The stories behind famous auto logos are often unknown. Yet, their uniqueness provides the perfect place to look for inspiration when designing your own logos.
You will be full of ideas after reading about these clever secrets behind the creation of some of the world’s most recognized logos.
Not to mention, knowing all these interesting facts about auto companies may come in handy at your next trivia night or even when discussing your insurance discount with your agent.
Check them out!
Audi Remembers Its History
You may wonder why Audi has so many rings in its logo.
Audi’s rings stem from a complicated history. They symbolize four different automaking companies that joined forces in 1932 to create the Auto Union, which became known as Audi AG around 1964.
The first ring represents the original German automaker, Horch, founded in 1899.
Its engineer, Mr. Horch, left his namesake in 1909 to start his own automaking company which he named Audi. The second ring stands for the original Audi.
The third ring represents the German auto-builder Wanderer, and the fourth is for the steam engine company, DKW, that began making cars in 1928.
So, Audi’s rings are a reminder of national unification.
The emblem stands out from other auto logos today because it is the only brand made up of multiple horizontal circles.
It never hurts to be different, and the archives may be a good place to start.
BMW’s Loyalty To Home
Debated for decades, the history behind the BMW logo is actually pretty simple.
The BMW letters stand for its initial registered name: Bayerische Motoren Werke.
The emblem is commonly thought to represent the propellers of an airplane. However, it has recently been confirmed that this appearance was only coincidence.
The reality is that BMW’s designers wanted the logo to symbolize the company’s home state of Bavaria, Germany, but there were strict laws regarding national symbols in company trademarks in 1917.
So, BMW found a way to get around the rules.
They placed the Bavarian free state colors (blue and white) within a ring but flipped the colors so they were in opposite order.
If you’re having trouble thinking of design aspects, you can’t go wrong with keeping it local. Especially today when local is trendy.
Cadillac Keeps It Royal
The Cadillac logo is meant to represent the family crest of the founder of Detroit, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, whom the company is named after (if you didn’t catch that).
While there is speculation that the crest may have been conjured up by Mr. Cadillac himself, the emblem still represents royalty through its design.
The silver wreath symbolizes aristocracy and the colored stripes stand for riches (gold), superiority (black), and valor (blue).
Today, the royal and historical appearance of the Cadillac logo continues to match its luxurious inventory.
If high-end is a characteristic of your company, then it wouldn’t hurt steal some of Cadillac’s design tricks.
The iconic Ferrari logo of a prancing stallion has personal routes.
Enzo Ferrari designed the logo to honor the idolized Italian fighter pilot in World War 1, Count Francesco Baracca, who had painted the image on the side of his plane.
Ferrari added the yellow background to stand for the color of his Italian home city, Modena (again, keeping it local).
The story behind Ferrari’s logo is a reminder that inspiration can be found in admirations and personal relations.
Mercedes-Benz’s Bold Goal
The Mercedes logo, designed by the founder’s sons Paul and Adolf Daimler, got its inspiration from a postcard sent by their father, Gottlieb Daimler, to his wife in 1872.
The postcard had a three-pointed star with a note stating how it would one day shine over Daimler’s business.
In 1926, Benz and Mercedes merged and with it some new, bolder values, which the company expressed through its logo.
The emblem kept the three-pointed star to symbolize the goal of dominating the three points of Earth: the land, the sea, and the air.
In auto logos as well as the market, it never hurts to be direct and ambitious.
Subaru Looks to the Stars
Subaru is the Japanese word for “unite”.
It’s also the name of a cluster of six stars within the Taurus constellation. This is why the Subaru logo includes a circle with six stars inside.
The name and the stars may represent the six companies that merged to form Subaru’s parent company in 1953.
In Greek mythology, the stars are considered Atlas’ daughters– which would be a fitting metaphor for the child company.
So, when you’re struggling to find that meaningful touch for your auto logos, just look to the stars!
Toyota Gets Philosophical
Toyota’s logo is made of three different size ovals and is actually highly thought out and philosophical.
The two inside ovals overlapping each other symbolize the connection and trust between the heart of the client and the heart of Toyota itself.
They also form the shape of a steering wheel and a “T” for Toyota.
The outside oval represents the world, as Toyota is an international brand.
Toyota didn’t leave out its founding culture, either. The emblem’s ovals are designed to look similar to Japanese brush art.
Volvo Turns To Science
While Volvo vehicles are anything but nerdy, their logo may be a little bit on the geeky side. But, hey it worked.
The Swedish designers took the Volvo name and logo quite seriously.
The name Volvo was chosen based on research that showed the word would be easy to pronounce in most languages and cultures, and easy to spell as well.
The symbol? It represents the chemical icon for iron.
Not only does it stand for the metal associated with Mars and weaponry, it also symbolizes Sweden’s rich iron industry and history.
So, Volvo has science, research, and nationality backing up its image. Not a bad play.
What We Can Learn From
Whether the muse comes from culture, history, locality, unity, astronomy, philosophy, or royalty, there is one common theme behind all famous auto logos– they have their own, individual stories.
When designing your logo, think about what makes your company or even yourself unique. Reflect on your experiences, passions, goals, and history.
If you still need help, read up on what all great car logos have in common.
Auto Logo Design Made Easy
Now that you’ve learned the secrets behind some of the most iconic car logo designs in the world, I’d say you’re ready to try your hand at making your own.
Lucky for you, Online Logo Maker makes it easier than ever with their free online design tools.
Be sure to check out their informative tutorials, too.