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Looking Into Logos

Logos. We are all surrounded by them. They can look deceptively simple. But how many of us truly look at logos to determine the subtleties? Here’s one that surprised me:

Letters in Toyota logo

Logo contains letters T-O-Y-O-T-A

So the Toyota symbol actually has all the parts to make up their brand name. Uh…wow! Despite hours stuck in traffic surrounded by some half dozen Toyota logos, I never made this connection.

Toyota Logo

logo for Toyota

According to Toyota’s webpage about their logo, this symbol has been around since ’89. The three ovals each have their own meaning. The two ovals inside the big one represent the steering wheel of the car, and make up the “T” of Toyota. These inner ovals also represent the relationship between the company and their customers. The outer oval signifies the world “embracing Toyota.” This logo looks the same, whether you see it from the front or through your rear view mirror. There’s obviously a bit of thought that went in to this. No wonder it took about 5 years to finalize this design.

Sadly, no mention of the designer(s). Does anyone know who designed this?


  1. mchong wrote:

    I was impressed by how many meanings and how thoughtful the Toyota logo is. I definitely appreciate it more now as a corporate logo because of the story I learned behind this logo. I could not find the creator of the logo but I hope they were well compensated for their work. I am disappointed that Toyota, the largest automobile manufacturer in the world, did not give more visible credit to the designer of their logo.

    Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  2. swang18 wrote:

    i never think about these, there are so much meaning in TOYOTA’s logo. i think this is a really good inspiration for logo design. this is a really classic but not dated way to design a logo. the designer abstract each word of T O Y O T A. then, he reconstruct those words to form a new icon. we should try this way in later design project.

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 5:56 am | Permalink
  3. spineda3 wrote:

    I found your post really interesting. People forget how many things can be hiding inside a logo. I never saw the toyota logo like that and now every time I see it, I can see “toyota” spelled out. Its really cool and inspiring to see how the logo was developed and how it came to be.

    Monday, October 6, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink