Brand History

Are You Wondering What the Toyota Logo Means? Read On!

Are You Wondering What the Toyota Logo Means? Read On!

There are hundreds of automotive brands on the face of the planet these days. When it comes to car logos, however, only a handful of them are eye-catching and easily recognizable, and that includes the Toyota logo.

Some people say that it’s clearly a steering wheel. Others agree that it’s obviously the letter T. But then there are also those who say that the emblem contains all the letters that make up the Japanese car’s name. So what does the logo which, by the way, took five long years to develop, really mean?

Keep on reading to know the answer to that. There are actually different possible answers. Who knows — your guess maybe one of the most accepted interpretations of the logo’s distinctive design!

From Toyoda to Toyota

toyota logo

Did you know that the popular brand of Japanese cars was not called Toyota until the mid-1930s? It used to be Toyoda, which is the family name of the person who founded the automotive company: Sakichi Toyoda.

Originally, vehicles were not the ones that Toyoda offered, but automatic looming machines which he introduced in the Japanese market in the early 1900s. After a few years, he decided to step foot in the world of car manufacturing. This is how Toyota, which is one of the most popular and loved car brands all over the planet, first came into being.

The Logo Throughout the Year

Perhaps you have heard or read about car logos changing so many times throughout the years. Well, Toyota’s logo didn’t change a lot ever since the car company was founded. As a matter of fact, there are only three logos that were used by the automotive brand throughout its long history.

Back when it was just introduced in the market, it had an octagonal badge with the word Toyoda in it. While there was nothing wrong with it, a logo-making contest was held in 1936.

Over 27,000 entries were submitted, but there was only one winner. The winning entry featured the Japanese katakana letters to, yo and ta — spelling out Toyota. The designer thought that Toyota is luckier than Toyoda because it only had eight brush strokes instead of ten. In Japan, the number eight is associated with good fortune and wealth.

It’s because of the winning logo why Toyota’s name was changed from Toyoda to that which we all know today. The good luck aspect of the redesigned logo has obviously worked as the car brand is so popular today.

A Change of Heart in 1989

Before Toyota celebrated its 50th anniversary back in 1989, the Japanese car company used only a couple of logos: the first one and the contest winner.

However, the time came when the demand for Toyota cars outside of Japan grew uncontrollably. The people behind the company decided that it was high time for the logo Toyota has been using for several years to undergo a facelift, one that people without knowledge in Japanese katakana letters could easily recognize.

This is basically how the new emblem, the one that all Toyota cars of today are sporting, was born. It was unveiled in the late 1980s during the car company’s 50th anniversary, and designing the new logo took five years to complete.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

The two ellipses inside a much bigger ellipse brand new logo of Toyota Toyota itself says represent the merging of the heart of the company and its customers. The fused ellipses can be found inside a large ellipse, which stands for the global market that Toyota has penetrated with great success.

However, one look at the Toyota logo will tell you that it’s a steering wheel. It makes perfect sense since Toyota is a car, and all cars have steering wheels in them.

A few people do not see a steering wheel. Instead, what they can make out is a needle’s eye. Before you say that they have a ridiculous interpretation to the logo, it’s important to note that Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota, started his career as a mogul of automatic looming machines — sewing machines!

The Letters are All in There

Most people, however, agree that the Toyota logo is the letter T, which means that its design is totally simplistic and straight to the point. Some people point out that it’s not just the letter T that can be found in the emblem, but the rest of the letters in Toyota’s name.

Here’s what’s really amazing about this new badge: it’s so symmetrical that you will see the very same logo and its elements whether you look at it head-on or in the rear-view mirror! It may seem like the logo of Toyota has a very simple design, but if you look closely it’s a logo that’s well thought out by its designers!

There are not a lot of Toyota logos that came into being since the founding of the automotive brand. Which Toyota logo interpretation do you go for? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

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