Czech manufacturer Tatra owns one of the oldest car factories in the world. The company was founded in June 1850 but received its current name only in 1921, after it released a truck under the Tatra brand. Before that, she was often renamed: she managed to visit Schustala & Company, Nesselsdorfer-Wagenbau-Fabriks Gesellschaft and Kopřivnická vozovka. The product range has also been constantly changing. It all started with chariots and carriages, then railroad cars, cars, and freight transport were added.
Meaning and History
Their unusual construction and futuristic design always have distinguished Tatra cars. They began production in the early 1920s when the “Kopřivnická vozovka” company was named Tatra in honor of the highest mountain in Czechoslovakia. Even then, the technique was decorated with the famous round logo with an inscription inside, but its base was black.
Another rebranding took place in 1936. The automaker was bought and renamed Ringhoffer-Tatra. At that time, the badge on the cars changed: it acquired a red ring-frame with the word “RINGHOFFER” divided into letters. After 1938, the German invaders took over the company, and for several years it provided the enemy army with military vehicles. The cars were so bad that many German officers died while driving, losing control. The machines were jokingly called the secret weapons of the Czech Republic.
In 1945 the plant was nationalized. This did not stop the designers from continuing to experiment with the emblems. For example, in 1947, the Tatraplan model appeared, adorned with a round red badge that contained a white TATRA lettering with shortened T tops. But the Tatra T2-603 (until 1975) had a symbol inside a black rhombus with wings and was supplemented with the phrase “MADE IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA.” These machines were intended only for the leaders of the Communist Party.
The company changed logos very often but always adhered to the classic structure. She made sure to use her name and place it against the background of simple geometric shapes. An exception was the second half of the 20th century, when the inscription was without frames.
1897 – 1920
The emblem has a diamond shape with rounded corners. In the center is an elongated “T.” She stands upright, in contrast to the “TA” and “RA,” which tilt to the right and left of her. The font is uneven and sharp-angled. The base is lined with thin horizontal black and white stripes.
1920 – 1936
The radiator badge is covered with red enamel and looks like a droplet directed with a narrow side down. In the upper part, there is a circle with the word “TATRA.” The letters fill the space allotted for them. The horizontal strokes of both “T” s are curved in a circle.
1936 – 1950
The red circle with the traditional “TATRA” lettering has been added with a wing. The new element is attached to the logo on the upper left side and contains four “feathers” of different lengths. The brand name is placed in a red ring.
1950 – 1989
The word “TATRA” turned black and lost its circle. The letters are connected at the bottom by thin horizontal lines. The font is stylized, bold, with a very contrasting thickness of strokes. The “R” has no in-letter gap, and both “A” has no crossbars.
1989 – 1999
The classic design has returned: a red circle with white lettering in the same white ring. The word no longer takes up all the free space, so there is a lot of space around the edges. But above and below, the letters are curved in a circle. The horizontal “T” lines have been shortened.
1999 – today
To modernize the logo, the designers made it three-dimensional and placed it in a shiny silver ring. They achieved a 3D effect using a gradient that diverges from the lighter center to the darker edges.
Font and Colors of the Emblem
The current emblem is one of the main historical legacies of Tatra. Its foundation was laid back in the early 1920s when the company was renamed and produced the first cars with round badges on the radiator grilles. Realizing the value of the original design, the brand owners tried to preserve it, so it has survived to this day almost unchanged. The modern version differs only in stylish 3D design.
The letters have an unusual shape because they are adapted to the borders of the circle. All lines are of approximately the same thickness. Due to the deformation, the font is difficult to identify, although it is grotesque.
The latest redesign brings changes to the color scheme. The red base is preserved, but it has become brighter and has acquired a gradient. The inscription remains white as before. And the circle turned out to be inside a silver ring, which outwardly resembles a shiny chrome-plated metal.