mobile) and they changed their logo back in 2006. Before they simplified the type and glossed up the icon, their brand looked something like this:
Yeah. A blood drop. That looks like a 6. Now look at the donut holes in the two ‘O’s. Yep. Sixes. Now count them. Bonus marks for the blood drop looking just like the KKK symbol. Of course, they changed the typography PDQ, hoping that the sheeple didn’t notice.
But oh, we did. We did.
It was 77 years ago today that Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater players scared people across the USA senseless with his Halloween show War of the Worlds. The show was not planned as a radio hoax, and Welles had little idea of the havoc it would cause, but havoc it caused, with millions believing the Earth was under attack by Martians. Panic broke out across the country and in New Jersey, terrified citizens jammed highways seeking to escape the invasion. Others jammed phone lines, begging electric companies to turn off the power so that the Martians wouldn’t see their lights. One woman ran into an Indianapolis church where evening services were being held and yelled, “New York has been destroyed! It’s the end of the world! Go home and prepare to die!” (though some are now claiming this is all folklore too.)
So, what’s this got to do with logos you might ask?
Oh, nothing.. EXCEPT THIS!!!
Yeah, they thought I wouldn’t notice.
In trying to figure how these logos are alike, I was stumped. It was my wife who finally connected the dots. You know what all these logos have a common? That’s right. Designers made them – all of ’em.
Make of that what you will.
Now that Halloween is over, we’ve put our spooky home page away for another year. In case you missed it, here’s what that looked like:
Next stop, Thanksgiving!