App icons with hidden messages

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April 17, 2013
App icons with hidden messages.

I was having a chat with a friend of mine recently and somehow we got onto the subject of hidden messages in Apple icons. Admittedly it’s not something I’d thought too much about prior to this conversation and the only example I could recall was the Here’s to the crazy ones…” quote on the TextEdit icon. However, a quick search online revealed that there is in fact quite a few.

This got me thinking, if Apple have hidden messages in their icons, how many other companies have followed suit?

My curiosity lead to doing a bit of research and sure enough I found some real gems. Below is a compilation of the best that I found.

Camera+ by tap tap tap

The name of the app (Camera+) and the name of it’s creators (tap tap tap) is included on the lens. This has also been done on a lot of other camera app icons, but I still think it’s a nice touch.


Syncspace by Infinite Kind Limited

The inscription on the side of the pencil features the name of the app (Syncspace) and the phrase Made in Scotland” as that’s where the founder of Infinite Kind, the company that created the app, is based.


App Cooker by Hot Apps Factory

Another inscription-on-a-pencil here and this one features the message Start creating awesome Apps”. It’s simple, but that is how the app is intended to be used.

App Cooker

The Early Edition 2 by Glasshouse Apps

Look closely at the text on the newspaper and you will see that it’s actually the quote from Apple’s Here’s to the crazy ones” campaign.

The Early Edition 2

MoneyWiz — Personal Finance by SilverWiz

One of my personal favourites. The coin features a quote from Bob Marley – money can’t buy you life”. A subtle reminder that money isn’t everything, made even cooler by the fact that the icon is for a finance app.

MoneyWiz - Personal Finance

My Travel Bag by Rimbird

Check out the passport and you’ll notice that the country of origin says Neverland, which of course is best known for being inhabited by characters such as Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys.

My Travel Bag

Turntable​.fm by Stickybits, inc.

Take a closer look at the vinyl label and you’ll see the message Bi3b3r Forever”. I got in touch with the founder of Turntable, Billy Chasen, to find out more and he told me that Bieber is actually embedded into a lot of Turntable’s stuff, you just have to look for it. As for the reason why, apparently it goes back to a story from they first started developing the product. Unfortunately, it’s not a story told to outsiders, so for now we can only speculate.

Evernote Hello by Evernote

See the address in the bottom right hand corner? Type it into Google Maps and check out where it takes you – it’s what now appears to be an old Evernote office.

Evernote Hello

Have you spotted any hidden messages in app icons recently? Let us know in the comments below.

Sam Jones

Sam Jones is a Freelance Designer whose work spans multiple disciplines such as brand identity, design for print, web design and illustration. As well as being the owner of one man design studio, Sivioco, he’s also an advisor for Mostash. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @Sivioco.

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