Toyota is one of the most widely-known car companies in the world. A major force not only in its native Japan but also internationally, Toyota has become known for making quality cars at reasonable prices. As the owner of several different major brands, Toyota has also become a major player in the luxury market. Through effective branding and word-of-mouth marketing, the company manufactures cars that are not only known to be reliable but also those that are known to retain their value even after driven off the lot. The intention of this article is to take a look at one of the more recognizable aspects of Toyota’s marketing strategy, its logo. This article will examine the history of the Toyota logo, its major design elements, and how it has changed over time. By doing so, a clear relationship should be made between the logo and the company that it represents.
Toyota Logo Design Elements
The modern Toyota logo is simple but effective. Consisting of three differently-sized logos interlinked, it is meant to represent several different elements in a single design. The triple-oval structure is found on all of Toyota’s vehicles as well as in the company’s advertising.
The color of the logo is generally silver, though a few advertisements have experimented with other colors in the past. The silver coloration is clean and modern, helping to establish the company as both an aesthetically pleasing manufacturer as well as one that has an eye towards the future. The color also stands out against the paint of most of its vehicles, helping drivers to immediately identify the make of the car even when in traffic.
Changes and Evolution
The initial shape of the Toyota logo with a diamond with the name ‘Toyota’ in the center. The logo was actually designed in a public contest as part of the company’s shift from its original name to its modern incarnation. The logo largely remained in place from 1936-1989, though a separate logo was used in Japan. The transition to the new logo in 1989 was done in concert with Toyota’s release of its first luxury brand.
The initial Toyota logo featured a blue background and the word ‘Toyota’ in a red rectangle. The coloration was certainly in line with branding in the 1930s, and helped to define the brand for many in Japan and elsewhere. The shift to silver was more in line with late-80s and early-90s branding, representing simplicity and luxury in a single color.
Toyota’s first font was typical of Japanese design, both industrialized and remniscent of Japanese brush art at the same time. It was a symbol that helped to both announce the company’s entry onto the international stage and stay true to its national origins. The move towards the all-caps red font for modern Toyota branding made the brand seem more international and helped to bring it in line with several other brands.
Toyota has always put a great deal of faith in its own ability to brand itself. The modern design took a number of elements – a globe, a steering wheel, and the letter T – and combined them into something that was easily recognizable. Though not something that was necessarily taken from any single designer, it’s hard to deny that the current iteration of Toyota’s design does seem to be in line with many other late-80s dealers.
It’s definitely easy to see Toyota’s influence in other car logos. Asian brands like Mazda, Kia, and Subaru seem to have taken major notes from Toyota’s design. Beyond the obvious similarities, it seems that Toyota one was one of the first brands to identify the importance of having an easily-identifiable logo while on the road, something that many others have done since.
- Toyota was originally named Toyoda, for the company’s founder
- Toyota began life as a company manufacturing trucks for the Japanese military.
- Toyota’s logo is designed to look the same when inverted, helping drivers to identify the brand of the vehicle in the rear-view mirror.
- Toyota introduced the world’s first mass-produced hybrid, the Prius, in 1997.
- Toyota manufactures and sells a Corolla once every 27 seconds.
- Eighty percent of Toyotas sold at last twenty years ago are still on the road, making it one of the most widely-driven brands on the road today.
The Toyota logo is a fantastic piece of work, one that is highly representative of the company behind it. Simple and evocative, it helps to show the world a brand that has a commitment to quality. While Toyota may not be the first brand most think about when it comes to luxury, it is certainly among the first when most think about reliability.