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
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 – present
In 1978, the inscription became more readable due to the increased letter spacing. Red replaced black.
1989 – present
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.
Font and Color of the Emblem
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.