The Incredible History of the Toyota Logo Design & Brand Evolution

Founded in 1939, Japanese automobile company Toyota has sold millions of cars and became one of the most admired in the industry.

Surprisingly, Toyota’s activity started differently.

From the very first years, they were called Toyoda Automatic Loom Works and were selling looms and textile.

When Japan was suffering from the pressure of war with China, the government obliged the company to start producing automobiles instead of the looms.

This was necessary to support the army and nation.

In 1935, the company created its first passenger car.

Original Toyota Logo Design

The name of the company was changed to Toyota.

When the Second World War came to the lands of Japan, Toyota started producing military trucks.

The forces of the enemy found out that Toyota is the main contributor of the machines for battles.

Therefore, they have decided to bomb the factory.

Luckily, the war ended before the enemy has managed to carry out a bombing raid and Toyota continued their activity.

After the war, Japan had tough times.

The economy was ruined, and large companies including Toyota suffered from bankruptcy.

Despite all the difficulties, they did their best to continue working.

In a couple of years, the company has escaped the crisis and expanded significantly.

By the end of the 80s and the beginning of 90s, Toyota has created 50 million vehicles and made 2 million domestic sales.

The most famous models called Windom, Estima and Aristo saw the world in the 90s, and there were more than 1 million units sold in just a couple of years.

By the end of the 90s, Toyota has presented their main pride – Toyota Prius.

The sales beyond the territory of Japan exceeded 3 million units at that time.

In the 2000s, the company enjoyed even more significant success.

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They have produced even more popular car models that are still valued and appreciated by car-lovers from all over the globe.

The company also took part in Formula 1 racing.

Prius was still one of the most famous cars, and the sales were growing all the time.

Also, Toyota’s hybrid cars also became popular in that period.

In 2012, Toyota was ranked as the largest car company of the year in the world.

In 2014 they had the highest level of revenue among all the vehicle manufacturers (more than ¥22.064 trillion).

Toyota History

The production of cars has grown to more than 10 million units a year, which is fascinating.

These days, Toyota is one of the top companies in the car market .

They sell efficient and powerful vehicles for low prices to customers from all over the world.

It is one of the most successful and high-rated companies in Japan today.

So now let’s find out how the company’s logo boosted its success.

Interesting facts about Toyota

First, the company was named after the name of its founder – Kiichiro Toyoda.

However, when the company decided to move further and start working with European countries, the owner changed it to Toyota.

An interesting fact is that the new name was something like a lucky symbol for the company.

When you write it in katakana (one of the Japanese scripts), it takes eight strokes.

Eight is a symbol of luck in Asian culture.

There is another interesting version about the stroke number in the name Toyota.

Kiichiro Toyoda was born in Nagoya, Japan.

This is the place where Toyota company started, and it is still there, even though it is a worldwide company now.

The city of Nagoya has a symbol called maru-hachi, translated as “circle eight”.

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You can see this symbol on the main page of the company’s website.

So the number eight also reminds us of the owner’s native city and the place where his business started.

The company started as a Japanese business only.

However, later, the great success of Toyota allowed it to create about 370,000 workplaces in the USA.

Toyota Garage Hollywood

The production of trucks that saved Toyota from bankruptcy was caused by the war between America and Korea.

During these months, America ordered thousands of vehicles from the Japanese company, and therefore they have managed to deal with financial problems.

Even though Toyota cooperated with the USA actively during the Korean War, they came to America in 1957.

Toyota is famous for producing so-called hybrid cars.

These are the vehicles that use different kinds of power simultaneously.

As a rule, they include an internal combustion engine and an electric motor powered by a unique electric generator.

There are more types of combinations, and some of them use hydraulics and batteries.

A couple of years ago, Toyota was ranked as one of the top car companies in the world.

It is considered the third largest manufacturer after Volkswagen, General Motors and Ford .

Today, more than 80% of Toyota cars that were sold 20 years ago are still on the ride, and you can see them on the road of your native town.

