Friday, October 28, 2011

Hidden in the FedEx logo

So yesterday I wrote something that was kind of heavy, and I figured it was worthwhile to try something lighter.

The FedEx logo contains within it hidden messages. If by “messages” I mean "message" singular, and by “hidden” I mean a matter of public knowledge and record. Specifically there is an arrow there in the white space. This was not an accident, the person who made the logo did it intentionally.

The idea of the arrow has become a metaphor for some very heady stuff, but I said I was going for light and I meant it. I want to talk about the logo itself. No metaphors. Here is the logo:

First off, the logo is done exactly the same way no matter which side of a FedEx truck you happen to be looking at. Which means that sometimes, as on the day when I started thinking about this most recently, the arrow is pointing backwards. Don't know what the symbolism of that is exactly. Also, if you happen to be looking at the front of the truck* then the arrow is pointing into oncoming traffic. Again, not quite sure of what the symbolism there is supposed to be.

Of course the reason for this isn't that they set out to have arrows pointing backwards and/or into oncoming traffic. Instead they had an arrow that, like the Republican party, always moves to the right. That means that if you put it on all sides of your truck sometimes it will seem to be indicating retrograde motion, or a head on collision, or a tailspin as the case may be. Only on one side can it be pointing forward.

That's actually not what I really want to talk about either. Instead I want to talk about one of the other arrows in the logo. No, not the leftward pointing one that looks like a ground down harpoon. The other right pointing one. You know the one (time for pretty pictures) it's formed by the f and the e:

The first thing that you see is that this is an incomplete arrow. We've basically only got the bottom half of the outline. If we flip it then we see the arrow in it's totality.

At this point some people will say that I cheated. I'm not sure if any of those people are here, but I have read people say that in the past. They didn't say it to me, I'm hardly the first person to bring up this particular arrow.

Anyway, the argument isn't without basis. If you look at the images above you'll see that the 'tail' of the arrow gets smaller when I convert to a complete arrow because I'm not flipping around the center of the tail. Does that make it cheating? Who cares?

The important question is what happens if we flip around the center of the tail. This does:

As certain individuals point out. The arrow isn't closed. This is because it isn't an arrow. So what is it? To answer that question we have to flip again:

Now the figure is completely defined, but there's a lot of junk surrounding it, so I'll simplify to this:

And that's a shape that's clear as day. It's the five fingered hand of Eris. Like the arrow into oncoming traffic and the backward facing arrow, I have no idea what the significance of this is meant to be, but there it is, unmissable, the mark of the goddess, hidden in the Fed Ex logo.

Like I said, something lighter for today.


* Somebody somewhere is going to have to explain to me the wisdom of putting a logo on the front of your truck. I'm not sure I'd want oncoming drivers to be trying to read writing on my hood.

[Note well that I do not own the FedEx logo.]


  1. All hail Discordia!

    Some trucks in the UK have the company logo reversed on the front, so that it can be read in a rear-view mirror. About 10% of people find this very distracting, because it looks wrong as one glances at the mirror...

    Actually, as far as messages in logos go, I always found the National Express logo a bit un-subtle. This is a long-distance bus company in the UK, which for a few years until 2007 had this logo:
    Small red circle to large blue circle... to me, that says "invasion from Mars".

  2. Maybe I need a logo. If I were going to embed a subliminal message in my logo what would it be? Existential question.

  3. The stuff missing from the RSS feed showed up. Thought I'd let you know.

  4. Thats not where the arrow even is... the arrows between the e and the x. Nobody even sees that one.