Though Tesla was founded quite recently in 2003, it is already one of the frontrunners in the electric car industry. Tesla is known for creating luxury cars that run on electricity instead of gasoline. Since the company is run by the charismatic entrepreneur, Elon Musk, they know how to capitalize on brand awareness.
The distinctive Tesla logo does not just show up on car hood emblems. It also shows up on soaring obelisks used to mark charging stations. In our article, we will tell you all the fascinating details and design that went into creating this unique logo.
Tesla Logo Design Elements
The Tesla logo is a monochromatic design that just uses a bold red color on a transparent background. At the bottom of the logo is the brand name, written in a very stylized font. This font uses right angles instead of curves, and the ends of the lines are slanted into points. The “E” is represented as three horizontal lines, and the “A” looks like a horizontal line on top of a square missing the bottom line.
Tesla’s logo is topped with a design that resembles a large, upper-case T. The bottom of the T narrows to a point. Its top curves into smaller triangles on either side, and a triangular shape notch is taken out of the middle of the T’s top. A single horizontal line curves gently over the T to make the top appear smoother.
Changes and Evolution
Tesla’s original logo shape was very similar to its modern design, other than one key different. The first Tesla logo used the T shape inside of a shield, with the brand name written in its signature font at the top of the logo instead of the bottom. This logo was identical to the insignia on the hood of Tesla’s luxury sports car model, the Roadster Sport. Tesla eventually decided to streamline this logo by removing the shield and putting the big T icon on the top of the logo.
Tesla uses a few key colors to display their logo. At first, it mostly showed up as a black on silver design. The logo then started appearing as a black and white design. Red became the main color of the logo when Tesla decided to add a little color to the design. Though red is officially their brand color now, the logo is still displayed in a variety of red, black, white, and silver designs. Its color tends to change depending on where the logo appears.
Tesla’s custom font has remained the most consistent part of their logo. Though the location of the word on the logo has changed, it always uses the crisp, angular lines of Tesla’s font.
Tesla’s logo is not just a random, artistic depiction of the brand’s initial. According to Elon Musk, the big T icon in the logo is actually intended to look like an induction motor. These motors are used to give Tesla vehicles their power, and they feature a bunch of coils placed in a circle. The T emblem in the Tesla logo shows a stylized cross section of one of those coils right as they push the energy forward. This clever inspiration manages to represent both the brand name and the brand’s signature engine at the same time.
- The Tesla logo is designed by RO-Studio, the New Jersey design firm also responsible for Musk’s SpaceX logo.
- The Tesla company is named after the eccentric 19th-century inventor, Nikola Tesla. Their motors are directly descended from the 1882 electric motor designed by Tesla.
- No one knows whether the similarity is intentional or just a coincidence, but the Tesla logo also looks like a type of cutting tool called an adze. In the Serbian language, the word “Tesla” means “adze.”
At first glance, the Tesla logo just appears to be an initial of the brand name. However, a closer look at its history shows that the logo actually references the unique mechanisms in Tesla vehicles. This subtle yet intricate design strategy is also apparent in the iconic Tesla cars that combine sleek style with luxury features and innovative engineering. This logo has worked so well that Tesla has not seen the need to change their logo significantly.