Subliminal Messages in Design (and Advertising)

by selinamkhounlo

Toblerone with a bear hidden in the image logo. Photo format is png

Toblerone with a bear hidden in the image logo. Photo format is png

There are all sorts of hidden messages in art nowadays, even dating back to Renaissance art. And with graphic design being closely related to the world of advertisement, it’s common to see many subliminal meanings and messages within a marketing design. So why do designers and advertisers like to slip in these hidden messages? Here are some examples why:

Symbology – The use of hidden/subliminal messages can be used to represent the idea of what the whole design without being flat out clear in saying it.

Two wine glasses hidden within the logo. Format is gif because of flat color

Two wine glasses hidden within the logo. Format is gif because of flat color

Rebellion – There are a lot of stories of designers who were fired from their jobs, but were under contract to finish their work even if they were let go. So it was said that these designers would rebel back to their former employer(s) and would hide unrelated and quite crude messages within the design. A lot of would include messages about sex and other explicit content.

Example of a crude, rebellious type of subliminal messaging in advertisments. Photo format is jpeg

Example of a crude, rebellious type of subliminal messaging in advertisments. Photo format is jpeg

Money – Hey, advertisements and marketing lives to make a profit. So it’s not so surprising to see hidden messages that indicate signs of money or fortune.

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