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I never knew the Bluetooth logo has a secret message

Bluetooth logo
Bluetooth logo (Image credit: iPhone Hacks)

It's one of those logos you see pretty much every day, and it's just a pointy 'B', right? Unsurprisingly, we rarely stop to ponder the design for everyone's favourite wireless technology standard. But 20 years on from its first appearance, the internet is only just discovering the fascinating story behind Bluetooth's logo (and name).

According to one of the engineers behind the development of the technology, the name Bluetooth comes from a Viking-era king famous for having a troublesome tooth. And not only that, but like many of the best logos of all time, the icon itself is also hiding a secret. 

The Bluetooth logo actually contains two letters (Image credit: iPhone Hacks)

According to France24, engineers Sven Mattisson and Jim Kardach were working on the tech in the 1990s and realised it needed a catchy name to make it stand out from the confusing variety of wireless tech being developed concurrently. The two men "talked at length" about Vikings, including the king of Denmark, Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson – a name said to refer to his dead tooth. 

The king is most famous for uniting Norway and Denmark, a parallel which delighted Mattisson and Kardach who were "seeking to unite the PC and cellular industries with a short-range wireless link" (exactly the same as uniting two warring nations).

It turns out the logo design actually contains two letters. What you're looking at is a superimposition of the Nordic runes for the letters H and B (below), for 'Harald Bluetooth' (below).

Bluetooth logo

H + B = Bluetooth (Image credit: Fabrik Brands)

And it seems Twitter is delighted by the revelation, with many users declaring themselves to have been 'today years old' when they discovered Bluetooth's Nordic roots:

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We love a good old hidden logo message – and from Gillette to Walmart, we've seen plenty of them lately. And if you fancy putting Bluetooth to good use, our list of the best wireless headphones is here to help you channel your inner Viking king. 

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Daniel Piper
Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is Creative Bloq’s Senior News Editor. As the brand’s Apple authority, he covers all things Mac, iPhone, iPad and the rest. He also reports on the worlds of design, branding and tech. Daniel joined Future in 2020 (an eventful year, to say the least) after working in copywriting and digital marketing with brands including ITV, NBC, Channel 4 and more. Outside of Future, Daniel is a global poetry slam champion and has performed at festivals including Latitude, Bestival and more. He is the author of Arbitrary and Unnecessary: The Selected Works of Daniel Piper (Selected by Daniel Piper).