Creative Bloq is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s why you can trust us
So you're telling me it's not just a spiky 'B'?
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.
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).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:
got bluetooth ?then you got the viking kings name of Denmark in your pocket.Bluetooth logo is made from 2 rune letters. H & B.for the Danish Viking King.Harald Bluetooth. from whom i descent myself.January 27, 2022
I always think that Bluetooth is spelled, like, BluTooth, because I thought it was some tech-company coinage, but apparently it's named after 10th-century Danish King Harald Bluetooth and the logo is not just a stylized B, it's a combination of the runes ᚼ and ᛒ, his initials.February 6, 2021
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.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
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).
Sign up below to get the latest from Creative Bloq, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to Creative Bloq. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Creative Bloq is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site (opens in new tab).
© Future Publishing Limited Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All rights reserved. England and Wales company registration number 2008885.