In this article, we decided to answer the question What does the Subaru logo stand for? We are going to take a look at the Subaru logo meaning. At the same time, we will present some less-known facts about the company. We will provide an in-depth look at the Subaru logo elements and its transformations throughout the years.
Changes and Evolution
Over the course of its 63 years of existence, Subaru and the Subaru logo have made history. Unlike most automotive companies with more than half a century of background, the Subaru logo has changed relatively few times. In fact, there are only two main versions which are brought up in conversation.
The first of the two is the current Subaru logo, about which we are going to talk later in the article. The second, meanwhile, is the one that circulated for most of the time between 1953 and 2005. However, that doesn’t mean that there weren’t a few other variants of the Subaru logo.
Evolving from the 1953 version of the logo all the way to its current incarnation, several changes came over the Subaru emblem. The biggest ones were the color scheme and the placement of the stars. While the former got closer to the logo’s actual source of the inspiration, the latter did the opposite.
First off, the Subaru logo is based on the Pleiades star cluster. Known for their blue light and their proximity to one another, they drove the Subaru logo to change its color scheme to better resemble the stars. Meanwhile, the actual design also changed. The stars were eventually moved around and connected, so as to create a better, more compelling logo.
Subaru Logo Design Elements
In this section, we are going to talk about the main design elements of the Subaru logo. These are the self-referential or meta-design elements, which most graphic designers spend days constructing. The idea behind them is that they have to be perfect. They have to evoke in the public the exact feelings with which the company wants them to associate it.
The three most important design elements of the Subaru logo, just like for most logos out there, are the shape, the color, and the font. These were designed after a long laborious process, during which designers bounced ideas and variants off each other. They eventually ended up with the Subaru logo we all know today.
As we’ve mentioned before, and as you probably already know, the Subaru logo consists of six stars inside an oval. The brand name, Subaru, is the Japanese translation of the name Pleiades, or Seven Sisters. Naturally, their logo features a representation of the Pleiades.
The larger star in the Subaru logo stands for Fuji Heavy Industries, or FHI. The smaller stars represent the five other companies that merged with FHI to create Subaru.
The stars of the Subaru logo are usually featured within a circle or oval shape. Arguably, this shape stands for the unity of the several disparate entities that combined to form the Subaru brand.
It can also be argued that this shape serves a functional purpose. Ovals are often used by automotive companies in their logos. Some of the most renowned are Ford logo, Land Rover, Kia, Toyota, and Maserati. These car logos often appear on the cars themselves. An intricate logo, with thin elements would likely get damaged easily on a car, if it were not encased in a larger shape.
Circles and ovals are prefered to square shapes, as they usually fit better with dynamic designs, meant to inspire the idea of movement and speed.
Of course, there are examples of car brands that made other shapes work as well, such as the Porsche logo.
The placement of the Subaru stars was changed several times through the logo’s history. In the earlier versions of the Subaru logo, the stars appeared to be more chaotic arranged. However, they were somewhat closer to the actual placemenet of the stars in the Pleiad cluster.
Gradually, the stars moved to a more organized array, with the largest of the Subaru stars shifting to the upper-left side of the logo, while the smaller stars were placed in a neat array to the right of the larger star.
The Subaru logo is generally rendered in blue and silver. Blue was a natural choice, as a color to represent the night sky. The Pleiades are also said to emit a blueish ligh.
In early version of the logo, the bright stars were represent in gold. Later, the Subaru logo became gradually more minimalistic and understated. The color of the Subaru stars was changed to silver, a color which is arguably easier to integrate in a variety of designs and color schemese.
Not as important as the actual emblem, the Subaru font still manages to bring its own look to the mix. More streamlined and two-dimensional than the emblem, the Subaru text consists of a custom font. It is a somewhat modified version of the Microgramma typeface.
A non-serif, professional font, Microgramma was one of the few choices that could have worked so well with the logo. The slight modifications brought to it by the team of designers in charge made it the perfect fit. And since it is one of the most recognizable automotive logos in the world, it certainly paid off.
Interestingly, while the Subaru logo only consists of six stars, the actual cluster consists of seven. Their names are Alcyone, Asterope, Celaeno, Electra, Maia, Merope, and Taygeta. The reason why there are only six stars in the Subaru logo is that two of the stars are so close together that they are most often seen as only one.
Back in 2011, Gainax produced an original animation in collaboration with Subaru. It was called Hōkago no Pureadesu, or Wish Upon the Pleiades, and it is a magical girl anime focusing on the star sisters. The show was surprisingly successful, giving way to an anime series in 2015. A film adaptation is currently being produced.
Do you know any Subaru logo trivia or information we should have mentioned? Let us know in the comments!