History of the Toyota Emblem


What most of us may not know is that the original name of  Japan’s leading automobile manufacturer was Toyoda, not Toyota. It is named after the family name of its founder, Kiichiro Toyoda. However, the company changed its name to Toyota in 1936 when they held a public competition to design a new logo. The new spelling was considered good luck because it took a total of eight pen strokes to write it out, and eight is considered to be a lucky number in Japan.

But what about their logo? Most of us are familiar with the logo of Toyota which is made of three ovals. But how did they came up with that logo for their company? Let’s take a look at how Toyota came out with an iconic logo and what is the meaning behind it.


Initially, Toyoda or Toyota has two logos, one for the cars and one for the trucks. The emblem for their cars had a kanji mark that says “Toyoda” and it has a wing that signifies speed. While the truck emblem on the other hand also had a kanji mark for “Toyoda” but it had a shachihoko or an animal with a tiger head and a carp body which symbolizes the city of Nagoya, the place where Toyota originated.

In 1936, Toyota held a public competition wherein they chose a diamond shaped logo with a red and blue symbol as the winner. The said logo represented the company’s brand until their fiftieth anniversary in 1989. And in the honor of the celebration they created a new logo, the three ovals combined. The logo that we see on Toyota cars today. Some say that the designers of the new Toyota logo designed it five years before the company’s 50th anniversary to make sure that everything is perfect and their international partners will accept it. Toyota’s first car to have this logo was the Celsior which was created in 1989. Since then, the emblem with the three ovals was placed on every vehicle they release.

The Meaning Behind the New Logo

Most of us think that their logo is just three ovals combined and it doesn’t seem to have any deeper meaning. But if you examine it closely, it turns out that there’s more to this logo other than just three ovals that overlap.

First, let’s take a look at the automobile company’s description, they say that the two small ovals that overlap represents the customer’s and the company’s heart and it symbolizes the trust between them. The vertical oval symbolizes the T letter and a wheel which represents a car. The large oval contains all of these symbols indicates the world that surrounds Toyota. The designers made the emblem symmetrical to make sure that the emblem looks the same even through a rear-view mirror.

But other than meaning, Toyota’s logo also has another small secret that most of us probably don’t know about. But, if you take a closer look at the symbol, you will be able to find all the letters that spell Toyota in the logo.

The center oval is for the letter T, its outer ring is for O, the center rings make the Y, and the letter A is in the Middle. See? There’s more to this emblem that meets the eye. Even if it has a minimalist look, the emblem designers paid great attention to every little detail and its meaning. They have created a logo that looks appealing and familiar to people all around the globe.

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