Toyota is an automobile company from Japan that manufactures commercial, freight, and passenger vehicles. Unofficially, it appeared in 1929 when Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, a loom manufacturing company, opened a car manufacturing division. It was not until 1937 that Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. became an independent enterprise.
Meaning and History
What is Toyota?
Toyota is the flagship brand of Toyota Motor Corporation, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer. The company was founded in Japan in 1937, and now it is a part of the Toyota Group conglomerate. Its product line includes crossovers, SUVs, pickup trucks, buses, and luxury cars. The most famous models are hybrid electric cars.
The famous Toyota logo, consisting of three ovals, appeared in 1989. Before that, verbal trademarks were used that allowed to identify the brand.
1935 – 1949
At the very beginning, the company was called Toyoda after Sakichi Toyoda. This word has become the central element of the logo. It was depicted inside a rectangle with cut corners, which, in turn, was in the middle of the octagon. To make the inscription readable, the designers chose sans serif bold and used red Latin letters. The debut emblem is found on the company’s early cars.
1949 – 1989
The manufacturer held an open competition for the best logo design. The winning version contained Japanese characters denoting Sakichi Toyoda. They were located on the background of a red circle with a double contour.
It was then that the company changed its name to Toyota. Its owners felt that the dull consonant “t” sounds better than the voiced “d.” Also, the word “Toyota,” written by katakana, consists of eight traits (the so-called Jikaku), and figure eight in Japan is considered a lucky number. Another reason for rebranding is the expansion of a small company to the size of a corporate enterprise.
1958 – 1969
In 1958, the developers removed geometric shapes from the emblem and made the inscription in English. The result was a concise trademark: the black word “Toyota” on a white background. Strokes of letters of uneven thickness. At the ends – narrow long serifs.
1969 – 1978
The new logo is not much different from the previous one. Designers changed the font, preferring the classic Helvetica. It is characterized by straight lines, clear geometric shapes, and the absence of serifs. At the same time, the printed characters in the word are so close that the “Y” literally rests on two “O” on the sides.
1978 – today
In 1978, the inscription became more readable due to the increased letter spacing. Red replaced black.
1989 – today
In the late 1980s, the company has a logo with a corporate symbol in the form of three ovals. It was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Toyota, but brand managers began to develop it five years before the anniversary date. In 2004, designers modernized the image by introducing ovals in a silver-metal version. To achieve a 3D effect, they are used shadows, highlights, outlines, and a gradient.
The trademark became so famous that it was stolen by the private automobile manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. In 2003, she used the so-called “Merry logo,” which looked like a registered trademark of Toyota. But the court decided differently and did not see signs of unfair competition in what was happening. The case was closed at the end of 2003. Geely changed the corporate symbol but did not recognize the obvious similarity.
2020 – present
What is the hidden meaning of the Toyota logo?
Toyota puts a hidden meaning in its logo. According to the official version, the big oval symbolizes the company’s living space, while the empty spaces inside it represent its core values such as responsibility, quality, and innovation. The perpendicular ellipses are shaped like a steering wheel, but in fact, they represent the heart of Toyota and the heart of the customer. Their interconnection shows trust.
This is a flat 2D version. The name of the car company has been abolished – only a graphic sign has been used. The brand name is encrypted in three ovals of different sizes. Geometric shapes are arranged so that all letters are visible in them. The small horizontal and vertical ovals form a “T.” They also have a distinct “Y.” There is also an “A” with a crossbar in the middle. Both “O” is read in all ovals. The red square and the textual designation of the trademark are absent because the developers focused on monochrome, leaving the combination of black and white. The first is the Toyota logo; the second is the background.
Font and Color of the Emblem
What does the Toyota symbol mean?
The brand name is encrypted in three different-sized ovals. But this is not the only meaning of the symbol. The two inner ellipses represent the intersection of hearts, one belonging to Toyota and the other to the company’s customer. Their connection points represent trust. At the same time, the perpendicular figures look like the steering wheel of a car.
Why is the Toyota logo the way it is?
The current Toyota symbol used to be part of a logo created in 1989 to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary. Designers removed the name of the brand, leaving only one graphic element. Perhaps the automaker thought that this sign was popular enough and didn’t need a signature anymore.
What letters are hidden in the Toyota logo?
The most obvious letter hidden in the Toyota logo is a capital “T.” Two intersecting ellipses form it. “O” is also easy to recognize: a vertical circle denotes it. The “Y” has a common base with the “T” and differs from it only in the “horns” protruding upward. The sides of the vertical ellipse together with the horizontal line connecting them represent “A.”
The emblem contains three ovals, which are located symmetrically. Two small perpendicular ellipses symbolize the heart of Toyota and the heart of the customer. The points of their intersection are trust and mutually beneficial cooperation. The connected geometric shapes are similar to “T,” the first letter in the manufacturer’s name. And they also depict the steering wheel of a car.
The large oval denotes the living space that Toyota spans. The void left and right of “T” represents the core brand values: honesty, innovation, quality, and responsibility. The uneven thickness of the lines is a hint of Japanese brush art.
The famous logo first appeared on the luxury Celsior sedan. Then he “migrated” to the rest of the cars, sitting on the back of the trunk. But the front panel is also not empty: each model has its distinctive sign on it. For example, Lexus has the letter “L” placed in a circle.
During the period when Toyoda changed its name to Toyota, the company management revised its spelling. The debut version uses a classic serif typeface. Since 1969, a sleek sans serif font from the Sans Serif series has been used in the most simple design. Minimalism is also emphasized in the color, where red is predominant. But it was used only at the beginning and now, and the rest of the time the logo was black.