Toyota logo

Toyota logo
The Toyota logo is well known far beyond Japan. Its exceptional conciseness (in fact, the logo consists of three ovals) contributes to the appearance of dozens of explanations of symbolic and semantic content.
Toyota logo

Meaning and history

Toyota logo history
 
Not many people know, that one of the most famous Japanese automakers was established as Toyoda, the company, specialized in the production of textiles and loom. The company got its name after its founder, Kiichiro Toyoda, and was changed to Toyota in the 1940s when decided to expand on the European and American markets.
The Japanese carmaker pays a lot of attention to symbolism and hidden meanings, and it all can be seen in their current logo, created in the 1980s. This elegant and smooth emblem has several interpretations, including the hearts of the company and its customers; the whole world around the brand; and, of course, stylized letters of the company’s name.
Before the creation of the iconic oval logo, Toyota has undergone four redesigns, trying to find a perfect graphical representation of its core values and character.

1935 — 1949

The very first logo for Toyoda company was designed in the 1930s and featured a red and white diamond shape with the inscription in the middle. The lettering was executed in a bold and smooth same-serif typeface, which perfectly reflected the power and professionalism of the brand. As for the diamond shape, it is a symbol of excellence and symmetry, two things, which are very important for the company.
The red and white color palette stands for passion, love, and energy. These two colors have become a signature for the brand along with monochrome, which appeared on the Toyota logo only in the 1950s.

1949 — 1989

In 1949 the Japanese version was created. For the first ten years it was the only official logo, but in 1958 the new one, international version, was designed. Yet the Asian edition was used by the company until 1989.
It was a bold red circle with a white outline and white hieroglyphs, standing for “Toyota”. Simple, delicate, yet very traditional and modern at the same time. The red circle is a symbol, associated with Japan like nothing else.

1958 — 1969

The first logotype for the American market was designed in 1958. It was a simple and strict black-on-white inscription in all capitals. The lettering was executed in a bold serif typeface, the one, that is very similar to Times Nee Roman and Nimbus Roman Japanese Bold. With clean yet elegant lines, perfectly characterizing the brand.

1969 — 1978

The style of the wordmark was changed to sans-serif in 1969. The name of the company was written in black using the custom typeface, similar to Hypersans Heavy, but slightly narrowed.
By simplifying the lines of the logo, the brand made itself look more modern and progressive.
Toyota logo

1978 — Today

The color palette was switched back to red and white in 1978. The logotype, that is still in use today, features bolder and more balanced lines than the previous version. Tails and bars of the letters are slightly shortened and look more confident. The new inscription is executed in a sans-serif typeface, which is close to Sole Sans Extended Semi Bold.
Though red is the main corporate color for Toyota, today the logotype can be seen in monochrome and gray palette, along with the traditional red-on-white.

1989 — Today

The iconic oval emblem was designed in 1989 and hasn’t been changed since then. The Toyota insignia is composed of one main horizontally placed oval, which has two overlapping ovals of a smaller size inside.
As already mentioned, the ovals have several meanings, but the most interesting one is that they form every letter of the company’s name, though the most obvious ones are “T” and “O”.
It is a perfect representation of one of the most influential automobile brands in the world, which is elegant, timeless, and futuristic at the same time.

Symbol

Symbol Toyota
The symbolism of the Toyota logo for clients from the East is different than for the clients from the West. So, for Japanese and residents of neighboring countries with Japan, the smaller oval is meant to symbolize the client’s heart, the second is the heart of the Toyota car, and the biggest are the limitless possibilities offered by the brand for both hearts. By the way, mutual intersections of lines also have their significance, symbolizing strong and mutually beneficial relations between the enterprise and the client.

Emblem

Emblem Toyota
The emblem of Toyota experienced a number of transformations through history, during which it acquired volume and slightly changed in size. However, major changes were avoided (exceptions were the color changes that led the logo to the current monochromy). Of course, we are talking about the current logo (the very first company logo was a hieroglyphic sign, too complicated and absolutely meaningless for the Western consumer). But the new, selected from more than 46 thousand options (the company in 1936 announced a contest for the best logo), is equally well read by both Western and Eastern consumers. For the Western – it easily reads the capital letter “T”, for the eastern – the philosophy of the logo and the entire brand is complex enough to cause respect.

Font

Font Toyota logo
The Toyota font was developed taking into account, first of all, access to the international market. Proceeding from these plans (more than ambitious for the Japanese enterprise of the first third of the twentieth century), the font had to correspond to the restraint of the expectations of Western civilization, and at the same time to be perceived as sufficiently reliable and authoritative.

Color

Color Toyota logo
The current color of the logo is silver metallic. However, it was not always so. So, in different periods of its history the logo was used even in the corporate red color of Toyota. And all because the changes, as they say in the company itself, are necessary to maintain interest in the brand, but the logo is good enough to change it substantially. In addition, the current logo is a kind of person of the company, a mirror of its unblemished reputation, and to preserve this mirror in this form is of interest of both the manufacturer and his customers.