So my friend’s father told me a while ago that the BMW logo, pictured below, is a rotor representation symbolising its early business as an aero engine maker in the 1920s.
I thought that was pretty cool, so I decided to learn about the logo origins of other major car companies! This is what I found.
So, the Toyota logo was introduced in 1989 to differentiate it from it’s newly created branch of luxury cars, Lexus. It made it’s debut on the 1989 Toyota Celsior and swiftly gained worldwide recognition.
The logo comprises of three ovals that form the letter ‘T’, presumably for ‘Toyota’. The two perpendicular ovals inside the larger oval overlap to represent the mutually beneficial relationship and trust that is placed between the customer and the company. The larger oval that surrounds both of these inner ovals represents the “global expansion of Toyota’s technology and unlimited potential for the future.”
In the 1870s, Daimler (the owner) sent his wife a postcard marking his residence with a three pointed star. it said –“one day this star will shine over our triumphant factories”.
This line is purported to have inspired Daimler and Maybach when developing light and powerful engines for land, water and air (the three points). After Daimler Motoren Gesellschafts success with Mercedes, they still didn’t have a recognisable trademark. Daimler’s sons suggested the use of the three pointed star. The three pointed star debuted in 1910, and after a few tweaks, the three pointed star was surrounded by a circle and registered in 1937 by Daimler-Benz – a three dimensional, three pointed star, contained in a circle.
The four rings that make up the Audi logo symbolise the four companies that came together to create that union. The company name is based off the surname of the founder August Horch. Horch in German means listen, which, when translated to Latin, is Audi. This one is an interesting tidbit of information that comes up in conversation frequently!
Last but not least, I thought the origin of the Alfa Romeo Symbol would be interesting, because unlike most other car companies, the link between the logo and their name/occupation isn’t as obvious.
So the left hand side is a red cross on a white field, which is the emblem of Milan. On the right hand side is the Biscione, which is the family crest of the House of Visconti, rulers of Milan in the 14th century. The Biscione sports a snake eating a human, which I read was often depicted as a child or a Moor, the term ‘moor’ used principally to describe the Berber people or Muslims of Black African or Arab descent.
After it’s design in 1910, the company was bought by Nicola Romeo in 1918, leading to the addition of a dark blue metallic ring containing the inscription “ALFA — ROMEO” and “MILANO” separated by two Savoy Dynasty knots to honour the Kingdom of Italy. After the inaugural Automobile Championship in 1925, Alfa added a laurel wreath around the badge. In 1946, after the monarchy was abolished, the Savoy knots were replaced with two curvy lines. The name “MILANO”, the hyphen, and the lines were taken out when Alfa Romeo opened its factory at Pomigliano d’Arco in the 1970s.
It would take a very long and uninteresting post to list all the different car companies, these are the ones I was interested in and I invite you to research any others if you’re particularly interested!
Hope you found this interesting!