KTM is the largest motorcycle brand founded in 1934. It started as a small metal workshop, which gradually developed into a transportation giant under the founder Hans Trunkenpolz. The company switched to the production of motorcycles and supercars in 1954. Today it owns several subsidiaries, and its main sites and headquarters are located in Mattighofen (Austria).
Meaning and History
The emblem of the automobile and motorcycle company was developed in 1953, simultaneously expanding the range. The trademark is based on the company’s abbreviated name – KTM, from the German Kraftfahrzeuge Trunkenpolz Mattighofen (Kronreif Trunkenpolz Mattighofen). From the moment of its appearance to the present day, it has changed nine times but always represented the abbreviation.
1953 – 1954
The debut logo consisted of a tiger passing through a ring with the letters “KTM.” Although this option was not officially approved, it played a significant role in the company’s history emblems. It explained how the abbreviation and the circle relate in other versions. The fact is that a ring is a polysemantic symbol that denotes an internal part, a wheel, and movement. And the tiger symbolizes power and energy.
1954 – 1958
The official logo was approved in the year the workshop was relaunched as a large company. The brand name features an orange oval with a navy blue lettering in the middle and a semicircle to indicate a sharp turn.
1958 – 1962
In 1958, designers proposed another option – a minimalistic one. It has only black letters on a white background, surrounded by a thin dark line. The abbreviation is slightly italic, oblique, but the writing style is strict, geometric, with a high “T” protruding. This version served as a model for all subsequent changes in the visual brand identity.
1962 – 1978
The color appeared in the emblem of that period. Moreover, these are new colors that were not on the first logos: a combination of blue and white. The oval shape of the sign has remained unchanged, but the letters have been corrected. They are now thicker, clearer, and connected at the bottom.
1978 – 1989
In 1978, a small redesign was undertaken. As a result, a squat inscription appeared in the emblem on a dark blue background – in an elongated oval with double edging. In style, this option looks stricter than the previous ones.
1989 – 1992
1989 brought a dramatic change. The developers removed the frame and oval, leaving the abbreviation open. The letters are now blue, the “T” head is elongated and covers the adjacent “K” and “M” to the middle. The slogan “Fun in Motion,” written in red, appeared under the company’s name. There is a graphic sign in the form of a semicircle, lined with many thin blue-red stripes to the left of the abbreviation.
The emblem was a half circle cut into many thin lines and was two-colored, reflecting the lettering style with a blue top and red bottom.
1992 – 1996
The changes affected only the motto: it was replaced by the word “Motorcycles.” This was done to indicate the product range to be produced.
1996 – 1999
In 1996, the brand received a logo in its debut color – orange. Also, this version has become minimalistic again because the slogan and graphic sign have disappeared from it. It’s now a simple acronym on a white background. As conceived by the designers, it expresses the energy and dynamism of the manufacturer.
1999 – 2003
Another color change took place: now the letters are black. And orange moved to the bottom, which consists of the word “Sportmotorcycles.”
2003 – today
The current logo is an identical repetition of the previous one but without additional inscriptions.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The basic element of a brand’s visual identity is lettering, so little graphics have been used. It represents an oval or semicircle, depending on the year the logo appeared.
In all versions, except for the first two, the inscriptions are made in a strict individual font – uppercase letters, smooth, sans serif, with sharp corners. The emblems reflect the company’s corporate colors: orange, blue, black, red, and white.