CarMax Logo

CarMax Logo
CarMax Logo PNG

CarMax was originally a project of the executives at the helm of Circuit City. And its concept, known as “Honest Rick’s Used Cars,” was suggested by one of its consultants, who evaluated possible ways to develop business outside the usual market. It took almost all of 1991 to detail the idea. And finally, in 1993, the world saw the first CarMax store, where anyone could buy a used car. The retail chain officially separated from Circuit City in 2002.

Meaning and History

CarMax Logo History
Evolution of the CarMax Logo

What is CarMax?

CarMax is a chain of retail stores that sells many different models of used cars. It has a total of more than two hundred dealerships located in 41 U.S. states. The first was opened in Richmond in 1993, where the company is now headquartered.

The marketing agency DeVito/Verdi was responsible for the initial brand image before opening the debut dealership. However, even without advertising, the name CarMax speaks for itself: “Max” as a part of the trademark indicates the superiority of all products and services that the company provides. It indicates that this is the most modern and the best place where cars are sold.

At the same time, the sales network’s business model is built on a desire to please customers. Each car has a fixed price, so no one has to haggle or worry that an experienced salesperson might deliberately inflate the price in their favor. In addition, buyers get all the information about the history and current condition of the car for free. No wonder the company made the Fortune 500 and then the Fortune 100 20 years after it was founded.

CarMax Symbol

The dealership chain has shown itself to be a fighter against convention and, as a result, has become the largest used car dealer in the United States. A typical CarMax store has 50 to 150 employees and 200 to 400 vehicles on display. And the company logo is all over the place: it adorns the signs above the entrance and the blue shirts of the salesmen. Structurally, it’s a simple wordmark, complete with a dashed line. The latter contains five broad strips of yellow, four of which are under the “max,” and the fifth extends beyond the inscription.

It is also noteworthy that the brand name consists of upper and lower case letters of the same size. The discrepancy is noticeable in the “m” and the “a” that follows it: they differ from the capital letters in grapheme but are the same size. Both the yellow underline and the change of case are used for one purpose: to visually separate “Car” from “Max” so that both parts of the word do not merge and are easy to read.

The most striking element of the logo is the dashed line. It visually distinguishes the “Car” and “Max” and symbolizes the markings on the road – the very same dividing line applied to the middle of the roadway. As a rule, long yellow dashed lines on the highway indicate places where vehicle parking is prohibited. The emblem says: buy a car and leave, without delaying in the store. And the “CARmax” inscription above the dashed line is the very embodiment of a car because it looks as if it is driving on the road with a marking. The shift of strokes to the right represents dynamics, development, and aspiration forward.

Font and Colors of the Emblem

CarMax Emblem

The brand name is written in upper and lower case letters did not affect their size: they all have the same height and width, regardless of case. At the same time, the space between them is so narrow that the neighboring “a” and “x” touch at the lowest point. A standard sans bold serif font, very similar to Adobe’s Acumin Pro Semi Condensed Ultra Black, is used for the lettering.

The design could be described as simple if it weren’t for the colorful palette. The word “CARmax” is painted in a dark blue color close to shade #013567. On the other hand, the dashed line is entirely yellow (#FFD701). This combination makes the logo memorable due to the contrast, especially against the white background.