We love finding secret treats hidden inside logo designs. Messages and likenesses that take a while to discover can add an extra layer of depth and meaning to a logo, making it all the more memorable once you realised they're there. Of course, this is when the logo has been designed that way on purpose, but sometimes logos have completely unintended resemblances that have nothing to do with the brand they represent. And none has set the internet alight in recent years quite like the Tesla logo.
At first glance, the Tesla logo simply looks like the company's idea of a futuristic-looking "T", but almost twenty years after its creation, barely a day goes by without someone tweeting that they've just noticed something very different, and once it's been pointed out, it's impossible to unsee (for more unintentional shapes in logos, see our selection of the biggest design fails you can learn from, and see our guide to logo design to avoid similar pitfalls yourself).
So what is it that's still causing such incredulity online? Well, despite the fact that the RO Studio-designed logo's been with us since 2003, several times a day we see tweets along the lines of "Is it just me or does the Tesla symbol look like an IUD?" Yes, day after day, it's still dawning on people that the logo of one of the world's biggest tech companies looks like a contraceptive device.
"I can't be the only one who thinks that the Tesla logo is shaped like an IUD," @Zeusof0lympus tweeted earlier this month, and no; he isn't the only one. "Did I miss the discussion of how (and why, for that matter) the Tesla logo looks like an IUD??," asked another tweet. Yup, and so did a lot of other people it seems.
Anyone else see this?@Tesla #tesla #iud #haha pic.twitter.com/yPegsWNLSBDecember 11, 2021
Yes, we do see it; in fact, it's now permanently burned onto our retinas. Tesla's known for its Easter Eggs but this is one that it definitely didn't intend to lay. It's been suggested the unintentional likeness could only possibly have passed approval because of a lack of women in the design process, and it serves as a good reminder of why it's important to run your logo by as many eyes as possible. Medusa sans Frontières tweeted earlier in the year "it's how you know no-one on the design team had a uterus", and that's a suggestion that's still being made now.
Is now the time to say the thing out loud that all women have been thinking: the Tesla logo looks like an IUD. Get more women on your marketing team. 😆 (Also do not like this decision. Obviously. 🙄) https://t.co/dz2gUzCJoHDecember 14, 2021
We'd go as far as to say that the logo's resemblance to a birth control device is actually much clearer than what Tesla was actually going for with the design. Elon Musk tried to clear up any confusion himself as far back as 2017 with a tweet in which he explained that the T shape represents a cross-section of the Tesla engine. But we're sorry, Elon; the internet's not accepting that. The logo will forever be an IUD.
Similar to SpaceX, the T is like a cross section of an electric motor, just as the X is like a rocket trajectoryJanuary 19, 2017
The logo is just one of the controversies that have continued to follow Tesla over the past year. We've also seen the launch of the company's completely unnecessary Cyberquad with its equally bizarre typeface, and then the even stranger design decision to incorporate a gaming system into the Tesla's dashboard. Drive safely, guys! Anyway, for more logo inspiration, see our selection of logos with hidden meanings (intentional ones), and to get creating your own designs, see the best prices on Adobe's Creative Cloud software below.