The Oreo Cookie’s Emboss: A Design Shrouded in Mystery

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Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

How many times have you looked at an Oreo and asked the question, “Who made that Oreo emboss?” Probably never, but we are now closer to an answer.

After the National Biscuit Company introduced the Oreo in 1912, its face underwent a few rounds of adjustments (one version had two pairs of turtledoves) before today’s design was finalized in 1952.

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Many Internet resources have credited William Turnier as the man behind the contemporary design, but Nabisco could confirm only that a man by that name worked for the company during that time as a “design engineer.” Alas, the certain identity of the designer who made the iconic emboss remains unknown.

But if you are craving more information, have no fear. We also know more about what the design actually means. The circle topped with a two-bar cross in which the word “OREO” resides, reports the Atlantic, is a variant of the Nabisco logo, and is either “an early European symbol for quality” or a Cross of Lorraine, as carried by the Knights Templar into the Crusades. The Oreo’s a dot with four triangles radiating outward either resumbles a four-leaf-clover or the cross pattée, also associated with the Knights Templar, as well as with the German military and today’s Freemasons.

Never again will you overlook that very special design while eating an Oreo.

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