This is something we call Japanese quality!

Toyota invests millions of dollars per day to perform research and develop better cars.

Their primary pursuit is the safety of the passengers.

Toyota Logo Design History

The Toyota Logo Design History

The original Toyota logo was a diamond-shaped, red and blue symbol.

This one was chosen during a public competition.

It presented the company’s name until 1989 when the fiftieth anniversary came.

In the honour of a jubilee, they have created a new logo – three ovals combined.

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This is exactly the Toyota logo we see today.

Toyota New Logo Design

Rumours say that the designers of the Toyota logo developed the new version for about five years to make sure that everything is perfect and all of the international partners will accept it.

The first car to feature a new logo was their amazing Celsior, created in 1989.

After that, the Toyota logo was placed on every new vehicle presented.

What is so special about it?

You might think that the Toyota logo is pretty simple and doesn’t seem like having any deep meaning.

However, to find out more about its elements, we have to go deeper.

First, let’s take a look at the company’s description.

They say that two smaller overlapped ovals are for customers’ and company’s hearts, which overlap to show the trust between them.

Perpendicular ovals remind us of the T letter and a wheel, which symbolises a car.

The large oval that includes all these symbols is for the world that surrounds Toyota.

The lines have different thicknesses which remind us of the traditional Japanese brush painting.

The simplicity of the emblem strives to make Toyota cars recognisable.

To make sure that the symbol looks the same even when you look at it through a rear-view mirror, the designers made it symmetrical.

The idea of symmetry seems to be powerful when you perceive it in the entire context of the elements and their meaning.

In addition to hidden messages and the ideas that display the core values of the company, the Toyota logo design has another small secret you probably don’t know about.

Take a closer look at the symbol of Toyota.

Toyota Logo Meaning

If you look attentively, you will be able to find all the letters of its name hidden in the picture – T-O-Y-O-T-A.

The centre is for the “T”, the outer ring is for “O”, the centre rings make the “Y”, and the “A” is in the middle.

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Indeed, Toyota can boast of a very reflective logo.

Having such a minimalistic look, the emblem is created with great attention to every detail and its sense.

The approach taken by the logo designers proves how vital it is.

Popularity issues

Toyota Way Branding Prism

Toyota is an incredibly successful company with a well-designed logo.

However, it is a rare case when we can see a person wearing a T-shirt or a hat with Toyota’s logo.

At the same time, Ford and Chevrolet’s emblems are extremely popular themselves.

There is a considerable amount of merchandise that displays these symbols.

Maybe, there is no sense in comparing two international brands with a genuinely European orientation to the Japanese company, but still, that’s the way it is.

While not being a trendy print for the T-shirts and teacups, Toyota’s design stays incredible.

There is no doubt that it reaches all its aims as a logo.

We believe that the best logo is the one that has a simple outlook and a complicated message, which is exactly what we see in Toyota’s case.

What is more, they have done their best to create a logo that looks appealing and familiar to many people from all over the globe.

The last thing that seems to be interesting is the way the company treats their logo.

If you visit their official website, you will see how professional writers applied themselves with a passion for describing it in a very literary way.

You can read about the design’s history and the meaning of every element there.

Just take a look at these pages, and you will see that the company cares about every point of their business and takes pride in each of them, including the logo.

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  • I’ve bought a brand new Toyota RAV4 as my first self purchased vehicle. And I’ve done myself a huge favor by having such a reliable car. For the first two years this car provided me all my living expenses and more. She took care of me better than my mother I must say. As if now almost 8 years later she showed no signs of slowing down. I haven’t had any mechanical issues or any major fixes. Synthetic oil by Mobil 1 with genuine Toyota oil filters and that’s it. I was a Honda fan growing up but Toyota won me over. It’s going to run well for another foreseeable future and it’s the best purchase in my life. Next car will be another Toyota and so on. Thank you Toyota!

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